21 days, 15 workouts & 4 things

The last couple of weeks I have learnt some stuff. I joined the gym 21 days ago, I have worked out 15 times, and learnt, or maybe realised 4 things that are really fucking important. Its been three weeks since I made a decision to be better. Not comfortable, or happy. Just better. Its a scary thing to think about, and honestly, its been a great three weeks, but it also has been challenging, and tiring and there have been times where I have thought about throwing in the towel, making an ice-cream sundae and never leaving the couch. But, you know, I have to go to work and all that, so I haven't done it yet. I digress. Of course, I have been reflecting on all of this the last few days, I thought, yeah... fuck yeah... and so I wrote about it, because well, you know, that is what I do.

Making a decision is easy. Sticking to it is the hard bit.
It sounds condescending. But I hope you know that I do not mean it like that at all. And to be fair, this isn’t something I have literally learned over the last few weeks. Rather it is something that I have had to remind myself of. Every. Stinking. Day. But, specifically the last few weeks this has been front and center or my mind, and it seemed like a good place to start

I made a decision to feel better about myself. To be the best person that I can be, because I deserve that. No one else. But me. So when I joined Virgin Active I made a promise to myself that this time wasn’t going to be like the others. I wasn’t going to go for a week, and then let it fade out. I wasn’t going to pay my weekly membership and allow myself to come up with a stack of excuses as to why I couldn’t use it. I was done with it.

I made the choice to pick the path less travelled. For me at least. Before I even really got going there were roadblocks in sight. I knew, that I had to either commit to it, or not make the decision in the first place. To stay on the path that initial decision forged, I would have to hold true and strong. In reality what that means is taking a few seconds every time I am faced with a choice, and deciding whether or not this is going to have an effect on me being the best person I can be, whether the choice I made today was in support or direct conflict with the choice that I made 3 weeks ago when I signed up at the gym and committed be being the best version of myself. Whether the choice I am about to make is going to impact me getting to my goal. I actually catch myself having to stop and think about it. And I am ok with that. Because baby steps, and all that. I have learnt this week that sometimes the answer isn’t the one that I am naturally leaning towards, but I guess that’s all part of the hard part. Going against what feels like it should be ‘right’. And that leans me to my next point…

What you have always done isn’t necessarily right, it’s just comfortable.
I am an emotional eater. I have talked about it before more than once. I am someone who is deeply connected to my emotions. I feel things on the deepest level and I hold onto those feelings tightly and honestly. Unfortunately, a lot of those feelings have manifested themselves in a form that has left me seeking comfort in food. I recognise it. I call it when its happening. But more often then not I give into the habit of seeking that moment of gratification from something delicious. The last 3 weeks, I have tried to go against that habit. I gave in once. I could dwell on it, and be super mad at myself, or, I could let it go and acknowledge that there were probably 8 other times that I fought against the habit and won. Seriously, it’s a big deal. Pushing the boundaries of comfort is a big thing. There is so much more I could say about this. Maybe I will one day.

But the point of this is to acknowledge that obviously what I have been doing for the last 5, 10, even 15 years hasn’t been working. I haven’t been giving myself every opportunity to be fucking radical. So I have to change something. And as uncomfortable as it is, I am pressing on with it. And it seems to actually be working [shock. damn. Horror]

Your body will follow your mind. Everytime.
A gorgeous pal of mine told me this a few months back. When she first said it I was kind of pissed off. Didn’t she know that all I wanted was to lose weight and feel better about myself? Didn’t she know that I was working hard and it just wasn’t easy? That the world was stacked against me and I could never ever get to where I wanted to be because there was something wrong with me? I felt frustrated and I felt like I was never going to feel good about this whole situation, whatever this situation actually was.

The last few weeks it has clicked for me. That when your mindset changes, everything else changes too. That change has to be more than just face value too. It has to really deeply change, because honestly how many times have we claimed something has changed when really under the surface it is all the same? See, I worked out with my trainer this week. The work day had been a total shit fest, and I was pissed off and exhausted and I didn’t want to go to the gym, let alone be pushed to do work that I didn’t feel like I was strong enough to do. As I was walking to the gym I was thinking of a number of excuses that I would be able to use to get out of doing the session. But I knew that wouldn’t get me to where I wanted to be [decision made to hold true to the goal… see point one].

I told myself before I walked into the gym that I needed to trust her, and that she would look after me, and push me, and that she was working towards helping me get to where I wanted to go. I told my mind to shut up, shut off the bullshit from the day, focus on the work that had to be done in the 45 minute session and to worry about the rest of the stuff later. And that’s exactly what I did. I worked harder than I ever have, I left it all on the floor. And I felt fucking amazing after I did. The old me would of worked out an excuse and gone home. The new me, she is way more badass. She gets shit done and more importantly, she looks after herself.

Punishment has no place in this equation.
For the last few years, no matter what way I look at it, the decisions that I have made around my health and wellness, haven’t been from a place of love. Yeah yeah, I know, I talk a lot about being more than a number, and being a fabulous and kind human being. I am both of those things, and a whole lot more, I also, despite desperately not wanting to, felt in some small way that my weight, and my lack running ability made me less fabulous. Every time I went to the gym, or swapped zucchini for pasta it felt like a punishment. That I couldn’t have ‘normal’ food [read comfortable food. See point 2] because I had fucked up and I had to pay for it. This month, I have flipped this notion on its head.

You see something particularly freeing happened to me. I ordered my wedding dress. I was terrified for 5 months that it would arrive, it would be divine and special, and it wouldn’t fit my body. When I got the call that my dress arrived I was so nervous, I couldn’t wait to try it on, but I also really didn’t want to, in fear that I would then have this massive amount of pressure to lose weight to fit in my dress. Well. I tried it on. And not only was it spectacular, it actually was a smidge too big. An instant 50kg weight was lifted off my shoulders. Suddenly the idea of HAVING to do anything was out the window. The pressure dissipated and it left a huge amount of room for something else. A huge ass realisation that I am fucking awesome and deserve health and happiness and everything else that comes along with being a little bit healthier.

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