I firmly believe that the key to healthful living is balance and mindfulness. When we are too busy, either physically or mentally, then we don't take the time to think BEFORE or even DURING our actions.
Even when practicing mindfulness, we will still make some choices that in hindsight, weren't the best.
Still, being present in our lives can help us to avoid mindless decisions or victim mentalities, the idea that we can't control how we respond to what happens to us in life.
Having the mental space and energy to live mindfully requires us to prioritize time consumption and this is where the balance comes in.
A balanced life looks different for everyone, but it basically means guarding your time and energy; guaranteeing as best we can that we spend our days doing the most important and the most beneficial activities for ourselves and our most precious people (animals too) in our lives.
One of the key components of a balanced life is moderation.
If you think of a traditional scale (picture a seesaw), when you place all of the weight at one end of the scale, then the scale is tipped.
Moderation is the idea that you don't have to live your life at one end of the scale or the other, AKA via an "all or nothing" approach.
With respect to wellness, being on the wagon 100% of the time, meaning, exercising as hard as you can as much as you're supposed to and only eating healthful whole foods in the exact quantity and frequency that you should, it just isn't realistic.
Moderation is the idea that you can eat those highly-processed carb-filled cookies, and you can skip your workout because you're tired and you're bingeing on Netflix, IF you don't do it all of the time AND you also routinely exercise and eat healthful.
Chris Kresser talks about the approach he calls the "80/20 rule".
He does such a great job of explaining it, that I am going to link to his article for you to read (see the link below).
Here's a sample from his article:
I also suggest they follow what I call the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time they should follow the guidelines very closely, and 20% of the time they’re free to loosen up and just eat what they want to eat. There’s a lot more to life than food, and in fact I believe (as did the ancient Chinese) that in some cases it’s better to eat the wrong food with the right attitude than the other way around.
You can read the full article here and I DEFINITELY recommend that you do.
Do what you can today to seek balance in your life. Prioritize how you spend your time and energy. There's a finite amount of both of these resources, choose to use them wisely because no one can make that choice for you.