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Wax On, Wax Off…Heidi’s Thoughts on Finding Balance


Finding balance.  In my opinion, that is such a loaded phrase.

Think about it, break it apart.  “Finding.”  This means, by definition, that you have been searching for something, a place or state of being that you have not been able to locate.  And when you arrive at your destination, it presents itself as a present tense verb, “finding.”  It’s not about how you have “found” balance, it is about how you are “finding” balance, which means it is an ongoing, never ending process.  And for me, I think that is about right, because just when you think you have found a place where you can stand on firm footing and breathe just a bit, the sands shift beneath you and you begin searching again.

“Balance.”  What is that really?  It’s not about finding peace, or finding grace, or finding perfection.  It’s all about BALANCE.  To me that means that almost every single day I am faced with a series of choices, some very easy to make, others quite hard.  And I don’t have to be perfect every single time, I have to acknowledge that I won’t always make the “right” choice or find the graceful path.  What I really have to do is make enough good choices that they will balance out the (unintentional) bad choices that I make, which are many.  I don’t strive for perfection…I aspire to find balance.

My contribution for Balanced, Healthy, & Gluten Free, a month-long blog carnival created to celebrate a great new website called The Balanced Platter (see below for more info), is not a quick tip, recipe or even a push for you to make radical changes in a new direction.

You will find many recipes and tips on my blog (remember, I’m still on this journey too) and on the websites of my fellow bloggers.  We have all been seeking our own balance for some time, and the resources we have now absolutely dwarf the resources we had when we all began.  Every single idea and suggestion that you have read about in this blog series is invaluable.  We all strive (and struggle) to incorporate healthy living into our daily lifestyles.

But some times we all fall short…we lose our balance.  And it is at those moments that we must find it again.

I would like everyone to try a simple exercise.  I want you to look around your immediate surroundings right now and try to identify the heaviest object you can see.  It could be your sofa, or television, or slightly over-weight husband.  Once you have done so, I would like you to approach that object, muster all of your strength, physically lift that item off of the ground (no dragging), and place it in a different spot at least ten feet away.  Go ahead and try…I’ll wait.

Now after you have worked out the kink in your back and caught your breath again, I want you to consider why that task not only seemed impossible, but WAS impossible.  Any ideas?

Of course it’s obvious.  You were not prepared to tackle such a daunting feat as that.  Your body was not ready, your strength was inadequate, and your will power was telling you before you started that this was impossible.  You were off-balance from the beginning because you simply were not prepared.  You tried to do too much, too soon.

For all of the wonderful recommendations that have been offered about finding balance and getting healthy in 2012, I will offer you this one suggestion, my contribution to this thread: GO SLOW.

There are so many ideas here and so many amazing results that have been achieved by following the recommendations shared.  But (there is always a “but”), I can tell you that if you try to incorporate all of the ideas into your lifestyle simultaneously and with tremendous gusto (trust me here), you will most likely fail.  It’s not your fault, no more so than you failed to lift and re-locate your five hundred pound television.  It is simply not possible to do it all at once…you have to “find” the proper perspective to achieve the proper “balance.”

What do I mean by the “proper perspective?”  I would ask everyone to identify one or two areas of their life that they know are out of balance and seek a solution among these ideas.  For most of us (I think) there are probably dozens of things we could be doing better.  But if you focus on everything, all at once, you will fail.  Just ask my husband, I’ve been “failing with gusto” for years!  Instead, find one or two things that seem easiest or cheapest…the low hanging fruit.  Spend a couple of months focusing on truly changing those two things.  I promise, after a few weeks you will feel better.

Then use that newfound energy and success to take on the next challenge, the next easiest and cheapest thing.  After all, we are talking about using the entire year of 2012 to find balance, so why not use the whole year?

I am reminded of one of the iconic films of my 1980’s upbringing, The Karate Kid.  As Daniel is marveling at the beauty of Mr. Miyagi’s Crane technique, he is intrigued.  Mr. Miyagi tells him that if he does it right, there is no defense.  When Daniel asks if he will teach him, Mr. Miyagi says,

“First learn stand, then learn fly.”

