WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BALANCE

Split girl 400

BEFORE/AFTER

The television program, “Good Morning America” had a segment about a 26 year old female that decided to transform her body from competitive physique athlete to average everyday “Jane.” She posted the photo above on Facebook to share her (initial feelings of “shame”) with the world before deciding she was happier with the new person. Her intent was to reinforce the message that HAPPINESS came from within and and that appearance alone could cause more harm than good.

The picture went “viral” and received over 100,000 comments supporting her. As a physician, I have concerns regarding this transition.

I support Ms. Jone’s decision to alter her highly structured and limiting lifestyle as a competitive athlete. It should be recognized and understood that competitive training is NOT A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE maintained forever. It is a “period of time” the body is put under enormous stress to achieve a “maximal” outcome. This outcome is not MAINTAINABLE! For many women and men, as this “maximal” appearance transitions (post competition) into a less “perfect” appearance, the emotional devastation creates an obsession resulting in unhealthy feelings and behaviors (physically and emotionally.) Ms. Jones likely recognized this and chose (instead) to return to a typical lifestyle of an average 26 year old.

Publication1CROPPED350On the surface, this attitude appears laudable. My concern is the degree of “swing” from competitive athlete to every day “Jane.” If the picture is accurate and displays a mildly (10-20 pound) overweight young woman, the transitional “pendulum” has likely swung too far. This statement is not based on judging appearance, but rather the lifestyle that has likely created the additional weight above a healthy personal profile.

Enjoying ALL aspects of life is achievable WITHOUT increasing unnecessary health risks in the process. It seems a HEALTHY BALANCE might be a missing component from Ms. Jone’s life at this time.

She stated in her facebook post:

Your body is quite LITERALLY the only thing that gets you through this life.”

I agree with her, therefore, believe a healthy approach in all aspects results in a healthy BALANCE in life. Eating, exercise, stress reduction, hydration, etc… should be incorporated in a manner that REALISTICALLY creates a HEALTHY BODY AND MIND!

Publication2CROPPED300It seems her previous competitive lifestyle that required obsessive behaviors to achieve “success” has been replaced with a new lifestyle. My concern for Ms. Jones is based on the possibility she has “overcompensated.” Her new lifestyle (if the picture is accurate) appears to have caused some excess body weight. This can potentially lead to an increased health risk problem over time. Most people 10-20 pounds overweight do not achieve these numbers eating too many vegetables or too many baked/broiled chicken breasts. It is achieved eating unhealthy ADDICTIVE foods that create temporary feelings of “happiness” in the short term, while causing greater harm, UNHAPPINESS and additional weight gain in the long term.

Feeling good about oneself is important. There is a difference, however, about feeling “relief” from anxieties caused by competitive exercise, and real HAPPINESS experienced from LIVING a LIFESTYLE that supports a HEALTHY BODY and HEALTHY MIND. Creating a healthy body does not typically result in a frame carrying more weight than necessary. I am less concerned about her weight and more concerned about what she has done that has lead to this outcome.

As we age, we are more prone to gain even more unhealthy weight. Living an appropriately BALANCED LIFESTYLE incorporates food, exercise and alcohol in quantities that satisfy individual needs WITHOUT causing harmful outcomes. This concept would better fulfill Ms. Jones’s statement:

Your body is quite LITERALLY the only thing that gets you through this life.”

While I support her liberation from a less happy lifestyle (competitive weight training,) I would hope her willingness to introspect reveals a remaining unaddressed IMBALANCE that could truly enhance her quality of life. Most people overweight (even with mild weight issues) would not CHOOSE this outcome if they recognized their LIFESTYLE (rather than the weight itself) could cause greater harm in the long term.

Publication3CROPPED500HAPPINESS is NOT achieved focusing on WEIGHT or APPEARANCE. It is typically experienced by people that have learned (over time) how to maximize FUNCTION based on personal needs and wants while achieving these goals through a BALANCED REALISTIC LIFESTYLE. This becomes possible when one loves ONESELF enough to provide the various forms of support the body and mind needs.

 

 

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34 comments

  1. Happiness (mind)+ loving oneself (spirit) = Balance and Health (Body). Great Post! Light and Love, Shona

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the way you attach my words to the THREE important elements in life.
      Thank you for sharing this concept with all of us.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This I so very true Jonathan and I commend you in sharing your thoughts on the sensitive issue of women, weight and healthy living. If she substituted one unhealthy life style for another, it’s no better, even if it makes her “feel good” temporarily.

