It’s officially one month now.
30 days have passed since I set foot into a phase that I wouldn’t have dreamed possible even six months ago.
I’ve fallen in love and I must say that it has been unexpected, heady and everything else that comes along with the first month of a new relationship.
The best part is that this addictive relationship has actually set me free!
Don’t worry. It’s nothing scandalous.
I’m talking about exercise. 😀
Yes, you read that right.
In the past month, I have spent every day working out. I’m either at the gym, walking off the calories on the elliptical or lifting weights to tone my arms. Most days though, I am running around a badminton court, working up a sweat and loving every second of it. I’ve even done a bit of swimming to mix it up on a few days.
But just the feeling of waking up every morning and knowing that I will be working out, even if I don’t do anything else, is something incredible.
I’ve kind of talked about it, ad nauseum, on my Instagram posts and stories, so if you follow me there, forgive the overdose of it. 😉
I figured I’d share what it was that truly made me shift my perspective on the idea of exercise.
I can actually trace it back to two key things.
The first thing: February 11th, 2019- The day I gave up refined white sugar. When I did this, people assumed I was crazy or that I was depriving myself of something.
It took some explaining to help people understand that I didn’t feel deprived and even today, have zero cravings for any white-sugar related item.
That’s because of the other thing that happened.
The second thing: I read this incredible, life-changing book called ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear.
If you read ONE book this year or the next, make it this one. I can honestly say that this book alone has completely changed my approach to food, exercise and a lot more in my life.
In a nutshell, let me share a few highlights from the book that have helped me on this journey:
- Change your identity: This was the clarion call I needed. I had to ask myself daily ‘Am I a person who sleeps in? Or am I a person who looks after her health?”Am I a person who eats junk food? Or do I make the effort of whipping up a quick, healthy snack?’Just asking those two questions everyday has helped me head out the door and get to my workout; plus it has helped me be more sensible with my food choices.
- Get 1% better everyday: James Clear shares how we always start too big and set impossible goals and burn out too soon. Instead if you just aim at improving by 1% daily, you’d notice that you find the improvement both doable and enjoyable.So if I manage to do 10 minutes on day 1, on the elliptical machine, on day 2, I increase it to 11 minutes. That’s it. Just 1%.
- Create an environment suited to who you want to be: If I want to be a healthy person, I must ensure my environment helps me with that.Near my front door, there is a ‘Sports rack’. We store all our sports and fitness gear there (save our clothes) so that they are ready to grab and head out the door. Making things easy is the first step to making change comfortable.
- Focus on the system; not the goal: This is kind of similar to the idea of enjoying the process and not the outcome. You are only as good as your systems. That means, creating a routine that encourages you to stick to your habit, come what may. This is beautifully explained here.
- Don’t miss two days in a row: This is such a simple concept and so easy to implement. James Clear says that it’s important to build a habit by doing it every single day. It’s okay to miss one day but try not to miss two days in a row.All through the last month, I have focused on two core principles: working out daily and eating healthy daily.As a result, my skin has improved, my mood has been upbeat, my monthly cycle has been one of the best this year, my stress regarding work and my business has been practically non-existent and my face wears a stupid grin most of the time. 😉
What’s that? How much weight have I lost, you ask?
I honestly don’t know and don’t care. What I CAN tell you though, is that I haven’t felt this good in a long, long time and that, my friend, is the best outcome of this new addiction of mine.
And the better news? It’s here to stay.