Snickers & Squats - Achieving Balance in an Unbalanced World

Fashion & Lifestyle, Health & Fitness

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?


Achieving Balance

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 may not be skinny. But, I am strong! I can still jump pretty high!

I found several bible verses that help remind us of God’s perspective of achieving balance in our lives. 

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; … Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33-34

A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight. Proverbs 11:1

You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 2 Peter 3:17

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Philippians 4:11

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

I know I need support to balance some areas in my life. I created this little graphic to determine where I currently fall in the areas of Exercise, Diet, Time, Money, and Energy. 

NOT Enough Attention

Neglectful

Wasteful

 

BALANCED

 

Too Much Attention!

Overcompensating. Overspending.

Going OVERBOARD to the point of obsessing about it.

Exercise        X
Diet        X
TIME       X
MONEY        X
ENERGY      X

These days, I feel that I am better balanced with diet and exercise. I don’t deprive myself of food. If I’m really craving an ice cream sundae, I’ll eat it! But, I also watch and try my best to make good choices at least 80% of the time. (The 80/20 is actually a great concept for helping us achieve balance!)

Also, I used to be a gym rat. Overly obsessed with working out. But, recently I turned my exercise into smaller increments/higher frequency. I’m currently doing five 25minute workouts a week. I feel that this is better balanced, for me. 

I’m fairly good at managing my money. I do need work in balancing my time and energy better. I have a tendency to pour out more than I can give. Perhaps more in one area than another. I’m also the Queen of taking on more than I can do. Biting off more than I can chew. Ok, you get the picture. 

I’m a work in progress.

Ok, so where would you fall in each category? If you’re struggling in any of these areas, I hope you’ll reference some of these bible verses. And, ask God for help in achieving balance! He is the King of Balance and perfection. Be blessed, my friend. 

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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

 

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