When you are starting a business, or when you are working on a project in an already established business, it is very easy to get so absorbed by it that the rest of the world passes you by.
I have been lucky enough to inherit my Mumma's lean genes (thanks mum!) meaning for the past 10 years I have been able to eat almost anything I want with little (read: hardly any) exercise.
A few months back, something clicked in me & I wanted to change that. Having never been a fan of organized exercise, (I much prefer secondary exercises like swimming/hiking etc), I decided to throw myself into some classes (SOUL CYCLE riding with maths Zvinas, and EXHALE Barre with Kristin Calabria). When I am in NYC, I am very design and creative focused. Committing to these classes instantly gave much more structure to my days, which in turn gave me a clearer mind. They allowed me to step away from projects & tasks (both big & small), and step back into them with fresh, new perspective.
The more exercise I did, the clearer my mind became, and the better I physically felt (shocking, I know. Who knew?!). SO, I self-set the goal of a minimum of 1 hour cardio a day. Besides the physical changes I started to see, the thing I became beautifully addicted to was the clarity it gave me mentally (both in work & in my personal life). Exercise often allowed me to step outside of situations and get a much clearer perspective on things. It allowed my mind to be clearer for work, and it was actually whilst running one day, that the idea came to me for this foundation.
If you're embarking on or are about to embark on an exercise / mind / body challenge, here's what I've learnt in the past four weeks:
- If you're anything like me, you need someone to tell you what to do, and not let you quit half way. I'm doing classes, (SOUL CYCLE + BARRE) with instructors I have found that I like and who inspire me. I show up. They tell me what to do and I do it. Some days I want to quit, but they don't let me. If you are going to embark on classes, I would highly suggest investing the time in finding instructors that you LOVE! This makes all the difference and can sometimes take a little while, so don't give up!
- Scales are things that fish have. These have no purpose in your journey. The number on my scale hasn't gone down, but the size of my jeans have. If you're doing it for weight loss, pay attention to how your clothes feel and NOT what the scale says.
- The first two to three weeks are the f**king worst. Push through it, and one day you will just WANT to do it. (When people used to tell me that I thought they were evil liars and wanted to stab them, but it's true.)
- Committing to a self set program means you are accountable to you, which also means that if you miss a day (or one session of whatever program you've set), only you will know. Don't let yourself down. Missing one day often leads to missing consecutive days and so on and so on... Come hell or high water, (or often in my case, hangover) just get it done.
- Take photos of your journey, regardless of whether you publish them or not. (Some people do this because making a public commitment keeps them on track.) If you keep a private e-journal, you might even write entries for each photo which document how you felt before (unmotivated), during (when is this torture over?!), and after (I am Superwoman!). Exercise can often feel like a therapy session!!
- I find wearing leopard, makes me feel more fierce. To all the already fit kids out there, I salute you. This is hard! But I'm on board, feeling good, and loving it. To anyone thinking about making a health change; start today. Get sweaty. Push yourself. See what you are capable of. You may just surprise yourself, because I sure as hell am.
I am well & truly invested in my fitness journey now. In addition to my crazy cardio sessions, I also try to walk for at least 30 minutes, 5 mornings a week. (I have always done this, but it's not primarily for exercise - more so, its a way to start my day moving, and to get my mind working.) I find I have some of my best thoughts when walking; headphones in with music that inspires my mood (some of my fave play lists to be published soon!). The SAMANTHA WILLS FOUNDATION actually came into conciousness on a walk, and has developed to where you are visiting right now over many a morning walk. I will post about different things I do for mind + body in this section of the site. Everything from sweaty workouts to inspiring thoughts I may have had that morning walking! I'll also feature some amazing women who will be sharing their own MIND + BODY journeys & stories.
Find what works for you, and make the investment in yourself. - SWx