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October 21, 2021

Commitment: How I Completed 700 Consecutive Workouts in a Row

By Meghan Ung

REFIT® Instructor, Meghan Ung, recently completed 700 consecutive workouts in a row.  Check out her story below to learn how she did it, why she did it, and what she learned from it.

 

Hey guys!! My name is Meghan and this week I celebrated working out 700 days in a row! Woo woo!

This journey has been an amazing one and to be honest I’m pretty flabbergasted reflecting back on it. In 2018-2019 I started to feel like it was finally time to prioritize myself. We had an amazing life, but I started to realize that I wasn’t really living life, life was living me. I had been through quite a bit getting married at 18, being a full-time working wife, and having four beautiful kiddos. My husband and I both work in real estate so we got hit really hard when the economy crashed. I went through thyroid cancer and then lost both of my parents three years apart. It had been a crazy ride and it felt like I finally had a clearing in the fog to unravel some of the unhealthy coping mechanisms that I’d adopted through those events. Luckily in the middle of those hard years, I had a good friend that pushed me to try out a neighborhood workout class and I found REFIT. I was a total uncoordinated mess in the beginning, but there was just something special that kept bringing me back. I discovered a space where I was always welcome, where I could just let go of my problems, and where I was able to punch and dance out whatever was weighing me down. It was like I found an identity that I didn’t know I was missing. The amazing community was just the cherry on top.

In the summer of 2019, I read a book that a lot of you have probably read or heard of called Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. Her words spoke to me and gave me a vocabulary for some of my feelings. She helped me recognize that I was worth taking up space in this world. One of the most life-changing things that she said when talking about breaking promises to ourselves. 

“I used to do it all the time until I realized how hard I was fighting to keep my word to other people while quickly canceling on myself. What if you had a friend who constantly flaked on you? What if every other time you made plans she decided not to show up? What if she gave lame excuses like ‘I really want to see you, but this TV show I’m watching is just so good?’ Y’all, would you respect her? This woman who starts and stops over and over again? No way. And that level of distrust and apprehension applies to you too. Your subconscious knows that you, yourself, cannot be trusted after breaking so many plans and giving up on so many goals.” 

That really struck a chord with me. As a wife and mom, it’s so easy to get caught up in giving to our family and then our extended family and friends. Relationships, commitments, and jobs too often result in us pushing aside our own needs and plans. We end up skipping the workouts, the healthy meals, the friend time, the downtime, and so many other hopes and dreams.

The Hollis Company does a Last-90-Day Challenge (which is happening right now just in case anyone needs a little extra motivation). The idea is that you finish the last 90 days of the year with the same motivation and intention that we go into the New Year with. In 2019 I heard about the challenge and thought “What if? What if I just make this commitment and don’t break this promise to myself?” I was all in. And even though I was carrying an extra 20 lbs, it wasn’t at all about physical health or appearance. I had zero goals or expectations of losing weight or changing the way I looked. This was all for my mental health and proving to myself that I was worth the work. I decided that it was time to start living on the offense instead of the defense.

The challenge includes their “5 to Thrive”:

1 - Drink half your body weight in ounces of water

2 - Give up one food that you know you shouldn’t be eating

3 - Get up an hour earlier every day

4 - Have a gratitude practice

5 - Move your body for 30 minutes every day.

So I dove in and there was definitely an adjustment period, especially with waking up earlier. I have never been a morning person, but slowly I started finding solace in that quiet morning time and looking forward to it. By claiming that time for myself in the morning before the kids got up, I was able to clear my mind and set my intentions for the day. It was much better than waking up to my kids at my bedside, begging for breakfast, and having to instantly start helping them. A few months in I asked my oldest if she could tell any difference and she said, “You yell less than you used to.” That of course made me teary-eyed but also validated that the changes were worth it and that I should keep going.

