At lunch today, I was telling my co-workers about how challenging it’s been to find balance in the eating and exercise realms of my life. When I was caught in the cycle of bingeing and dieting, I devoted so much time and energy to food-related activities (eating, thinking about eating, etc.). Then, in the initial years after breaking free from the binge cycle, I wanted to feel healthy again, so I started exercising regularly. But I ended up spending a lot of time exercising and thinking about exercising. Again, there was no balance. Now, I’m trying to find that balance. I’m trying to take a moment (or two or three) each day to sit still and tune into that quiet voice inside of me, my “Wise Mind”, and hear what it has to say. It always knows what my body, mind, and spirit need.
Today, my “Wise Mind” is telling me, “It’s okay to skip your workout in the gym and go for a walk around the pond at the wildlife refuge instead. You don’t have to be so completely rigid about the structure and location of your workouts. You haven’t been to the pond in a while and it’s a gorgeous day. Take care of your spirit and exercise your body in a different way today.” There is still another voice inside of me, though it grows quieter the more I honor my “Wise Mind”, that says, “If you don’t go to the gym today, you won’t be able to do the upper body workout you planned for today. Stick with your plan.” The “Wise Mind” replies, “You can work out your upper body tomorrow. It’s a beautiful day and you’ve been cooped up inside working all day. When you’re done work, drive straight to the pond and enjoy yourself! Seize the day!”
Obviously, there are trade offs when it comes to finding balance in one’s life. The inner critics want us to think that any sacrifice, any trade off, is a bad thing. They also want us to think that we don’t deserve to do something pleasurable. It has taken me a long time to disagree with that critic: “I deserve to enjoy myself!” I’m slowly learning to trust my “Wise Mind” and realize that it has my best interests at heart. What is your “Wise Mind” telling you today?
Peace, joy, and health.