This isn’t a real challenge that somebody came up with and was such a good idea that everyone was jumping on board to partcipate. No this is my personal little challenge. Just for me. Made up for me and by me. And for no reason other than that it sounded like a good idea at the time. It just felt right to do it.
Lately, I’ve been thinking of mindfulness, because I seem to have had a positive mindset in relation to my health and fitness and everything seems to be falling into place. The main reason for my focus on this at the moment is that today is the 61st day since I gave up eating chocolate. In that time, I have eaten no chocolate of any kind.
Way back in August, I made the decision that from the first day of September, I would give up chocolate for one month. Give up chocolate? Me? For 30 days? Surely not they all said! It could be said that chocolate plays a big a role in my life. Too big! I was feeling that it was becoming over important and I needed to cut the ties.
As it was also the first day of spring, I felt that it would be a good idea to do a bit of a ‘spring clean’ and concentrate on eating only healthy food. So here we are at the beginning of November and I’ve now been chocolate free for 61 days. Can you believe that?
I’m still struggling to come to terms with the fact that I’ve done it and I’m doing it. I knew that after making the decision, I would do it for 30 days. I would struggle, but I would do it. Halfway through September, I decided to continue the challenge until Christmas Eve. By then, it will be almost four months since I’ve had chocolate. I never dreamed at the start, that this chocolate free lifestyle would continue on until the end of the year.
It was a week before September that I decided that the no chocolate challenge was going to happen. I knew that it wouldn’t happen without work. I knew it would be difficult and I also knew that I would struggle big time. My favourite snack of all time is chocolate – any kind of chocolate. And we all love our snacks , right? I turn to chocolate for a snack for any reason at all. I could be hungry, happy, sad, excited, missing my children and my grandchildren, worried, busy, lazy. Any reason you can think of, was a good enough reason for me to each chocolate.
Regular readers would know that I’ve been participating in maxineschallenge the whole of 2019 and have loved it. I’ve followed the programs, both exercise and nutrition. But the only thing that prevents me from following the nutrition program completely is that there is no chocolate there. As well as following this healthy lifestyle program, I have also been eating chocolate, whenever I felt like it. I was feeling a bit of a fraud doing this, while telling everyone about my experience of Maxines.
So, I knew that I would have to work on my mindset. The strategy I came up with was Craig Harper. Decades ago when I was managing the gym, Craig Harper was considered the guru by anybody involved in the fitness industry. At the time, I was teaching aerobics classes with no qualification at all. There was no such qualification in those days, until Craig devised one. I was in the first country intake of that course, and I’ve followed him with interest ever since. I’ve been following his Whiteboard lessons on Instagram, and loving the no nonsense advice and inspiration he gives there.
But I’d only been skimming his posts and not really giving them any thought until I decided to get serious about giving up chocolate. Craig has a podcast called The You Project which I’d recommend to anyone interested in health, fitness, selfhelp or just generally good conversation with people who are doing, or have done, amazing things. In the week after I decided to give up chocolate, I went back and listened to many of those episodes again, and picked the bits and pieces to focus on, that related to what I was doing.
I also subscribed to his course Renovate Your Life This is a gem. There is so much positive and inspirational information given in Craig’s usual no nonsense way, and I just sucked it all up. I listened to every episode once, and then went back and listened again. This time, taking notes in my journal, and noting down anything that came into my head, both good and bad, as the episodes unfolded.
Why the Success?
I put it down to a few things all aligning together at the right time. I had been doing Maxine’s Challenge for nine months and getting decent results, but feeling frustrated at not getting fantastic results. Of course, I knew the reason for that and what was holding me back. I totally committed to doing work on my mindset, which I am sure was the catalyst for the no chocolate challenge not being a huge challenge for me. To get myself in the right mindset, I needed to be honest and authentic with myself and I didn’t much like what I saw. A person who was healthy and fit, who spouted about health and fitness. But a person who ate chocolate. I could no longer allow myself to get away with that.
After The Challenge?
As the days get crossed off the calendar towards ‘C’ Day, I find that I really don’t care about being able to eat chocolate again on Christmas Eve. When I first set this goal, all I could think about was how I would feel eating that first chocolate and how proud I would feel. I will definitely still feel proud. And I will definitely eat chocolate on Christmas Eve. But to be honest, at the moment, thinking about that day, I could take it or leave it. I’m not sure what’s happened inside my brain, but the chocolate button has been turned off.
My secret thought is that after enjoying some chocolate over Christmas, I might start the challenge again on 1st January 2020 and continue until Easter. Just a thought!
How is your mindset. Do you feel the need to reset occasionally?