Monthly recap : April 2021

Day 30/30

Aah, it’s the end of April and with it ends my least productive month. I haven’t even reached close to completing any of my goals for this month and that’s OKAY. This month has been tumultuous with the second wave of covid hitting India, constant rise in covid cases, my closed ones getting infected and hospitalized thus causing us trying to battle anxiety and fear every single day. It has been a hell of a month. And I’m glad it’s over.

Although it shouldn’t be the case but I feel motivated by the start of a new month. It feels fresh with new possibilities and hope. A fresh new start to my goals, it’s like hitting the reset button and starting afresh. And I need this refresh more than ever this month.

I’ve planned a lot of things for May in my head. Will write it down in my journal tonight. But I’ll refrain from making huge commitments here. I really want to stick by all my plans this month. The most important aspect surrounding all of my goals for May is developing mental strength and inner happiness. What I’ll be doing differently to make sure I stick to my plans is to track my time (every tiny detail for at least a month) so that I’m aware of how well (read horribly) I use it. I’m pretty excited for May.

Mental health

  • Meditated for 16/30 days. No excuses, no genuine reasons. I was lazy on some days, anxious on others but in general not disciplined enough to follow my routine
  • Journaled/documented my day for days. Nil, absolutely none!
  • Practiced gratitude journaling for 0 days. No where to hide!

Personal Growth

This section is for a new skill or talent that I’ve acquired in this month, tried a new activity or thing that has pushed me out of my comfort zone.

  • I gave a job interview that was pretty tough. I’m glad I ventured out of my comfort zone and faced my fear. It was a good experience!

Workouts

  • 1 long run in this month. 13 kms on my birthday
  • HIIT workouts twice a week during the weekdays (ranging from 20 to 30 mins). Longest workout streak of 5 days last week.

Education

  • Zero progress with CFA level 1 curriculum.
  • Zero online courses completed in March

Entertainment

  • Completed reading 0 books 
  • Watched 2 amazing movies this month that I couldn’t stop raving about. Bollywood movies Paglait and Ludo are an absolute must watch.

May, let’s get it!!!!

How leading a fit lifestyle changed my life

 ‘The clock is ticking. Are you becoming the person you want to be?’

– Greg Plitt

Day 16/30

Like every other person in their 20s, I was oblivious about fitness and it’s immense benefits. I used to think being fit is for celebrities and models. I genuinely believed that I would NEVER be able to achieve the level of fitness demonstrated by them. By the age of 28, I had tried and failed at all attempts made to lose weight. I obviously didn’t start with workouts first as that seemed like the difficult option. I started with skipping meals, eating lesser portions, trying healthier options, dieting etc. Nothing worked as I wasn’t consistent.

In the year 2017, I was fed up of not being able to plan a trip to South Korea even after trying multiple times. I wanted to visit South Korea (I still do) since 2012 ever since I was introduced to K-Pop and K-Drama. I didn’t have the finances back in 2012 and tried to save small amounts every year to fulfil this wish. But it wasn’t just me, my sister was in college back then and it was practically impossible to save the travel cost for 2 people with all the other responsibilities I had. I gave up and left it to the Universe to decide. As childish as it may sound, I decided to quit the thing I loved the most in life, SUGAR, till I visited South Korea. While it seemed like an absolutely impossible task back then, I did not touch sugar for 1.5 years and finally quit it in the mid of 2018 when I found a new job. Though I couldn’t manage to travel to Korea yet, I realized that my mind was stronger than I thought as I was able to keep my promise of not eating sugar for 1.5 years!

In the year 2018 itself, I was fed up of being overweight and unfit and decided to embark on my fitness journey. I started by eating healthier (quit sugar, junk and processed food) and added running during the weekends to my routine a week later. The week that followed this weekend, I added HIIT workouts too. And I can safely say that this has been the BEST DECISION of my life. I’ve listed down few changes in me ever since I chose this fit lifestyle.

  • I feel mentally stronger : The last rep of any workout or the last km in a run always seemed the hardest to me. Day after day, rep after rep, km after km, as I pushed through it, I trained my mind to let go of the resistance and learned that I was stronger than I thought.
  • I’m open to new challenges : My run training has helped me develop a positive attitude towards life. When I run and almost feel like giving up before completing my target, I trick my mind diving right into the last run and not letting my feet stop. Our body is always stronger than we think. In a similar manner, we are always stronger than the challenges we face in life. Just dive right into it and face it.
  • I feel focused : During the first three months of my fitness journey, I was the most productive I’ve been in my entire life. I managed to read over 20 books and watch countless movies/web series during those 3 months. That has been the most effective utilization of my time ever. I know I could have done better than watching movies but I’ve always had problems with being attentive while performing a single task. My mind tends to wander in 100 different directions when I’m doing any task. Being able to focus my attention on completing my to-do list for each day felt like a big achievement.
  • I felt confident : I have always been insecure, had low self esteem and low confidence all my life due to my weight. Once I started shedding of my excess weight, the excess baggage of negative thoughts also disappeared along with it. I felt productive every single day as I started my day with my workouts. I felt accomplished and positive. My life changed for the better.

