It’s over. It’s finally over.
I like to pretend this past month was not the result of me challenging myself, but instead the result of some tyrannical overlord who sadistically removed all of the pleasantries from this world that bring me comfort. I wouldn’t put myself through such a prolonged struggle to prove a point to myself, would I? Yes, yes I would, and all I can say is…
This might have been the best health related decision I have ever made! Tomorrow is March 1st, the day my commitment disappears and my freedom returns and I can honestly say that I feel like a new person.
My three o’clock temptation to eat sweets after I get home from work has all but left my conscious and I have invariably increased control over my future food decisions. The stark difference between my mental weakness on day one and my mental strength today is nearly immeasurable. Suffice it to say I have learned a valuable lesson the past 29 days.
With this inaugural challenge complete, here are the takeaways from the month that was:
- Without action, there is no progress
- Being aware of the poor choices we make that harm our minds and bodies is of little worth if we fail to act. Acknowledging we are the ones to blame and no one else is controlling our decisions can only take us to a state of contemplation. Our intentions are meaningless if we fail to act on them.
- Our mental strength can push us through anything
- When we choose to stay focused on the task at hand, our mental fortitude can carry us beyond the irrational predispositions of our groomed subconscious.
- Our empathy grows through mindful extrapolation of our experience
- Removing a small freedom from our lives can give significant meaning beyond the scope of the objective at hand. Extrapolating beyond our specific experience, we can begin to relate to restrictions others face due to externalities far beyond their control. Our succeeding in such endeavors can shine light on the ability of our minds to overcome uncomfortable circumstances and push ourselves through the difficulties before us.
- Moderation is not relative and is not a term that should be used lightly
- When we have something as extreme as an addictive chemical controlling our daily decisions, sometimes the best method to wean ourselves off this dependency is to go cold turkey and embrace the short term pain that will follow.
- In the case of eliminating added and processed sugars from our diets, we need to find a deeper understanding of the term moderation. We can’t simply make a poor decision, claim “everything in moderation,” and go about our day without thinking whether or not we have truly applied the concept appropriately.
- Moderation is a fixed level of behavior that must be reached before entering our decision making process. If we drink six sodas a day and reduce it to three, we are not practicing moderation. We have simply reduced our extremely poor health decision down to a really poor health decision.
- Moderation in its rawest form is a level of consumption that avoids causing negative effects on our well-being. This consumption can be in the form of food, thoughts, or physical action.
Remember our goals during each monthly challenge. We have a particular task at hand on a daily basis, but we need to take the time to understand the impact this decision can make in other aspects of our lives. We need to use our experience as an educational tool to better understand ourselves and the world around us.
As we move into a new month, we need to take the lessons learned and continue applying them to our daily lives. We must prevent ourselves from ignoring the foundation we are laying in order to build an unshakable base that will allow us to rise high above our wildest expectations.