Change CAN happen in an instant. Has it happened to you?

Blob Camp Nerd Fitness

Have you ever had a moment – maybe a conversation, event, or even reading a book that felt like a “moment of insight” – and it literally changed your life?

As we all know, the problem in adopting healthy eating habits, making a lifestyle or job change, or even starting a vigorous new exercise routine usually isn’t the knowledge that we need to do these things (that’s just collecting underpants), but the ability to set ourselves up to actually follow through.

We often think change only happens over a long period of time. And yes, when it comes to changing physically, that’s often true. However, leveling up mentally or making life changes can in fact, happen in an instant. But only if action is taken that solidifies this new life you want to live!

How can we make sure that these moments of “holy crap, things are gonna be different” actually result in permanent, positive changes in our lives?

After all, epiphanies are only life-changing if you apply what you’ve learned.

Camp Nerd Fitness 2015 Swords

Last week, we held Camp Nerd Fitness, which had over 300 rebels leveling up their lives and was a massive success. We now have a phrase that has caught on now two years in a row: #CNF365, aka “Camp Nerd Fitness, 365 days a year.”

Although Camp NF is a 4-day event each year, it’s only really effective if the principles, lessons, and friendships carry over all year. You can only physically transform so much in four days. Yes, eating healthy meals and exercising for four days is an amazing start, but it doesn’t help much if you return home and go back to a couch-potato lifestyle with Domino’s pizza every night.

As author Jonathan Fields tells it, “We tend to think of profound change as a process that happens over time. Sometimes, that’s true. But other times, deep, lasting change can happen in a moment.”

If you’ve ever attended an event, a seminar, a conference, or even read an article here on Nerd Fitness that made you want to change how you live, you might have experienced one of these moments. It’s like a bolt of lightning, a flash of inspiration that makes you look at life differently. Think of it like Neo seeing 1s and 0s in the Matrix.

Long story short: If you’ve ever had one of these moments, it’s important to make change a priority every day so it becomes habit.

This is why we love small changes here in the Rebellion – a great approach to help you realize that moment of insight. Rather than drastically changing everything for 30 days and returning to your old ways, I would rather you change ONE thing, but make that change permanent:

  • Don’t go on a diet. Ever. A diet implies temporary change. Instead, make a fundamental change to your relationship with food, and make a small healthy change that is permanent (drinking less soda, cooking one meal at home each week, etc.). That’s why we’re huge fans of living a Paleo-ish lifestyle!
  • Sign up for a recurring class or course. If you go to a powerlifting seminar that makes your head explode with excitement, sign up for a powerlifting meet that keeps you focused on that goal. Loved martial arts? Get going with a class in your home town!
  • Take action. Now. Read a great book? Get off your ass and go sign up for something. Or take your first action. Build something. Draw something. Write something. And then repeat the process the next day.

Specific steps and actionable decisions trump brilliant but unexecuted plans. I think I realized why Camp worked out so well in terms of people taking action: we introduced merit badges and quests! We challenged campers to complete a series of quests throughout the week:

camp quests

… in exchange for earning merit badges:camper badge level up

We knew quests would be a hit (which is why they are also a part of the Nerd Fitness Academy), but people went nuts for them! It was so cool to see. Fortunately, you can apply these same game mechanics to your own life as well:

  • Create a list of things you want to accomplish.
  • Make sure your next step on each is small, actionable, and specific.
  • Give yourself a reward for completing those tasks (that rewards you back!)

I’ve built my life around these types of structured goals (My Epic Quest of Awesome), and you can too. The toughest part is often getting started. So make the first step so small that it’s easy to get started with it, and be okay with taking imperfect action.

Internal change can happen in an instant, but long-term change happens over time with consistent action taken.

Follow Through

cyclical hands

We return from events like Camp Nerd Fitness, or from reading a specific book, visiting a country, attending a new class or conference, and things feel… different. Even if we just had a mental breakthrough after reading an article – there’s something new there: an excitement and anticipation of change.

That’s the initial afterglow: the confidence, the happiness, and the changed behavior that comes immediately from this moment. But it can last for as long as you’ll allow it.

