Life is a balance beam and I’m no Mary Lou Retton


I realize by using the name Mary Lou Retton, I’m dating myself but I just love her. 

This week has been a really hectic week.  Long hours at work, grabbing meals on the fly, and trying to keep up with everything outside of work have all added up to a week with no structure.  I tried very hard to keep my meals vegetable based so that I could have some comfort of knowing I wasn’t eating total junk.  (By the way, I have discovered the magic of a Greek salad.  I’ll definitely be posting a recipe for it!)  Unfortunately, exercise totally fell by the wayside this week and I can feel it. 

This week has made me realize that life is like a balance beam.  You have to take your time and stay focused.  Ever watch those Olympic gymnasts on the balance beam?  They are so engrossed in the task at hand.  They are careful, dutiful and determined.  Go too fast, and you’ve reached the end before you planned on it.  Lean one way too far and the balance is disrupted.  One…step…at…a…time.  Kind of like life.  Go full steam ahead into a new and intense workout – and you’re going to regret it 15 minutes later (which is frustrating in an hour long class).  Focus on just exercise and food, your housework goes to hell.  Focus on the housework and everything but housework goes to hell.  So right now, I’m trying to figure out that balance.  And – I’ve come to the conclusion – there’s no such thing! 

These lifestyle changes that I’m trying to make encompass everything.  I remember reading an article about actress Ali Larter and she said “I never miss a workout.  Ever.”  Easy for a movie star to say when she has a maid, cook, personal assistant.  But Ali works, she travels, she does interviews, premieres.  She just has focused on her priorities.  And that’s what I need to work on.  My NEW priority is living life past the age of 40.  To do that, I need to move and eat right. 

Let’s get something straight here.  I am not now or have ever been someone who focuses on housework.  I hate housework.  I would rather hot tar a roof than do dishes.  If you’re going to visit me, you better give me fair notice or you are going to walk into a disaster of a home.  Dust, dog hair and dirty dishes.  Suck it up or call first.  I manage to keep clean bathrooms, clean laundry and a keep decent kitchen just to keep us from getting a plague of some sort but that’s about it.  And how does that happen when I hate housework?  I make it a priority. 

For exercise and homemade meals to happen, it takes time.  So things have to be planned and structured.  I do not like either of those things.  The hubs and I do not have children so we pretty much wing it just about everyday.  After years of winging it, now we have to buckle down and guess what.  It sucks.  Just kidding.  I know the end result will be amazing and worth it.  It’s just getting from point A to point B. 

I really need to stay focused on my priorities.  I’m on the balance beam, centered and focused on good nutrition and activity.   On the left is laundry, vacuuming, and dusting, all of which are getting neglected.  On the right, chocolate and Cheetos .  At the end of the beam is a nice, long, healthy life, because right now, that’s my prize, my gold medal.  Guess which way is going to get me there? 

What’s your secret to maintaining a balance between maintaining a healthy lifestyle and everything else?  Would love to hear your secret, tips and cheat codes!   

2 thoughts on “Life is a balance beam and I’m no Mary Lou Retton

  1. I don’t have any suggestions for leading a balanced life, but I am definitely passionate about how companies treat their employees. That said, what I am referring to is companies creating a work environment that is hospitable to wellness and work-life balance by allowing the employee flexibility to schedule his/her work time around their own needs (within reason that is) and providing health and wellness opportunities. I won’t go into much detail here because I’m on my phone, but empowering people in this manner gives them opportunities to take care of themselves while ultimately being more productive and attentive to work. The article I posted on “Why We Hate Work” gets at some of my my points here. In general, I think if people could choose when they work out (basically how they schedule their day), more people may be inclined to actually do it. This then in theory leads to better choices, etc.

    • Excellent point Sara! Having a little incentive from your employer ups the motivation ante. By the time most people get home from work, they’re too drained to put in another 30-60 minutes to working out.

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