Finding balance….or not!

A couple of years ago when I started getting serious about this whole Paleo/CrossFit thing, I remember venting to Robb Wolf and I said to him, “You know Robb, I’m just trying to figure out how to achieve some balance in my life.”  His response was, “No, I don’t know, because I don’t even know what the F*@# balance is!”   This one statement by Robb did more for me then any amount of time I could have spent with a psychologist.  This one statement yanked me out of my own damn head where I was pitifully stuck trying to achieve “balance.”  That very evening, I sat down and thought about what ”balance” really is.  I came to the conclusion that balancing is difficult.  I have never attempted to walk a tightrope but I have spent a fair amount of time on a balance beam (my worst gymnastic skill) and many of you know how much work and practice it takes to hold a handstand.  Being firmly on the ground is much dang easier.  So, with that said, I immediately threw out the idea of achieving balance and instead, took a giant leap off my proverbial tightrope and landed on solid ground.  I was trying so hard to achieve balance because I was afraid that somehow, if I couldn’t do it all, I would be missing out on something great, or really important.  And doing it all meant compromising my health, not just with my food, but with all the other choices that we are constantly faced with.  I was stressing SO much about eating Paleo – stressing to the point that I would MAKE it a point to leave aside one day a week that I wasn’t eating Paleo and I would eat a bunch of crap and feel insanely guilty and disgustingly ill.  I was also doing way too much, and ultimately, trying to find balance was slowly killing me.  Life is too short to live on a tightrope, so I jumped off and instead of achieving balance, I found life.  Fast forward two years later, I eat Paleo, and now and then I’ll eat some nachos.  This is not scheduled.  It just happens now and then, and I know if I eat gluten or too much sugar I will feel awful, and it will likely kill me, so I don’t.  Once I stopped worrying, fretting, and reaching for some sort of balance in this crazy nutso life, it stopped being hard.  I stopped freaking out about losing the rest of the weight, and then I lost the rest of the weight.  I sleep better – maybe not more because if you know the rest of the Fragoso clan, it’s not really possible to get to bed on time, but when I do lay my head on the pillow, my brain shuts off and I really sleep.   I no longer care about balance.  I am who I am, I eat Paleo, I am a CrossFit trainer, and I am PASSOINATE about seeing other folks achieve healthiness, happiness, and finding their way off the damn tightrope.  So, the moral of the story is: know who you are, what you can achieve, set your goals, but don’t make yourself crazy. You CAN CHOOSE to live your life on solid ground.   Life is hard enough as it is, don’t make what’s supposed to make you healthy the hardest part…

Comments

  1. Christina says

    Love it. It puts things in good perspective and inspires us to slow down and don’t be so hard on yourselves (like me). I’ve been learning that you are your own worst enemy when everyone else sees you as a the biggest hero. Great post!

  2. Beth B says

    Fantastic post Sarah, really puts things in perspective. You summed up perfectly what I think a lot of people, especially those that crossfit or eat paleo, go through. I know that I strive for perfection with my diet then systematically will fall off the bandwagon due to the sheer pressure of trying to be perfect! nothing good comes from this! thanks again for the post :)

  3. Cheri says

    AMEN; sometimes it seems like “balance” is the new buzz word. I feel like I am either on or off or it is 100% or nothing at all, WHY? This post hit so close to home and as I continue on my CrossFit/Paleo journey I am reminded that this is life and we all make choices. Consistency is what I am striving for not perfection (although I wouldn’t complain about…oh never mind). :) Thanks Sarah!

  4. Alissa says

    Loved the post. Glad I stopped in to check out your site. I have been Paleo for about 7 weeks and after my husband saw Robb Wolfs Nutrition Cert he has jumped aboard also. We are slowly breaking the kids into it also with going Gluten free. I feel better and I am finding the balance. I love it!

  5. Chris - ZTF says

    Amazing post and something that rings very true to me. It was like you were reading my life story out. I used to be the same, stressing about what to eat and when, scheduling cheats and feeling guilty. Now I just accept the way I am and the way I eat and do the “Best” I can to live this life. Sometimes that means a few bites of cake, or a slice of Pizza and a few beers.

    As far as I am concerned all we can do is try ur best and have faith. Everything else will fall into place when we don’t try to exert too much control…

    Excellent blog BTW very inspiring!

  6. Kevin Gaasch says

    Major kudos to you Sarah! This is a great site. I’m a single father of 3 girls and new crossfitter. Life gets pretty insane trying to juggle work, crossfit, and the extra-curricular activities of all of the girls. I can absolutely relate to the pressure to balance everything going on in our lives. I’ve found that when I function under a strict schedule trying to “work everything in”, my kids feel it and we all suffer. Life is much more simple and we are all so much happier when we are relaxed and not rushing to try to get to the next commitment. The one thing I need the most help with now is our diet. I need to figure out how to keep our meals simple so that we can actually spend time together, rather than me spending all day in the kitchen, but yet still be healthy.

  7. says

    Excellent perspective – very helpful to reframe the concept of ‘balance’ as actually seeking ‘perfection’, which, of course, is unattainable by definition. I do struggle with this myself, and appreciate your sharing your thoughts on it.

    I haven’t looked through all your archives, but any quick guidance on managing the non-dinner meals (quick breakfast before rushing to catch the bus, lunch at school) and autonomously-retrieved snacks for my school-age kids would be incredibly appreciated!

  8. nikkihope says

    How I found your site Im not exactly sure. BUT i love this post and will begin today letting the idea of BALANCE GO. I will however continue to work on my handstands. Thanks for all you do and are. I needed that today.

  9. SK says

    This sure helped me let go of trying to balance everything. Thanks! It is so refreshing to hear someone feel like you do and to then say – hey- I am doing to best I can. I love your blog. I have only been doing paleo for 11 days now and it is just now becoming a challenge for me to stick hard core paleo diet. First 10 days was smooth. today, not so smooth. Thanks, and keep it coming!

  10. Tony N says

    I have been on that tight rope for several years, balance was never my fortay. You put it so great. And I identify with you 100%. I love it, I am a crossfitter and I eat paleo, I will work on the no guilt if I eat off. Thanks for this I posted on my facebook for all my crossfit friends. Great Blog

  11. Cheyenne says

    I just found your site just today. I’ve been researching the Paleo Diet and Crossfit training for some time now and this blog was an inspiration. I’ve attempted the Paleo Diet, but I have caved in several times from other temptations that famiy members eat in my household. I also work at a gelato shop, so standing in front of a display filled with colors and sugar makes it all the more diffcult.

    However, based on the committment and results that I have seen people acheive with this diet, all I know is that it takes will power to get started. Working out is difficut when you think about it, but I always feel better AFTER I do it, so why not just…do it??

    I am sifting through various sites to help me get started on the Paleo Diet and looking forward to change and progress. Thank you for that motivational paragraph!

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