Like so many people I am constantly striving to find balance in all aspects of my life. I challenge my body physically, but try not to push to the point of injury. I strive to eat well, but not obsess over calories and portions. For me it’s a fine line to walk, and I’ve been on both sides. I spent a large portion of my life eating terribly and not being active at all. On my path to losing weight I counted calories and restricted my eating to almost disorder level, while at the same time working out excessively with the scale being my only goal. I spent almost a year stepping on the scale three to four times daily, hoping to see a magic number – so I know I have it in me take a goal and turn it into an obsession.
Where I am now feels so much different, but the challenge is the same, stay focused while staying balanced. Today that means keeping my training, my career, and my family all in line, and not letting one of them fall in favor of the others.
I am about 12 weeks into Ironman training. That means I am working out about 12 hours a week, and that number is going to continue to rise over the next four months. Physically and mentally I have never felt more ready for the challenge ahead of me, but there is no question that it’s a huge time commitment that can leave the people in my life wondering how much longer I’m going to be working out, or whether or not I will be at the gym in the morning.
At the same time (because I am a glutton for punishment) I am in the process of launching a business which is also taking a great deal of time and energy. Between meetings with people, researching programs, and looking at pricing, it is time away from (or at least distracted from) my family and friends. Like the Ironman, this is a challenge I am ready for but the time commitment is huge.
When it comes to my family, the key is communication. I had a conversation with my husband about everything that I am trying to do, and the time and effort it is going to take. I also sat down with my girls and explained to them what I am trying to do, and what the end goal is – spending a lot of time busy now, hopefully will mean more time at home down the road.
To find balance for my family, I do a good portion of my training in my basement so that even when I’m on the bike or treadmill I am available. I try to schedule as many appointments and meetings as I can during times when the kids are at school, that way when I get out of work, I am home for dinner and family time. Most importantly, I let go. Let go of all the expectation that I put on myself to be everything to everyone. Let go of what I think other people expect from me – making sure that I am saying no to things that are outside my availability, and learning to say yes to help when it is offered. Let go of striving for perfection and focus on simply being doing the best I can.