You see, the goal for permanent change is to change from afterglow to everglow. An afterglow burns out after a few weeks before life goes back to how it was. An everglow, however, is something that lasts permanently – it’s the fundamental changes you make to your life that become your new “normal.”

No matter if you felt empowered to change after reading a great article, having a candid conversation with your doctor, or attending the biggest event of your life, if you don’t start implementing changes IMMEDIATELY, you can’t level up.

Remember: new quests must be created. A bigger dragon must be slain.

When I started this article, I wanted to make this about you: I want to hear about how YOU made a moment into something more – whether that moment was a doctor’s visit, a candid conversation with friends and family, an insightful moment when reading online, or even if you were one of the legendary 300 who attended Camp Nerd Fitness.

How did you make sure you applied what you learned while at the event, even after returning to real life?

Can you think back to one single moment that fundamentally changed your path? How did you react, and what steps did you take to make sure your life was truly different after that experience?

I’ll share mine:

9 years ago, I was selling construction equipment in San Diego. On a particularly miserable day (I was quite bad at my job, you see), I walked into a bookstore and picked up Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Workweek. I read the book in a two days and bought shortly after that. I didn’t know how things would work, just that my life was suddenly different, and I had a path on which to follow: one that got me here to Nerd Fitness. I’ve cataloged this journey and these strategies I’ve used over the years. A recent epiphany even led me to NYC!

I’d love to hear from you.

What’s a moment in time that you were able to turn an afterglow into an everglow? 

Can you point to a single moment you looked back on and said “Things are going to be different now, I better act accordingly?” And – the important part –  how did you MAKE SURE things remained different?

From afterglow to everglow – let’s hear it!


PS: Keep an eye out from me in the next two weeks for a special personal email from me about a big announcement I made at camp. I’ll tell you about it soon 🙂

PPS: “From Afterglow to Everglow” sounds like a great album title. And yes, The Everglow is a phenomenal album.


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    45 thoughts on “Change CAN happen in an instant. Has it happened to you?

    1. I am one of the 300! Yeah! And camp for me was a definite huge “HEY get your buns in gear” sign from the universe. This post speaks to me on a really fundamental level right now.

      I currently work a desk job while, not a horrible job by any means, just sucks my soul away. I yearn to be more mobile and free and work more for myself. I’m meant for more than being on the phone all day, darnit! I want to be able to work remotely doing something I love, and give myself the opportunity of time – MY time – to be able to work from wherever I want, whenever I want. As I grow older (cough) this has become super important to me to explore. And this is a little fire that has been burning in my heart for some time but after camp, I came away confident and energized that yes, I CAN do this!! And I need to do it, for myself and my happiness.

      My biggest takeaway is that my everglow is going to take time, and I need to be hugely patient with myself and the process as I work slowly but surely to make smart, sustainable changes instead of jumping the gun and setting myself up for failure. As much as I’d like to take the jump RIGHTNOW and never sit in this desk chair again, I know it’s not realistic, and I have a lot of groundwork to lay before I can do this the right way. It’s super hard for me to wrap my head around and some days it makes me crabby because my excitement for the future is over 9000, but it’s all for the greater good. 🙂

      And I can honestly say that without NerdFitness this big change would have never even have been an option. NF (and camp) has taught me to think outside the box and challenge myself in ways I never thought possible! For the Rebellion!!!!!

    2. Yeahhhh 300!!!! 🙂 I quit my desk job and am working towards that life too – it’s not easy, but it’s worth it 🙂

    3. I didn’t have one specific “instant,” but last year a few things started to come together, and when I said “Yes!” it was the start of some big things for me. I quit my desk job, lived in a tent for 2 months working at the Arizona Renaissance Festival, and then moved across the country to start working in the fitness industry. My job isn’t easy right now and I’m definitely not financially comfortable, but it’s coming. I’m so glad I said “yes” — to getting my personal training cert, to moving, to working at Faire, to signing up for CNF! It’s been a HUGE year and I can’t wait to explore what’s next. 🙂

    4. I was doing my PhD in linguistics, and I had felt for some time that this is not something that I really love.

      Moving across the world to live in San Francisco Bay area changed things for me (ironically, I got there to do one year of my studies there!). I met so many people and saw so many life changes. Someone who had studied economy was working as a photographer and another one who studied biology was doing social media marketing… things that they loved!

