A sweet woman once approached me after a seminar to ask, “How can we know when we have found the right balance between obsession and neglect of our bodies?”
She found herself wanting to make changes to her health and although she was doing well, she was so obsessed with making sure she got her time in at the gym that she was really struggling with everything else.
She was seeing results, but for some reason, she still wasn’t very happy. She was checking off her workouts, but she teared up as she mentioned other areas of her life she felt were being neglected. She was doing everything she thought she should be doing but still felt out of balance.
How do we know when we’re doing “enough”? How do we know when we’re not doing “enough”? Where is the balance between obsession with our health and complete neglect?
This really is an incredible question. I’m guessing you’ve found yourself on one side or the other at certain times in your life.
How do you know where your balance is? How do you find it?
Might I suggest that balance is not a destination, it’s a journey.
Finding balance is about making changes each day that align with your values, your desires. It about different priorities in different seasons of life.
I’ve put together the following 5 questions that will help you understand your goals, your priorities, and help you find your own unique balance.
Because, what works well for one person, is not the same for another person.
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
What do you want for your health right now? Instead of focusing on a weight loss number or dress size, go deeper. What do you really want? What does “healthy” mean for you? What does it look like? What does it feel like?
Paint your picture of your ideal health.
WHAT IS REALISTIC?
Now, take a look at your picture of your ideal health. Is it a realistic goal? What kinds of changes would you have to make in your life right now to take steps toward that goal? Are those changes realistic for you? Do you have the tools you need to be successful? What barriers might get in your way and how will you overcome them?
Take a minute to ask yourself what is most realistic for you to achieve.
WHAT SEASON OF LIFE ARE YOU IN RIGHT NOW?
Different seasons of life bring about different self care opportunities. If you’re not sleeping through the night because of younger children, maybe a high intensity morning gym routine is not ideal as you’re already feeling like you’re not getting the proper rest and recovery.
Is time to yourself very limited? How can you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to fitness and nutrition? You used to be able to crush an hour gym session, but right now, what could work for you at this stage instead?
Maybe you do have a little extra time to yourself! Are you spending that extra time getting more movement in? Do you have a little more time to prepare meals during the day while your kids are at school?
Think about the season of life you’re in right now and make adjustments as needed. Every season brings about different opportunities and different challenges. It’s not about blaming your circumstances, but rather finding opportunity in each one.
WHAT ARE YOUR PRIORITIES?
What is most important to you right now? What things make you feel most fulfilled during the day? Make a list of some of your top priorities. Make sure your actions and your focus is on those top things.
Remember, priorities change. That’s ok. What things do you want to make sure you’re taking care of and paying attention to right now in this season of life? How can you incorporate your own self care into those priorities?
WHAT ARE YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLES?
Lastly, what is on your must-do list? Choose 2-3 things that nothing gets in the way of you accomplishing. These are your non-negotiables.
Protect these non-negotiables with your life. Schedule them, block out time, whatever you need to do to accomplish them.
These items should leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. They are not another item to check off the list, but instead essential to feeling fulfilled and balanced.
Finding balance is tough. As mothers, it’s always a work in progress. Seasons in life change and so do our priorities, our goals, and our schedules.
Do the best you can with the stage of life you’re in right now. Make changes that are important to you. Accept the things you can’t change.
And most of all, practice gratitude for the amazing body you have no matter where you are right now. Find ways to treat yourself with respect and take care of yourself by giving it movement and nutrition that feel good to you.