Can You Cultivate A More Balanced Life?

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While sitting with my daughter reading her the 101 Dalmatians for the last 24 hours, I couldn't help but think about how my life has changed since being my former heavy self. And, not from the perspective of having kids or anything that is new in my life, but more from the perspective of how balanced my life has become. Unfortunately, I was once what you would call an "All or Nothing Person" that had a tendency to take things to the extreme. For example, in my prior life, if I was ordering a steak or a piece of prime rib, I would always order the biggest cut on the menu. If something could be super sized, I would do it. At Christmas, not only do I cover the entire house with lights, but I also cover the lawn, trees, and everything else too. If we are having a BBQ, then stand back. The bigger the fire the better! And, I used to love going to places like Costco and Price Club - Buying in bulk was once my middle name! Work was often an all night frenzy and vacations often turned into an endless challenge to see how many things could be done in a week.

So, lets just say that having balance in my life was not something that I was good at. And, as you can imagine, the direct result was my health.

Amazingly, while I always found things to get excited and involved with, it never ceased to be at the expense of my health. So, as you can see...As I lost my weight, this was an incredibly important area of my life that needed to be addressed. Essentially, I had to ask myself why I had a tendency to go overboard with things. So, in approaching the behaviors that were causing me to overeat and be overweight, I really had to look at all of the behaviors in my life and come to an understanding of why I had a tendency to push everything I did to the limit. Of course, its much easier said then done....But, its an important part of creating a new lifestyle.

So, with this knowledge about myself, I made the very conscious effort to become what I like to call a balanced person. Meaning, when I put my life in front of me, I made the decision that each part of my life will be nurtured, and that no part of my life would be ignored or done in an over abundance. Essentially, I set out to create a more balanced life, with the focus on the following areas and rules:

- Family

- Work and Career

- Health and Fitness

- Friends and Community

- Me Time

Family: Family time was scheduled and put aside each day. So, no matter how hectic life became, the core foundation of our family would always be present; in our home that typically means between 5:30 - 7:30pm. I know it might not sound like a lot, but when its consistent every night, its something that I believe everyone can come to enjoy. In fact, even with my wife and I, its allowed us to have a little grounding when things get out of hand in our careers.

Work and Career: Work time is Monday - Friday (and on the weekends too). But, no matter how crazy things are, it never gets in the way of family time. And, without a doubt, weekends are left for spending quality time together. Yes, I still work some very long hours, but I do it knowing that what I'm trading my time for has got to be important, as opposed to my previous thinking of working for the sake of working and achieving goals that would be forgotten about as quickly as they were achieved.

Friends and Community: Whether its spending time with your friends, local community, your church, or your friends on the board, this is an important part of life. Helping and being involved in the lives of others is very crucial to being a well rounded individual. Life is often very hard and without thinking about it, we can often find ourselves just looking out for numero uno. And, as anyone that is reading this knows, life sometimes has a way of becoming harder than any one person can handle. So, its times like these where the investment in your friends and community is well worth the effort.

Health and Fitness: Just like any meeting that I have during the work day, going to the gym and getting in exercise has the same level of priority. In fact, for me, its something that is scheduled like any meeting and I don't let anything get in the way of it. Yes, exceptions to the rule do exist, but for the most part, I take going to the gym each day as seriously as I take picking up my daughter from day care. Its just something that cannot be missed.

Me Time: While you may give 100% of yourself to everyone else in your life, its critical for you to have some me time. Basically, the time of the day that is just for you. For me, I use my time at the gym as this time. Not only can I focus on my own health and fitness, but by making it "my time" in the day, it also allows me to enjoy it more. In fact, its something that I just do for me. This time could just as easily be doing anything that you enjoy...Perhaps reading, knitting, swimming, or virtually anything. But regardless of the activity, its important to have this time for you each day. And, in doing so, you'll find that the rest of your day spent working, supporting family, or helping others is that much easier because of the time that you have also invested in yourself.

Remember, your diet is not just about shedding the weight, but also getting to the core issues of why you put it on to begin with. And, for many, the core issues are a direct result of how we decide to live our lives. Notice how I said the word "decide". Everything that we do is a decision. Sure, facing these issues is not easy, but if you DECIDE to make the change, then it can be done. For me, this was a decision that I had to personally come to terms with. And, while the BBQ's and Christmas decorations may not be as much fun, I can assure you that I'm now living for the long term and no longer the moment.

To learn more about subjects like this and to start changing your body, please visit us at New Lifestyle Diet.

About the Author:
Hamilton Erridge is a weight loss professional. New Lifestyle Diet helps people lose weight and stay healthy by providing information and resources that help people make a lifestyle change so that the extra pounds shed are never put back on.

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