March 26th, 2018

How 5 Fabulous Strangers Embarked on an Unexpected Journey (Part 2)

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Denice Davidson, 41, United States

I started fabulous a long time ago when I was going through life changes and just needed a boost to motivate me. I wasn’t always this way. At that time I became healthier. I lost weight, and found a running partner to compete in races with. The app worked great and I was happy with my new norm.

When I achieved my goals, I stopped using fabulous because I didn’t need it anymore. Then the health issues started to arise. It left me feeling weak. Slowly I pushed myself, and my health started to stabilize again. But I was having trouble running, so I went to multiple docs.

The news was devastating. I needed a hip replacement and I could not receive one because of my health. The only option was amputation. I was/am not ready for that. I found myself grieving the life I was losing.

When I stopped running…I stopped moving forward in life. Everything was falling apart…I had no control and I fell into a pit of depression.

I knew I had to get help. When I went back to counselling we talked about things that had worked in the past and I thought of The Fabulous app. So I started the app up again. I found that it was harder at times because I wasn’t depressed last time. But I know the power of changing my habits. I had to find a new normal again.

It was hard to celebrate this new life of mine. It was hard to see the rainbow when I was in the storm. But I stuck to it. Some days I celebrated the sun because I didn’t feel like celebrating. Soon I started celebrating time spent with friends. Then I had to learn to celebrate myself. I had to let good into my heart to start making strides again. Now I celebrate first thing in the morning and it feels amazing!

Next up for me was exercise. I already felt like I physically couldn’t do anything. I knew if I didn’t start small I was setting myself up for failure. I told myself I could stretch, so that’s what I started with. It took awhile to become more consistent. But as I felt more successful, I added in using weights to tone my arms. Then I started working on my core by doing crunches etc. I’ve since joined a gym with a group of friends, and we meet 3 days/week!

As you can read from my story, life is constantly changing and you will be on different journeys at different times in your life. Don’t cheat yourself, and don’t ever stop. Be the best you right now.

I’m working on building an iron self-discipline now, and am truly grateful for my Fabulous friends. I hope everyone is as successful in their journey as I’ve been on mine. You only fail when you stop trying.

Laura Karran, 28, United Kingdom

Medical school can be a very fast paced, lonely, achievement orientated environment – learning can be very time pressured. Even though I’m a full-time medical student, I also work 18.5 hours a week.

As my commitments increase, I often withdraw and become more shy socially. I joined fabulous to try and reinject some routine in my life. Added to this, I was stressed about upcoming practical exams and was keen to see whether fabulous could help control my irrational fears better.

I was already quite enthusiastic about Fabulous because of an online course I took about Dan Ariely’s Predictable Irrationality book a bit back. I also I read a few of his books as part of my wider reading for the med school entrance exams. From my reading I thought these principles might apply well to improving my self-care behaviours.

The first thing I loved about the unexpected journey was the positive and encouraging letters. It didn’t try to rush me to complete anything, but rather it recognized that habit building takes time. Through every step of the journey, Fabulous acknowledged my achievements, but also reframed from judgement at retrograde progress.

There are times when it is hard to maintain my rituals though. Recently, a family member has fallen ill and that has made it hard to keep up with my daily routine. Even if the time required to do the challenges is minimal. For me, the structure creates these natural pause points in my day to reflect on my plans.

Most pertinently – I do feel more energised. I’m now working on mental fitness.

Emma Shafer, 20, United States

I’m full-time dance major with two part-time jobs. I love the outdoors, learning, and the arts. I have been diagnosed with bipolar type 2 and am in recovery from anorexia.

After I graduated high school, I decided to embark on the long journey of changing my attitude and perspective towards life and part of that journey was joining Fabulous! I had originally joined Fabulous a year or so back, but wasn’t ready to keep up with it. Now I am back and more dedicated than ever!

The most challenging part of the Unexpected journey was definitely working out. While I loved sports, I have always found exercising boring and have especially hated running. However, I was determined to combat this and found that the celebration and mind weeds sections of the journey to be the most helpful to combat my negative feelings (I even like running now, which is something I never thought I would say).

I found that writing down and fully processing my mind weeds to be the biggest influence with how to combat my negative feelings or impulses on a day-to-day basis. My favorite part of the journey is also the most simplest; drinking water every morning. I find it so refreshing, it always makes me smile, and that all makes it easy to face the day with excitement. I can’t imagine how dehydrated I must’ve been before I started the journey.

Now I work out 6-days a week and when I don’t feel like going, I compromise with a shorter/lighter workout rather than skipping it altogether like I would’ve in past. I can finally say that I believe people when they say that working out makes them happier.

Since then, I have completed the Sleep Better journey and am currently working on the Focus and Concentrate More journey.

Alyssa Johnson, 30, United States

I work for as a sales and service specialist for a media company, so I have to be ready with a bright and positive attitude every day.

But the amount of effort it was taking for me to get from waking up to the bright and positive attitude was getting in the way. The culprit? I’m a serial snooze button pusher. I won’t get up until I have to get up.

I was tired of feeling tired and wanted a natural way to wake up without a ton of coffee. I started Fabulous in January as a kick off to my 30th Birthday this April. I wanted to start creating good habits before starting a new decade of my life.

I love how Fabulous starts you out slow. Just a drink of water right when you get up for the first 3 days. Small steps do make big changes! Adding the next steps of breakfast and dancing it off were really easy to incorporate. I love all the positive affirmations and information Fabulous gives you throughout your journey.

Each letter helps with maintaining and understanding why you are taking these small steps while continuing a positive, reaffirming mindset. The biggest downside for me is my schedule. It changes twice a week, so I always have to move some of my habits around to accommodate my work, which is hard. But I’ve learned to get that into a routine as well.

Overall, the results have been amazing. I now get up 10 minutes before my alarm goes off! And I always look forward to my 7-minute exercise and following through on the rest of my routine. I am re-jigging my habits this last month after adding A Fabulous Night Sleep and Staying on the Road to my schedule. I had to pare down some things after those journeys to get back on track.

All-in-all, I am feeling way more energetic though. I look forward to starting the Healthy Eating journey once I complete a full month of my current habits.

Mavi Peru, 31, Peru

I’m a Ph.D. student in Psychology, with a bachelor’s in Engineering.

I started the Fabulous journey one day by chance. It was such an extreme coincidence. I wanted to start with a morning routine, so I was already drinking water with lime juice every morning. But I wanted to add a 7-minute workout app on my phone, and while looking for one, I got a suggestion for the Fabulous.

I was so fascinated with it because I had recently been exploring the impact of habit building in the course of a lifetime. I was also thinking about ways that I could improve my habit building, one of which was modifying my environment instead of relying on willpower. And Fabulous is all of this exactly: creating an environment that makes it easy to develop good habits.

With the help of Fabulous, I developed my morning routine, and it pushed me to stick to it even on the days that I could find an excuse not to. It had alarms and reminders, but also displayed the total amount of days I had completed, and the thought of going back to 1 because I missed one day was a really nagging thought. So that was astrong motivator to keep going.

Since then, I followed the “Celebrating Healthy eating” journey and now I am in the “Productivity” journey, which has had a big impact in my day-to-day life. So now my day is full of rituals, and I am so excited about the potential to build on what I’ve already learned.