Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Good, The Bad, The Balanced


"My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. 
The highs and the lows. The pina and the colada." ~Ellen DeGeneres

This week, I've been contemplating the all-too ubiquitous idea of finding BALANCE. You know, eat a balanced diet, find your work-life balance, balance your checkbook, etc, etc. Seems like I've been searching my entire life for the elusive "balance" everyone's been talking about.

When I was young, my dad constructed a balance beam in our back yard. And no, I don't think my parents had any grand ideas of turning me into a gymnast. I was just clumsy! I've LITERALLY never been quite "balanced!" What you will find if you attempt to walk across a balance beam is that you don't FIND balance. If you're good, you can KEEP balance. But even the best gymnasts don't always complete their beam routines without a misstep or a fall every now and then.

A lot of bruises resulted from my time on the balance beam. Many people use the metaphor of running a marathon for various life experiences, and even for life itself. While I find this a useful image and can definitely relate to running out of steam at mile 23, I think a better metaphor for me is of the balance beam. Sometimes we lean completely to one side, flailing our arms in an attempt to right ourselves. A sick child. A fight with a spouse. Stress at work. Lean and correct. Lean and correct. Sometimes, we fall completely off. Sometimes it leaves a bruise, and on rare occasions a more serious injury. But, like the faithful gymnast, we brush ourselves off and jump back on. 

Keeping balance in my life lately has meant making tough decisions and having tough conversations. It's meant being flexible and understanding, but also unflinching when I need to be. Every tough decision, every sacrifice I make helps me stand up straighter, step more carefully, and stick closer to the center of the beam. I'm not expecting to stay on the beam every minute of every day. I just want to minimize the number of times I fall.

4.22.15: Food For Thought

I have stayed within my allotted WW points consistently. I had a great time Friday getting together with good friends and one I hadn't seen in awhile. I ate and I drank. But the next day, I went back to making good choices. 

Speaking of balance, I really enjoy the "new" Weight Watchers program. It helps me choose foods that are better for my health. In the past, a 100 calorie pack of cookies was the same number of points as a banana. Now, a banana is zero points. And I don't think anyone ever became overweight solely from eating too many bananas! Choosing whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy keeps me full, and that's something I don't remember feeling the last few go-arounds. I have more energy, and I feel better emotionally.

One new-to-me find: My friend Becky has been eating sprouted grain bread. I was curious, but hadn't really gotten around to asking her more about it or trying it for myself. At Costco last week, they had samples of sprouted grain bread. I really thought this bread was way too yummy to be point-friendly, but two slices equal only three WW points, and it actually has some substance to it. It's called Alpine Valley, and it comes in a two-pack for right around $6, which is almost half of what my friend was paying at the grocery store.

About this week: there were a couple of days when I didn't even EAT all my points. Seems impossible, I know. I am making a concerted effort to avoid this in the future. Stress played a role, as did caring for Luci while she was sick this past week. I actually think that I won't see much weight loss because of it.

4.22.15: The Stats

3.23.15: 37 lbs to lose
3.29.15: -4 (33 lbs to lose)
4.4.15: +1 (34 lbs to lose)
4.12.15: -2.5 (31.5 lbs to lose)
4.19.15: -2 (29.5 lbs to lose)

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