The end of my 40 Day Transformation is coming to an end this Friday. I am now at day 38, and couldn’t be more proud of myself!
There are several things I’ve learned along the way that I wanted to share. The main reason why I started this program was to improve the overall balance in my life. This was my one word answer the first night when asked why I was there….’Balance’. Of course I also wanted to improve my fitness and lose weight. I already ate relatively healthy, already worked out regulary, but just wanted something to push me a bit harder. I was struggling to lose those extra pounds I put (back) on over the last year. Well, as you’ll read from this post, I got more than I bargained for in this program.
The program had assigned readings, meditation practices, journaling exercises, diet logs we turned in, yoga practices, goal setting, diet/nutrition practices, and we even practiced at resting. The readings were amazing and for me, they translated into a whole new way of looking at my lifestyle and in particular my diet. I use the word diet loosely, as I’d like to suggest that this is just a part of my daily life.
For example, the idea to be present in each moment translates to be present by enjoying the taste, texture, smell of your food. In week 1 it was suggested to put your fork down in between each bite. At the time, I didn’t make this connection to being present, rather it’s just a good exercise to eat less by allowing your stomach time to signal to your brain that you’re full. But by week 6 I made the other connection of this exercise…being present with your food. Not only will you enjoy your food more, but by default you lose weight (if you have weight to lose).
Other suggestions along the way included not using the microwave for example and the 3 day fruit feast (where I ate nothing but fruit for 3 days), illuminated that you can eat A LOT food, and I meant A LOT, when it’s fresh food and once again, by default, I lost weight, without even trying. But it also demonstrated that our bodies don’t need as much as we think they do. And when you eat healthier foods, your body craves those healthy foods. It was also good to recognize that when you set your mind to doing something, that might seem hard to do, you can do it. I was able to do 3 days of eating nothing but fruit and I went 40 days with no alcohol. (and many of you know how much I enjoy a nice glass of wine!)
The themes addressed during our 40 days were Presence, Vitality, Equanimity, Restoration, Centering, and Celebration. Centering, in week 5, was especially eye opening as I am a huge multi-tasker and list maker. The idea to do one thing at a time with your full attention, before moving on to the next, is easier said than done and is something I really have to work at. Over the last few years, I’ve already been trying to practice the idea that it’s just as important to rest and restore yourself, which means that maybe a few things on the list don’t get done today and they will still be on your list tomorrow.
Another goal I had set at the beginning of week 1 was to get more sleep each night. Now that I really make an attempt to go to bed at the same time as Cory, even if I sit up and read, I hear him asking, “Are you coming to bed?”
We were challenged with an evening of ‘Noble Silence’ where we were just silent upon leaving class. No phones, no TV, no radio, even no speaking. Amazing how easy it is to get wrapped up in all this junk and how ‘busy’ we are and how uncomfortable it can be to just ‘be’. The no speaking wasn’t too hard for me since Cory was asleep by the time I got home. 🙂 For 6 weeks now, we have been exposed to things that should be obvious. And they are topics that I was already aware of to some degree that I need to continue to work on to achieve better balance in my life.
Just because my 40 Days is at an end, I will continue to write my weekly Healthy Lifestyle column as I continue practicing what I’ve learned during this 40 Day Transformation.
I’m so happy that I found a great yoga Studio at Zuda. And I love all the instructors I’ve met so far. I’m taking the Beginners Series now (in the middle of week 3 out of 4 weeks) just so that i can better learn the poses. I’m looking forward to more…and more…and more.