Have you ever had one of those moments where you realize a ton of time has passed since you did something? This happened to me. Just now. I was on the sofa winding down from my day and my thoughts turned to my blog and newsletter (that I’d so consistently written for many months). Reality struck: it has now been three months since I’ve posted.
The days, weeks, months seemed to float by, I kept saying to myself I’ll do it soon, trusting that I had created enough of a habit and discipline around the work that creative inspiration would return and the words would flow. As weeks went on, I stopped even saying that. I ignored the little voice in the back of my head and existed in my ignorant bliss.
As I sat on the sofa and calculated that a whopping 90 days had gone by I reached for my laptop, without another thought or excuse on why not to write and began to let the words flow. Enough was enough! Feeling called to action by my inactions. Remembering why I write, for me but also for you. To clear my head of knowledge and ideas and to maybe spark something that may help motivate you in some way.
This ‘breakthrough’ reflection is interesting to me and I wonder how often we do this? Wake up one day and realize just how much time has passed since we did something we enjoyed or that is good for us. Even worse I’d consciously avoided it, a creative dry spell if you will. Uninspired to share well, anything.
As I pondered my inactions, I realized how similar this is to many of our journeys with health and fitness. The gym clothes that lay in our closets gathering dust, the supplements half used in the cupboard that support our body and we know help us feel better, the massage you haven’t booked for months even though you know again, it helps to alleviate stress and the tonic muscles of your neck/back (fill in the blank) I could continue but you get the idea.
One day we wake up and realize we’re 20 pounds overweight and we ask ourselves How did I get here?’ Well the honest answer is with consistent small actions cumulated over time. Life probably happened (as it has a way of doing!) with family obligations, illness, work, and slowly the time you used to nurture you became less of a priority and the healthy habits slipped away becoming fewer and further between. You ignore the fact that your pants are getting tighter, you’re buying larger clothing or splurging on footwear, accessories and home furnishings to avoid facing the change-room.
You notice other things physically, too. Your joints begin to feel the burden of the extra pounds, you fatigue easier and parts of your body ache more due to both the diet changes and inactivity. Your sleep quality declines. You’re tired and maybe a little fuzzy in the brain but tell yourself coffee will fix that. The diet further plummets into high insulin foods as they boost you up (temporarily) You begin the roller coaster ride of sugar highs and lows. Any non-essential movement is replaced with sofa time as you’re too tired to do much else. Less moving, more pain, more weight.
The Sick of Self Moment
The cycle continues until one day you have what I like to call your ‘sick of myself moment’. The moment when you realize you can no longer keep doing what your doing. This can come as either an internal or external catalyst but either way you get to that place where somethings gotta give and you’re ready.
It could come in the way of a health scare or pain (both physical and emotional), the realization that your current habits can not only influence the length of your life but also the quality of the life you want to lead. It sometimes comes in the way of a photograph, the moment we SEE that our outside has changed in a way that doesn’t reflect who we are on the inside. The moment often comes from the places we feel the darkest and realize it’s time to let the light back in. It’s different for each of us, can’t be forced and only you can decide when it’s time.
So, you start typing. Exercising. Eating better. Whatever. You start being responsible to you for the things you want and how you want to FEEL. No one else. YOU begin to do for you.
How do we fix it?
We start the same way we messed it up:
small consistent actions done repeatedly over time.
We dust off our shoes and go for a walk, stretch, dance, whatever. Even if it’s 10 minutes to start. We adjust our schedules and carve out time for ourselves to be used for exercise, meditation, food prep. We decide to eat at home, include more vegetables, or cut back on empty calories like alcohol and sweets. We start to revisit the healthy habits and commit to better ones. One moment, one day at a time we begin to make better choices.
Not sure where to begin? ACTION. Ask for help. A friend, a coach, nutritionist or therapist for example. Even short term experts can help you get on a plan and provide support along the way. The simple act of acknowledging you are ready for something different and reaching out will begin to change the energy around it.
What I do know for sure: when we want something bad enough, we change.