I have had the most fantastic opportunity to work with a friend who is a trainer and owns a gym in Scotland. He has been incredibly generous to a group of us and offered to support our health and wellness goals through a fitness challenge. When he first reached out, I thought to myself, "I don't have the time. I am so busy and have so much going on, and there is no way I will be able to complete these 50-minute workouts." What I have found is that what you schedule and prioritize gets done. It has been an excellent opportunity to reframe my belief system about time and what is possible. Who knew that this was just the beginning for me to reframe my belief system.
One day my friend proposed that as part of our fitness challenge, we as a group complete a 24 hour fast. When I read his message, I just about fell over. I thought to myself, "Can we only drink water? My blood sugar plummets, I have far too intense of a job and hectic life. I absolutely can't do this." This friend is pretty fantastic and lovingly called me and others out on our excuses. He proceeded to share his experiences with fasting and explained that if he can do it, anyone can do it. Living my new "yes" life, I accepted this fasting challenge. I learned about all of the health benefits of fasting and was given a few tips, never be without water, don't schedule a workout and listen to your body signals. Our team committed to this challenge.
I started the fast at night after dinner and ate far too much. I was anxious. My mindset viewed this fast as if it was having its last meal. I didn't sleep well that night and woke up incredibly tired. Of course, when I woke up, the first thing I wanted was my morning coffee, and that was not on the agenda. I downed a few glasses of water and made some tea to take with me as I got ready for the day. I glanced at the team chat and was inspired after I read a few of my teammates' posts about their experiences so far.
The day was busy, and that was a gift. I felt hungry and drank water to push off the pangs. There were times I felt exhausted, had headaches, felt invigorated, and dull in the brain. My mindset shifted to the approach I took when I ran my marathons: 2 - 10 miles and 6.2 miles. I chunked it out, so it didn't seem so big: 2-10 hours and 4 hours. Once I made it to 20 hours while I could see the finish line, this was probably the hardest part of the journey, just as the last 6.2 miles of a marathon. I saw little pieces of candy and small mints. There were thoughts of "just one won't hurt" that ran through my head. I would pause and remind myself about how far I had come and that I was on the home stretch. I checked in on our group chat several times during the day to read about the experiences my teammates were having as well as to share my own experiences. Remaining connected to my teammates served as an essential part of the process because I was not alone, and others were with me even though they were all across the world. As my workday came to a close, I went to a celebration, and there was cake. Usually, turning down cake is a challenge, but I found that I didn't want it, and saying "no" wasn't difficult at all.
I finally arrived home after a long day, paid the babysitter, snuggled my kids, and made a protein shake for my first meal. Honestly, I have never been so excited about this chocolate, peanut butter, banana and spinach smoothie before. It tasted so good, and I toasted myself before I drank it. I did it! I initially thought it was impossible because I laid out all of the reasons why I couldn't do it, and instead of remaining in that place, I took on the challenge and completed it. I took a final glance at the activity my teammates had logged — each of them in different time zones and at various places on their fasting journey. I shared a few encouraging words and thanked them all for their support throughout the day before heading to bed. I slept so well that night and woke up early feeling refreshed. It is incredible what can happen in life when you push yourself, team up with great people, and try things you never thought you could do.
Messages to my daughters: Don't allow your limiting beliefs to dictate your life. Embrace the challenges that are set before you and approach them head-on. Team up with people who you can walk with as you face these challenges together. Togetherness is an incredible force. There is so much to be gained from trying things you never thought you could do. You will see your strength, your power, your conviction, and walk away feeling proud of yourself.