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Intentional Living – How my 30 day challenge has transformed my perspective…and my waistline

Tomorrow, my thirty day healthy living challenge is over. For thirty days straight I will have eaten the right foods, exercised every day, gone to bed at the right time, and focused on my priorities. I even kept a journal, entering the milestones of the day each night before going to bed, every day.

The last time I posted about my thirty day challenge was on Day 5. At that point in time I had noticed that everything had slowed down and was calmer since I had been focused my total attention on living intentionally.

I can say with confidence that time has not sped up in the days since then. Each day has been another step on what has become a deliberate journey.  I have considered recently, what I will do on Day 31. Will I get up early for yoga, or will I sleep in because I can. Will I stay up late or binge on Netflix, because I can? Somehow I don’t think so.   Thirty days is enough to start building good habits. I actually think I would prefer to get up early and do yoga, than lie around in bed until I have to get up. I like the way that yoga is slowly strengthening my body and my mind each day and I can see how far I still have to go to become proficient at this practice.

Will I get up on the first Sunday after the thirty days and make pancakes? Again, I don’t think so. Thirty days without any sugar except low GI fruit and vegetables has changed my tastes. Mostly, I want to eat cheese and savoury things. Coming from a total sugar addict this is a surprising fact. As well as this, my practice of intermittent fasting has made the idea of pancakes for breakfast nothing more than a crazy fantasy. I know that the only thing I’m going to get from pancakes for breakfast is a whole lot of sugar dump later. So no, I don’t think I’ll go back to that either.

Over the last month I have also discovered that I am strong. I have watched other people eat cake, pie, pizza, ice cream and all manner of my previous vices and I have not broken. Last weekend I sat next my younger daughter and helped her manage her pizza and ice cream without any intention of eating any myself. I was amazed at not only my restraint, but that it no longer bothered me to ‘miss out’. That feeling alone was worth the initial struggle of my thirty day journey. Tomorrow night I will rejoin my family in eating what they normally eat (which is usually a lot healthier than pizza and ice cream) knowing that I have the strength to manage my portions and my sugar intake with mindfulness.

The added bonus from my almost thirty day journey is the size of my waistline, which has decreased significantly. I guess the way I was eating and the intermittent frequency of my exercising was holding me back. Over the last month I have seen significant improvement on a daily basis and this, like my post from last week describes, is driving my motivational flywheel on and on. I have no desire to go back to the way things were before. The practice of deliberate and intentional actions, day after day, has become a habit, one that I am reluctant to break.

How is your intentional living journey going so far this year?  I’d love to hear about your progress, set backs or advice for myself and other readers.

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