Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's All About Balance

I’m learning a new appreciation for balance.
I went last night for an extra session with Matt The Sadist (my personal trainer at Gold’s Gym in Shallotte) because he wanted to change my workout. Seems he had been observing me while I was doing my workouts and noticing that I struggle with balance. He could see my feet wobbling as I tried to maintain my balance. So, he revamped the routine to make it more “balance-intensive”. Believe me when I say that when the Sadist says “this is one of my favorite exercises” you should be scared…very scared! He said that several times, actually, which just goes to show what a wicked man he is. I have to give Matt credit where credit is due—he is right that my balance is terrible and needs work. The exercises—as hard as they may be—will correct my balance problems. Oh, and my ankles are sore this morning. Why? Because they got quite the workout last night! That which does not kill me makes me stronger!
I’m also learning balance in diet. Balance is the central point of Macrobiotics. By balancing the different forces of foods you balance the body’s chemistry. I’m not a Zen Buddhist and I don’t believe it is necessary to be one to understand that life equals energy. Without electrical energy our hearts would not beat, our muscles would by contract, our brains would not function. Without electrical energy nothing would be alive whether animal or vegetable. Energy can be contractive such as that which makes the heart contract or the bicep contract or expansive such as that which makes the heart or bicep relax. Energy can draw in or push out. When our bodies are in a balanced state of energy it is alkaline where it needs to be alkaline and acidic where it needs to be acidic…it contracts and expands appropriately…and toxins are expelled rather than stored in fat cells. When our bodies are unbalanced—often the result of both environmental toxins and inappropriate foods—functions of the body go haywire and dis-ease happens. Undoing this is possible, but not easy as I am learning.
Balanced diet. We’ve all heard all our lives about eating a balanced diet. Eating appropriately from the “4 Squares” or, more recently, the “Food Pyramid” was supposed to be the Final Answer to how to eat “right”. A better food pyramid, The Healing Foods Pyramid credited by the University of Michigan, is a better one than the USDA's pyramid (  Now, I’m learning—or trying to learn—how to eat a balanced diet from a Macrobiotic perspective. Here, it means balancing a different set of food groups. Rather than dairy, vegetables, meat, and grains, I am trying to balance grains, beans, greens, seaweeds, and fermented—and getting a soup twice a day. (Here is a Macrobiotic Food Pyramid: So far, I’ve be a dismal failure. Oh, I’ve gotten in my grains and beans. General get some vegetable though not enough. Soup has been missing more than present. I have been eating fermented foods almost daily and seaweeds are almost where they need to be. I just haven’t quite gotten my act together on this whole process. But, I refuse to give up. I will continue to press on until I have it working for me instead of letting it make me feel like a failure.

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