Finding Balance

Posted: June 11, 2013 in Fitness, Nutrition
Tags: , , , ,

Family obligations, job responsibilities, workouts, food shopping, meal prep, and even show prep if you compete can take up a lot of your time. It has been said that bodybuilding can be one of the most selfish sports…if you let it. It has taken me several years to figure out how to balance everything and I sometimes still get it wrong. I have learned that having a plan is key to being successful, but what happens when that plan gets changed? You have a sick child, the gym is closed, you forgot to pack all your meals, etc. There are so many things that can happen in the course of a day to mess up your plan, but don’t let that derail your entire day! Yes, fitness is definitely a lifestyle, but it shouldn’t be your whole life! We all have families, jobs, and other responsibilities that are just as important as our fitness. I’m going to give you a few tips on how to find a good balance between all of these things without going crazy!


  • Have a plan, but also have a back-up plan!  I used to get so upset if my scheduled workout got messed up.  Now, instead of getting upset, I just try to reschedule it somewhere else in my day.  Even if I can’t get to the gym to do the workout I had planned, I have several key pieces of equipment at home that I can use.  I prefer to either get up before my kids to workout or do it after they have gone to bed.  This avoids all the possible interruptions that are sure to come…”I’m hungry, thirsty, bored, she’s looking at me!, give that back!, etc…you name it, and they’ll drive you crazy with it ;-)”  Some great items to have on hand that won’t break the bank are several strengths of resistance bands and a jump rope.  You can get both a cardiovascular as well as strength workout.  If you have extra funds; adjustable dumbbells, a suspension training system, and even some exercise DVDs can be great.
  • Change your attitude!  As I said in the last tip, I used to get frustrated when my schedule got turned upside down.  Now, I look at it as an opportunity to do a workout that I wouldn’t normally do.  Sometimes doing a little Yoga at home can be a refresing change to your routine as well as a great stress reliever!
  • Always, always, always have something with you to eat when going out.  Sometimes you’ll forget a meal or you might be running late.  I carry a shaker bottle with a scoop of Top Secret Nutrition’s 100% Whey with me.  If I need a snack in a hurry, all I need to do is add water.  You can also carry a meal replacement bar, a bag of almonds, etc.
  • Be flexible with eating out.  Don’t avoid social situations or always be the one to pick the restaurant when going out.  Most places will have something reasonably healthy for you to eat.  Don’t be afraid to ask for dressings on the side, no butter/oil etc.  Try to choose a lean meat and salad or vegetable.  If that’s impossible, pay attention to portion size.  One small plate of pasta is not going to completely ruin your physique if you’re diet is in check the rest of the time.  It’s ok to have a treat/cheat meal from time to time!
  • It’s also ok to have an unplanned rest day!  So you didn’t get to the gym or get in a workout at home – oh no, that’s it!  Just forget about it now…you might as well just open the freezer and grab that pint of Ben & Jerry’s and go to town right?  Nah, just go to the gym tomorrow, you’ll be ok, I promise!
  • This one’s for all you parents out there.  Don’t feel guilty for making time for yourself!  Making healthy choices everyday is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your kids.  Kids mimic everything they see.  If you’re eating healthy and staying active, they are more likely to do the same.  And I also promise that they won’t die without you if you go to the gym for an hour.  Not only that, if exercise helps reduce your stress and make you feel better overall, you will be a MUCH better parent as a result!
  • Play with your kids!  You don’t need special equipment to go outside and chase after your kids.  Ride bikes together, play tag, etc.  Take them to the park or playground.  Make a workout for yourself while you’re there.  I’ve been known to do a few pull-ups on the monkey bars!
  • Don’t stress if you don’t always get it right!  “To find balance, we must fall a few times…”  Just let it go and start a new day tomorrow.

Well, I hope that helps a little bit.  Summer’s here, the kids are home, there will be BBQs/vacations, and many other things to think about.  My advice, do the best you can to stick with your fitness goals but allow yourself some time to have fun with family and friends!

  1. Jeromethechicken says:

    You’re such a boss! Haha. Great blog. Good luck in the comps and we’ll see ya in BS.

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