Balanced Living | Sept. 9, 2014

By Nate Whitten, Sept. 9, 2014.

Twenty years ago, you attended your first circuit party and what an amazing experience it was! Back in 1994, this was a good thing. You met new friends, enjoyed a weekend of escapism and made a statement of the freedom in sexuality.

But, this is a prime example of too much of a good thing. Now you’re that 45-year-old silver fox whose social media pics look like you’re on a school field trip to the water park, only YOU are the chaperone.

Many of us lose ourselves in attempts to capture a “good thing” without realizing the drawback of over indulging, even healthy looking lifestyles.

If you’re finding that, although you’re living an exceptionally aware and healthy lifestyle, you’re still unable to reach the pinnacles you’ve set for yourself, it may be time to readjust and rediscover the joys of living without so much restraint (unless, of course, restraints are your thing).

Weight Management

Too much cardio

Your body sees exercise as stress, and stress causes the release of the hormone cortisol, which breaks down your energy stores for immediate use. Over the short term, this physical reaction is healthy and natural, but prolonged increases in cortisol eventually lead to insulin resistance, a decrease in bone density, loss of lean muscle mass and weight gain.

Too much fruit

The sugar in fruit (like all carbohydrates) gets broken down into glucose. The presence of glucose in the bloodstream causes the pancreas to release insulin and insulin stores excess glucose as fat.

Too much calorie counting

The body views severe calorie restriction as starvation and will eventually turn against you, fighting to hang on to the calories you do eat for dear life.

Too many low fat foods

Contrary to what you might think, healthy fats do not translate into added pounds. The consumption of healthy fats instead of sugar actually gives us energy, keeps us satiated longer and prompts the body to burn stored fat for fuel.

Too many diet foods

Most diet foods (and all processed foods, for that matter) contain some form of MSG, among other chemicals. The MSG has been used in obesity research to induce obesity in rats. It causes a spike in insulin levels, in both animals and humans, which causes the body to store fat.

Too much late night fun

Our sleep patterns have a big impact on our hormone levels. Studies show that poor sleeping habits cause us to gain weight, and that the biggest spike in fat burning hormones occurred during deep sleep.

Personal Development

Too much meditation

Meditation is a good and healthy practice to quiet the mind and bring one to a state of mindfulness. However, symptoms do occur when meditation has begun to impact your life negatively. Chronic fatigue often plagues people who spend too much time in meditation. The body becomes lethargic and unable to shift out of the relaxed state meditation can bring, which can create a desire to spend more time in meditation, which exacerbates the fatigue and can eventually lead to depression.

Too much “community”

Often a problem for beginners in spiritual or personal development journeys is a newfound preference to only hang around others who are very spiritual and, in some cases, the avoid friends who don’t share their worldview. True community is inclusive rather than exclusive of those who may have differing beliefs.

Too much spirituality

Spirituality can be used as a form of escapism and spending an excessive amount of time working on personal or spiritual development, and lack of appropriate attention to real-world matters (such as finances), can have a negative impact. For example, you learn about the law of attraction and feel great about all the possibilities and the potential. But you fail to create anything tangible from it (so you exist perpetually in the realm of ideas rather than action.)

Too much denial of the “flesh”

Avoiding natural and carnal desires can result in a strong tendency to be reclusive and introspective. Many who refuse to accept that they are perfectly human, and like a little debauchery once in a while, try to happily erase from their existence many aspects of physical life, like eating and dating. Dismissing parties, club events or social activities only substantially restricts the likelihood of meeting that special someone.

In Shakespeare’s As You Like It Rosalind asks, “Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?” The lesson behind the question is that excess may do you harm. None of the above behaviors should negatively affect your life, when practiced in moderation. 

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