Making Changes

Change is never an easy thing to accomplish.

“Experts” say that you must do something 21 times in order to change a habit. I have found in general it can be slightly higher than 21 times. But if you focus on it and keep trying, you will get there. You will make changes.

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across a teevee show on MTV, oddly enough. And watching it, I realise that if someone had done this for me when I had just finished high school, I would be an entirely different person now, and I certainly would not have the weight struggles I have now.

The name of the show I am not a huge fan of – it is called I Used To Be Fat. Some of the people on the show were not what I would consider to be “fat” just larger than your average stick thin teen. But after finishing high school they were given personal trainers and access to more healthy food – a target of weight loss – and a calendar which told them how many days to going to college. You can watch episodes via that link, by the way. I recommend Jordan, that was my favourite one.

What happened with these people – with *one* exception – was absolutely inspirational to me. It kicked me into gear and made me go to the gym for an entire week. Even when I didn’t want to, or it was super late at night, or I felt unwell. I still went.

It got me doing exercise at home on top of the gym work. It showed me exercises I could add into my day. It is the thing that makes me say – after doing a shift at work and finishing at 11pm – I am going to the gym NOW.

But there was one person who did not succeed on the show. Tanner – epic fail dude! The reason he did not succeed is because he was not making the changes for himself – he was making them for his girlfriend, who had absolutely no care or compassion for him and after seeing how much time he was spending at the gym instead of with her, she dumped him. Which sent him into a spiral of not doing well. Then just as he was getting back on track, she un-dumped him, causing him to focus on her instead of exercise and healthy eating.

You have to want it.

You have to want it for yourself

Not because you think you need to do it, or because someone else said so, or because you feel bad when you eat something unhealthy or because you don’t like how you look in your clothes.

You have to wake up one morning and say “I value myself enough to eat decently and make sure I get some exercise”. And then you have to commit to it, and kick your own butt if you don’t do it – not by guilting yourself, but by making sure you do it the next time.

But most of all, you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. You have to keep going even when life tries to derail your train. If you eat something bad you can’t endlessly guilt yourself over it. You say done can’t be undone make a better choice next time – and then follow through.

You have to challenge yourself.

And with that said, I am challenging myself. It started with trying to run on the treadmill which I would only do if nobody else was in the gym in case things went terribly wrong (like I fell off, or couldn’t keep up, or something)

I managed it twice with nobody else there – walk for 2 mins, run for 60 seconds, walk for 2 mins, run for 60 seconds, walk for 2 mins, run for 60 seconds.

And then I had done it a couple of times so I thought things went ok, I’m giving up on caring what other people might think, I know at least I won’t fall over and I know I can do it. So I did it with people in the gym, and it went ok.

And I have kept going with it. Every day for the past 4 days, I have done 15-20 mins on the elliptical, and then 9 mins on the treadmill with a cool down.

Then today I discovered Couch to 5k.

And it looks pretty much like what I am doing already, only I am doing it in a smaller way. So my plan over the next few weeks is to extend the amount of times I do the running (eg 4x, 5x, etc) and slowly work my way up to the 20 minute thingy, and then work on it from there.

It might take a bit longer than 9 weeks for me. We’ll see. It’d be nice to be that kind of fit..

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challenges, exercise, life lessons

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