Get into the groove

I made it!  Week one of the 4 Weeks to a Better You Challenge is complete and I’m already a couple of days into the second week.  I’m really happy with my progress so far.  Has it been perfect? No, but I feel really good about what I’ve accomplished.

As part of the 4 week challenge, we’re supposed to do a daily journal. As I was writing in my journal, I put my pen down and decided to use my journal thoughts as my post.  I had originally planned on writing a gardening post today, but I’m so elated that I couldn’t focus on much else.

So, how has the first week gone?  Great!  I managed to fit in all of the exercise and only missed 1 point for food/drink due to a misunderstanding on my part.  I could have given myself a perfect score, using the excuse that I didn’t know, but we’re doing the scoring on our honor and how honorable would it be of me to do that?  Not so much.  So, now I know.

What I’ve learned so far is that when I physically feel good and emotionally feel good, my perception of things around me is different, in a good way.  And I found perception is truly the key for me.  Instead of thinking about what I can’t eat, I try to focus on what I can eat.  I tried to find alternatives for the foods I needed to cut out right away so I only had to think about it once.  That way when I want pasta, I grab whole wheat, when I’m wanting something sweet, I grab honey, pure maple syrup, agave nectar or sucanat. (I’m still looking for maple sugar flakes, if anyone knows where to get them please let me know!)  I’ve also found that if I make as much of the food myself as possible, then I don’t have to worry about reading packages all the time.  Some of this was already habit for me, some of it is a stretch and some things are truly a challenge.  As far as the food goes though, it’s all worth it.  I feel so much better when I eat better!

I’m still ironing out what works best as far as a schedule for exercise, reading and journaling goes.  I’ve been doing them at different times of the day trying to find the best fit.  The past few days those three things have been pushed to the end of the day.  I’ve found that doesn’t work so well.  While I’m doing it, I don’t feel 100% present.  I’m not just going through the motions, but I’m getting tired and not putting into it what I would like to get out of it.  So this week I hope to find a time of the day for each of those that will feel better and get me into a groove.

What else have I learned so far?  I’ve also learned that I’m a lot stronger and more capable than I give myself credit for.  I had my doubts.  Honestly, the 45 minutes of exercise each day was what I found most intimidating.  For some reason I felt like I could work in 30 minutes a day, but 45?  Whew!  I thought that would be pushing it.  What I’ve discovered is that it really is only 15 additional minutes.  Imagine that!

The first week wasn’t all easy.  You know the evil little guy that rides around on your shoulder chirping in your ear, telling you that you can’t do it, that you’re not strong enough, not organized enough, not motivated enough to accomplish it?  He tried more than once to get me into trouble, but then I realized that I’ve come this far (a full day, two days, etc.), why would I want to blow it?  It’s not worth it!  So I stopped listening to him.

Instead I’m listening to my cheering squad.  And I have to tell you, I have the most amazing cheering squad.  My son not only cheers me on, but serves as my coach.  He’s a great kid.  He knows what I can and can’t eat and the other day while he was eating a banana bar with chocolate chips I teased him that I almost stole a bite and his response was, “Well, it’s a good thing you didn’t, Mom, because that would have blown your challenge!”

Did I mention the other thing that I love about this challenge?  It’s a challenge not a diet! It’s not just focused on food (which in my humble opinion is why diets don’t work).  Instead this challenge truly focuses on making a well-rounded, better you.  It’s an all-encompassing, full-life challenge.

As I head into the second week, my goal is to get into a groove that will become a part of my new lifestyle.  Something I won’t have to think about.  It will just become second nature, a part of who I am.

As I go forward it will still be a journey, I’m sure there will be good days and there will be some tough days.  But knowing after a week what I’m capable of, I’m looking forward to it.  I know I can do it.

Some people have questioned why I’m pushing myself so hard.  My reason is this: this is a challenge, a challenge to make myself a better person physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Some pieces of the challenge were already a part of my daily life, as I’m guessing is the case for most people.  But if I don’t challenge myself to complete every part of the challenge then I’ll never know what I’m capable of.  If I stop short in one area, I’ll look back and wonder if I tried harder would I have been able to do it?  Why not just try it?  I want to get to the end of this challenge and know what I’m capable of.

I’ve had a few friends mention that they thought about joining me on the challenge but for one reason or another, they didn’t.  As far as I’m concerned that’s okay.  I think you need to be a the right place and time in your life to do something like this in order to stay committed to it.  For me the timing was right.  After having been sick for nearly two years and regaining my energy and strength over the past 6 months, the time was right for me to work new habits and challenges into my life.  If you’re interested, but didn’t do it, don’t worry, the right time will come for you.  Maybe this challenge wasn’t a fit, but another personal challenge will come along at the right time for you.

In the mean time, I think it’s good for all of us to take a step back every once in a while, look at our lives and find ways to challenge ourselves to become better people.

Kate

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One Comment to “Get into the groove”

  1. Hey Kate,
    Just wanted to let you know I am rooting for you. If you ever need someone.to exercise with or anything let me know.

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