Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Confronting Comfort Zones

Losing weight is all about confronting our comfort zones. We get into routines that are comfortable, and don't want to leave. Whether it's stopping by Dunkin Donuts every morning for a breakfast sandwich and coffee, ordering in food every night instead of making dinner or sleeping until we only have enough time to dress and get to work, we all gravitate to what those routines that are easy and comfortable for us.

But, when we get to the point where we want to lose 20, 30, 40 pounds or more, we have to rouse ourselves to leave the zone of comfort. We have to make ourselves do things we don't really want to do, such as getting up an hour earlier every morning to work out, eating just fruit at home for breakfast, or making dinner every night.

We may have to make ourselves stop eating foods that we like and make us feel good, like french fries, McDonald's hamburgers, and cookies from a box, and eat foods we normally wouldn't such as salads, fruit and raw nuts.

Because if we don't confront our comfort zones, real weight loss becomes impossible.

I have a friend who has been trying to lose weight for years. She's over 250 pounds and needs to do it for her health. But she doesn't exercise. When I ask her why, she says she's too embarrassed to go to a gym and wants to lose weight first.

But, it's impossible to lose weight without exercising, I say. Even if it's just a mile walk daily around the neighborhood you need to do something, I tell her. But, my friend is insistent that she's too embarrassed to do even that. Because my friend won't leave her comfort zone, she not only doesn't lose the weight she's put on, she puts on more weight yearly. No diet alone has ever worked, and no diet alone will ever work. She's gone on every fad diet that has come down the pike and while all have led to temporary weight loss, she never fails to eventually put that weight back on.

Losing weight is a bitch, it's never easy. We have to confront what's easy and comfortable for us, and leave those old routines behind forever.


  1. I could be that friend of yours! You might have been talking about me in that post!:) My comfort zones became extra comfortable, and now I am still slightly reluctant to move out of them. I find gym equipment so boring, even though I have an exercise bike and some resistance bands at home. I use them daily, but not for long. Those comfort zones even wanted to keep me indoors, where it is 'safe'. I am learning I have to bite the bullet. You are right - my old routines have to go if I really want to lose 80lbs. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. You are so right!!! The comfort of bad habits is what put on the weight to begin with. The more I keep hearing about all the runners out there, the more I'm thinking about it.... I already treadmill.....

  3. Here here.