Life on the Balance Beam

By Michelene Cleary, for SparkPeople

I've often watched the young female gymnasts in competition in a state of awe and wonder. How do they do all those jumps and twirls on the balance beam without falling off and make it look so easy in the process? The precision, the focus, the leap in the face of fear mentality - how do I get some of that?


Maybe that routine on the balance beam is like the healthy lifestyle to you. Some days there seems to be no balance and you can't get all the things in order to make it work. You're juggling the job, the family, the pets, the bills, the laundry, the housework, the yard work, or some combination of all those things and more. How are you supposed to fit in exercise, healthy grocery shopping, time to prep and
cook meals, plan meals for the next day or week? It's daunting, frustrating, and frankly you might just want to give up. Well don't.


The thing about those gymnasts on TV is they didn't show up at the training facility yesterday and jump into competition today. They started their journey at the beginning and worked a very long time to get where they are. I appreciate this more now that I've been on the healthy lifestyle journey for three years (2 on SparkPeople). I had to start at the beginning, work it out, and keep figuring out how to make it work for me through life while it changed from day to day, month to month, and year to year.

Life isn't perfect and it will never be perfect despite what the media would like for you to believe. So quit waiting for that perfect moment to get on the balance beam and work out your own success story. You do have to start at the beginning and do the work to get the prize. Just like the gymnast who packed her bag, ate healthy, went to the training facility, logged the hours, and now stands on the beam in the sparkly cute outfit. She overcame fatigue, injuries, bad moods, that time of the month, social commitments, other obligations, etc., all in pursuit of her dream. She didn't expect it to happen in three weeks, or a couple of months. What gymnast would?

So if you looked at your healthy lifestyle journey and realized that it's not a short term prospect and you have to learn some new tricks to get that balance, what one thing would you work on today? I ask that because the gymnast did not learn that whole routine on the first day. Heck the first day you'd be lucky just to stand on that beam. I'd probably stand several feet away and just look at it, never in a million years imagining jumping up there and flipping head over heels on it. So why do we expect things to be different in this journey and heap all that pressure on ourselves?

Start at the beginning today -- what one thing do you need to work on just in this moment to get to a healthier you? Now do that and celebrate what you just learned. Then get up and ask yourself the same question the next morning. Before you know it you'll be on the balance beam in your journey.

Do you keep getting back on when you "fall off your balance beam"? Can you make a plan for the rest of this day, and for tomorrow to help you get back on track with your journey?


Related links:
Finding Balance: Dealing with Guilt
Motivation: How Can I Find It?
Finding Balance: How Do I Make Time?

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