Take Melyssa ford for example. She shared the pic above on her instagram page with a caption that reads: "AM gym flow after 3 hours of sleep." I don't know about you, but after 3 hours of sleep, the VERY last thing on my mind would be doing some leg exercises. #realtalk. So how does one become so committed to their health and fitness that it becomes a way of life? Last month, I listened to an audio book called The Power of Habit. In it, the author gave some really compelling examples of how habits are formed and then evolve to become so deeply ingrained in us that we sometimes have no control. These women who push their bodies to the point where it has no choice but to conform, aren't doing it because it's fun. As a matter of fact, Nicole Murphy, who has a darn near perfect frame, posted the words "it don't come easy" along side of a pick of her and some friends at the gym. They don't do it for the fun, they do it because it's a deeply rooted habit.
In the Power of Habit book, I recall the author discussing the reward that one receives following a new action as a factor of how quickly that action becomes a habit. The greater the reward, the more likely we are to repeat the action. Unfortunately, for us, the reward for physical activity is rarely instant. Sure, there's that whole thing about chemicals being released during a work out that mimic eating chocolate or falling in love. Sadly, those chemical sensations are competing with the loud voice that tells me to stop or the sore muscles that beg me to remain sedentary. I know for a fact that these women do what they do because they receive numerous rewards. For one, they get to walk around knowing that they have the kind of body that 95% of the population would want. They pretty much will look great in anything. And I'm sure the chemical reactions that create that "work out high" are so strong that someone like Melyssa is willing to forget the fact that she only slept for 3 hours the night before.
Now I'm at the point,once again, where I'm ready to recommit to a lifestyle of fitness rather than my current routine of running to the gym whenever things start to get too jiggly. My desire is to become my own source of inspiration. In everything we do there are the visible results and the non-visible. The visible results of me working out consistently should be obvious. But there will also be the impact to my confidence and my overall outlook on life. The book labeled exercise as a "keystone habit." Meaning that this habit has the ability to positively impact other areas of our lives. For example, someone who starts working out consistently also begins to make healthier eating choices. That person also suddenly becomes more confident or better organized. These secondary habits develop without the conscious effort required in the first habit. Keystone habits are very much like the unexpected "get one free" item received at a shoe sale.
(protective stylin' it while I get my workout on)
So here I am, ready to make this thing real. I've been fit before and that feeling is amazing. There's nothing like that feeling of when I'm walking down the street knowing that my tummy is flat and I'm the proud owner of ab cuts. It's completely different than trying to strategically hide my belly under baggy shirts. In the past, I didn't associate a reward with my habit to keep it alive. This time, I'll try incorporating a reward into the process and see what I can create. Perhaps my reward could be a smoothie from the juice bar right next to my gym. I'll think of something. Either way, I'm excited about this new found desire to create a new me. Those of you who are consistently working out, how do you do it?