Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Balanced Living

When I was lying in bed on Saturday morning just relishing the fact that my first obligation didn't start until 3pm (our end-of-year class pool party), I looked at the bookshelf next to my bed and spotted a book I haven't picked up in a while: Integrative Nutrition: Feeding Your Hunger for Health & Happiness.

It's a dense book--not one that's amenable to skimming--but I decided to skim it anyway. I found a chapter on "Primary Food," and this quote resonated with me:

"Primary food is more than what is on your plate. Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career and a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life. When primary food is balanced and satiating, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary."

This concept is so, so true for me. When my life is not feeding me enough, I turn to junk food to feed my hunger. If I am overly stressed or bored or lonely, I eat. And I eat a lot. At one point in my life, when I was living alone in a commercial apartment complex and working insane hours, I would go to Amy's Ice Cream and order an entire pint of Mexican vanilla with cookie dough and cinnamon mixed in. And that would be after an unhealthy meal at Taco Cabana or a veggie burger and an entire plate of fries from The Hobbit Cafe.

My weight goes up or down depending on what's going on in my life. The more satiated I am with myself and my life, the less I weigh and the healthier I am.

Since Matt has entered my life, I've had fewer issues. I guess I was craving connection. I still go through phases in my life when something is out of whack and I can feel the physical manifestation in my body as I start to gain weight.

It reminded me of a simple exercise in another book of mine: Be Your Own Life Coach, called The Wheel of Life. Here's how it works:
"For each area of life, assess where you are RIGHT NOW on a scale of 0-10, where 0 is the worst things could be and 10 is the best. Using 0 as the center of the wheel (where the spokes come together) and 10 as the outer perimeter, place a dot in the appropriate place for that section, with the numeric rating next to it.

This small, simple exercise helps me identify which areas need a little work. It looks like I have some work to do with building more friendships and working on personal growth.

What does your own Wheel of Life look like? What are your strengths? Areas for growth?

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Therese S. said...

I haven't tried that Wheel of Life, but as summer comes closer and I'm also getting married this Friday and my Mom's coming in today, I'm kind of just going with the flow. I am with you on the eating, though. I am lactose intolerant, so that kind of helps with the ice cream. I still look for vegan alternatives, and that's still eating! I love to eat, though. :)

jodie said...

so crazy...i actuallly did something akin to this a few months ago when i was in the pint-of-amy's ice cream-phase. you've inspired me to post my own then&now...hopefully i can get it done today!

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