As a yoga instructor, I've taught many people through the years how to balance and focus. First, visualize a target in front of you the size of a paper plate. Now, visualize concentric circles in that target. Focus on the bulls eye in the center. Now, focus on the dot in the middle of that bulls eye and slowly slide one foot off the floor and up onto your calf of your supporting leg. Focus on the dot at the center of the bulls eye. As soon as your focus broadens and you can see the full bulls eye, you have lost your focus and will soon lose your balance if you do not refocus.
So it is in all areas of life. The broader focus you have, the fewer 'dot on' precision points you will be able to hit. The more divided you are in you focus, the more divided you feel in your mind, your body, your relationships, your self care, etc.
Now, applied to health and nutrition, define your goal. Not the big goal the size of the paper plate. Not a vague goal the size of the other rings. Not even the bulls eye. But the pin point dot in the center of the bulls eye.
What is at that pin point will change and needs to change as you progress.
Here is a sample of how mine have changed over the past 10 months.
June - Lower blood pressure. I learned about foods that were high in sodium and eliminated or greatly reduced their role in my meal plans.
July - Get Moving! Learn exercise I can do while be treated for plantar faciitus (sp).
August - Focus on Nutrition. Make every calorie as nutrient dense as possible.
Sept - Practicing balancing the above three principles simultaneously
During these months I was also motivated by the numbers on the scale! They were dropping almost daily.
October - Focus on Fitness. Started my exercise calendar and nutrition tracker when I joined Spark in October. I also found out about the Couch 2 5k program and started it in October. Additionally I started working out with a personal trainer 2 x a week.
November - Keep that fitness focus. I signed up to run a half marathon before I could even run a mile, because I knew if I had the focus, I could accomplish anything.
December - I'm 'in training'. This mentality of being an 'athlete in training' kept me focused on good nutrition and fitness during the holiday months. I kept thinking of professional athletes and the hours of training and preparations they put themselves through in order to be able to perform at the top of their game. I want to perform at the top of my game. I'm not a naturally gifted athlete, so if it is important for a gifted athlete to do, how much more important is it for me?
January - Lost my focus . . . or shifted my focus back to the scale. Read my blogs from January. I was wobbling all over the place. I was still working out. I was eating good foods. But I was so locked on that number on the scale, my training and my nutrition suffered. My trainer helped me refocus on the quality and quantity of my nutrition and encouraged me to up my calories.
February & March - Fuel, Run, Recovery, Repeat. Quality, quality, quality. Eat the best, run quality runs, get quality rest. Focus. Keep your eye on the dot. Don't look at the scale. Keep focused. Stay centered. Do the right things and the results will follow.
April - Still focused on Fuelling, running and recovery. Learning more about what makes my body perform at it's peak.
As my half marathon day is approaching I am super focused on keeping balance in my life. My nutrition and health are a high priority. My husband and I shop together for the best quality foods we can afford. We work together to keep focused on the type of workout that needs to be done. We work together to make sure that rest days are full of relaxing time together.
I had gotten so focused on my training and nutrition, I totally lost track of what size I am and what weight I am. I continued to weigh in, but the numbers didn't register as relevant. So much so, that twice today, I responded to blogs where the writer wanted to challenge themselves to get out of the mid 190's by the end of April and I responded that I was in the same place and I would join them in the challenge. I am 189.5 lbs. LOL!!! I totally forgot that I already hit that, because it was not a goal, it was a benefit that I received from being focused on being healthy and fit.
As further evidence of how focused I have been in these past couple months. I totally lost track of what size I need to purchase. I just pulled out of my closet a whole wardrobe that I could not wear last summer because it was too small and I cannot wear now because it is too big! I could have been wearing that stuff in October, November and December. At the very least I should have realized that I could not wear the same clothes this year that I wore last year.
So, my dear friends, I ask you, where is your focus? Can you define it. Visualize it. Make it smaller, fine tune it. Lock on to it. If you need to regain your balance, take your time, find your center, slid your foot off the floor and balance.