I’m a bit of a tough cookie. I’m not easily motivated by goals or a need to accomplish a task. I didn’t head off to University after high school with a plan to ‘be something’. I went straight out to work so I could ‘make something’ and enjoy the freedom that a weekly wage brought. And, as luck would have it I went to work in the music industry. Hello? 18 years old. Free gigs, rock stars and an open bar…did someone say FREEDOM?
I’m also someone that likes order in my life. I’m the girl that cleans for her cleaners! But, as much as I like planning, processes and control I don’t thrive in environments that put restrictions on me. I’m not good with rules (I think that’s clear with the amount of sentences I start with the words “But”, “Because” or “And”… right?) but I can work to deadlines, manage events to a timeline and ensure that VIPs make their way to interviews on time.
I’m also a visual person. I’m a people person. And I’m good with words. I’ve built a career on these principles. Write like you mean it. Show people what you mean. Care about who you’re writing for. Simple. 28 took me by surprise in that I was able to activate all of these things. Who knew? I thought I was just signing up for meal plans and some workouts…but no…I found a tribe who I adore. A tribe who I want to connect with and help…and by doing that I’m helping myself because it means I stay better connected and committed to 28. The more I write and chat with my tribe, the less I’m able to simply quit. And I’m an excellent quitter.
So what does motivate me to achieve results?
About ten years ago when I was going through yet another ‘diet and exercise phase’ I had a genius idea to remind myself everyday how much weight I actually needed to shift. I bought 20 one-kilo bags of rice. That’s right. 20 kilos. Of rice. Unless you’re in the catering business (or the Duggar Family), that’s a lot of rice! My apartment at the time was up two flights of stairs and I had to make three trips to haul it all up to my kitchen (not to mention the conversation at the checkout when I bought the bloody things).
I put the 20 kilos in a big shopping bag (like an IKEA one) and dumped it right in the middle of my kitchen. And it stayed there. Where I could see it. I had to move around it. If I had to shift it for cleaning (or the occasional gentleman caller) then it was a major effort. 20 kilos is fucking heavy. And yet, that rice represented the exact amount of excess weight I was lugging around on my body. Every day. I’d bought single kilo bags because I wanted to be able to remove the rice-weight as I lost the body-weight. I also didn’t want a big sack that could, you know, make a mess. I’m lazy like that.
Every time I needed a little motivation (which was every morning at 5.45 right before Boot Box) I tried to pick that bag up. I could barely lift it. It beggars belief that I could carry that amount of excess weight on my actual body and yet I couldn’t physically hold that bag of rice without straining. It was an excellent visual and physical reminder of my progress and the journey ahead.
Did it work? Well, I kept that bloody sack of rice for about a month before I quit that idea (I’m an excellent quitter, have I mentioned that?). By that time I’d removed about 4 kilos from it and decided to spend more time on the couch with pizza, wine and binge watching Sex and The City.
So it worked for a while. But it wasn’t a game changer.
It wasn’t 28.
Now 28… that’s a game changer. How do I know this time will be different to all the others? Because of all of you who are reading this post and who I interact with every damn day on the book of face. Because of the 28 reasons to stay I wrote about last week. And because I’m still here and not on the couch.
What did I do with all that rice I hear you ask. No, I didn’t set up a street stall and whip up a massive batch of Paella. I donated it.