Balance and imbalance

Balance is a thing much-sought but seldom found, and I am the poster child of imbalance.

Many weeks I’ll be on fire, hitting a good hard workout several times and staying on track with my clean eating goals.

When that happens I feel great and I get lots done at home, at work and in my personal life.

And then sometimes, I crash and burn, smoke cigarettes, eat too much, and slack my face off.

During those times, it’s the opposite: I meet work goals with difficulty and lose ground at home.

I don’t have a medium setting, and I never have. It’s all or nothing, hot or cold, gung-ho for healthy living or binge-watching sci-fi on the couch.

As my life careens between the pendulum swing of running toward my goals and running away from them, I am constantly seeking understanding of just why in the hell I do that, and rarely do I find answers.

But I’m stubborn and I keep on trying to figure it out. And I realize that the habits I’m working to change are decades old—for example, I started smoking regularly about 35 years ago, when I was a teenager. I’ve been turning to food for comfort and escape for longer than that.

All right, so blah blah blah. Who cares? I don’t want to hear about it and I doubt you do, either.

Still. My options are to keep on grappling with it all, or to throw in the towel and give up, and I’m not the giving-up type.

My over-full schedule will instantly rise to fill any gap of free time if I allow it to, and my own self-care is still the first thing to go when things get hectic. Why? I wish I knew.

Repeatedly, planning has been one of my biggest assets in keeping on track, and I’ve laid some big plans for October.

I’m going to be trying out a portion-control plan for my meal preparation, and I’m adding an at-home dance video workout into my rotation for the month. I’ll be aiming to hit that video five days a week, and to use the portion control containers for every meal in October.

We’ll see how it goes, but what the heck. It beats the wicked slump I’ve been in. It couldn’t hurt to give discipline a try.

My plan is portion control and clean eating all the way through October.

As the date has gotten closer, I realized another perverse thing about the way my brain works: I’ve been “cheating” like crazy before the clean-eating deadline gets here. My son called me out on it when I had a piece of cake for breakfast recently. I know, I know. My logic was that it was better than eating a burrito and THEN a piece of cake, which I also considered.

What this is telling me is that on some level I consider a “clean” diet—which for me means no processed food, especially no sugar and no white flour—to be a deprivation. Cake is white sugar, white flour and more white sugar on top, and it’s the thing I turn to more than any other.

Have I mentioned I’m stubborn? I’ll keep at it for as long as necessary to change decades of bad habits. My life is on the line.

Are you the rabbit or the tortoise in your healthy living goals? You can reach me at 505-286-1212 or leota@lobo.net. Or join the conversation in my Facebook group, “I’m Losing It!” I’d love to hear from you!