The Best Self Challenge
Hello friends, I’m back! A very happy new year to all of you! While I’m not one for new years resolutions, this year I very much am welcoming the sense of ‘fresh start’ that can come with a new year. I’ve been feeling in a bit of a funk over the last few months; I think that the state of the world has been getting me down, and a new project at work meant that I stopped making time for cooking healthy food and exercising regularly, beyond my daily bike commute.
But January for me, and for many others, has always been a time for new beginnings. My rebirthday, the day that I decided to change my life nearly 8 years ago, falls in January. As it approaches, I tend to reflect on that time, and to reaffirm the commitment that I made to myself all those years ago. I promised myself that I would never go back, and I never have.
I have, however, slipped now and then. I’ve had times when I’ve gotten sick or injured and and become less active. I’ve had relapses in my battle with binge eating disorder. These times have often coincided with moments when I am struggling in some other aspect in my life. Fundamentally, however, my baseline has changed. I am more aware of self-damaging behaviours now, and quicker to stop them. I consider myself ‘inactive’ if all I do in a week is my daily cycling commute. But, that’s still 40 minutes of cardio 5 days a week. 8 years ago, my baseline was to walk to and from work every day.
My dear friend and often-fitness buddy DeNeige has also been feeling the need to recommit to drive towards her goals, and we’ve been talking at length about how to motivate each other. In the past, we were both motivated by 30 day fitness challenges. This time, she suggested a 30 day ‘best self challenge’. Every day, we choose to do something that contributes to us living our best lives, and to achieving our goals. This means putting our happiness and wellbeing at the forefront of our minds.
The best self challenge is about personal growth, and about pushing to move out of a situation once you decide you want something different for yourself. Every year, in January, as I contemplate my rebirthday, I think about how far I’ve come. I lost 60 pounds in five months and a total of 75. I learned to ride in the city, and to get back on my bike after accident and injury. I learned to white water kayak two weeks after smashing my face on the concrete. I raced in a triathlon! I have faced so many fears, and grown so much.
I know that no matter what, to be happy, I cannot afford to be complacent. Complacency is the enemy of growth. Last winter, DeNeige and I called each other #teamhardcore as we pushed each other in our training goals. This winter, we are calling ourselves #teamriseup, as we strive towards our best selves.
This month, I’m committing to exercise more, to write more, to cook more. I’m promising to treat myself kindly, and to honour the commitments I have made. #teamriseup has room for members! Perhaps you too, might join us in the best self challenge. I’m only three days in, and I’ve exercised daily, written daily, cooked beautiful food, and ridden my bike in lightly falling snow. Life is at its most exhilarating when in pursuit of your best self!
Photo credits for the teaser image, the final image and the picture of #teamhardcore go to DeNeige. Thanks DeNeige!