Have you noticed the hate on resolutions lately? Don’t get me wrong; I can see that the intentions are good since the message is typically “don’t wait, start now” but if I’ve learned anything these past few years, it’s that sometimes we need something like a new year, new month or even a new challenge to get us back on track towards our goals.
Three years ago, I didn’t write or think about any resolutions. Instead, I focused on building a new habit each month (I started in December) and to be quite honest, I got a lot of results from it. It was looking to be my best year yet - I was travelling more than I ever had, I got myself out of debt, I was working at a company I loved, I was healthier than ever, the list went on - until I got laid off & lost all momentum. This was back in 2015 and I can’t even tell you how hard it was for me to get back into any sort of habit. For two more years I kept saying “Okay, this is it. I’m going to start building better habits again.” “I’m going to start eating clean” “New day! New me!” “Falls seven times. Stand up eight.”
Since my “best year” was when I didn’t write any resolutions, I thought “Hey, I don’t need to wait until the new year. I’ll just pick myself back up right now.” Simple, right? To some humans, sure; for me, not so much. It’s hard to explain but as things continued to spiral down (Did I mention I lost 2 more jobs, stopped working out and gained a ton of weight in this timeframe?) , it was hard to find motivation to try again. To be honest, quitting just seemed to be the best and only option until I stumbled upon the quote “It’s a slow process but quitting won’t speed it up.” Reading that reminded me that I had gotten myself out of a hole before and even though it’s taking me forever, I could eventually get out of this one.
And guess the eff what? I got out! And I have to say that it was because I allowed myself to have a new beginning. Well, multiple beginnings but hey - no ones perfect. I think that’s why I’m actually a fan of short challenges like the 22-Day Revolution, TIU Detox or BBG Program - they give you a reason to start over, especially when you’re in a slump like I was. For those of you interested, here’s how it went down:
SUMMER: 3-WEEK NO SUGAR CLEANSE
This was a spontaneous decision (as most of mine are) where my colleagues Samantha, Eric, Marie & I decided to go two weeks (later turned into three) without added sugar. I still had fruits but for the most part, we avoided anything that had sugar in its label. This forced us to pretty much eat real & raw foods and to be honest, it was awesome. I felt light, energetic, healthy. I think about doing this challenge again soon.
FALL: BBG + HALF-MARATHON TRAINING
After completing something as intense as a no-sugar cleanse, you start to think anything is possible. I’ll admit that I did start reverting back to my bad & unhealthy habits but thankfully before that continued to spiral down, my good friend Lindsey asked me if I would be down to run a half-marathon with her & being the person that likes challenges, I said “why not?” & started training. Mind you, I had never run more than 4 miles in my life so this was a shock to everyone including myself. At the same time, another friend of mine, Mellie Cay was in need of an accountability partner so we started meeting up about 1-3 times a week to do Kayla Itsines' 12-Week BBG Program. Full disclosure, I didn’t finish all 12-weeks of BBG & I unfortunately caught a cold the week of my race so once again, things weren’t working in my favor - just not for long.
WINTER: F45 MEMBERSHIP
It was around Thanksgiving when I caught myself going back into what I call “slump-mode” & instead of allowing that to continue, I decided to take a class at F45 through ClassPass. Now, I’ve been a huge fan of F45 ever since I took my first class there but I rarely went because I couldn't afford their membership. Lucky enough, I happened to take a class at a location that just happened to have the best Black Friday sale on the planet so without too much thought, I paid for 6 months and have never looked back. All I needed to do now was work on my eating habits.
WINTER PT 2: 22-DAY REVOLUTION
After 2 years of trial & error, I finally got back into working out but eating wise… let’s just say that I have a thing for sushi & AYCE K-BBQ. The worst part is that donuts are often at my office and when you have one, it’s hard to say no to another. I found myself feeling guilty over and over again that when my coworker, Eric asked me if I wanted to do a 22-day challenge with him, I said yes before finding out what it even was. Turns out it was Marco Borges' 22-Day Revolution & if you’ve never heard of it, it’s essentially going vegan with an emphasis on eating plant based (ie. candy is technically vegan but it’s not plant based). I immediately started to regret agreeing to something that sounded so crazy especially during the holidays but hey, if I was able to cut out sugar for 3-weeks, I can do this for 22-days. Fast forward to today & I have officially exceeded the challenge by 2 days! Other than some candy here and there (oops), I was vegan AF.
NOW: TIU 5-DAY DETOX
I honestly thought I was going to start binging on K-BBQ & sushi right after the challenge but I feel better than I have in a long time & I don’t want to lose that feeling. So naturally, when Tone It Up announced they were doing a 5-Day Detox for the New Year, I hopped on the bandwagon. Whether I’m going to stay plant-based or not, hasn’t exactly been decided. I guess I’ll be more in the middle? The recipes are easy/cheap so I plan to prep plant based food but also occasionally allow myself to have K-BBQ & sushi because I just can’t imagine giving that up for the rest of my life. Hah.
Each challenge or transition hasn’t been perfect but all of these new beginning has brought me back to an active & healthy lifestyle which, in result has given me more energy and confidence to keep going and do more productive things like plan more MLC trips & even write this blog post. So whether you’re down in the slumps or currently living your best life - I encourage you to write out your resolutions because how blessed are we to even have something like the new year, to allow us to have a fresh start. If you’re overwhelmed by the thought, just start out with one goal per month & go from there. Take that new lemon & squeeze it into the best damn lemonade you’ve ever had.