How I define Balance

Throughout my life, I was lucky enough to have a very strong role model who inspired me to lead a healthy life.  My mother was and still is such a motivation in my life.  She has taught me the value of living a healthy life.  Over the years, i saw how improper dieting and gimmicks were only temporary in aiding in the weight loss challenges that many of us face.  It wasn't difficult to see that these "diets" were merely quick fixes in a world that is obsessed with perfect appearances. Through my experiences and with age, came wisdom in knowing and understanding that we need to live our lives with integrity, balance and with happiness and then everything else will follow. 
 First, what does the word balance suggest?  Does it mean that all week you starve yourself until the weekend arrives and then all of a sudden you eat everything in sight?  Does it mean that you beat yourself up after enjoying a meal at a fast food restaurant? Definitely not.  Living a balanced lifestyle for me means being able to enjoy all the wonderful foods that exist in our world, but of course in moderation.  Balanced eating in particular means, consuming your main food groups in each meal but being smart about how they are prepared.  Balanced eating for me is defined by making smarter choices when I cook with using wholesome natural ingredients in my dishes. 
Second, i strongly believe that in order to live by what I define as a balanced healthy lifestyle, one should also exercise.  Being an avid gym goer for over 20 years, I have seen and experienced the commitment involved in maintaining a healthy fit physique.  However, as I got older and my responsibilities began to shift as a result of my family, work and children, I quickly learned that maintaining that lifestyle was becoming difficult. It  was definitely not easy and I quickly learned that exercise can definitely take on many different forms.  I have learned that staying fit doesn't necessarily mean that you have to go to the gym 5 times a week spending endless hours a day there.  Rather, it means finding a consistent happy number that will allow you to stick with in order to stay happy. Similarly, going out for a walk or run outside or working out in the comfort of your own home are all excellent ways in keeping this balance.
 Over the years, I have learned that the most important things in life are the people with whom we share it with.  Therefore, trying our best in living healthy lives can enable us to be there to enjoy the time with our loved ones.  Balance is therefore key in maintaining consistency and in my opinion is the key to establishing long term success in maintaining a healthy weight, lifestyle and attaining ultimate happiness. 
What is your definition of balance?  I would love to hear your thoughts?

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