In part one I shared with you my new fitness rules. For 66 days I would;

1. Get out of bed and exercise
2. However I wanted
3. for 30 minutes

I chose 66 days because researchers had found that this is how long it takes the average person to develop a habit that is nearly automated. See link to the study in part one. This daily exercise habit would become, I hoped, a part of my day in the same way that showering or browsing Reddit each night for four hours became regular and routine. Eventually, I would just do it because it’s what I do. Not because I should, not because it’s “good for me”, not because I have a particular weight loss or lifting goal in mind, but because it’s a part of who I am.

I hoped that, after 66 days of exercise, daily physical activity would be such a part of my identity that I stopped thinking about it, and just did it. Regularly.

I was betting on the power of habit. Previously, I bet on the power of programs.

Many fitness blogs and forums will tell you that it’s important to have fitness goals. For example, this one, this one and this one too.

So whenever I’ve decided to become fit again, I would set a new goal and work toward it.

After I left university 60 pounds (more or less. Probably more) overweight, I had one goal. Lose weight. It became more defined over time, but eventually after about a year of running semi-regularly and trying to eat better, I did lose the weight. I’m very proud of that. It was hard, very hard, but I did it. Good for me.

Then after a while I gained a lot of it back, and I had to redefine my goals. After putting around 30 pounds of celebratory beer and pizza fat, I decided my new goal would be to “lose x amount of weight” and keep it lost. Forever. You can probably guess what happened. I lost the weight, and not long after I did, I started putting it back on.

Why? Because I looked good. I seemed ‘fit’. I could run a 10k no sweat. I gave myself permission to just watch what I eat  and coast a bit.

Didn’t work, of course. I got to be that I repeat this pattern over and over. Maybe once a year. Get big, get small, start getting big again. Pretty much as soon as I start to think I need bigger pants, I start running again. This isn’t working. This is not the way to be and stay healthy.

My only goal now is consistency. I am looking for the habit of regular exercise.

So one Monday morning, after sharing my 66 days plan with my wife, I got up early and headed to the gym for its 6:00 opening. It was only me and two golden girls waiting for the door to open. I felt great. I felt energized. After all, it’s exciting to start a brand new chapter in your life right? I had my instant coffee, I had some new running gear, and had Kanye hitting it hard on my phone, speaking just to me . I was ready for the first day of the rest of my fitness life.

I hit the treadmill for 20 minutes followed up by some free weights. Mostly arms (the show muscles). I looked forward to cultivating some mass.

Then I came home 30 minutes later and took this picture;

NNP1 Crop


And hoped desperately that the next 65 days are equally as productive and inspiring as the first.

(they were not)


5 thoughts on “66 Days to Being Absolutely Ripped for Life, Part II

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