If you are feeling down and believe a change is necessary, then all I can say to you is this, “First learn stand.”  Healthy living is not always easy, and in fact sometimes can be very, very hard.  While we can all lament the fact that it shouldn’t be “this hard” to become healthy, it is. It is expensive and time consuming.  It is intrusive and exclusionary at the same time.  You will have to reevaluate many of your relationships, including those within your own family.  And you will slowly be compelled to challenge almost every assumption you have made thus far.

Make your own small changes; be your own best example.  Your family will eventually come around when they begin to see your increased energy and vigor.  But remember, start SMALL!  Baby Steps are okay as long as you are moving in the right direction.  Find the easy changes and make those changes first.  Then go from there and watch the amazing snowball effect! 😀

And when you are feeling like it makes no sense whatsoever, just remember…


The Balanced Platter was created by my dear friend Maggie of She Let Them Eat Cake and Amy of Simply Sugar & Gluten FreeTheir mission is to be a one-stop shop for balanced, healthy, gluten-free living tips and ideas.  You can keep in touch with Maggie and Amy by following @BalancedPlatter on Twitter or through their Facebook page.


  1. hunterslyonesse says

    Such a great reminder for all of us, Heidi! Slow and steady and small. 😀

  2. Just what I needed to hear/read. Thank you so much Heidi!

  3. Wonderful Post Heidi! I call it "hitting the highest nail". You can't do everything, so I focus on the most urgent. My biggest problem is that I see where I want to go and I want to get there NOW. No patience. No waiting for those around me to catch up let alone even know where I am going. I am fortunate that my husband is complete opposite and although we drive each other crazy, we completely balance each other out. I lie awake at night with head just swirling about how am I going to do everything I have to do. How to work the miracle today. We have special diets, we have autism, we have sick dog and broken bodies but the biggest hurdle I have is a husband in denial. I used to go through life like a warrior swinging a sword of truth, knocking people over as I go. Now I follow the wise words of my mom….plant seeds, water often and let them take all the glory for the idea that was your own.

    I look forward to the new website! Thanks for sharing.

    • Oh I hear ya sister, patience is not one of my strong suits…not by a long shot. They don't call me "Hurricane Heidi" in these parts for nothing, LOL!

      Like you, my hubby is the complete opposite. Actually he's more than that, he makes the proverbial tortoise look speedy by comparison!! I suppose his over-thoughtful personality suits him well in his career as a finance guy but for me, Mike's "think-it-to-death" approach drives me absolutely bonkers (just as his "time value of money" speech does every time I go over my grocery budget). BUT he's rubbing off on me in my old age. I've crashed and burned so many times I can't count that high anymore…and all it does in the end is take a massive toll on me, both physically and emotionally.

      It's funny, looking back, I think the mass exodus of foods (dairy, corn, eggs, etc., etc.) from my pantry last year was some sort of divine intervention. I hadn't realized just how much I was there…but wasn't really "there" (if that makes sense) until I overheard Sam say to someone that he didn't want to go to school anymore because he hated that I spent so many late nights in the kitchen making copycat foods for him to take to school (so he could be "normal" like his friends).

      Talk about a knife through the heart!

      It was then that it hit me just how much I missed during those first 3 frenzied years after Sam was diagnosed with CD, chained to my kitchen stove. Precious moments with my husband and kiddos, that I will never be able to get back.

      I'm still trying to find a comfortable place in this new world of "balance" of mine, I get fidgety after a while but I just keep telling myself to put the blinders on and only look at the "lowest hanging fruit" right in front of me. One baby step at a time.

      As for your husband being in denial, have you ever asked him why he feels the way he does?

      I remember when Sam was first dx'd with celiac. Mike took him (as he did me when I was first dx'd) on a "farewell tour" of his favorite restaurants (that would be Mike's favorite food places…Sam was only 5 at the time so he was fairly indifferent outside of McDonald's). The first place Mike took Sam was Long John Silver's (he shivers at the thought of this today, but that's just where he was back then). The minute they got home, Sam came in looking a little worried. I asked him what was wrong and he said, "I think daddy hurt his mouth pretty bad on the hush puppies, he's been crying for an hour!" Huh???

