The 80/20 Rule

We posted a photo on Instagram last week of some treadmill's at our local gym and the caption spoke to the eternal search for *balance* in one's life.  Over the last couple years this concept has taken on more gravity and profundity for me since starting to work on Marlo's Bakeshop.  There are nights when it's hard to tear myself away from the work and just want to get out one. more. email. And then there are other weeks where I take off a Thursday and Friday to spend time with visiting family and I find myself feeling guilty that I'm not balancing the time away from work with a couple sales calls or check-ins.

These extreme feelings of guilt or intense drive on either end of the continuum have driven me to do a lot of introspection in the last twelve months and I am much more conscious now of how, when & where to find and maintain the balance in my life to avoid the burnout that I've known in the past.

As mentioned, I moonlight (or daylight, if you will) as a spinning teacher and this certainly helps me achieve a form of balance, both literally and figuratively. Starting my day on the bike, listening to music and sweating out my stress is a great way to reconnect with the body and create an energized, blank slate for the day ahead. I also try to be more intent on putting my phone away at the end of the evening and taking some time without technology to just 'be'. Most of the time I am 'being' on the couch watching tv, but hey, that's ok because it helps me achieve balance in my work-life conditions.

One other way to achieve balance that I've learned more about recently is with my meal choices. I grew up with a mother preaching 'everything in moderation' and she is right; there's no reason you can't indulge in ice cream, wine , french fries...or soft-baked biscotti...as long as you stay in line and eat healthy, clean, whole foods for the other 80% of the time.

This is also the premise behind the 80/20 Rule which I'm trying to embrace. As explained to succinctly by PopSugar Fitness:

The breakdown is simple: 80 percent of the time you focus on eating clean, good-for-you foods, and 20 percent of the time you have the freedom to indulge as you please. Don't be concerned about the math, but it's simple: if you eat three square meals a day, three of those meals every week are your 20 percent cheat meals; if you eat five small meals a day, then seven of those small meals are up for grabs.

MARLOS BAKESHOP SOFTbaked biscotti veggies

Biscotti: 20%     |     Veggies:  80%

It's a bit easier considering my body has come to naturally crave heaping plates of vegetables and kale salads after many years of re-wiring. but there are certainly still nights where a sick quantity of Chinese food is what I want to eat and find that, ultimately, the lean protein, fruits & vegetables make me feel like a better human and coincidentally are what I should eat.

Maybe try the 80/20 rule for a day or two per week to start and see how it fits into your lifestyle, schedule & eating habits. You'll likely find you have loads more energy,  don't feel deprived, probably sleep better...and who couldn't use all that?