Balance is not a number

You cannot count it. You can’t measure it or weigh it. You can only feel it.

Balance is not a job. You are not required to clock in and out, or think about it every moment of every day, or arrange for special days off. You are allowed to keep it in the back of your head, or not think about it at all, and you don’t need anyone’s permission to do so.

Balance is not a diet. There aren’t rules and restrictions you need to comply with. You don’t need to consult the rulebook to see if what you’re doing is allowed. There is no rulebook.

Balance is a feeling. Sometimes you’re humming along through life, and everything feels right. Sometimes something feels…off. Balance is something you have to find, again and again, and the sooner you start tuning into and trusting your instincts and intuition, the better you’ll get at finding your way to that feeling.

Diets don’t teach us balance — they teach us obedience. Instead of listening to our intuition, we learn to rely on external factors, like Weight Watchers points or portion-control tupperware or the latest diet trend that everyone’s trying and well gosh, you don’t want to be left behind.

But where does that leave you? Strip away the marketing and the fads and the peer pressure and the busy work, and all diet culture really does is normalize following rules instead of following instincts. When we outsource our intuition, we undermine our relationships with ourselves.

The best things in life just aren’t quantifiable. Happiness is not a number. Satisfaction is not a number. Joy is not a number. Trust is not a number. Balance is not a number.

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