Two months ago, I read that it takes 66 days to build a habit, so I started a challenge called “Hey, I Moved Today” (#HeyIMovedToday).
Instead of an exercise challenge, I wanted this to be a movement challenge. “Fifteen minutes of movement a day felt so much less intimidating than exercising every single day. (Which quickly becomes a way for me to guilt and shame myself, which is never fun!).
Also… about halfway through the challenge I discovered the GENIUS that is Fabletics and their PERFECT POCKETED PANTS (2 for $24!!!!!!!!! You can either cancel your membership after you order or skip every month that you don’t want to make a purchase). These were my absolute GO-TO’s, and I need them in more colors!
Before starting #HeyIMovedToday
When I first started this blog, I wrote a post about my personal exercise history but a lot has changed since then! I still meet with a trainer each week, and it’s become more and more clear that I learn best one-on-one in most areas of my life! I love my trainer, therapy sessions, coffee dates — you get the gist. When I’m in a class or with more than one other person, there’s usually a little too much stimulation happening for me to stay super present.
Before #HeyIMovedToday, on the other six days a week that I wasn’t with my trainer, I was creating these ridiculous, extensive workout routines that I didn’t even enjoy. And I NEVER stuck to them. I was never going to wake up one day and be able to complete the workout simply because I had decided I should.
#HeyIMovedToday: Month One
For most of the the first month of #HeyIMovedToday, I was really good at sticking to it because I was REALLY good at documenting!! Classic “Do It For The Gram” mentality. But really, it was just so fun to feel GOOD ABOUT MYSELF. Had a hard day at work? Go for an evening walk and you MOVED, GIRL!!! Feeling kind of sick? Lay on your yoga mat and stretch for fifteen minutes! Sure, there were more intense days when I hiked, ran, or worked out with my trainer, but I made sure to be consistent and did NOT keep track of how many “simple” or “short” some movements were. I hate even writing that now!
#HeyIMovedToday: Month Two
Something seriously CLICKED for me around this time. My trainer has always shared with me that if you have negative associations with exercise (I’m fat, I’m a failure, I’m incompetent, etc.), you need to rewire your brain. I felt that happening after 30 days of moving daily. Even though I’d been consistently working out for over a year, I only called it “exercise” if it was super intense. I also unconsciously shamed myself for taking 2-3 day breaks between difficult workouts. I pushed my body as much as I could and required so much time to recover that I wasn’t building up much endurance.
However, during month two, I asked my trainer if we could do more strength training exercises. I fell in LOVE with the weight room at my gym. We’d did strength training about once a month during our sessions, but it wasn’t until I was used to moving every single day that I realized how much I enjoy that type of exercise.
I had this lie in my head that I needed to run AND weight train AND do planks (or some other crazy combination that resulted in over 50 minutes of exercise) for it to really count. With #HeyIMovedToday, I could spent 20-30 minutes in the gym and feel successful.
#HeyIMovedToday: Where I Am Now
Never in my ENTIRE life did I think I would look forward to exercising daily. But I do!! I have found the things that I enjoy (weights, walks, yoga, hikes), and I’m pushing myself harder every day (in my own way). Now, do I think I got here because of #HeyIMovedToday?! I have no clue. I think it’s a mixture of the right method at the right time, but here’s what I believe ultimately led to my progress:
Finding ways to move that bring me JOY
Sure, it’d be cool to run marathons, but I typically tap out around a mile and a half! Maybe one day I’ll be a long distance runner, but for now, I find running most enjoyable to get me pumped right before a weight routine. Is that the best way to do it?! Don’t know, don’t care! It’s what brings me joy and makes me feel good. Which brings me to my next point….
Not. Exercising. To. Lose. Weight.
There is nothing less motivating than shaming. Period. And that applies to all aspects of life. Does that mean I can’t get excited when I see my arms more toned?! No! But I’ve changed my relationship with my body. When I invest in it, it takes care of me. I’m stronger, sleep better, feel better, and have more confidence. This has nothing to do with fat, weight, cellulite, or anything that focuses on my appearance. It’s all about creating a safe, comfortable, and welcoming space for my soul and heart to reside.
Blocking out the negativity.
Which probably explains why I HATE workout classes. There is nothing worse than being next to someone who is enjoying watching herself work out a little too much. Or looking over to your right to see a girl hating herself for an hour. OR being screamed at by an overenthusiastic teacher. Some people get motivated by exercising with other people, but I’ve realized that I’m just not a fan.
I love that my trainer knows exactly what I’m capable of and how hard to push me. I love going into the gym and increasing reps or weights on a routine that’s gotten a little too comfortable for me. I’m careful not to follow people on Instagram that talk about diets or weight loss or make negative comments about their skin or bodies. I shut down those conversations in real life too. It’s toxic and inexcusable, and we should not tolerate it in our lives!!
WE ARE ALL SO MUCH MORE THAN HOW WE LOOK.
Did you participate in #HeyIMovedToday? Do you think you’d try this 66 day challenge?! Let me know your thoughts in the comments and thank you so much for reading!!
Wow, I’m so obsessed with this idea! I really enjoy "moving" (long walks, yoga, trips to the gym) but have never, ever been good at consistently "exercising" and have always felt the need to stick to one type of exercise to feel legit ("I’m a runner" "I do yoga") but then get bored doing the same thing everyday. I love the idea of giving yourself permission to do whatever kind of movement feels right that day and taking the pressure off. Definitely going to try it 🙂
YAY! I am so glad you resonated with this. 🙂 It’s so important to build habits…but they don’t necessarily need to become an "identity" like you mentioned. When we force this stuff, we usually fail!