      Low and behold, it was true (the crying part, not the "hurt his mouth" part). I asked Mike what was wrong and he lost it all over again. All I could decipher between heaving sobs was, "hush puppies, corn dogs and keggers."

      It had hit him that there would be no more Long John Silvers. No corn dogs at the baseball games. No picking Sam up from an all night party at the Fraternity house. No reliving of the memories he had shared with his father.

      Ahhh…now THAT i could relate to. Mike was going through his own grieving process (which I hadn't really considered since my thoughts were "he can still do all those things" since he wasn't gluten free himself at the time). It hadn't entered my brain that those foods were only special because of the memories attached to them…memories he has dreamed of reliving with his own sons.

      We all go through it, whether we can verbalize it or not (and men aren't exactly known for sharing their feelings). Maybe your husband is stuck in his own grieving process?


  4. Excellent post Heidi! All too often I try to do too much and you are absolutely right, I fail. Baby steps and low hanging fruit…slow steps are better than no steps. Thanks for the reminder. Today, I will be going through my mail pile 😉
    My recent post Roundup of Beautiful Healthy Soup Recipes

  5. I had to learn I am a good seed planter, not usually the picker. I would often hear people say they were doing something and I would think Yeah I told you about that. I have to remember to meet people where they are because they may not be at the level that I am yet and that is ok!

  6. Great post Heidi. Balance is not something I am good at or really even try for – I tend to take on more than I can chew, work flat out on what ever I am doing, ignoring the rest then cleaning up any messes I made later. Like Michele I have no patience and want what I want when I want it. Going slow is not a concept I embrace. And yet when I started my journey to good health, I had to modify my behavior and I had to take it slow. Unfortunately the body just doesn't heal itself from all the issues I had overnight. I believe my diet and health is the one area I do have balance and it allows me to lead a decidedly (and by choice) unbalanced life – if that makes sense. Being healthy lets me live life on my own terms.

    The thing I have noticed is that while on a day to day basis there appears to be no balance, when I look at the overall, I do get balance. The hard work is rewarded with downtime and play.

    This is a really, really good post!
    My recent post Simply… Gluten Free Desserts

  7. Ahh..Heidi. So well put. I made this the year that I am giving up my perfectionist tendencies. And a big thing on my vision board is "Be Productive, Not Busy". I am always doing doing doing without ever feeling like anything is ever getting really done or really done right. So this is the year I am changing all of that. It is also the reason I am around my blog and social media a lot less too. And it feels good.
    You are always so amazing and so inspiring in your posts. ANd I have to say, I do not think you have failed with gusto at anything. In fact, I think you are quite the success!!
    Huge hugs and kudos for this wonderful post! xoxox
    My recent post 12 Healthy Snack Ideas And A Simple Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie Dip

    • Love it Kim, "Be Productive, Not Busy." So, so true!

      I'm following in your path of cutting back on my blog, medical research and social media time. The hours upon hours I used to dedicate to it have fulfilled their purpose by helping me come to a place of peace and acceptance with my health and this new path in life we're on – but somewhere in the process, I forgot how to actually LIVE my "real" life. It's definitely time to change that. xD


  8. This post is amazing, Heidi! So, so well done. Why are we so afraid of failing? We all are, but I always remember that Edison had thousands of failures. Nobody focuses on those right? We don't say oh, yeah, that was that guy that failed thousands of times in inventing the light bulb. No, we just focus on his successes, which were way more than the light bulb. We all need to focus on our own successes more (law of attraction, right?). And we also must remember that "Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions." ALL of these things make us what/who we are and contribute to our success and just "being" in life. So many things come to mind when reading this post and while I won't ramble on and respond to any more of them here, I will be thinking about this post and doing things differently. Thank you so much for that!


    My recent post “Pantry” Black Bean, Corn, and Salsa Soup with Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free Paleo Bread

  9. Whenever someone asks me about starting a gluten-free diet, I tell them to start exactly where there are with the foods that they're able to eat. No one ever wants to start there. They want to bake bread and cakes. I try to convey that one big change at a time is more than enough. Love how you've made this so real in this post. It is starting small and then building – and when I've done that the results are amazing.