    Do you use Facebook or Twitter and did you share this post on it? I’d be curious to the feedback you got. I suspect you ruffled some feathers…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It takes me a long time to write these type of posts because I do not want people to misunderstand the ideas and concepts.

      These posts automatically go to facebook, twitter and linkedIn. Interestingly, you and my wife mentioned the exact same phrase (“ruffled some feathers”) yet no one has come back with any constructive (or non constructive) criticism. Either people “get it” or don’t want to open a can of worms.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s funny about the “ruffled feathers” comment from your wife and I. Great minds and all….;)

        Glad you’ve not gotten any grief over it, I guess your feeds are bit more tolerant than mine!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think you may face some resistance because you say it “plain and clear,” “no holds barred.” Personally, I like your delivery because it leaves no confusion on the part of the reader. I think some people mistakenly (and personally) take your approach as the “right” way of thinking. I know you are passionate about many of topics you write about and voice (write) these passions from the heart. Some may take this as an imposing position on their beliefs. If so, this is their problem, NOT YOURS!

          Stay passionate in sharing your views. We were (mostly) all born with two ears. One for listening and one for discarding unwanted information. It is up to the listener (or reader) to make the decision; NOT THE LECTURER (OR WRITER!)
          Have a great weekend! šŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks Jonathan, great words. You have a wonderful weekend too!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely spot on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate your feedback.

      Like

  4. loving ones self and having a healthy balance of mind, body, emotions and spirituality, following ones core values are all essential to real inner happiness šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. …if people would take the time to put your statement into practice… our world would look so much healthier and happier!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ah but consumerism seems to be a dismal substitute šŸ˜¦

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No question about it!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Bravo….To the point and absolutely correct šŸ™‚ To achieve optimum health we need a balance in all things šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think over time people have come to respect my messages recognizing they are NOT based on judgement, but rather compassion and true caring for people.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on Retired? No one told me! and commented:
    I think this article is spot on..Healthy means a Balanced, realistic lifestyle šŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s interesting that so many people believe in this concept, yet so few are willing to pursue it.
      Thank you for passing the message forward. šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome..all we can do is keep doing what we are doing and if only one person acts on it …It is one more person who has listened šŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My sentiments exactly! šŸ™‚
          Have a great weekend!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you, Dr.J you have a great weekend also šŸ™‚

            Like

  7. Even Socrates agrees with balance: “Moderation in all things,” the essence of which I think was first credited to him. Thanks for the re-blog here, Carol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If more people pursued the GOAL of balance, MANY current day problems would diminish. We are a society that attempts to “fix” each individual problem with a “solution.” The best “fix” in many cases comes from ATTITUDE and MINDSET changes. This concept addresses so many different problems, we could efficiently and effectively overcome many issues at the same time.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this post!
    I try to live by the “everything in moderation” rule, but to be honest, finding that balance is sometimes difficult. It’s easy to tip the scale in either direction.
    Happiness certainly comes from within… you can’t achieve it or grasp a hold of it for very long if you’re dependent on outside resources. (Although I do love witty little quotes like, “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a cup of coffee which is the same thing.” haha! — Having a sense of humor is important, too.)
    My biggest takeaway from this is your point, “Obsession always results in imbalance.” –That is food for thought.
    Thank you for this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think one of the reasons BALANCE is so difficult to find is because it constantly changes as we age. We develop different needs and experience different challenges. This is good in one way because it keeps us on our toes and constantly recognizing that dynamic life requires ongoing management.

      Love your coffee humor. As a lover of coffee, I greatly appreciate your sense of humor! šŸ™‚

      Thank you for adding your comment for others to read. This is a topic that benefits from as many perspectives as possible.

      Like

  9. I think I am speechless Jonathan ! At first when I saw the pics, I thought, that it could not possibly be the same person…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt the need to write about this to help people recognize the difference between obsessive unhealthy behavior AND (potential) excessive boundaries of “acceptable” unhealthy behavior. After seeing all the comments supporting her “new life” I wanted people to consider rethinking their opinions taking my perspective into account and seeing if they still believed her “new life” was truly HAPPY and HEALTHY.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Mmmm. Me Tarzan you Jane! Average Jane look good to Tarzan!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 3 different women; I wonder how each person FEELS? Often we assume appearance spells out health status. My experience has taught me to NEVER judge a book by its cover!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My comment is to illustrate that while our media (especially the diet and fashion industries) glorify an extremely thin body as being ideal, studies show most men actually prefer slightly larger body types.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Interesting how men and women view WOMEN from such different perspectives.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Once again you are spot on my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Appreciate your support (as always!)

      Like

  12. […] WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BALANCE […]

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  13. […] WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BALANCE […]

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