I had a decent workout schedule at that point. Exercising probably 2-4 times a week, but with the motivation of the 90 Day challenge, I was able to up that to 7 days a week. Instead of questioning if I was going to exercise each day, it was just a matter of deciding when and what I was going to do. I added some variety in between REFIT days - Rev+Flow, running, weights, kickboxing, and some days it was just walking or stretching. That started my workout streak! As I started exercising more, I started making healthier food choices, realizing that it was silly to sabotage my workouts with junk food. When I actually paid attention, I started realizing how food was making me feel and what food made me feel like crap. It was just a natural progression from experimenting with different foods to slowly (without even realizing it) realizing that 20 lbs had fallen off. And then I caught myself glancing in the mirror almost not recognizing myself. I had muscle tone and abs! I wasn’t super overweight before, but I had always just accepted that I didn’t have “that kind of body type.” I’ve always had curvier thighs and in 6th grade I remember buying shorts with tweety bird on them to go over my swimsuit and until two years ago I always wore shorts over my swimsuit, thinking my thighs were too big. One day I took my kids to the water park and decided I’m not going to wear the shorts! It felt like releasing that limiting belief, allowed me to let the weight go too.

 

Things I have learned:

  • I can do hard things!! Whether it be the motivation to push play on a workout or to challenge myself with harder moves and heavier weights, I learned that I am in control of my actions. Sometimes when you don’t feel like it, the motivation may not ever come and you just have to start. Mel Robbins’ book The 5 Second Rule definitely helped me with that. And sometimes just closing those little rings on my watch helped push me through.
  • Exercising is the best antidote for being in a funk. There were plenty of days that I didn’t feel like working out, but then I knew I needed it even more. There is no way you can leave a REFIT class in a bad mood. For me REFIT is the best therapy and I thoroughly enjoy all the different emotions I can feel during a class. Sometimes putting on my running shoes is exactly what I need if I am feeling anxious or stressed.
  • You don’t have to pay for a program or gym membership to get in shape. The only membership I paid for was my REFIT ON DEMAND access. I had thought about hiring a coach or going to a gym and maybe I would have gotten results faster, but I wanted to attempt to do it myself before spending more money. There are so many free videos on YouTube and the outdoors is a great space to move our bodies.
  • I am a fitness instructor! I got certified as a REFIT instructor in July 2019, but at the time I really didn’t have any intentions of teaching. I just loved all things REFIT and wanted to soak up as much as I could get. Working out every day made me start to consider teaching. One day I had the intuition to ask a good friend who had stopped teaching during COVID if she wanted to co-teach with me. She said yes! We now teach once a week and although it has completely pushed me out of my comfort zone, I absolutely love it.
  • Healthy foods can taste good! Changing to a healthier diet was just a natural progression on my journey and I now crave veggies. It makes me giggle that I now start my morning with green juice & MudWtr instead of my Mountain Dew Kickstarts that I was so addicted to.
  • My kids are watching. My 14-year-old daughter now has a 230-day exercise streak and she’s done it completely on her own. She doesn’t work out with me at all. My other kids also try to stay more active and my husband just ran a half marathon. Leading by example definitely works.
  • Do what you can with what you have. There were days that I was sick or super sore. I had COVID in December and some lingering effects that I’m still dealing with. During that time I allowed myself to take my commitment down to 15 minutes, but I still did something every day to intentionally move my body. Sometimes I simply stretched in bed.
  • Proving to myself that I could keep this commitment opened doors for more personal growth and led to daily meditating and reading all the books I can get my hands on. Those things are helping me discover who I am and break down the walls that I’ve leaned on for so long.

Step by step I just kept going. By slowly changing my habits, I was able to begin stacking them and now it’s just my lifestyle. The number one thing that I’ve learned is that no matter what goal is on our hearts, we owe it to ourselves to keep those promises and commitments because we are worth it. The exercising, the new job, the craft project, changing something that’s been weighing you down--listen to that intuition and follow it. Stop putting yourself on the back burner. There will never be the perfect time or circumstances to make the change and no one else can do it for you. This is your journey. Decide that today is the day that your needs matter and come first. Put that oxygen mask on first. Slowly the doors will open.

 

 

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