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I recently finished a little something called, The Whole30 Challenge; it was a 30 day dietary makeover- no sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, alcohol…and most importantly, no FUN (okay, that last one was optional). Let me answer the FAQ’s that are probably rushing through your mind: Yes, I drank my coffee black. No, I didn’t always enjoy it. Yes, I had to make sacrifices. And yes, it was hard.
Before I embarked on my 30 day adventure, I knew it was going to be tough, but as you can see here, I was ready for the challenge. And although at times it was a struggle, I (obviously) managed to come out of the 30 days alive.
I stuck to the rules and even lost the 15lbs I gained at Basic Training. I know, I know… I GAINED weight at Basic training?! I kept telling myself it was because I was wearing heavier clothes and hadn’t cut my hair in awhile, but then I realized those two things were ridiculous and had to come to terms with my weight gain. So, while most people at Basic…correction…everyone at Basic had the pounds melting away, I somehow managed to grow an extra 15 lbs. Let’s just clarify what that means, that’s like a small person attached to me, like a baby midget (?what?), on my back at all times. And I know what you are thinking, “oh, stop it Megan, it’s probably just muscle”. Let me stop you right there, NO, it wasn’t.
Irregardless (not a word), I’m not here to talk about food, weight loss, or my obvious outrage concerning the military’s lack of high-intensity physical activities for recruits. I’m here to give you ONE really good reason to complete the Whole30 that has NOTHING to do with food. Sounds ridiculous, right? Hear me out. Completing your own 30day challenge could be good for numerous reasons (unless of course it’s 30 days of binge drinking; in that case you may want to rethink your life choices). However, one of the main reasons I believe you need a 30 day challenge to add a little spice in your life is because…. We all need a lesson in:
Learning to set a goal, committing to it and seeing it through till the end
(…is that three reasons?).
Here’s WHY we all need practice at this:
These days it’s tough for most people to focus through a three minute video, let alone something that takes 30 days of their time. I recently read that we now have a shorter attention span than a gold fish….Wait…did I lose you? Let me say that again. WE now have a shorter attention span than a gold fish. Ummm, what? So much for us being an advanced species. Sure humankind has made major medical breakthroughs, travelled to space and created insane technological advances (hello!? have you SEEN Ironman?!…oh. Wait. That’s not real..?…..awk.waaard…). But if you ask most of us to concentrate on anything for more than 10 seconds, well, that appears to be asking too much.
In this day and age, with constant stimulation, being pulled in a thousand directions, it’s important that we pursue our goals and learn to commit to something. What’s even more important is to stick with that something, even when obstacles arise or things get difficult. We are becoming so used to instant gratification, that when things get hard, we bow out. I see it all of the time in yoga; the moment a pose starts getting challenging, or uncomfortable, I’ll see students give up on themselves. But, it is in those moments of discomfort that we begin to mentally GROW and shape ourselves.
So, why not commit to a positive change in your life for 30 days. You’ll challenge your mind to commit, plan ahead and overcome obstacles in order to achieve your goal. It doesn’t really matter what the goal is, whether it is big or small; what matters is that you learn to stick with something and see it through- RIGHT until the end.
I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to complete the 30 days to not only see if I could give up my food addictions, but to become mentally stronger. It takes a lot of will power to turn down junk food at a BBQ, or even just constantly defend my choice to not have a drink when I’m out at a pub with friends. Believe me, it would have been a LOT easier to cave and drink alcohol over listening to the, “You’re doing WHAT? For 30 days? Why!?…I would NEVER…” But, I stuck with it and I do believe I’m mentally stronger because of it.
So, if I’ve managed to keep your attention this long (1) kudos to you for outlasting a goldfish and (2) now it’s your turn to choose your 30 days for change. The hardest part is beginning. So, DECIDE, take a deep breath and take the first step towards positive change.