Finding Balance

Sunday, February 17, 2013
6:21 pm

I like this graphic. Its message is true for most anything. When we launch out on a quest to accomplish or overcome something,we look for the best (often cheapest) resources we can find to help us do or get the thing we want. And in the digital age in which we live, quality resources are everywhere. Yet without the knowledge, will, or drive to use them, we will not taste success.

I am learning that there are many resources at my disposal, and I can choose as many as I want. What works for today may not do the job a couple months from now. What motivates me this week, may not be enough to hold my feet to the fire when my journey has become an endurance test. In the beginning, we have inspiration and excitement on our side. We're psyched, as my friends and I used to say a million years ago in high school. Experiencing the strength and discipline to deny myself a second helping or a handful of peanut butter m&ms is a heady thing, especially when self denial has not been a practiced art. That feeling of control is invigorating.

But I clearly remember one particular event, some 30+ years ago when I successfully lost weight. It was the wedding of dear friends. I believe I even sang at the wedding; my then-fiance was a groomsman. We were at the reception and because of my date's role in the wedding party, I spent much of the evening sitting alone. As I perused the buffet table, I became painfully aware of what I couldn't eat, which was far more tasty and interesting than what I could eat. I sank deeper and deeper into self-pity as the evening progressed. If it hadn't been for the fact that my own wedding was approximately 4 months away, and I hadn't yet achieved my goal weight, I would have parked squarely in front of that buffet and grazed to my heart's content. I was miserable.

As we all know, hindsight is 20/20. I realize now what I didn't realize then. I could just have easily focused on how far I had come in my quest for my ideal weight rather than feel sorry for myself because I couldn't eat a piece of cake. I didn't understand then what I do now, that eating in moderation is possible, and I am capable of it. I had given complete control to food, and it held me prisoner as much when I wasn't eating it as when I was. It was all or nothing for me then. I said with pride that I didn't cheat, not once, when I was losing then. The reality was that I dared not cheat or I would have spiraled out of control. I couldn't allow myself even a nibble without feeling like I'd lost all the ground I'd gained, all the pounds I'd lost.

I haven't really hit those moments of internal battle this time around, perhaps because I haven't declared any food off limits. For instance . . . tonight we're getting together with some dear friends, and I know for a fact, Carol made cherry pie for us to share with hot coffee and sparkling conversation. I will savor a small piece of pie and refuse to entertain guilt over it. Even with these every-so-often-indulgences, I have been eating far less, and far better quality food over the past two months than I had been for quite some time before. And the evidence that I'm moving in the right direction is ample. Clothes are looser. I'm beginning to feel lighter. And as I've mentioned, I'm happily wearing my wedding band all the time now.

If you are attempting to conquer some obstacle in your life, look for resources that can help you, but make sure you know how to use those resources to give yourself the best possible chance for success. And strive for balance not perfection. We will never, never be perfect. But we can change the course of our life by adjusting the direction we're headed. I started by looking for little changes I could make. Then I made a few more. There are innumerable changes yet to make, exercise being one. I'll get there. I'm not in a race anymore. I don't have a deadline because I'm changing my life and how I live it. And I'm feeling better every day.

Until next time . . .


  1. Love the visual. Good work on the narrative. You are right, eating appropriately is a moderation thing since it needs to last. Continue on your journey with these insighful moments and you will continue to move in the right direction.

    Anytime that you wish to walk/exercise feel free to call me. I often go along Starkey Road and walk it (park near Longleaf). I have been motivated to keep the heart healthy. 727 842-9156 or cell 371 6290

    Have a great day today. Savor the moments that we have. Rene'

  2. Thanks, Rene'! I appreciate the offer. I live near Starkey, in River Crossing. And I too want to do the best I can for my health. I'll be 54 this summer and I've got a whole lot of livin' left to do!