If you still need a reason to start working out, you can check out the transformation stories of countless people on the internet who have completely changed their lives. Fitness is forever. Let’s strive to lead a healthy lifestyle and become the best version of ourselves.

Glow up

“Transform your world by transforming your internal state. Start by learning to let go of negative self judgment, and replace it with positive and loving thoughts about yourself. Be kind to yourself, and watch your external world change.”

Anita Moorjani

Day 3/30

I was doing perfectly alright in my daily routine till I went on a vacation. I enjoyed so much on the vacation that I didn’t feel like coming back to the routine I had difficulty coping with. Ever since I’m back, I feel like a zombie. I am struggling to get back to my routine. I am reaching out to a lot of comfort (JUNK!) food to feel better. I feel better for a short while but it ends up making me feeling lethargic and bloated. Junk food does nothing for me and I really need to avoid it as much as I can.

I had a long weekend this week with plans of making full use of it. However, my mind and mood swings had other plans. I didn’t feel like doing anything except lying around and scrolling through Instagram and YouTube. Since I am a morning person, I feel positive and energized when the day begins. But I quickly lose all hope by the time evening sets in and my negative thought process takes over in the night. That’s exactly why I need to do something productive throughout the day to ward off those negative thoughts in the night.

I’ve been dealing with this thought process for a while. Working in a corporate office makes me feel trapped and restricted. I feel alive whenever I am not in office. That’s why even the thought of going back to office the next day squeezes out the last bit of energy from me. BUT, I’m tired of feeling like this. I know that I have complete control of my life and it’s my CHOICE to be in this position in life. No one is forcing me to do this. I work to be financially independent. I am not aware of an alternative option that would help me make the same kind of money that I make now (or more) and be passionate about it (never feel trapped in my life!). Till the time I discover this, I got to take charge of my life. I cannot be wasting precious years of my life, feeling BLAH all the time.

How do I do it? I have absolutely no idea so I have to discover my way of doing it. Starting tomorrow, I’ll make a list of 10 things that I want to change in my life and PUSH myself, every single time I slack, to work on it. That’s all I can do for now. Once I have a my goals in sight, I need to motivate myself to work on it. There will be times when I’ll feel like giving everything up and not do anything. That’s exactly what I have been doing ever since I have come back from my vacation. But that has been horrible for my mental health. My confidence and self esteem has taken a hit and I don’t want to feel like this anymore. I always feel much better when I take action, be productive and work on my goals. And that’s exactly what I’ll do, going ahead.

The glow up process begins, right now! I will share my experience (what worked, what didn’t) till I spend sufficient time doing at least (at least a month or two). Till then, huge shoutout to all the people who refuse to give up, no matter what life throws at them. You are the real superheroes in life!

Small wins

Do you have a bad habit which you’ve been trying to quit since a long time without any success? For me, it has been my addiction to sugar. I’ve been heavily dependent on sugar for my constant source of happiness ever since I was a kid. I didn’t understand the repercussions of having such a dangerous addiction back then. More than the health hazards, I wanted to quit sugar to gain more control over my decisions. I have a tendency to indulge in sugar and sugary foods whenever I am sad or low in life. The cravings I get during such phases are massive and I have absolutely no control over the amount of sugary food I dump inside my body. I ate (rather gobbled up) sweet food for the sake of it, sometimes to feel better, many a times to punish myself for not working hard enough.

I spent many months and years into controlling my sugar cravings. Initially I restricted myself which backfired as I ended consuming double the quantity later on. As restricting completely didn’t work I decided to allow myself a cheat day. This also was counter productive as I consumed large portions even during my cheat days. Then I started learning about the ill effects of sugar consumption. The facts connected to this topic blew my mind yet it wasn’t enough to gain control back from sugar which wholly controlled my cravings. What I didn’t know was that all my efforts were getting counted even if the visible progress seemed slow. I would call “meditation” a breakthrough in my struggle to quit my sugar addiction. I gained more clarity and have been feeling a slight decrease in my sugar cravings.

26 days of continued mediation streak later, I finally had my eureka moment today. I ordered a bunch of sugary foods as I was feeling a bit dejected due to my office work. I picked up one pastry with the intention of eating another one after it. Halfway through eating the cake I realized I found it too sweet for my liking and couldn’t finish. This has never happened before. I could never control my mind when it comes to sugary food but I did it today and it felt extremely empowering. I will test few more times to be completely sure of it. As of now I am celebrating as this incident made me extremely happy!

If you believe something, you can make it happen. That’s all you need.  

Franklin A. Ohiozebau