“I don’t have a weight problem, I have a balance problem. When I put on weight, I know it’s because my life is out of balance and I’m working too hard.” (Oprah)
This makes every bit of sense to me.
For a long time I expected to uncover the magic formula that would work for me – the balance of exercise, food and sleep that once I had discovered I could just follow and it would continue to work for me. But unfortunately it’s never that easy. My body got used to things. And as much as it responded well to certain routines – times of eating, sleeping for example – it liked change as well. One exercise routine which would work for a while and see the scales dip in the right direction, would cease to work and I would have to change it somehow, vary it, intensify it, or look for an alternative exercise. Same with food. It’s so convenient to have the same breakfast every day, but my body wants variety. The metabolism gets used to processing the same old meal day in/day out, and when you throw a bit of variety at it, it responds by using more energy to process it.
I remember once blowing hard and sweating while walking up a hill thinking to myself, ‘When I’m fitter, this hill will be easier.” But then realised the reality of re-gaining my health meant that I needed to exercise at an intensity that would always make me sweat and blow hard and if the hill seemed easier, then I wasn’t working hard enough. It’s a grim reality. So you find steeper hills, walk faster, longer, carry hand weights, and try different exercises that will use a different set of muscles. So as a necessity, I found myself walking, jogging, bike riding, swimming, weight lifting, circuit training and bushwalking. My lifestyle gradually evolved from being a couch potato to being very, very active and outdoorsy.
So although it’s important to have balance, it’s also important to have unbalance - variety that will surprise your metabolism out of coasting along and getting it to kick into a higher gear.
How about you? How balanced is your life? Have you discovered the benefits of being 'unbalanced' as well? Click 'here' and fess up!