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Life in Balance

Monday, December 31, 2012

Most people join Spark to lose weight and/or get healthy. Most people assume that being overweight has to do with eating too much or the wrong food and/or not exercising enough. This may be true, but I think these are only the symptoms.
Disordered eating (in the widest sense of the word) can take many forms and has many contributing factors.
Some of this becomes evident when looking at all the different Spark teams there are.
Some diseases and/or disabilities make it hard to eat or properly digest certain foods that may be healthy for some people. Examples of this are insulin-resistance and diabetes, hypothyroidism, gluten-intolerance or food allergies and sensitivities. These health problems may require special, therapeutic diets to allow the body to function well.
Another, very common cause for disordered eating is sleep disturbances or lack of sleep. The problems can be as varied as chronic pain, acid reflux disease, sleep apnea, hormone imbalances, too much computer time or any number of causes.
Too much chronic stress is another factor that may affect our eating through overproduction of some hormones and underproduction of others. The cause of stress can be physical or mental/emotional. Sometimes the biggest difference lies in how we choose to respond to stressful events and how we cut out space in our lives to counteract stress.
Habits that we have had for a long time are sometimes the cause of disordered eating. It takes a lot of effort to change habits and sometimes support from others will help a lot.
More and more often financial constraints limit our ability to eat healthy food. Having to get groceries at the local food bank severely limits one's choices.
There are many other factors that may come into play, including job, children, living situation, personal issues etc.

Just like our food choices our exercise choices may be determined by many other factors, some of which we can control and some we can't.

Life is complicated and sometimes the best we can do to is take a step back and look at it all from a distance. I like to make a large poster with many of the areas in my life that are important and then draw lines between them to explore the relationships between different areas in my life. This helps me to make plans for the New Year that are realistic and puts my weight loss goals in perspective. I like to then color-code my poster to mark areas where I'm doing well, areas where I need improvement and areas where I need to ask for outside help to be successful.
There are two ways to visualize balance: The one is the idea of balancing too many things at random on one plate and the whole thing being in real danger of crashing.
The other idea of balance is to put the heaviest (most important) items in the center of the plate and then decorate all the smaller things around it.
What is it in your life that centers you?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • M77355
    I'm not quite sure how I found this wonderful blog but am so glad I did. Thank you for creating such an informative and comprehensive message to all of us!
    1843 days ago
    Great blog and one that makes me think. Family first always, but now that my children are grown - my last baby just turned 19 and still very much needs me in many ways, but still, my life & my purpose and my mission is changing.

    Thanks for sharing!


    Smile and Enjoy the Rest of Your Day!
    Melinda (gopintos)
    Perfect Health Diet Team
    Country Living Team
    Dr Oz Show Fans Team
    Wheat Belly Team

    1843 days ago
  • -LINDA_S
    I am so very fortunate to be able to live the way I do on very little income, and that from disability. If I was not here, snug in my little apartment over my DD's garage, I don't know where--or even if--I'd be. There is still, and probably always will be, the stigma of "living with AIDS", even though I know it is not what it is thought to be, despite overwhelming consensus to the contrary. I know there is no way I could have contracted a "virus" and am quite sure it was stress that crippled my immune system. And my fervent hope is that some real research will someday bear this out. Sounds crazy, I know, but there are still so very many more questions than answers.

    So I guess it's my family, too, and my few very good friends who put up with me and participate in the things that are important to me.

    Happy New Year, Birgit!
    1845 days ago
    My kids, for sure. Like Allison said, they can sometimes be the SOURCE of stress, but it's a good stress, like building muscle sometimes causes pain but leaves you with more strength.

    When it comes to losing weight, I'm always caught off guard by how many variables there are, all of them requiring a new approach or solution. I've been experimenting with probiotics recently to see if they would have an effect on my appetite and the results were really eye-opening! (I really need to make some blog time soon....)

    Have a wonderful new year, Birgit!
    1845 days ago
  • ERIN1957
    Balance, peace and harmony....very good blog!
    1845 days ago
    Balance in many areas of my life I need to find

    1845 days ago
  • ALLISON145
    My family. They come first, always. Sure they can contribute to my stress and take up a lot of my time that could be spent exercising or meal planning... but they also ground me, center me, and bring me boundless joy when I least expect it. Totally worth the trade off. Always.


    1845 days ago
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