The Radical Self-Love Challenge

December 28, 2020
The Radical Self-Love Challenge

I have a strange relationship with coffee.

It's a push and pull, tug-of-war kind of relationship. I love to make it, love to drink it, and I definitely love to share it. I love the whole ritual! Pre-COVID, I loved to go to my favorite coffee shops and sip on a craft coffee while diving into my work - nothing but me, my coffee and my laptop.

But here’s the thing: My body does not love it the way I love it. It messes with my heart, totally dehydrates me, and has some crazy effects on my body that even make me lose my breath easily. Sometimes it's fine, sometimes it's really, really not fine. And when it's really not fine, it impacts my quality of life.

I have a somewhat similar relationship with alcohol, too.

And with my phone.

I wanted to experiment a bit and see what life would be like if I eliminated these things for a hot minute and instead replaced them with habits that I knew would help me be a better person - like reading a book (instead of listening), writing every day, and drinking a gallon of water every day, too. So when I came across this thing called the 75 HARD, I got kind of excited!

It goes like this:

** Follow a diet. This can be a diet of your choice, but it must be a structured plan designed with physical improvement in mind.

** You must complete two 45-minute workouts per day. One of those workouts MUST be outdoors.

** Absolutely NO alcohol or cheat meals.

** Take a progress picture every day.

** Drink 1 gallon of water every day.

** Read 10 pages of a book. Audiobooks DO NOT count.

ZERO COMPROMISE, ZERO SUBSTITUTIONS.

You have until you go to sleep to complete the day. If you fail, you MUST start over on Day 1.


Now, the self in me that buys into these hardcore challenges totally fell for this at first. My immediate reaction was like “YES! I love this! Let’s GOOOO!!”

And then the self in me that has been practicing intuitive eating, releasing self-hate, working on forgiveness, awareness and body acceptance...the self in me that is eliminating the things in my life that are restrictive, promote self-loathing, and set me up for failure and self-abuse...THAT self within me pretty quickly put the other me in check.

First of all, I don’t like the idea of anything being hard in my life when it comes to learning how to love myself. I spent the first 35+ years of life hating myself and that was hard, exhausting work. So I was not about to buy into something that promoted that.

Second of all, I have just recently learned to accept the fact that rest days are essential. Rest days are crucial to muscle growth because rest days give them a chance to recover and regenerate. Rest days are important for our nervous systems as well as our mental health. Plus, I’ve been really into this idea of rest as resistance which has had me thinking about the go-go-go cultural mentality that is driven by a white supremist patriarchal ideology and I am just not into that shit! (Think I sound crazy? Check out Christy Harrison’s podcast Food Psych or read her new book Anti-Diet and prepare to be blown away by the research!) So, working out twice a day for 75 days straight with no rest days just didn’t align with where I am at right now in my self-love journey.

After the initial “YES! I’m in!” reaction subsided and my intuitive self started chiming in, I realized that the 75 Hard was exactly the opposite of what I wanted in my life. 

But here’s the thing...I liked the idea of eliminating coffee and alcohol, I liked the idea of tracking how much water I was actually drinking, and I liked the idea of reading a physical book. Truth is, I hadn’t read a book since I stopped breastfeeding...um...9-ish years ago. (Ugh, that’s depressing to admit!) My book “reading” came in the form of audible and podcasts - which I loved - but we all know it just ain’t the same! I also liked the idea of a challenge because honestly, I just really like seeing what I am capable of, I like the accountability, and I like doing things that help me reach new levels of growth and expansion.

So I transformed the 75 Hard into something that fit me, where I was at, and where I wanted to go. I told a few friends and we all did it together. And now it’s something I regularly encourage my clients to design for themselves, too! I am so excited to see how others create a self-love challenge of their own.

Here’s how it works:

Use these guiding questions to begin:

Think about what you want to create space for in your life. How do you want to feel? What can you release or eliminate from your daily/regular routines to create space for what you really want to bring in and how you want to feel on a daily basis?

Then choose:

2-3 things/habits you’d like to incorporate into your life

2-3 things/habits you’d like to eliminate from your life

**These things/habits must promote self-love, growth and transformation. They must fully align with your ideal way of being and feeling on a daily basis.

Commit to the above for 30 days. You have until the end of the day to come to completion with your commitments, and if you miss one of your commitments, you start over on day 1.


Here’s what I created for myself:

** no coffee/alcohol

** drink one Isagenix shake per day to get my nutrition in

** exercise 6 days, take one rest day 

** drink 1 gallon of water per day

** off my phone completely by 9pm each night

** read and write every day


Here’s what some of my clients and friends have created for themselves:

Mirabai:

** Spend at least 20 min QT uninterrupted time with each child and husband per day

** daily walks and stretching

** Journal daily

** mindful eating daily / reduce alcohol to 2x per week

** bake / cook with girls at least once per week

** sit in the white chair and enjoy a cup of coffee daily


Cassandra:

** Write and work on my book 

** Write a meaningful letter or list of gratitude

** Follow Isagenix 30 day wellness program

** Eliminate white sugar

** 45 min of exercise

** 30 min of art

** 10 min meditation


Henry:

** study for 20 min 

** play an instrument for 20 min

** drink 1 gallon of water 

** no coffee/alcohol 

** exercise daily

** read a book every day


I will tell you that my personal 30-day Radical Self-Love Challenge rocked my world!

I read an entire book and never felt better in my body without all that coffee and alcohol floating around. My nervous system calmed waaaaay down and I slept so dang good. Oh, and my heart never felt better. Creating a challenge for myself that felt loving and kind - and even a little hard - (ok, eliminating coffee and alcohol completely was freakin HARD AF!) really felt like a radical act because we live in a culture that promotes the opposite. Who knew rebellion could feel so good and be so good for you?! I love it!!

How does all that sound to you? Is there an area of your life you would like to step up a notch or some things you’d like to eliminate to create room for something better? Want some help creating that magic for yourself? You know I am here for you! Just use this link and let’s create some magic in your life!

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