My approach to health and fitness is that of balance, and it’s the basis of what I have built The Bod Squad on. Balancing healthy eating and exercise with finding time to spend with family and friends, going out to eat, having dessert, making time for housework, kids activities, ladies nights and of course rest.

Starting with a balanced mindset, means its not such a shocking transition. In my own personal health and fitness journey, it’s been the small changes over time that have built the lifestyle I’ve established and is working for my body. Anytime I went to an extreme, either with diets, or workouts, the sacrifices have always been greater than the reward.

Any weight loss I’ve achieved going to extremes was always back on in 3-4 months when I just couldn’t take that unhealthy extreme any longer. This cycle was not only difficult physically to gain the weight back but the mental stress of being deprived for so long then to be uncomfortable in your own skin, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Which is why I think finding balance within health and fitness really is the key.

I encourage my clients to practice finding balance in fitness and health. After all, I’m trying to teach my clients methods they can use to build a long term lifestyle they can stick to without feeling like they are constantly having to compromise their happiness for health. This of course doesn’t mean I go easy on them during our workouts, nor does it mean they get a break from discussing good healthy carbs, proteins, fats and cutting out the junk and processed foods.

There are so many reasons why it’s important to have health and fitness goals, but you don’t want to be constantly spending time chasing perfection. It’s not fun and its definitely not what life is about. As mums, you can’t expect to smash out 100% effort at everything in your life, 100% of the time. It’s all about a bit of give-and-take and that’s especially true when it comes to your health and fitness routine. Which is exactly why at The Bod Squad, we are all about the #balance.

Balance is eating what you want sometimes and not having to call it a cheat day.

Cheating in a game of cricket is bad. Cheating on your partner is bad. Sometimes, eating some food that might not exactly fit the definition of “healthy” shouldn’t constitute cheating, because there’s nothing bad about enjoying foods considered “unhealthy”! Cutting out too much from your diet has been said to be the worst weight-loss mistake that you can make, and research shows that yo-yo dieting is just as bad for your body as eating junk food regularly.

How to find the balance? Indulge with purpose. Following a restrictive diet usually results in bingeing, but making a conscious choice to indulge in something you’ll truly enjoy is the best way. There are many health professionals out there that advocate the 80/20 rule: eating healthy 80 percent of the time and treating yourself 20 percent of the time. The result? Healthy eating that lets you enjoy life without going totally off the rails.

Balance is taking a rest day and really enjoying it.

If you didn’t already know, balancing your workouts is key to keeping your body performing at its best. Another key part of balancing your workout routine is allowing for adequate time off – rest days are just as important, if not more important, than your training itself. Overtraining can cause mood swings, sleep issues, weight-loss plateau, and physical and mental burnout. (Watch this space for a blog on over-training)  The best way to take a rest day is to engage in active recovery (think a nice walk along the beach, or a bike ride with the kids) as opposed to spending all day on the couch Netflix and chilling. The goal with active recovery is to loosen any tightness and increase circulation, but not to break a sweat.

So go smash your workout, eat your kale, and #selfcare the shit out of your Sunday. Come Friday night, head out with the family for fish and chips down the beach, even have a wine. Sounds too good to be true? It’s not. Healthy living = balance… It can be that simple.