Years ago I read the above statement from someone’s Facebook status and it became carved into my brain. To this day I look at that 21st day as the first huge milestone in a road to physical well being. If I can just make it through those first 3 weeks…then everything will become easier.
In the last 6 months I have hopped on and off a set workout pattern. Only making it 2 weeks before my head started to get in the way. “You’re too tired.” “Workout twice as long tomorrow.” (Get real.) “You don’t have enough time for this.” You name the excuse, I used it. Until now.
Last week marked 21 days. And I feel pretty damn happy about that. Don’t worry, I am not here to brag about lost pounds or a shrinking waistline. In fact I don’t weigh myself unless forced and I have no idea what my measurements are. Reality is maybe I have lost, maybe I haven’t…those things are bonus gifts to working out, not the ultimate prize. What I am already benefiting from is a clearer head, better attitude and far more energy than I had a mere 3 weeks ago. An unapologetic 30 to 45 minutes, 6 days a week I give to myself has infused a whole lot of happy into my life and the beautiful people that have to live with me.
So let’s talk about those 21 days and how one gets there…
Be Flexible. If given a choice I would rather have my workout in before 7AM. This preference would also ultimately defeat me on those days when I didn’t even make it out of bed until 8AM. (Yes, my 3 year old sleeps till 8. She rules.) Now I am fine with working out at 6AM or 6PM as long as I get it in. It doesn’t have to be the same time everyday, it just needs to be checked off the list. Owning and accepting the flexibility has made a world of difference this time around.
No Comparing. Just because someone else can go 10 miles any given day and you’re struggling for 2 doesn’t mean that you aren’t winning. I don’t ever want to run 10 miles at once. I am fairly certain I would die. What I do want is to continue to push myself and achieve personal victories, regardless of what my triathlon Facebook friend may be conquering.
Reference Points. Think back to a time in your life when you were taking care of yourself. When you kept yourself in check, feeling good not only on the outside but on the inside too. Do not go pulling out the picture of yourself after having mono and losing 15 pounds. No, that is not what we are looking for here. We want a genuine time of putting focus on your health and overall wellbeing. Mine is the first Mother’s Day with our little Jettie.
Yes, that is beer and pizza you see. Those bloody marys? Woke up to a bar with all the fixings to kickoff my first year of being “mom”. It was as close to a perfect day as it could be. One that began with a run on the treadmill, just for me. Had I not stuck to my routine that day, all those calories could have pulled the grumpy out in me. Instead I had endorphins racing through my veins. Exercise was something I looked forward to back then. I want nothing more than to be in that state of mind again. This little slice of life is motivation to keep going.
Patience. This is a tough one…for anyone. At first you’ll be sore, the good kind of sore that makes you feel like you are really making a change. You might even notice immediate water weight loss. Both very motivating things to experience. But then around 2 weeks you are not as sore, and you are bulking a bit (the worst). Rest assured if you keep going, you keep pushing yourself, you will see results. It is one of the hardest humps to get over, one that may take a few times to overcome. Once you do though, and you begin to feel the rewards of your hard work and persistence, it makes all those hard days so worth it times a million.
21 days…that’s all it takes. Just kidding, it takes hell of a lot more than that. What that 21 days does do however is start something good. An accomplishment just for you and a place to go from. You make it through those first three weeks…you can start setting new goals, all the while knowing you met your first.
Hopefully I will be staying on the track for good this time around. I’ll keep you updated.
Here’s to feeling good!
(For those of you who are curious I am currently running 3 to 4 miles 3 days a week and doing one level of Jillian’s 30 Day Shred the other 3. I hope to be back up to the level of working out I was when I wrote this post. Yoga is also something I am interested in – hint, hint to you Yoga fans.)