Balance

Balance (of the physical kind) was a major contributor to my feeling very, very old when I was significantly over-weight. I found that I had to be helped frequently. I certainly could not walk down stairs without the handrail and found some normal activities a nightmare. I hated vacuuming the pool because I would get down on my knees and then be gripped with an overwhelming sense of helplessness when I could not get back up. I certainly could not do anything that involved a ladder. I could not run or jump, I had a couple of significant falls. This was an absolute confidence zapper and definitely impacted my overall mental health. Balance returned slowly as my weight reduced and it still brings a smile to my heart when I think about the first time I walked down the middle of a flight of stairs chatting to the person who had taken the rail.

I mentioned in my post entitled ‘Baby Steps’ that I had treated the re-claiming of my life as a change management process. I had some basic ‘KPIs’ that I applied to the project; the obvious one was weight and I looked forward to weekly weigh in.

I installed a running app on my phone and ensured that every time I walked, I switched it on. I still do this and will continue to do so. I see 285 kilometres on the screen and that is how far I am from where I was. The further away that I get, the harder it is for me to get back there, not that I want to.

I didn’t take any before photos and I didn’t take any measurements. I am a little sorry that I didn’t but at the time I did not have the confidence to believe that I could be where I am now. I renewed my driver’s licence in January this year so I do have one photo representing where I was. I wasn’t allowed to smile and I had to take my glasses off so all in all, it’s a pretty sad reminder of where I was.

I measured my success with alcohol by considering whether I drank too much in a particular sitting. Despite the fact that I had days when I thought I was OK, the biggest issue for me is that when I drink tonight, I crave it tomorrow night. Now that I have passed the initial period of not drinking, I don’t crave it at all and I feel so very much better when I wake up in the mornings. I admire people who can manage to balance common sense with ‘having a good time’ when it comes to alcohol. I admire myself for admitting that I have a problem and doing something about it!

I felt it important to have a number of different KPIs so that if I wasn’t going so well in one area, I would be able to balance it with success in another area. I actually never put any pressure on myself and my decision to permanently stop drinking in the end was a sudden one.

I guess that none of my friends, and certainly no one who has been following my blog will be surprised that balance is an issue for me. Instead of taking things slowly with the blog, I have an overwhelming need to get my whole story down right NOW! It’s the same with most aspects of life for me. When I do anything at all, I do it with passion and dedication. I allow things to consume me to the exclusion of other aspects of life. Beading and photography are two of my hobbies. When I start with either I am likely lost in another world for significant time frames. The same can now be said for writing.

Some would call that passion and I do too, to a degree. However there is a fine line between passion and obsession, and obsession with anything is unhealthy. I deleted Angry Birds from my iPad because it consumed me. I used to go to sleep with sweets flashing in front of my eyes from overdosing on Candy Crush.

I certainly do not walk away from things that I love to do but I am very aware that I need to work constantly to ensure balance.

Before life got too busy, I thoroughly enjoyed community service. As I feel more and more healthy, I am thinking that I need to find something that I can get involved with that will help me to maintain a focus external to myself. I believe that this will help me to maintain balance and certainly give me a different perspective on things. I’ll let you know what I decide to do, any ideas?

2 thoughts on “Balance

  1. Balance is certainly a challenge because its a culmination of everything in our daily lives; health, happiness, love, work, stress etc. Community service is a great external focus but its important to find a philanthropic cause that you can melt into slowly and doesn’t consume your energy or emotions too much thereby upsetting balance. Maybe take a ‘baby step’ by helping out with some sort of activity at a retirement village or nursing home?

  2. Thanks Dave, at the moment I am totally focused on my health but in the not too distant future I may just look for a nursing home. I also would not mind working with homeless people as I suspect lots of them have demons like mine but don’t have the love of a supportive family!

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