Well, this 100 day challenge has been remarkable for me. I am 21 days into it and only 80% to go. So far I have consistently exercised everyday for 21 straight days. My diet has been great as I have been careful not to overeat even once. Sundays have been particularly enjoyable as I usually use them to enjoy a treat or eat something that I would not normally eat throughout the week. Throughout this journey, I have learned several things.
First, discipline takes time. Not only does it take repetition to get up everyday and stick to my goals, but going to the gym and doing exercises well is built on habits. The more I exercise, the stronger I get and the more disciplined I become. Not only that, but I have learned that discipline starts fresh with every new choice. I have to choose to do right every opportunity, and there is never a time when I “arrive”.
Second, emotions eventually catch up with reality. There have been several days when I simply did not want to go to the gym. Either I wanted to be lazy or I was exhausted and I just did not feel like going. But I still went, and before I knew it the dread of going was transformed into an emotional surge as endorphins were released in my body. It feels good knowing that I am doing the right thing.
Third, success takes careful planning. Diet does make a difference. I am still hovering around 5-6lbs. of weight loss, but my clothes are fitting better. The scale still taunts me when I step on it, but she is losing ground! I look forward to a few months from now when I can look down without feeling a sense of embarrassment. But this will not happen without following my planned out exercise routine and eating well.
Fourth, success requires patience. I thought about going to the gym again tonight because I want to rush this process. It certainly wouldn’t hurt if I went, but the reality is that it took time to get this far out of shape, and it will take time to undo years of bad habits. No need to rush.
Fifth, it is important to celebrate the small victories. Once a week, I allow myself to indulge in a treat. This last week I had a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich. It was so good! My taste buds were swing dancing! Every day when I choose to eat well and exercise, I am rewarded through the empowerment that comes with consistency. Doing what I know to be right is becoming a stronger force for me than doing what my body might feel at any given time. It is powerful!