About three years ago I signed up to a very intense gym challenge with a friend.
For six weeks I went to the gym five times a week to lift weight, do squats and weird things called burpees with a personal trainer.
I had never done anything like it before. It was a total shock to the system. It was a classic case of hurting in places I didn’t know it was possible to hurt.
To add to this pain we also had to cut out carbs, sugar and BOOZE for the duration. All my major food groups, gone! My body didn’t know what the hell was happening to it.
I felt stoned, I couldn’t concentrate, I was irritable. I couldn’t go out because I didn’t want to be tempted to drink or eat. I was in self-imposed quarantine. Me and my achy legs, bum and tum.
But then something amazing happened.
Half way through the six weeks my body adjusted to its new routine of broccoli and chicken breasts and getting up at 6am to be at the gym. In fact, I actually started to jump out of bed. Shock horror, mornings are easier when you don’t have a bottle of red wine in your system.
That perkiness stayed all day. I found myself whizzing through work I would normally faff over for days. I felt more upbeat. Nothing was a problem.
Everybody noticed the difference in me.
Mum would phone and ask me how I was and I’d say ‘Fine!’. ‘How’s work?” she ask. ‘All good!’ would be my reply. There was silence. She didn’t know the rules of this new conversation, one in which her daughter was actually happy.
‘It’s like you’ve had a personality transplant,’ she said.
And it was. I was a different person.
I became a healthy living convert! I wrote an article about how exercise changed my life! I vowed to never go back to my slummy ways! I would become one of those smug people who just sipped on a glass on a glass of wine on special occasions!
So what happened? I WENT BACK TO MY SLUMMY WAYS. OBVS.
After about six months I moved away from the nice gym. I made excuses about why the new local gym wasn’t right (despite the fact that I signed up and was paying them a direct debit) and began my slow descent back into boozy couch potato land.
Right now I am at the height of my boozy potato-ness – or rather the depths.
It’s funny that this year has been all about self-improvement but physically I have gone downhill. I’ve eaten and drunk as much as I’ve liked (part of the F**K It! mentality) and it’s been fun but I’m now feeling very heavy and sluggish. I’m waking up most mornings with a dull hangover and that’s not cool.
I know from my small period of healthy living that what you eat and what you drink and how much you move makes a MASSIVE DIFFERENCE to your mood, your life, your productivity. You can read all the self-help books in the world but if you’re mixing them with booze, chocolate and a hectic work out of remote control lifting/Facebook checking (as I have been doing), they’re probably not going to have much effect.
So it’s time to make some changes.
MY THIRTY DAY CHALLENGE
So I’ve been thinking about the 30 Day challenge to be proactive and to work in our Circle of Influence.
(Remember, Covey says we have two circles in our life: the Circle of Concern, which is all the things we’re worrying about, and the Circle of Influence, which is all the things we can actually do something about).
I’m going to refine it down a bit to specifics, starting with:
NO BOOZE FOR 30 DAYS. In my last post I suggested I’d have three booze free days a week but actually, sod it, I need to cut it out all together for a while. I’ll write another post about my love affair with alcohol later, but for now, suffice it to say I drink too much and it’s time to take a break in order to improve my productivity, my health, my weight and my mood. Oh and my bloated booze face. My modelling career is really suffering.
EXERCISE HALF AN HOUR EVERY DAY – Even if it’s just a brisk walk around the block I know that it makes such a difference to my mood and energy.
MEDITATE – I will do another post on this at some point but a couple of years ago I learnt how to do something called Transcendental Meditation and I found it very helpful. You can do it on the tube, on the bus, in the office loos and do it. Anyway, you’re meant to do it twice a day for twenty minutes but I’m going to commit to ONCE A DAY FOR THE NEXT 30 DAYS.
CHECK THE BANK BALANCES EVERY DAY – I’ve been doing this! And I’ve been writing down my spending every day too! But my finances are still a mess. I now have new interest free credit cards which are giving me breathing space but I’m getting confused by what I owe to whom. I’m going to my friend’s house this week to have another budget planning session. (Another post on this to come too).
PLAN WHAT I’M DOING THE NEXT DAY – I think there’s going to be a chapter on this in Covey’s book, about prioritising what’s really important versus what’s urgent but for now I’m promise not to go to bed without planning out my next day. I was going to say that I am a very disorganised person but that is ‘VICTIM SPEAK’ (see last post) and so I won’t say that. Instead I’ll say, I’m working hard to be more organised…
AND THAT’S IT FOR NOW.
DO YOU WANT TO JOIN IN THE 30 DAY CHALLENGE? WHAT 3-5 THINGS COULD YOU COMMIT TO DOING OVER THE NEXT MONTH THAT WOULD IMPROVE YOUR LIFE? PLEASE JOIN IN, I’D LOVE THE COMPANY. PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS BELOW OR EMAIL ME.
SPEAKING OF WHICH, I’VE BEEN HAVING EMAIL ISSUES FOR THE MONTH AND HAVEN’T BEEN GETTING ALL MY MESSAGES SO IF YOU’VE EMAILED AND I HAVEN’T REPLIED THAT’S WHY. I’M SORRY. IT SHOULD BE UP AND RUNNING AGAIN NOW.