      After one conversation with someone who had made a 180 change I realized that I can do it too. Yes, I had spent 1/3 of my life on my PhD and working in academia but it didn’t mean that I had to do it forever if I didn’t like it.

      So, got certified as Personal Trainer and started my website. It’s hard and financially really tough at this point, but at least I do what I like, work hard and believe that it’ll be better one day. No regrets here!

    5. I was also one of the 300! Here’s a note about my switch-flippery.

      A little over a year ago I decided to try kung fu. Most of my life I’d been pretty much bubble-wrapped, but I loved Kill Bill and The Next Karate Kid (yes the one with Hilary Swank, no I’m not ashamed). When Sifu took a look at my form, he turned to me and said “That was really aggressive. Good.” To him it was probably a normal comment, but no one had ever told me that before. After all, I was supposed to be a brain, not a beast! Folks had always cautioned against being aggressive, so the idea that really committing and ‘going for it’ could be a good thing was a game changer. I swear somewhere in the distance that song from Wicked began to play, “This weird quirk I’ve tried to suppress and hide… is a talent?”

      Since then it’s been like someone literally turned the lights on. I looked at my job and chose to re-focus it, resulting in better work, better pay, and a fully leveled-up career. I saw which friendships were the healthiest and chose to spend my time and energy on them. Food, exercise, clothes, travel… it’s easy now to say yes to the things I want and no to the things I don’t. That’s part of why it was so easy saying yes to Camp Nerd Fitness!

    6. Points for laying your groundwork! Small changes and consistent work pay dividends over time – at least that’s what I learned from Anthony’s class on program planning!

    7. I was doing my PhD in linguistics, and I had felt for some time that this is not something that I really love.

      Moving across the world to live in San Francisco Bay area changed things for me (ironically, I got there to do one year of my studies there!). I met so many people and saw so many life changes. Someone who had studied economy was working as a photographer and another one who studied biology was doing social media marketing… things that they loved!

      After one conversation with someone who had made a 180 change I realized that I can do it too. Yes, I had spent 1/3 of my life on my PhD and working in academia but it didn’t mean that I had to do it forever if I didn’t like it.

      So, got certified as Personal Trainer and started my website. It’s hard and financially really tough at this point, but at least I do what I like, work hard and believe that it’ll be better one day. No regrets here!

    8. I asked for help which was a game changer. I know my tendency to fall off the wagon after the initial euphoria so I asked for help via professional accountability through The program came highly recommended by my mentor Noah Kagan.

      15kgs/33lbs lighter in under a year, I am over the moon. Especially after 11 years of only steady gain and choosing to hide in denial and blame it on my PCOS and Hypothyroidism. They begin from a perspective of not being interested in repeat business hence aim at psychologically affecting you with life changing behavioural change.

      That moment of desire marrying awareness and birthing knowledge of what I needed is how I was able to turn an afterglow into an everglow.

    9. In April of 2009, I read this somewhere: “If you fail to challenge a Gen X woman, she will quit and become your completion.” I gave my employer notice on June 1, 2009 and started my own business on July 1. I’ve enjoyed 6+ successful years of self-employment – all because of that quote. And I don’t even remember where I saw it!

    10. During my sophomore year of college, three students died in my dorm in the same two week period and I distinctly remember sitting in the common area with two of my friends and all of us deciding that we needed to live a life that wasn’t all ramen noodles and research papers. Several years later, one of us moved to London, one is about to join the Marines, and I’m auditioning for professional ballet programs. It was a rough awakening but we’re all trying our best to keep up that “everglow” after biting off more than any of us could really chew.

    11. I think for me, one of the moments that come to mind is the start of my sporting comeback, which led to a permanent series of changes. My sports comeback took place in real nerd fashion. It started out sometime in 2003 (I think). I was very active on ham radio, enjoying a chat with a regular bunch on a local repeater, while on public transport to and from work. At the time, number of people were involved in planning an international ARDF (a combination of radio direction finding and orienteering) championship. As a former “foxhunter”, I was intrigued by this event and started asking questions about what this involved.

      Sometime after, I got the “20 seconds of courage” and signed up for the event, which took place in late 2003, and even took home a few medals! But that wasn’t the end of things, merely the beginning. I now realised I needed to develop my fitness. I took up orienteering and started running regularly in the months and years. From there, my sporting mix has changed, depending on personal preferences and available opportunities, but committing to some form of training that involves other people has been a permanent feature. Even during periods when I had no competitive commitments, I took part in regular social runs, at least once a week. Today, my focus is on sprints, as this suits my natural abilities better, but the principle is the same.

    12. Decided I wanted to write a screenplay in 2013 near yearend after listening to a screenplay teacher a few months before. Few months later in 2014 after getting a nuts, bolts screenwriting book and stumbling on my own, started taking class. Then realized I’d been depressed for the two years since my dad’s death. That fall I started in a few exercise classes and joined Nerd Fitness. Depression lifted, loss weight, got fitter. Domino effect. Won scholarship to poetry writing seminar, went, then started work toward being a certified fitness instructor. Broke shoulder, but it’s healing. Got extension to become instructor. Know there will be physical therapy. Always hurdles. Point is to climb them and keep going.

    13. I, too, am one of the 300! And Camp was definitely a light switch moment for me. I’ll be honest, those don’t happen to me very often. In fact, often my biggest downfall is trying to create too much change at once and then trashing all of it (shoutout to Rog’s habit building workshop for forcing me to deal with that). But Camp was different.

      I didn’t go to Camp expecting to really change my eating habits–I knew I’d eat healthy at Camp, and that was awesome, but I figured that would be about it. I was actually a lot more focused on trying to get a good workout routine figured out. But eating paleo for four days made me feel so awesome that I decided to try and hold onto it for one more day. And another. And another. And, much to my shock and confusion, I’m sitting at basically diet level 6 on the Academy ten days later (I was at about two before).

      The sugar detox was hugely helpful–refined sugar has always been a struggle for me, but it’s starting to feel so much better. I haven’t been perfect, but I’m learning to take those things as choices I made, not mistakes that are going to kill me. For example, I just ate two of my mom’s chocolate chip banana muffins because they’re incredibly delicious and I haven’t had any in probably a year. But I also have been eating more fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats in the last two weeks than I have in a long time.

      I also started a 30-day green smoothie challenge the day I got home, which has been really helping me shove more fruits and veggies into my diet. I drink one of those and make bacon and eggs in the morning, and I spend the rest of the day feeling like a superhero!

      Unfortunately, I got sick right after camp, so I’m having to wait a little on the reworking my workout thing. But I’ve lost five pounds since before camp, and the great thing is, eating well is something I can do whether I’m sick or not. I didn’t intend to come out of camp mostly paleo, but that’s what happened, and I intend to keep on keeping on.

    14. My “ah ha” moment that changed everything for me is when I went open gym at a local Crossfit gym and finished the workout. I was sweaty, sick to my stomach and I LOVED it!!! The afterglow turned into an everglow when I signed up at Nerdfitness to continue this journey. The Crossfit gym hours didn’t mesh with mine so after a little research I found NF and it all makes perfect sense. My hubby also joined so we’re in this together. Icing on the cake!!

      Power to the Rebellion

    15. I am in the middle of my change right now. About six weeks ago, I was feeling down about myself, my body, my motivation. I’ve been yoyoing for years, getting healthy, slipping off into unhealthy habits, trying again and again to find something sustainable. I saw that a friend of mine had gone through this program, the 9in6, where she’d lost 11.3 kg (the aim is to lose 9) in six weeks. I wanted a kickstart to my system, and I knew I needed accountability to make it happen. I’d been piling on relationship weight for 18 months and I wanted more for myself and my partner. So I registered my interest, got accepted into the program, and am now in week five of this 6 week program. It’s been a kick in the pants for sure and a true lifestyle changer. I’m now considering my options post course and the possibility of rearranging my finances and my time to keep going to this gym and to continue with the IRL support and friendship they give. It’s amazing what having a support system in place can do for you in terms of changing lifestyle and changing your thoughts and behaviours.

    16. This is an awesome article. I have experienced the afterglow-but-not-everglow many times and it seems like the hardest obstacle of all to sustain my hopefullness and enthusiasm when it comes to my health.

      However, I made the huge decision to go to art school last year. I never felt talented enough to make a living but realized I was not excited about my life. I remember doing a visual and creative task at work and thinking, “This is what I actually like to do!” I knew I would always wonder what my life would have been like if I had pursued art.

      Soooo, I applied to art school! And I got in! And now I’m in my second and final year and I’ve been in a gallery show and I’m working in an artist’s studio and it’s the best and most exciting thing that’s ever happened in my life.

      Here’s to everglow!

    17. I had an epiphany when I read the book Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon, PhD. It completely changed my work as a dietitian. Instead of encouraging a focus on weight loss, I now advocate for health promotion from a weight-neutral perspective.

      I work every day to build my skills and integrate this new way of thinking into my work.
      Three things stand out as being especially helpful:
      1. Joining a community of like-minded individuals.
      2. Practicing critical awareness — questioning the things I thought I knew to be true.
      3. Developing the courage to speak up for my opinions.

      For the Rebellion! 🙂

    18. My moment was yesterday funny enough. I have started working out since a year back and I have struggled with eating healthy all my life. And healthy for me has most of the time meant eating at all. If I didn’t eat I couldn’t get fat. And when I finally ate I binged. But I never purged, so I was A-OK and didn’t have a eating dissorder right? Right? Wrong. I never got diagnosed but now that I am older and have a more down to Earth life I can see that I actually did have a problem, a huge problem. So over a year now I have been trying to clean up my act and I have had lots of successes. I feel healthier and more happy about myself wich is huge. At the moment I don’t want to be model-skinny, I just want to be healthy enough so that me and my hubby can start trying to have children. So I realised that I had to add something more to it and I figured a while back that I needed to get all areas of my life in check because even if I got my diet under controll and exercise going strong I still wouldn’t get the results I wanted and deserved if my head kept tripping me over. So I got in touch with therapist.

      The a-ha moment came yesterday at my therapist. It was the second time I met him and I just love him. We had an awesome session and somewhere in the middle of it all he just tilts his head, looks at me ans says: “You carry alot of shame and guilt, don’t you? But do you know that this isn’t your fault right? And you are not a bad person because you are overweight. You are funny, smart, driven och charismatic. Being overweight does not define you. Let’s work on this, ok?”

      I just stared at him. Noone has ever said this to me before. Not in that direct way anyways. And I just fel relived. And when I walked out of our appointment I felt a sence of yes…..this WILL be differens. I WILL do it this time. It’s about my life, not looking good at the beach.
      So yes…sometimes it happens like lightening from a clear sky.

    19. “Every action makes a reaction, we’ll figure it out and make it happen.” The Everglow by Mae is one of my favorite albums of all time!

    20. I had been making changes and although I would slip back I never went back too far. 3 steps forward for 1 back lead to great things. Honestly a big “ah-ha!” moment came in reading a couple articles on NF and in NFA when I realized I did not have to fear food. Not eating processed crap is easy if I do not have to fear that bit of bacon or other tasty I had been avoiding. Better yet when putting it into play and seeing that I could indeed loose weight. A year later I went for my yearly physical and although my bad cholesterol was up a tad (admittedly I had a couple weeks of crap eating out of “insert lame excuse here please”) my good was sooooooooo good the doctor was happy and not concerned at all. He told me to keep up the good diet and keep on exercising.

      I wish I could convey how much eating stressed me out. Just how much I was focused on what I ate and how I would obsessively beat myself up for making choices I wanted but were considered not good in conventional thought. It was so freeing to let that go. It has made me think even harder about other things I would like to do.

    21. I am also one of the 300! 6 months ago, almost to the day I went and saw a new doctor to give me antibiotics for a cold I couldn’t kick. He wasn’t interested in talking about my cold, he wanted to talk about my weight. Frankly I thought he was rude. He told me a bunch of info I already knew and challenged me to do insane things like quit drinking pop, and limit my caloric intake to 1600 calories. Leaving his office I was MAD. How dare this guy! Later that same day I logged onto Pulse by LinkdIn and came across Maya’s success story article. Because of that article I downloaded MFP and became an avid member of the rebellion. I have since lost 30 lbs, am pretty much paleo and changed way too much of my life to leave in this comment.

    22. The concept of the album as an audio book was awesome, complete with the “turn the page when you hear this sound”. It’s one of those records I start from the beginning and always end up listening to the entire thing. ‘The Everglow’ and ‘Suspension’ are definitely my favorites but like I said, can’t help but listen to them all!

      They had their 10th anniversary tour for that album a couple months ago. I obviously went to the show they held here in Atlanta and it was incredible. There’s something really welcoming about being in a room filled with people who all grew up with the same album, you’re all singing the words together, and it really demonstrates the comradery music brings.

      This doesn’t have anything to do with the article, but it’s so cool to find people who appreciate that record because there aren’t as many as there should be!

    23. I am reading “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business” by Charles Duhigg for our book club at work. It was great timing because for the last six months I’ve been working on changing one habit at a time. Now I’m actually learning a bit about how habits work. While reading the book one night I decided I was going to start a walking habit along with the nutrition habit I’m working on (eat until you are satisfied, not full). I made my walking habit something manageable: 1 mile per day which will take approximately 20 minutes. I don’t have a specific time for this because I already exercise in the early hours most mornings. If I get away from work by 4:00 (I’m a teacher), I’ll walk before I fix supper. If I work until 6:00 then I walk after supper, but I never sit down to watch tv, grade papers or go to bed without first walking. Sometimes I walk outside and sometimes I catch a 30 minute sitcom when I walk on the treadmill. Sometimes I even walk two miles 🙂

      After doing this for one week I got to wondering how much of an affect this might have on me over the course of one year. If I walk one mile a day every day for a year I will have walked a total of 365 miles. Estimating on the low side I figured I’d burn 75 calories per mile walked so 75×365=27,375 calories burned. If 3000 calories equal one pound then 27,375/3000=9.125. So in theory, if I didn’t change anything else I would lose approximately 9 pounds in one year. I’m not really focusing on a specific weight loss goal, but when I was 30 pounds lighter I was at a weight I was happy with even though it is by no means my “ideal” weight according to the typical standards. So I’m figuring if I continue to work on this habit, over the course of three years I’ll be pretty close to my comfortable spot again. Three years may seem like a long time, but if I change nothing, three years from now I’ll be just like I am now. However, if I walk one mile per day in three years I’ll be different, all as a result of a mental change that happened in an instant!

    24. Awesome stuff! I love your blog. I’m currently running and would love to know how you guys built such an impressive site!

    25. Hi Steve,

      Very motivating post. I especially liked the badges you handed out for achievements and I was wondering what I could do when I meet my goals. A pivotal moment in my life was when I started blogging. I had been thinking about for three years. I have been an on-again, off-again smoker for years and it is a failing that has sneaked through into all my life.

      I have always been worried about starting something and never finishing it. So three years I ago I said to myself once you begin blogging there is none of this dirty rotten smoking habit going to impact on my progress. Once you start that is it. I did not have immediately because I took that commitment seriously. Today is six months that I started and surprise I have never considered stopping. I am in no hurry (well most days – but my to-do-lists overwhelms me). This has changed my whole perspective and outlook on who I am.

      I walk everyday but don’t see this as exercise because I day dream and let ideas run through my mind. And I have good eating habits, but I can’t help but come back here to get a dose of motivation. Thank you.


    26. A year ago I had “that moment” and instantly changed to a plant-based, cruelty-free lifestyle.
      The build-up was slow and steady – and I fought it hard. There was the introduction to the idea, the skepticism, the research, the debates, the logic and ethics battles, the health doubts, and the “but…bacon” argument. After a few weeks of this, I sat down to watch “Speciesism: The Movie” (GREAT indie doc on Vevo) and a little more than halfway through something just CLICKED. “Oh my God…” I told my boyfriend. “Hold me. My entire worldview just turned upside-down.” It was the most earth-shattering, paralyzing, dramatic moment of my life.