    Thanks so much for your support of TBP! This a great contribution to the event.

  10. Thanks dear friend!!

  11. So many layers to this post Heidi! First of all, I can't let the Karate Kid reference go unmentioned. We are CLEARLY the same age as your pop culture references always make sense to me. Now, to the issue at hand! I love the take it slow approach. That's what has worked so well for me and my family. I feel like it just won't work if you try to take everything away at once, especially with kids. I must remember this when I talk to friends and other people who are just at the beginning of their journey. We sometimes forget how far we've come. I wasn't always this crazy 😉 It takes time. Will I see you in Chicago? xoxox

    • ROFL! I love this and it's so true, "I wasn't always this crazy, It takes time." I remember the first thing I began to voluntarily remove from my kiddos diet…artificial colorings. I really struggled with the idea that I was being unnecessarily "cruel" by removing a non-gluten containing ingredient from their diet, didn't they have to deal with enough already? Needless to say, as much as I don't like the chemicals, I have decided that it's better to bend on occasion. if you really think about it, what good is it going to do to have physically healthy children if they aren't as healthy emotionally? Learning to compromise has been one of my biggest accomplishments on this journey to find "balance."

      Now I'm ready to tackle something else…effective time management, LOL!

      I really wish I could go to Chicago, but April 13th is my 10th wedding anniversary (and yes, setting priorities is another goal I'm working on). 😉


  12. madfattergirl says

    Great post. I had to share it. I am working very hard on "finding" my balance and my goals for this year. 🙂
    My recent post Dearest Blog Buddies …

  13. Excellent post! I'm like Maggie – loved The Karate Kid reference! I appreciate your thoughts today as I'm struggling to get back on my plan to lose more weight this year. When I'm eating "right for me" I feel in control and less likely to be tempted by the foods that aren't good for me! Since there is a lot going on in my life right now I would very much like to bring this balance back and stop reaching for the "bad" comfort foods.

  14. It's an ongoing process and more than anything, I find that I simply have to take ownership of my process, my journey to find "balance." Like food and nutrition, finding balance is different for each of us. We must be responsible for the energy we bring into a space. The more "balanced" it is, the better for everyone (kids, parents, friends, etc.). If we get enough sleep, if we exercise and eat nourishing food, we show up for life as a more "balanced" person. We're all good at something — all of us. And we all have our weaknesses. Sometimes finding strength in our liabilities is the best form of balancing things out. Does that make sense? =)
    We can always count on you to stir things up. That's good!
    Loved this post, Heidi-girl. =)

  15. Gluten Free Diva says

    Heidi – this is a timely post for me to read. I've gone through some major changes in my life in the last year and after reading your post, I am reminded that without my even knowing or being aware of it, I have begun to find a balance I never had before. Because I've had to learn to be totally responsible for myself , it was easy to go down the path of constantly struggling to get it all done. But instead, I find that I'm forgiving myself a lot – for not always getting things done in a timely fashion, for leaving dishes in the sink overnight or worse (horror of horrors!) than that, for leaving the kitchen in a state of disaster for an entire day, for not answering all of my emails and the list goes on and on. Instead, I find myself breathing deeply, often – and appreciating the me that I'm discovering as I embark on this new path. Thank you for bringing my awareness into focus – an awareness that this balance that I'm learning has been slow to happen, perhaps my whole life leading up to it, and will continue to be slow, as I allow things to unfold in their natural and calm way. Your friend, Ellen

  16. Heidi,
    Thank you. I have a baby, he will be 1 next month. It has been rough. Found out most of his allergies through blood test at 9 months. Wheat, dairy, soy, peas, and more. Your words are energizing. Heartfelt and true. I enjoy reading your experiences and your wisdom like in this entry. Baby steps..needed to read this.


  1. […] that start out similar to mine, but she takes her thoughts to a much deeper level. I consider her post, which she cleverly titled “Wax On, Wax Off, a ”must read.” This series is part of the launch of the new website The Balanced Platter, a joint initiative by […]

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