zenhabits : breathe

Finding Health and Balance as a Blogger (or, Life Will Kill You, Not Blogging)

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Israel Lagares of the Fat Man Unleashed blog.

I was going through my daily RSS health reading when I came across an article in the NY Times. By now, you should know what it’s about: blogging being “bad” for your health. Being the curious soul that I am, I went over and read the article and it got me thinking about my blogging health.

Well, the article basically says that blogging can kill ya! And it has, allegedly, killed some. Of course that’s a bit overboard but it does bring up some good points about blogging, and life in general. Now, as an ever thinking being I always try to extract positive, worthwhile information from my experiences. Always. That’s just the way I have grown up to be.

You can die of natural causes no matter what your profession. You can even die if you are healthy. I have read of people that were in really good shape dying of heart attacks. But then you have my grandma that has been chain smoking for 75% of her life (she is in her 80′s) and she is alive and kicking. I honestly think that if she quit smoking she would die sooner. Anyway, enough death talk. My point is that it is crucial that a balance be found. Blogging is just another hobby, another job, another profession. It doesn’t kill people. Animals kill people. Um, I mean, people kill people. The actions we take, and medical conditions we are born with, are what determine our demise and health. There I go with the death talk again. No more. Pinky swear. Did you just do it? Because I did.

The people in the NY Times article weren’t as healthy as they could be because of their own lack of balance. Not because of blogging. Blogging was just the thing that they were obsessed about. It could have been anything though. Like mountain climbing or watching tv. Neglecting your health is YOUR fault, not anyones or thing’s fault (unless you are hospitalized or institutionalized).

The blogging world has seen a massive growth spurt and mainstream media is beginning to take notice. Like I said earlier, the article raised some interesting points. I believe that things should be done with balance and moderation. Once someone masters those two elements within themselves, they can begin to do anything. For me, blogging is a drug. It’s a way for me to express myself. It’s just plain fun. I have been blogging for almost a year now (got a bit more serious about it after a few months of playing around with the notion of exposing my fat pictures) and can honestly say that I am healthier because of blogging.

Get Healthy with Blogging Formula

How am I healthier you ask? It’s simple really. I blogged. I read. People read. I felt accountable for my weight loss and health. We formed a community. I felt inspired. They felt inspired. I lost weight. I got healthier. I blogged some more. Repeat. It’s a no-brainer really.

It all boils down to a person being able to make the distinction between balance and obsession. Wait, does that sound right? Let me think this out. I’m obsessed with the internet and blogging, but I am still able to find balance between life, health, family, and the web. Hmmm. So it doesn’t boil down to obsession and balance, it boils down to balancing obsessions and responsibilities/necessities.

Our mind and bodies need to be taken care of. Period. We need to eat healthy, be physically active, and entertain our minds. The thing many people fail to realize is that you only need 20 to 30 minutes a day of light physical activity to get healthier. Some folks need more than others but generally speaking 20 minutes is enough. Sprinkle in some veggies, fruits, water, and other healthy foods and you are on your way to a healthier lifestyle. All with only an hour of your time each day being used up. Now take 6 to 8 hours to sleep each day and that leaves you with 15 to 17 hours of “awake” time to satisfy your obsessions (assuming you took care of your other responsibilities that is).

A Pep Talk A Day, Keeps The Balance In Play

I use a quick mental checklist each day to help me stay balanced. It goes like this. After I wake up I give myself a pep talk. I tell myself that the day will be good and that I will accomplish my daily duties of being healthy and balanced. It works wonders because if I don’t make sure to fulfill my duties of being healthy (exercising, eating right) and balanced (spending time with family) then I feel like crap. And I really dislike feeling like crap. A LOT! So I have all day to make sure I spend at minimum a few hours with my family and get at least 30 minutes of exercise in. After many attempts I had mastered finding this balance. Guess what it took? Repetition.

At the end of the day it all boils down to are you happy with how you are living your life? If not, are you doing anything to change that? Are you balanced in life, family, health, and work?

Well, are you?

Read more from Israel at his blog, Fat Man Unleashed.

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