My Balance is Not Your Balance

The other day I attended a conference. The young girl was tall and slim. She had an athletic build probably because she went to the gym, I thought initially. I was right. During her conversation, she told us what a balanced meal looked like. She talked about the amount of vegetables, fruits, meat, carbohydrates, yogurt, and everything else we should be eating. She told us the “right” amount of water to drink. She told us the exact amount of running or cardio we should be doing. She seemed to be very healthy. All that she was telling us seemed to work for her. Have you been to those conferences? They seem to have all the answers. 

20 years ago, I would have accepted her words, and followed all her instructions. After trying, and trying everything others said I should do, I decided to stop. It didn’t always work for me. I stopped because I realized that they didn’t have my body, and the one that knows my body best is me. Even when I go to the doctors now, they don’t have the last word. I do. 

I know that I need more than 8 glasses of water a day, for example. I can tell when I am dehydrated. I know it depends on my level of activity, my diet, and the amount of water intake. I know my body type. It’s short and not very skinny. My hands feel cold often. I know I need warm foods. I know when I feel full, or when I feel energetic. I know when foods make me feel agitated or lethargic. I check my blood twice a year. I have learned to read the results, and when I have questions, I ask my doctor. At this conference, they also told me all the benefits of whole-wheat.  It so happens that wheat gets me congested. It is my understanding that the gluten in the wheat we eat here in the States has been genetically modified. It’s possible that’s what affects me. I was also going to the gym a while back. I worked with a coach. The exercises were continuous and rough. I went to my naturopathic doctor because my energy was out of whack. He said that for someone with my body type and my spiritual path, the gym exercises I was doing were too rough. What a difference that made in me. I have so much energy. My mind is calmer, and my body is not always in pain. Our bodies require the same elements to be in balance, but not the same quantity, quality or mixture.

My balance is, definitely, not your balance. I share my experiences, so you know what is possible for someone else, and so you know that it’s okay to have your own balance. Listen to your body. It knows!

9 Replies to “My Balance is Not Your Balance”

  1. This is so true. We must be self-aware and let our own bodies and instinct guide our decisions, not just what others say is the “right” way to do things.

  2. Ana María, thank you for writing this, I see myself reflected on what you say, not because I’m like you, is because I have learned to take care of my own balance. Every time I talk about my condition (fibromyalgia), there are tons of advices and suggestions, the same as with my arthritis condition, even a large list of food and books to help my conditions.. I’m tiny, with a fast metabolism, I need energetic food, calories, my doctor once told me to eat something called “tocinillo de cielo”, a caloric bomb with lots of sugar, I needed to gain weight a strength as fast as I could, and I did. Nowadays I try to eat as balanced as I can with my caloric foods on my diet, avoiding trash food and I’ve been feeling better. As you say, my balance is not your balance.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. According to Ayurveda (the Hindu system of medicine), there are 3 body types (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) which are derived from the 5 elements. People are usually a combination of these body types. So, it is difficult to say that one way of doing things is good for everybody. We can listen to doctors, and to others with knowledge about the physical body, but we are the best managers of our own body. We have to take charge. Be well!

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