When I said I’d do anything to lose the weight, I guess I didn’t know what anything really meant. For the past eight months, I’ve been extremely focused on diet, exercise and generally doing things in a very me-first manner. I’ve nearly destroyed my relationship. I’ve alienated friends and family members. My performance and commitment to work has been inconsistent. I’m sure I drive my coworkers crazy with my incessant health and fitness highs and lows.
The easy solution is to try to find some “balance,” but what does balance really mean? When I say some balance would be nice, what I really mean is that I want to find the magical secret to have all of these balls in the air in absolute harmony. Is that even possible? That doesn’t sound like balance any more than saying flexibility means being a contortionist. It’s just another example of me stroking my ego with the fantasy of unrealistic goals and expectations.
Balance by definition means compromise, right? Compromise is one of the hardest things for me. Until recently, I’ve thought of compromise as losing, that people compromise because they have to, not because they want to. I need to learn that compromise is synthesis, not losing.
I am not compassionate enough. I am not appreciative enough. I don’t express enough gratitude. I don’t want to be fit and isolated. I want to be better all around. I never would have guessed that compromise can take me there, but I need to start practicing it — and ASAP.
I think the key here is somewhere in the idea of having all the balls in the air. How high do you have to toss those balls, anyway? How hard do you need to make yourself work? Is that a level of work that you can do forever? Because that is your real time frame here. The compromise, the flexibility, lies in finding a level of effort that you can do forever. Until you are too old to rise from your chair unaided.
That’s why it’s not a good plan to isolate or cut off from your friends and your daily life, right? Because you get lonesome eventually and then you lean back towards that direction and because of how you have set up the situation, that automatically means leaning away from your fitness routine.
So you need to re-organize the situation completely, such that fitness is in the same direction as the rest of your life somehow. For instance, regarding your relationship: is there any way to integrate fitness or self-care into that area? Can you and your sweetie do things like cooking together, maybe walking or jogging together, or maybe you can treat her and yourself to regular couples’ massages? Maybe take a yoga class together? (She will no doubt enjoy that more that you will, but that is sort of the point there, I guess. And it would be good for you too, Mr. Type-A-Lawyer-Overachiever Person.)
In my life, food is the key to better life-integration socially. I made a real effort to keep on eating in restaurants even when I began altering my diet and even when I went all the way Paleo. I try to go out with my friends pretty often, although of course my schedule is not too cooperative there. This means that sometimes, my restaurant meals won’t be perfect. But it’s more sustainable that way, see? Because I can go out and have some fun while still staying on my fitness groove. I see styrofoam clamshells full of very good-looking food on your desk scrolling by on my dash all the time; I know you could be doing this with friends/family if you tried a bit. You certainly have the ability to do it.
Just slow yourself down a bit, maybe. Try to find a level of intensity that you can keep up with. For example, when I started doing P90X, I let myself take a break from running. Because doing yoga, P90X AND running seemed really like too much. Not that I could not do it physically. I think I could. But I do like to do other things besides exercise! And in a few weeks when P90X is over, I will get my running shoes back out.
Another way to add limits or structure is to have a clearly-defined, narrow focus. So, for example, in my running, I will either work on distance or speed, but not both at once. (Since I am slow and do not run very far, both these examples are not very intense things, LOL.) Or in yoga, I will work on one pose/movement at a time for a few weeks, like Headstand or hip openers or arm binds. If it gets boring or I feel stuck, I just shift to a different focus for a while. In the muscle department, I’ve been working on pull-ups for months now. I must say that I am making very slow progress there. SIGH. Keep pushing on.
So that’s what I have to offer. Narrow your focus, add limits. Integrate self-care into your primary relationships. Use social engagements as a way to practice appropriate eating. Reorganize your mental set-up so that fitness and social life are not opposing each other.
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- victoriafindslife answered: It is a hard line to find! I sure haven’t! GL
- blissmanifesto said: OKAY I reblogged and gave a ridiculously long answer. Enjoy.
- blissmanifesto reblogged this from srcdoeslife and added:
- blissmanifesto answered: I’m gonna think about this overnight and write a real answer in the morning, dude. It’s a good question.
- cha-cha-heels said: i’d say establish boundaries. let people know you don’t want to hear their negative thoughts, and don’t overload them with every detail about your regime. balance is important in every big endeavor.
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- sayhellotocindy said: Trying to keep everything in balance at once is actually harder than allowing for the natural swaying up & down that is part of the search for balance. Picture a scale: up/down/+/-But once it stops? Then what? don’t wanna stagnate either.
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- lindsaydoeslife said: i wish i had the answer for you. i had the opposite problem….before getting healthy i was just sort of mediocre (if that) at everything i did. don’t think of compromise or balance as a bad thing. maybe try to find that balance in small steps???
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- becky-balances said: I wish I knew.
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- runningbysheds said: If I ever learn this, I will most assuredly pass it on. . . .
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- lostweightgainedlove answered: This is such a learning process. I find myself to often in this black and white mentality. It kills me!
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- philistinequeen said: If you find out, let me know. My friends, family and coworkers are annoyed by me for turning down their offers of junk food. And I’ve become neglectful of my schoolwork in order to work out.
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- godo2point0 answered: I feel like just identifying this challenge is a huge step. Maybe start by talking to the people you’ve aliennated and see what they suggest?
- srcdoeslife posted this