Now that I am two months into the New Me program, or OSHA as I titled it (I love acronyms), I thought I'd do a little studying on how long it takes to form a habit. Aristotle said "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Most of the reading I found on Google says that it takes 21-28 days to form a habit, although apparently there is no solid evidence for this. This article states that it takes over TWO MONTHS of daily repetition to ingrain a habit, although missing a single day did not reduce the chance of forming a habit.
I'm more in this camp. I know after three or four weeks of my new lifestyle, I could have easily given it up for cupcakes and naps. (mmmm....cupcakes and naps.....) But I knew there would be concrete (stronger, smaller sizes, more reps) benefits, as well as the less easy to quantify benefits (feeling better and stronger) so I kept at it.
I've been religiously (some may say compulsively) journaling my eating, and while I've been journaling my exercise, I've been not quite as religious at the performance of it. Except for one aspect. Remember the Fab Abs February challenge?
Well, I have completed EVERY SINGLE DAY WITHOUT MISSING ONCE. What's up with that?! And I've lost inches (or fractions of inches) on all the measurements. I'm measuring bust (in sports bra), waist, hips, right thigh, and right bicep on the first and 15th of the month and monitoring my progress. Sometimes I'm discouraged if the scale doesn't move as quickly as I'd like, but as my clothes are fitting w-a-y better, I need some concrete evidence that what I do is working. I like numbers.
But just when I thought I'd be able to rest my abs a bit, the new monthly challenge appeared on Pinterest:
And yes, I'll be doing it. I'll have to see on the side planks (shoulder issues); if those don't work, I'll just continue on with straight planks. I've already printed it out and am prepared to check off each box. (I like checking things off lists, too. A little compulsive, maybe?!)
And since every now and then there is a hint of spring in the air, that means sleeveless clothes are right around the corner. And you know what that means:
So I guess what I'm saying is that I am trainable. I really think twice (or three, or four times) before I put something in my mouth, knowing that I will have to write it down. And if I do make some questionable choices, I know it's not the end and I can get back on the wagon RIGHT THEN. And as far as the exercise goes, there are the sayings that have become my mantras "No one ever regrets a workout", and "You are only one workout away from feeling better." And the one that I have printed out and put on the wall by the treadmill: "It doesn't get easier. You just get better."
I know once the weather turns warmer and I can get outside more consistently, I'll be a much happier girl. After all:
Oh yeah, it's mine. I'll be rocking the spandex before you know it!
And just to leave you with something to smile about: