Getting the Job Done! (Day 38/40)

November 5, 2009

in 40 Days


As many of us wind down our commitments, 40 day or 40 second, we might find ourselves on a slippery slope. Maybe you’ve started to skip days of exercise due to flu or lack of motivation. Maybe you are feeling discouraged by co-workers bringing in leftover Halloween candy. I get it, really I do. If you have 2 days left or 15 days left, know we are with you and supporting you. I put a call out to the questers asking how their challenges went or are going. Tanya Geisler, a quester from Toronto, and Suzie Powanda, from Southern California, wrote to me and agreed to let me share their letters.

Tanya’s letter:

tanyageisler.smHiya Mighty D –

Yeah…it’s almost surreal how a month has come and gone. It’s like the moment I joined you in the challenge and “declared” it, it became real easy-like. Beyond the resonant reasons that I attribute my decision to to quit in the first place AND the accountability that I have felt owed to you, I’ve had two boffo bouts of sickies. First was a cold that made me lose my breath then voice (and me without a voice is, well, pretty um, strange) and then, in the last week, THE flu. Sick sucks.

AND what I make of this is quite simple. It was my time. And I feel so bloody blessed that I heeded your call…good Lord…was that from Twitter? Hmmm. I see a blog post. “How Twitter prolonged my life…by connecting me in the right moment to Dyana Valentine and how I got out of my own damned way in the process”. Or something more eloquent or at least more concise.

So yes. I am more resolute than ever. I have had my share of challenges. I bought an emergency pack of nicorettes (just in case) that I have yet to crack into AND found myself bargaining a week ago saying that I was doing so well that I could “reward” myself with a cigarette “if I so chose” on Hallowe’en (and didn’t take myself up on it). And I feel good (H1N1 aside) and proud, but moreover like it was about time. And the entire time, I’ve felt held by you. The woman I’ve not met and yet, I feel I have. Ahhhhhhhhhhh.
It’s a short life. I am grateful that you put out the call….the call I didn’t think I NEEDED to heed. And I did.

Suzie’s letter:

SuziePowandaIndigo.smHi Dy~
I finished the challenge on November 1st. All said and done, the idea of 40 days is just long enough to change a habit (good or bad), easy enough to see the end of the tunnel and not give up. I didn’t realize the impact of the challenge when I started until the first day, I decided to ‘treat’ myself to breakfast via drive thru. It felt heavy in me and on me. As the day progressed, it was a super hectic one as I was taking 2 days off (my birthday celebration to me), I was running errands on a tight schedule, hit the drive thru for a flamed grilled chicken sandwich, and ate while I drove to make the most of multitasking! Fortunately or unfortunately, I had the WORST indigestion I have ever had. And honestly, I knew it was the food!! I had been eating so good and wisely, that my body was not happy with me. I had so much water trying to help flush this through my system.

I did decide to try a new 40 day challenge as a result. I am going to exercise for 40 days – exercise = either the gym or the Wii fit and may happen at any point in the day M – Th with Friday a bonus day that doesn’t count towards the challenge. Not sure of the start date, but will keep you posted!


What call are you heeding? What will you commit to next? Share with us in the comments.

The 40 days of My Body (if you are new to this story, read the intro here) project, is a quest in service to my business, my body and my own path of finishing what I start. I am committed to exercising 6 days/week, keeping a food journal and being more aware of ways I use (and abuse) my body. Going public is extreme, yes, and it’s working! I’m working with a fantastic trainer, Sunny Riggs, to create a program I can sustain over time. She’s amazing. HIRE HER!

I am not alone on my quest. The roll call is at 31 people (including me)! Some are getting organized, others giving up fast food and some are simply breathing! Check out the updates and links below and show your support:

Tanya Geisler–40 days of hatha yoga and radical self-care. Check out her ROCKING tell-all post!
Petra Korn–30 days on her body (supported with love by hubby Nick)
Tia Reddy–yoga and exercise: she found her yoga plan was NOT working and made these adjustments.
Alisa Bonsignore–working out and food consciousness she’s DONE and kicking off another 30 days, this time of writing.
Suzie Powanda–no fast food or beverages. Check out her guest post getting into the nitty gritty of her challenge progress.
Julie Rorrer–training for the Austin marathon in Spring
Emma Alvarez Gibson–some bit of exercise, every day. She says she’s back in action!
Joyce Black–FINISHED her 21 days without caffeine and doing a general detox, congratulate her! She did a guest post, too!
Carabunga is rocking 40 days of hardcore productivity and rocking a blog about it. She has GREAT ideas on staying inspired and gives an update on wrassling her bitchy soul and is rocking her challenge!
Paula Trucks-Pape and her husband: 87 Days of exploring their passions
Monica Kingsbury: 30 days of the Candida diet to deal with her sweet tooth: She’s DONE, no honey or sugar for a MONTH, lost 4 lbs and has great new awarenesses around her body and her cravings. Way to go, Monica!
Jack and LisaMarie Rowell: 30 days of extreme health (alkaline diet)
Diane Sherry Case: 3 weeks of walking–she’s up to 20 minutes 4 days/week! (yoga if it rains)
Cindy Morefield: 21 Days of 30 mins/day of cardio exercise. Check out her guest post/video here.
Paula Estes: 30 Days of playing congas while she works in her studio
Sheila Hart
is IN: 21 Days of no sugar!
Amy Ahlers
: 40 days limiting processed food. She’s got loads of fish to fry and is going to re-evaluate her commitment in 2010.
SouperJenny Team: 40 Day hits the ATL! So far, Meredith is giving up sweets and Jenny is giving up booze!! 7 folks have joined their group. Gooo, Team Body, Mind, Spirit! Watch their  update videos here.

  • John from San Diego is giving up carbs and working out 3x/week: gone AWOL–come back to us, John!
  • Sharon’s giving up all sugar except fruit
  • Merrideth giving up all sugar and exercising 4 times a week, she’s doing great and being nice to herself:)
  • Marcie will journal every day and cut down from 4 to 5 diet sodas a day to one per day, Marcie is rocking along and DOING it!
  • Tricia from Atlanta will drink a quart of her green juice concoction and exercise 5 to 7 times a week
  • Lucero Martinez a restaurant/bar owner will give up all alcohol: fell off the wagon. Gitty up back on, Lucero!
  • Jenny giving up all alcohol and working out 5 times a week AND recently added no sugar to her challenge. Way to up the ante, Jenny!
  • WATCH this video of the SouperJenny team taking very good care of themselves and appreciating each other!

Ashley White-Stern: 40 days of meditation and she’s on day 26 of her challenge, fighting a cold, but staying true to being silent at least once a day. Feel better, Ashley!

M Arsenia Brown (aka: @donutdemon) joins with a commitment to 40 days of her body
Cat Sabonis-Chafee is in and says “I will move my ass” for 21 days of daily, considered exercise. She reminded me of a great tool: TAKE A DAY OFF every week and she added in an abs&stretch class today.
Emily-Sarah is joining with body awareness and daily movement. Welcome, Emily-Sarah.
Nicola Warwick kicks off 40 days of food journaling and diet hacking! TODAY! She’s using a super duper diet spreadsheet.

Are you a quester wanting to tell your story? Do it! E-mail me and put your own video or guest post up!

Photos courtesy of The Library of Congress, Tanya Geisler and Suzie Powanda. All used with permission.

  • emilysarah

    Wonderful! As Tanya mentioned, declaring something — and having that accountability — is powerful. And I think it would be awesome to echo Suzie by deciding to be a “serial” 40-day-challenger. With being behind because of the flu AND with holidays coming up, I'm going to be gentle on myself the rest of this year, working on maintaining good stuff I've learned and begun … and then in January, I want to have a specific focus each month. (If I get really fired up, I may have a separate work focus, home-life focus, and mind-soul focus. Or would that be setting myself up for frustration and diffused/weakened results?!) 🙂

  • CindyMorefield

    While contemplating this post I realized that finishing my 21-day challenge on 10/22 (interview day!) began a season of wrapping-up … travel, getting my studio set up, etc (I feel a blog post coming on). Appropriate, I guess, since the year itself is wrapping up. I love the rhythms of seasonality. Anyhoo, the 21-day challenge format I've been using (doing something EVERY day for a shorter period of time) provides a kick-start into habits, but isn't sustainable as is, so for the rest of the year I'll be working to get my exercise routines into a sustainable pattern. Also, I'm w/ Emily Sarah in terms of being gentle for the rest of the year. Since my studio is finally functional, I want to paint and that's about it, other than navigating the holidays. But I also like the idea of having an area of focus for each month next year … will have to put that one in the stew pot for a few weeks!

  • dyanavalentine

    YES: synchronization is happening all around us, without any effort or fore-choreography. I am out of touch with seasonality her in LA–wonder what a good SNOW would do to reset my brain? I can't wait to see new work from you. Be sure to post a notice.

  • CindyMorefield

    Thanks – I'll certainly let you know when there's new work to see. I have been working, and documenting, but current phases are quite repetitive and thus not particularly interesting to view. I'm amused by post of 2 weeks ago – just painting! Right. That was before I discovered audio … 😉

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