      There was no easing into it for me. It was just BAM, lightning bolt, done, my life would never be the same – and I am happier, healthier, kinder, more empathetic, and more pro-active member of society because of it.

      I believe wholeheartedly that when you add the EMOTIONAL variable to your intended change, it sticks way better. For me, I couldn’t stand knowing I was supporting inexcusable cruelty to innocent beings by eating animal products. For others, it might be, “Holy guacamole. If I don’t change something I’m going to die before I’m 40” or “I can’t give my kids the childhood memories I want to because I can’t keep up with their energy”.

      So find an EMOTIONAL TRIGGER if you can. As one of Steve’s previous articles suggests, GET ANGRY at negative influences. And also be PROUD of yourself every time you take another step in the right direction. Allow yourself to CELEBRATE that victory, however small or redundant. A year later, I still sing while making dinner.

    27. My biggest “aha” moment was not actually fitness related, but was a catalyst for change. Just over 1 year ago I stumbled across a budget software (You Need A Budget… yes, it’s really called that) while I was looking for something entirely different. I took a peek at their “philosophy” and everything suddenly shifted into place. Budgeting MADE SENSE. By the end of the week I was setting up my mom, sister, and brother with their own budgets and getting excited about getting things on track. It’s not been easy, but I can tell there has been progress. It’s good.

      Fast forward to this April. I’ve been trying this whole “fitness” thing off and on for years, but winter always seems to kill it. Around March and April, a visit with my therapist (which I could afford because of my budget) reminded me how good I used to feel back when I did yoga, but I couldn’t afford the studio in town so I got a monthly subscription to an online studio (which I -could- afford… hat tip to the budget). This was about the same time I discovered NF. First I just saw a few articles, then the idea of ‘level up your life’ and the ‘epic quest’ and then finally the 6 week challenges. Things started shifting into place again, and I haven’t looked back.

      Each challenge so far, my outlook on fitness has shifted… It’s like some lock where the tumblers are just slowly falling into place. It started with “I don’t want to get fat and be super arthritic and decrepit when I’m old” and shifted to “Oh hey, *normal* people can do gymnastics and stuff you see at the circus??” (tumbler drops) to “Hey maybe *I* can do this thing” (tumbler drops) to “What is this ‘capoeira’ business- wait that looks awesome- wait I can do that HERE?!?!” (and afford it- thanks budget!) This was the very end of September. I went to my first capoeira class. After my first class, I went to my car and cried and laughed because I was so happy. Afterglow. 2 months in, I cannot wait for my next class. I can see this carrying me through winter. Everglow.

    28. I just thought I would share my moment when my life turned around. It was a few weeks after I moved into a big city from a small town and I was so nervous about taking the buses. It was unavoidable as I did not have a car then. I was on the phone to my grandmother and I told her how anxious I was. And she told me “If someone else can do it, you can too.” I didn’t immediately change my life and become overly confident after that, but I started to look at things differently. It has stuck with and whenever I doubt myself, I think about others who are in the same position as me and how their doing. If they can get up and go for a jog in the morning, so can I. I have only started jogging these past few weeks, and then I discovered Nerd Fitness and it has really given me that extra boost to keep it up.

    29. I think we all have a lot of “incidents” that smack us in the face and ask us to change. Do we always use these slaps to change? No. Currently, I am in a health program through school and have realized that to obtain my goal, I need to adjust my own lifestyle choices. How am I supposed to teach others about health and fitness if I am choosing to do unhealthy things in my own life? We are currently having to work on videos that demonstrate certain workouts and fitness exercises. I find myself looking at those videos and thinking…I have got to get in the gym and focus on my own fitness. Thankfully, I have started fitness classes with one of my best friends and we are doing things like Kickboxing, Yoga, and Zumba….things I have always been too scared to do by myself. Not only does it make me feel better, I know that it will only make me healthier; physically, emotionally, and mentally.

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