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Mommy Musings Healthy Versus Balance
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Somebody pinch me, 2014 has found us and to make matters even more crazy … it’s the middle of January.

The Holidays have come and gone. Storage bins restored to their homes and now we may all take one collective deep breath before Spring festivities bleed into summer. Winter break was a bit short this year and in all honesty it was a bit of a shock to our family’s system.

There was, however, just enough time for the kids to escape and visit family out of state and yes ... even frolic in the snow.

They love visiting family and I’m always grateful that they are able to have such mini ‘vacas.’ Of course there is always the ‘transition’ period once they return home and to ‘mommy’ reality. Ultimately though we all seem to fare just fine.

The family members they routinely visit happen to subscribe to a different school of thought in the way of ‘health’ and what they deem ‘healthy.’ It always makes for entertaining conversation when the kids return as they try and piece it all together.

Since this is January and many might be focused on goals for the 2014 year, I thought I’d share a bit of how I choose to view ‘Health’ as a general topic. Personally I lean more toward the word of ‘balance’ than I do ‘health.’

By now it’s no secret, I’m a runner … it’s what I do. I run for a number of reasons but two which cannot be avoided or ignored are: 1. I like to eat and 2. I enjoy adult beverages. Running helps me do this without worrying about how my body might morph or send me to the store seeking elastic waist pants. Last week during breakfast, my six-year-old informed me that I should start buying orange juice (which happens to hold a Disney character on the carton) because this is ‘healthy’ orange juice. Later that day she also informed me she’d rather have white grape juice with her meals because milk is not ‘healthy.’

In all honesty, I love these conversations. Once the word ‘healthy’ finds its way into conversation I know where the source stems from.

As an active person who eats both carelessly and responsibly (yes, that’s possible) I love sharing the lessons with my duo. I always use both myself and training as an example. The main difference would be that I approach it from the place of balance.

I share with them that everything is fine in moderation. We eat donuts, pizza, fast food and I enjoy a nice cold beer. We also eat salmon, green beans, fresh strawberries and ice cold water. Of course more of the latter, but ultimately we don’t have a list of ‘you cant’s.’

Yes, I even let my kids eat candy from their stockings on Christmas morning and no, I make no apologies for this carelessness. We’ve always done this and since it’s not forbidden they don’t go crazy. Almost as if scripted, each year they pick a favorite piece, unwrap and enjoy. The rest makes its way to the pantry and more times than not goes forgotten.

Last week as I re-explored the ‘health’ topic I shared with them that in ‘mommy’s opinion’ health is a total package not restricted simply to food. ‘In other words,’ I shared, ‘It’s about mind, body and soul.’

The philosophy I tend to embrace is that simply eating right and not moving is not healthy. Just as exercising and filling your body full of poor fuel is equal sabotage. The perfect storm is when one finds a way to make it all work (for them) which ultimately benefits their mental health, as well. This is what I teach my kids.

They actually know that running makes ‘mommy better.’ That simple time isolated and alone (or with friends) returns me to what matters and is most important ... life surrounded by family and friends. It ultimately makes me happy and who can find fault in that?

So as we each look forward to a ‘happy and healthy 2014’ my wish is this: find what that means for you and yours. Whether it be a hike through Knights Ferry on a beautiful day, a stop for ice cream or both; find the balance that benefits you all. Most importantly don’t let the general definition of one word restrict your or your family from finding genuine happiness. That, after all, is where the treasure lies.

Happy New Year.


Teresa Hammond is a former reporter and current circulation manager for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.