Recently, the gym in which I work from, and work-out in, held a FebFast challenge for its members. There was a big, beautiful poster on the team wall, on which you could write what you were fasting from. Each week, we were encouraged to tick a box to confirm if we had successfully abstained from our guilty pleasures.
Lent for fitness folk.
FebFast is the health and fitness worlds equivalent to Lent. In my crib-note version, traditionally for Lent you spend forty days and nights walking around the desert, giving up something (usually meat on Fridays), in preparation for something great to happen (Easter eggs). FebFast kind of felt the same. A lot of members gave up things they truly enjoy, such as alcohol, cheese, and chocolate; making for many quiet weekends in. Interestingly enough, no one gave up coffee. We all continued to shuffle in and out of the gym; and talk with vigor about how great things were going.
However, come March 1st, many of us, myself included, were straight back on the imbibing bandwagon.
And you know what? I secretly encouraged it.
Now, why on earth would I tell people, “hey, remember how you gave up alcohol for a whole month? I think tonight you should have some.”? Adaption and evolution.
You see, a month is all it takes to form new habits. Change our taste buds. In a month your body changes how it feels and responds to certain foods. I tested it out on myself. For FebFast I gave up crisps chips. Granted, I only had a small packet once a week, but still. Come March 1st I had a packet of chippies, and you know what? The next day I had a food hangover, and I haven’t had potato crisps since.
So what’s the take-away here?
FebFast stands to teach us two lessons. The first is to get us to look at our habits. For some of the time, we may be mindlessly consuming. Eating snacks that we’re not really hungry for. Drinking a glass of wine just because someone poured us another. Mindlessly scrolling through social media because its too dark/cold/rainy/hot/sunny to go for a walk outside. FebFast challenged us to look at our habits and see which ones really are affecting us, our health, our lifestyles.
Secondly, FebFast taught us to question if we like how we feel. Did we feel ‘fine’ when we consumed our guilty pleasures? Did we feel ‘fine’ when we went without? Surprisingly, most folk I spoke to said that giving up their poison of choice was dead easy. BUT the biggest question, did we feel ‘fine’ when we reintroduced that sacrificed thing back into our lives?
From the Forgotten days…
I want to know how your forgotten days of FebFast have shaped you. Did you jump straight back into the booze? Have you gone back to your sneaky stash of cookies in the cupboard? Or, did you dip your toe a bit into your old habit, and realise you felt rubbish? The aim for FebFast isn’t to punish or make us feel guilty; instead, it’s about questioning how we want to feel each day, in our bodies.
Do you think you can feel better?
If you think FebFast was the kickoff to your health journey, and you’re ready to take the next step, I’d love to hear from you. To book an appointment to see me one-on-one click here. Alternately, if you would like to be the first to know about new blogs or in clinic happenings, sign up to my newsletter.
- Jenna Verhoeven
- alcohol, cake, chocolate, red wine, wine