Yesterday, the TV died. My enabler, my partner in crime, the Entertainer, my distractor from my goals… the time kill. It died. It just went poof. It passed on. It was certainly its time, but it could not have come at a better time for me.
Couple that with falling asleep next to the boys at their bedtime of 8:30 pm, really, I’ve just bypassed the hardest time to resist the cold leftovers calling out to me from the fridge. So, Day 2 is done. Check!
But then my friend texts me this!
So tell me more about this new lifestyle plan of yours? Diet and exercise? I’m finding the diet part real difficult. Getting greedier as I age and harder to work off. Often feeling unmotivated though I know it’s good for me.
Oh dear! How do I help someone find their motivation about diet and exercise when those very words are what I have been feeling guilty about for over 10 years?! This Kung Fu Mum journey is all about finding a lifestyle all of my own that fits me, my schedule, my interests and my (un)motivation. A peaceful and healthy lifestyle. A lifestyle that isn’t slowly killing me… So here’s how I explained my New Lifestyle Plan:
Step 1: Choose You
Just make a decision that you don’t want to be where you are now. Just choose that. Wallow in it. For as long as you need. Stop judging yourself for feeling [exhausted, without willpower, unmotivated, flabby, put your own this-is-as-low-as-I-go adjective].
Say, nope, I don’t want to be here. I don’t like this. This is not me. It’s not good for me and I don’t like it. I choose not to be here. But here I am. This is where I start. Just make the decision. Don’t rush into an answer or a plan or a panacea, just focus on this decision that you’ve made.
Step 2: Drop the Judgment
I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit of a rebel in a weird way. I don’t like being forced to do what I don’t want to do and so when I’m forcing myself to do things that I don’t want to do, I sabotage it like mad. Or I start noticing how everyone else keeps presenting me opportunities to not do what I’m supposed to do and then I just keep coming up with great excuses why I can’t do what I’m supposed to do.
No judgment. Just acknowledge that it is what it is. I’m here. This is where I am, this is where I start. I’ll be THERE in a year. That’s where I’ll be. But not right this moment.
Step 3: Remove the Barriers
Kung Fu just presented itself as something I knew I would love to do. I love that it’s part of my Chinese heritage. I LOVE that I would look badass if I did it right (c’mon… Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan)!
My Kung Fu class happens at the same time as my kids’ Kung Fu class. Which means that when I wake up Saturday mornings and I lay there in bed wondering what excuse to use so I can legitimately get out of going to class, really, I have none. Totally no excuses. I have to go. Then once I get there, my kids are watching. They watch me quit, they watch me try, they watch me hold my stances, they watch me sweat… They watch me. I have no choice but to do my best.
Step 4: Celebrate the Milestones
I know there’s a goal. Just come back and see me in a year. You won’t recognize me. But right now, I’m just loving the journey. Instead of holding up my goal to judge my inadequate self (because that’s how I’m going to look at it), right now I’m just embracing where I am, I’m respecting my reality, my challenges, my weaknesses… my limitations.
The first change, and it totally snuck up on me (even though I had yet to FULLY COMPLETE a class), was when I walked up two flights of stairs without hyperventilating. So I celebrated that milestone. Don’t get me wrong, lots of set backs too (still eating like there was no tomorrow), but I grabbed on to that little win. And it motivated me to do better.
Step 5: Slow and Steady Like a Mountain
Bad habits are funny. They are habits for a reason. They got there because it was the easy thing to do. Then they get difficult to budge because they get wedged into your lifestyle and other habits. I find that even if I manage to make a resolution like I mean it, those tough changes don’t last and they snap back with a vengeance, like Oh yeah? Thought you could get rid of my that easily? Here I am, back again, twice as bad! So after doing that for years and years, I’m learning from my Kung Fu instructor: “It took you years to get here, it’s not going to get fixed overnight. Slow and steady like a mountain.”
As I slowly build my strength, I will start doing my Ma Bu (horse stance) in a way that prevents anyone from budging me.
I cheated a little today… but I made it through Day 2!