Sunday, July 20, 2014

Finding Balance


I always thought that I ate I diet that was balanced with an occasional treat. Since I started keeping track of my food consumption using the myfitnesspal.com app,  I've discovered all sorts of imbalance. It isn't just the proportion of carbs versus protein versus fat that seems to be a constant juggling act because I actually do fairly well keeping all of those at least close to where they are supposed to be. No, the problem is the sugar and sodium intake. I never realized how much sugar was contained in fruit naturally or that foods I'd considered healthy, especially processed ones like deli chicken or turkey, are full of sodium. I've certainly been made more aware and I read labels more cautiously. I try to stay away from as much processed food as I can but as my husband told me, I'm eating foods constantly, like cereal, yogurt, protein bars, salad dressings, and that deli meat, that are far more processed than I'm realizing. So, diets like life are a learning process..... like learning that the frozen yogurt I splurged on today might be low calorie and low fat but it has 38 grams of sugar per serving and my daily limit is 45. When you add in the blueberries I had for breakfast, I top my daily limit by 12 grams and I haven't had dinner yet. The Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Chipotle Seasoned Chicken had over a thousand units of sodium! I don't usually go over on my sodium limits since I rarely add salt to my food but today, I've topped another limit by 3 units.....and as I said, no dinner. Oh well, the frozen yogurt is now gone and I will just half my serving of the chicken for tomorrow's lunch and put it on top of a salad instead of bread.


Now, for the rest of my life.........balance has been eluding me for a long time, perhaps for my entire life. But I do have plans and getting fit and slim are the first steps in regaining my balance in life, my control. This morning, I started thinking about a bucket list. Perhaps it was the health scare last week which, thanks to google, had me thinking I was past the need or time for a bucket list. All is well, thank goodness, my doctor reassured me. But the sudden fear of the inevitable got me thinking about my life or lack thereof. I'm working at getting my life back; I've said that before. The plan is to regain energy, endurance and strength through fitness and diet and then apply all of those good things toward bringing the other wayward parts of my life back into order.....and balance. I want to revamp my art work and my business, get my house repaired and remodeled, get my finances and debt under control and last but certainly not least, start riding and working with my horses again...before we both get too old to cut the mustard.
This morning, I was watching Sunday Morning and their minute with nature was from Chincoteague Island in Virginia. Steve and I went there years ago when we were both in our twenties. It was great but I think we were really too young to enjoy and appreciate it as much as I would now. I started thinking about my friend Fran who wrote her bucket list in her forties and had fulfilled every one of them by the time she was fifty-two. She simply composed another list and she's well on her way to having it completely marked off. I've been a lot of great places over the years, met some great people, ate fantastic food and heard incredible music. The last eight years though, it's as if I stopped living. There have been moments, like the birth of our first and only foal, our Danny Boy, four years ago that were firsts and wonderfully joyful and exciting but my activity level pretty much ground to a stop. That is what my new resolve and activity is all about, I'm trying to get my life back. And finding that balance, fixing what's wrong and starting to enjoy the many blessings I have will be reward enough.....but...........I thought this morning that I need to hold a bigger carrot out in front of me. I mentally made a list of a few things I've always wanted to do but didn't for whatever reason be it fear or just lack of funds. So, these carrots.....or chunks of chocolate might be more appealing....maybe pecan pie, yum!...... these long term dreams might be the motivation I need to keep me pushing through when the going gets hard which inevitably, like death and taxes, it will. So, what is my list? Well, I'll give the ones I thought of today but I may be adding to this later.
1. Return to Chincoteague and Assateague Islands
And photograph the wild ponies.
2. Learn to ski. Seems that everyone in my
family has at least tried. I've dreamed of
this since I was a young girl...and
praying I don't break my neck.


3. Learn to swim. I've tried in the past with little success...
except for my backstroke. I have an excellent backstroke.
4. Then return to Cozumel or some other gorgeous
island in the Caribbean and both snorkel and scuba dive.
5) Lastly, probably the most common bucket
list item, travel. I'd love to see Ireland either
with a walking tour or on horseback or even bikes.
There are so many other places I'd love to go:
Paris, the Galapagos Islands, a riding tour in
South America, a photo safari in Africa, and
here in the good old USA, I want to go
West and see the Grand Canyon and revisit
places we've been before either for pleasure
or business and really, really see and enjoy them
again. And of course, I want to return to Cozumel,
the island we fell in love with on Steve's 50th
birthday. I'd hoped we could return on his 60th
this year but finances wouldn't allow. So, that
is even more reason to get in shape both physically and
artistically which will hopefully lead to financially. :)

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