I’ve never really liked the word ‘balance’ in the context of health and fitness.
It’s too subjective.
Too open to creative license.
But I often see it used as a synonym for moderation, never doing too much of one thing.
This isn’t what balance is.
Balance is offsetting one thing, with another; think of scales.
You can look at this in terms of actions, or timescales.
Is the person who actively pursues a huge energy expenditure through exercise, in order to consume more calories and stay ‘in shape’, any less ‘balanced’ than the person who turns their nose up at cardio, tracks their calories and eats substantially more frugally?
I don’t think so.
They both place their weights and measures on the scales, one just goes heavier on both sides, one prefers moderation.
What about in timescale? We (and I mean the royal ‘we’ because I’m as guilty as any) preach sustainability, ‘don’t eat a diet you don’t think you could maintain forever!’ we post ad nauseum.
But is doing less in the shorter, spread over a longer timeframe, any more ‘balanced’, than the people who can push the throttle a lot harder and see results quicker?
We call those people ‘restrictive’, claim they’ll never sustain it, cite studies on post restriction weight gain, yo-yo dieting and binge reflexes.
But not everyone is wired like that.
Some people do well on a more rigid approach, some people *thrive*.
To some the rewards of discipline far outweigh the drawbacks, and they don’t reflex into huge binges, but in fact return to the same modicum of moderation that the other crowd strive for.
If you want *anything* there will be a cost.
Everybody pays a different price with a different currency.
Provide empathy and education wherever you can, but be careful you’re not just dissuading people from going down a path simply because you don’t have the fortitude to follow.
Ask anyone that has ever achieved anything of note.
There is certainly a time and place to throw fuel on the fire and spit out moderation, know your limits, play your own game and pay only what you can afford.