Sometimes, on rare occasion, I am asked for my take on diet & exercise. I usually assert my personal tongue in cheek phrase, Snickers and Squats.
I am not embarrassed to admit that I have a very healthy appetite. I can out-eat most men. I’ve entered more than one All-You-Can-Eat Wing Bowls- Once, against a large group of high school boys (as their church youth leader) and eh hem, won first prize. And yes, I am often spotted holding up buffet lines with my second helping of dinner or dessert. What can I say? My appetite is extraordinary.
One day (a few summers ago), Scott and I were having breakfast at this place down the shore, that makes ridiculous Belgium Waffles. As we were enjoying our breakfast at our table outside, a line formed alongside the pavement with several hungry patrons. A group of women were staring at me, as I plowed through my waffle, with my mile high whipped cream and berries. (And yes, syrup, too.)
At one point, one of the ladies sarcastically asked my husband, “So, let me guess…that will probably be her only meal for the day, right?” Scott looked at me (at this point my face was half-way buried in whipped cream), then replied, “Uhh, no. She’ll eat lunch and dinner…and probably more after that.”
There was silence. I’m presuming they were either shocked or unsatisfied with his reply. I wasn’t phased. I have grown accustomed to the sarcasm over the years. But, I can’t help it that I eat more than ordinary. I am 5’10”. This is a bit of an advantage and most likely the reason why I eat more. I have more cells than someone with my exact measurements who stands 5’5”. So in my perspective, I legitimately have more cells to feed. Gosh, darn it!!
I have always tried to achieve balance in my life. Even as a skinny, awkward adolescent. I used to wake up at 5am on Saturday mornings, turn on the TV in my bedroom, and follow this corny exercise program called the 20-Minute Work-out. Does anyone remember this show from the 80’s? With the girls and their feathered, frizzy hair… and leg warmers! I did this ridiculous regime, most Saturdays, for I can’t remember how long. Still, I didn’t even have a butt or boobs to firm up back then. I guess in my wacky head I was attempting to “balance” my over-indulgence of food with my sacrifice of 20 minutes every Saturday. Come to think of it now, that hardly seems equitable.
As an adult, I have pretty much done it all (exercise-wise) to compensate for my affinity towards calorie consumption…from Aerobics Instructor, to Personal Trainer, to Mixed Martial Arts Aficionado. I eat well. I’m not one to discipline myself like I’m training for the navy seals. I also feel that it’s not a healthy balance to be too rigid. (Unless, of course, one’s doctor shares a concern with weight. In that case, a strict diet is in order for “health” reasons.) Honestly, I hate when I start getting in my head about my diet.
It’s all about BALANCE.
Yes, if I’m having a bad day, I may eat a burger, fries, and a milkshake. Then, I’ll compensate by exercising, perhaps a little harder the next day (or the day, after that). Snickers and squats. Get it?
There are more than just calories to balance in our lives. Like anyone else, I need to be intentional at balancing resources in my life, such as my time, money, and energy. There are many areas in my life that have suffered due to an imbalance of resources.
My loved ones will undoubtedly testify that I was guilty of expending too many resources (time and energy) at the workplace. As a result, my health suffered. My marriage suffered. Anxiety, frustration, and insomnia became the daily norm for me. I was probably a little too thin and depressed. Oh my goodness, and I never felt rested, caught-up, or even content. I had to fall hard before I was even consciously willing to let go. It was an extremely painful recovery before I accepted the changes that I so desperately needed to make. This was not as easy as compensating snickers with squats.
Which brings me to a few questions for you. How are you doing in achieving balance in your life? Are you spending too much time, energy, or money in one area and completely neglecting another? Are you taking care of your body and feeding your mind, daily with HEALTHY material? Are you balancing your budget and living the life-style within your means? Are you making time for important relationships? Are you reserving some energy for yourself and enjoying your interests or hobbies?
I found several bible verses that help remind us of God’s perspective of achieving balance in our lives.
PS In her book, Becoming the Woman God Wants You to Be, Donna Partow provides an inspirational 90-Day Challenge with extraordinary tips and relevant advice on achieving a balanced lifestyle. She addresses every practical area from household management to retirement planning. Her book was one of several books that I have read during my personal hiatus that has helped catapult me from a difficult time period to my decision in initiating the LE Woman Network. You can try a sample read on your Kindle by visiting: http://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Woman-God-Wants-Me/dp/0800730720