What does the word "balance" mean to you? Do you think of yoga poses? A scale? A lifestyle?
This morning I started to think about balance and what it means to me, and when I think it's important. When it comes to moving your body and doing exercises, balance is very important. And I don't mean just an even distribution of weight - I mean doing one thing as you do on the other. Would you do bicep curls on one side, but not the other? Would you do Standing Bow on one leg and not other? I would hope not. What would be the point of strengthening or stretching just one side of your body? So in the sense of keeping both sides of your body in sync, I believe balance is important.
What I really want to talk about is having a "balanced" lifestyle. First of all, what does it mean to have a balanced lifestyle? Do you run 5 miles daily so you can enjoy several Big Macs per week? Do you go out every night because you can sleep in until noon every day? To me, seeking to have a balanced lifestyle isn't necessarily living a healthy or meaningful life. Balance implies equilibrium, right? That means you aren't moving anywhere. That means you aren't tipping the scales. If you want results, if you want to see yourself moving forward, you have to step away from your comfort zone.
If you do the same workout every time you go to the gym, what's the point? Wouldn't your muscles get used to the repetition and maintain their status quo? What about eating the same thing every day? No doubt you would be deficient in certain nutrients. Even more so, what if you allow yourself one meal a day to eat whatever you want, so you eat Big Macs for lunch and salads for dinner? Are you really helping yourself?
I believe that in order to go the distance, you have to tip the scales off balance in favor of self discipline and healthy living. Just as one grain of rice can tip a scale, so can a small change. I believe that we need to stop making excuses for ourselves - we're too tired or too lazy or we've already made one healthy choice so why make another? Because you should! Because you can!
The truth is, you have to work hard to be healthy. You have to hold a yoga pose when it burns. You have to buy produce and learn how to cook it. You have to shut your computer off and shut your eyes at bedtime. Our health is our life. I believe that self-discipline is the key to leading that healthy lifestyle. I don't mean to say that we should all do Ironmans and be vegans and regularly visit ashrams, but we should push ourselves once in a while. Don't sell yourself short!
Tip the scales today - you might surprise yourself.