30 days to form a habit, or so I’ve been told. I’m not quite sure if this information is correct or not, but it’s something I’ve always believed. Though, just because I believe it, doesn’t mean I’ve ever had the willpower to try and do something for 30 days to prove it. Every time I thought of trying to form a new habit, I hesitated because I really did not want to; I didn’t think I could. To be fair the only thing I had really tried was getting up earlier but that always backfired because sleep is a fickle thing for me and I treasure that time on my pillow in dreamland far too much to try and be an early bird. But more on sleep later.
Despite my reservations about forming habits and my lack of confidence in myself to do so, I ended up forming at least three or four these past 30 days without even thinking about it. These habits have been the backbone in helping me to become healthier: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
The first habit-forming journey I went on was becoming a vegetarian. I had always thought about this lifestyle choice and when I was younger, I tried it a few times with no success. In the beginning of June, I felt that it was time to seriously think about being a vegetarian. I was older, cooking for myself, learning about vegetarian cooking from a great cook (shout out to Matt’s mum), having dinner with a vegetarian and vegan every Sunday, and more and more alternative options were becoming available. I felt that I was in the right place to consider making the change for health and ethical reasons.
My first step was to cut out meat gradually, I so did not want to do it cold turkey as I’m not quite sure that would’ve worked for me. I was dipping my toes into the vegetarian pond and testing the waters. I did this for one month, slowly cutting out red meat, poultry, then fish. Finally, on July 1st, I was a vegetarian and have been ever since.
Despite feeling better ethically and emotionally about this lifestyle, I also just feel a lot healthier. I’ve always had stomach and digestive problems. Being a vegetarian has really helped a lot mainly due to the fact that I am so much more conscious of my diet. I have to be diligent on getting the right nutrients, especially protein. I’m hyper aware that my entire diet cannot just consist of carbs and vegetables. I am also hyper aware that each food houses different nutrients that my body needs such as iron so I have to vary my diet. It’s been refreshing to fuel my body instead of just eating for the sake of doing so.
Another habit that I have formed is practicing yoga 3-4 times a week with a mix of hot and gentle classes. This has greatly increased my physical health as well as my mental health. The differences I’m noticing in my body are amazing, ranging from flexibility to strength. I’m in awe by how fast the body learns, adapts, and performs. I have a long way to go, but I’m getting there. I’m trying to pair my gentler yoga classes with a supplementary gym visit on the same day.
I’ve never taken care of my body so well before and I am loving it!! This healthy living is really a game changer when it comes to fitness, mental health, eating, and just overall living a healthy lifestyle. And I know, I know our social medias are always buzzing with people who live, breath, and bleed healthy living or healthy lifestyles. All I could say was “What does that mean???? I don’t like going to the gym for two hours at a time, I don’t like not treating myself to a donut once in awhile, I don’t want to gain tons of muscle, etc…”
The thing is, I never connected with other people’s versions of healthy living because guess what? It just wasn’t for me! This, what I’m currently doing, what I’m hoping to continue, this is my version of healthy living. It’s different for everyone, and it’s a journey. Sometimes things change and what was working, isn’t working anymore. For example, throughout this journey I’m hoping to lose some weight. I am currently exercising, eating healthy, and yes counting calories and paying attention to my macros. However, I’m so absolutely sure that at one point, these things will no longer work for me and I’ll have to find another version of healthy living that helps me achieve my goals. That’s just life, you live and learn, you adapt and grow, but all the while you just try and be the best version of you that you can.