I'm a kid at heart. Go figure the title of my first blog would be from a childhood rhyme.
Starting a blog up has been something I've wanted to do for quite a while, but I could never think of anything that seemed worthy enough of creating one for more than a few posts. If I did think of one I thought "well, what's the point?".
Thankfully I'm also stubborn to a fault. Go figure that eventually I make something happen that I want to do.
The other day I shared on Instagram that I was starting up another 90 day challenge for myself. I shared that a few weeks ago while slowly creating and adding new pieces to the budding business, I came to the realization that if I truly, fully, and wholeheartedly want my clients to present in and make effort towards their goals and their programs with me, then it's only right I do the same as well. And I figured, what better way to share with others more in-depth and simultaneously hold myself accountable in the process, than blog about it.
So here we are. Day 1 of 90 days.
Where did this all start though? For a little background on what made me want to do this, read on. Otherwise you can skip down to the lovely picture of me feeling somewhat defeated and internally flabbergasted by today's work-out.
Last year on Valentine's Day I started a 90 day challenge with myself. Prior to starting it I noticed (or at least consciously recognized and acknowledged) that I was struggling with self-love and self-worth issues. Especially when I mentally owned up that I was comparing myself with someone in particular. It was growing for weeks and months, digging more and more under my skin, affecting my mood, my thoughts and behavior, my relationships, until I was just sour. I got frustrated that one little thing (which of course was really much bigger), had such an affect and hold on me. And I had enough of it - I wanted to call quits.
I wanted to give myself discipline, so I began thinking of things I desired to get better at or habits to strengthen. Many gurus and psychologists will tell you it takes 21 days to form a new habit, for it to really set in. I knew myself well enough that 21 days wasn't enough. I've done the 3-week or month long challenges before - exercise ones, food related. I even did self-made challenges for that length where I tried going to bed by a certain time, or limiting my online time to 2 hours (that didn't last long). So in my thinking stage I knew it had to be longer. Something that was a stretch and would take diligence to stick to, but would feel immensely satisfying and, really, was a challenge to me. 90 days seemed to hit the sweet spot for me.
Aside from the time length, I also wanted there to be a component of, or at least the ability to, go inward. To really look at why I was feeling, viewing, and reacting in the way that I was. My usual self-care methods wouldn't cut it, they were mostly escapist ones.
So I decided I needed to give myself love. The best way I felt I could do that, and the one that seemed most pleasing in multiple ways, was yoga. And I felt there was no better time to start it than on Valentine's Day. When I calculated it out 90 days later (giving myself wiggle room for I knew there might be days I could be sick or too busy to practice), it butted right up to when we went on vacation. I wanted to not be stressed or burdened by anything on that vacation (if I could help it), so it felt perfect.
And it was a success. It truly went a lot better than I ever thought or could have wanted it to go. There was so much self-pleasure, deeper awareness and gentleness with myself, enthusiastic support from others that I wasn't expecting. And sure enough, as I had predicted, 21 or 30 days wouldn't have been enough. I hit those milestones easily. It wasn't until after then that I hit the "struggle" zone - where part of you wants to stop or be lax or self-sabotage. Believe me, I did want to. It took a lot of effort to plow through and continue, but by then it really did start to become an ingrained habit. It started to become an effortless part of my day. By the end of it, I had made a lot of breakthroughs in seeing and working through some deeper issues I didn't realize were there.
After the 90 days I kept up the yoga for another couple of months, until ironically enough, my birthday. I took a breather for a week, which turned into another couple more, which turned into a month (and so on). My body needed the physical break in the beginning, and after a longer time off I realized it had gotten to a point where I wasn't listening to other parts of my body that needed addressing. So I decided to STOP pushing. To listen. And to rest. After all, a lot of times you need to integrate things before you continue on to another layer or avenue.
During the holidays this year I already had an idea in my head that I wanted to do another challenge, to lightly push myself beyond my boundaries again. As much as I love yoga it didn't feel right this time. I've been dealing and working through some gut and digestive issues for quite a while (for a good 6 years now actually), and finally decided to be more proactive in addressing it in the early fall. I've transitioned to and made healthier, cleaner eating part of my life for the 4 years, with slips here and there, but I needed to be more serious and take into account nutritional aspects too.
After starting and sticking with a gut-healing regime, I can tell my body is happier and that everything internally is strengthening and starting to come fully online and work in tandem again. My weight has been stable within a few pounds for the last few months - I can tell it's settled and at a happy place. So I was and am not looking to lose weight. As smooth as things are, I have noticed my muscle tone is severely lacking and quite frankly, my strength is shit. And I daresay my "strength" in some areas has been waning or a little weak lately too - but that's for me to discover and work through this time around. ;)
My plan then is to get into strength training and build muscle. And if my healing gut and intuition is any indicator, this is going to be just as, if not more, profound and meaningful.
"First is the worst, second is the best...."
I distinctly remember using it many times with my brothers growing up (usually when we were "racing" each other in some capacity). In any case, that phrase sprung up in my mind while I completed Day 1 of my 90 day challenge. The free and body weight exercises only took 20 minutes to complete, but it felt like hours. You have no idea how many times I thought "what the hell am I doing?" or "crap, I'm in worse shape than I thought" or "there's no one I'm going to finish this today" or "this isn't really going to help/work" or "maybe I should do a different challenge instead".
Strength and weight training has never been a strong suit of mine. There are some weight machines at the gym that over time I have gotten to a (self) respectable level of weight and felt proud of, but it quickly falls off. And when I'm at this rock bottom, I'm very. self. defeatist.
Strength to me means so much more than physical muscle power. It brings up a lot of issues health and performance-wise, and past experiences or situations surrounding strength in general. And I know I need to work on it. To address it, hug and be there alongside it, while I try to do strength exercises again, because so much in my life depends on it. My resolve depends on it, my moving forward and really jumping in and making it happen with all of my ideas for this business, and to grow my heart's capacity. How can I grow and evolve in all of the areas that I want to, unless I am confident in and feel more secure in my own strength, physical prowess or otherwise?
That is the basis of my challenge this time, at its core. Not just to lean out my muscles and be able to actually hold or carry things again. To build myself. To take the acknowledgement and vision of who I am, my passions, and my purpose to become a force that I can utilize in so many positive ways, and to make a mark and difference in the world. To build and give myself the courage and vitality that yes, I can do it. I can jump when I feel drawn to and it's right, without worry, and that I AM capable of holding everything I want to accomplish.
Day 1 was an eye-opening, slap in the face. Let's hope Day 2 is the best, for whatever it brings.