I’ve just met a nice man named Mike while at a golf tournament with my husband. Mike is an agent with Creative Artists and one of the many crazy men here chasing around a little white ball while yelling at it. Over a discussion on the merits of not going to extremes, I declared that I subscribe to “fence-riding”. No, this is not an alternative to cow-tipping, but that’s interesting. This is a new motto I have about avoiding the extremes we often get trapped into.
Over my lifespan eggs have been vilified and now are acceptable again, sugar was my friend and is now my enemy, beef was what was for dinner, now it’s fish or tofu cause Meatless Mondays have taken hold of our conciosunes. Frankly, all the flip flopping and do’s or don’t make me dizzy.
Therefore, I am promoting a middle path. Crazy I know, but I’m growing increasing comfortable with the grey area. As a mental health professional I am often touting the middle ground as a healthy alternative to aggressive or avoidant anger. Let’s apply this philosophy to everything else we have made into media sound bites: activity, nutrition, diet, work/life balance, social obligations and whatever else you are polarizing.
The research coming out out now on health promotes consistent sleep, balances nutrition and increasing amounts of relaxation to counter the stress we have all invited into our lifestyle. Let’s pay special attention to the word balanced. This is key in my fence-ridding concept. Without balance, you are toppling over on either side and let’s face it, that also involved splinters and bruises. These painful falls have become common enough that we have conditioned ourselves to overlook the bruises but every so often our anger leaks out about always falling or failing. I know, that’s a loaded word, but I believe that allure is how we usually interpret falling off the fence. If we can’t manage all this crap well, then we’re failing. More polarizing. I suggest redefining the perspective: every fall gives us another opportunity to re-evaluate our priorities and balance our life. Opportunities are what you make of them.
So instead of never eating carbs, meat, sugar or alcohol again, look at how you can incorporate the challenging elements into your life in smaller doses. Increasing something else to balance out that teeter-totter. The most successful diets are the ones that you assimilate into your lifestyle as a consistent skill - not the ones where you avoid carbs for 5 months. The only ones who should be living on the polarizations are the ones struggling with Celiac/gluten or severe allergies, cause let’s face it, you’re screwed. The rest of us can learn to moderate.
Mike was interested in this idea and how it can applied to our approach to life. How about you?