If you know me or have been reading this blog for any period of time, you've probably caught on that moderation is not a talent of mine. I tend to live and act in extremes, spending most of my time in a hyper-disciplined, rigid, but rewarding environment. Rewarding in the sense that I accomplish most of what I set out to do, but its at the sacrifice of having little to no balance in my life. I spend a lot of time exhausted, which results in being sick because I don't take the time I need to rest and recover from myself. It's a frustrating cycle, but in a way it suits me.
From time to time I tinker with the idea of incorporating moderation into my life, with the belief that its a key component to true wellness from a holistic perspective. You know, all of that "mind, body, and spirit," crap. I try to incorporate planned rest times, I schedule some dinners or lunches out so I have to break out of my rigidly strict nutrition plan...and after a week or so I am such a downer to be around that people are practically begging me to go back to being extreme me. I'm not happy in the middle; I don't know how to act there. I smile and nod and try to keep up but I'm checking my watch. I want to go back to Crazy Town.
I've been trying it for a couple weeks now, and man, I gotta say this is tough!!! Not only do I feel like a complete sloth, I haven't cracked a smile in days because I am so focused on being "casual." LOL I'm doing it all wrong! So I'm chickening out and going back to what I do best - complete and total focus on absolute excellence every day. Well, excellence in my own eyes anyway.
So I have a little goal for March, and I am challening you to join in. That's right, audience participation! Groan, eye-roll, and then listen up. You're gonna like it.
You know how sometimes its hard to find a happy-medium between monitoring big goals and small goals? There's a fine line between keeping an eye on the big picture and paying enough attention to the details of the action steps to achieve the goal. It's easy to get hung up on a series of not-great days and not see that while one week may not be a huge step forward, the week before was awesome enough to make up the difference.
So what I do to try and stay balanced is to channel my inner teacher's pet: I give myself gold stars. A calendar hangs on my pantry door, and each evening after dinner I give myself a star sticker for a good workout day and a smiley face sticker for a good nutrition day. "Good" is somewhat relative; usually it means I hit the mark on calories, macro-nutrients, and vitamins/minerals, but other times it means "as good as could be expected considering the circumstances." Generally, if I am proud of my nutrition and exercise choices for the day, I get a sticker. I love seeing those stars and smiley faces all lined up, and seeing more and more days in a row with stars just makes me want to get more of them. My goal is always to get 100%, but I average between 85% and 90%. But in February, I had just 80%. I was trying to moderate. I clearly sucked at it.
But today I turned to a fresh, new page in my calendar: March. I looked at that blank calendar, and checked my inventory of stickers. I have enough to put one on each day of the month. So that's my goal: 100%.
Join me, won't you? Come on, go all over-achiever with me for a few weeks! It'll be fun!
I admire those of you who can live "in the middle." I don't think I'll be taking up residence anytime soon. And yeah, I can see the irony of choosing the easier road of control-freaky-comfort versus the real challenge of learning a new behavior; I'm ignoring that for now. Maybe someday when I am old I'll give eating crap and slacking off - oops, I mean relaxing - another shot.
Until then, I'd rather be happy. :)