I am a creature of comfort. I have to push myself to avoid days in…binging on a TV show. I am just fine staying in my little bubble.
But you know when I think of the best memories I have had in the past couple of years—I haven’t thought, “you know I really enjoyed that Saturday I just took the day off for myself and stayed home” (sometimes great, but hey let’s push a little).
It was the days when I pushed outside my comfort zone—when I went to a female networking event, a language exchange, decided to take a random trip or excursion solo, challenged myself to hike or do something physical I wasn’t sure I could complete.
A lot of my weight loss journey was getting comfortable with being physically uncomfortable. It was the mental challenge of telling myself that it’s worth it, that the discomfort is temporary. (Really this concept has played out in many aspects of my life, including how I coped with depression. The idea of impermanence permeating throughout everything.) I didn’t like sweating, I didn’t like being sore or in pain, or getting dirty. Now I have learned to embrace them and really love getting out in nature.
I used to beat myself up for being lazy, fat, insert insult here_____. Now I chose to have faith that I can change my circumstances. It may take work, but slowly I can shape my habits, my mind and the world around me (or at the very least how I react to it!)
“I don’t want to write that content.” Well at least get started. “I don’t want to work out.” Just get dressed. “I don’t want to cook dinner.” Prep those veggies.
Work on something for 10 minutes. I can endure 10 minutes of anything right? 10 minutes of exercise, 10 minutes of work, 10 minutes of boring conversation with someone I have no interest in talking to…It’s the getting started part that is hard for me, that’s uncomfortable, that my mind resists.
“I don’t know these people. I’m tired. This hurts. I don’t know what I’m doing.” I decide to turn off the excuses for 10 minutes and get going—you know what happens–more often than not, even 4-5 minutes is all I need to get that momentum.
Sometimes the struggle is real and I can’t win. But I tried. And I’ve done 4-5 min more of work, exercise or whatever than I did before.
So now I join super-fit friends on hikes I know I’m not well qualified to do. I used to beat myself up thinking they don’t want me along but now I don’t care. They are welcome to run up ahead if they want. I am happy to use them as motivation. I challenge myself because I enjoy the pride I feel in myself when I accomplish things I didn’t think I could.
I actually cried while on a hike in Colombia thinking about what my life was like just 2 years ago. I weighed 100 pounds more, felt like shit, avoided exercise like the plague and didn’t think I would ever see the day when I would willingly choose to hike outside, sleep outside, be in nature so much!
So challenge yourself and get uncomfortable. Do the small things every day that move you closer to a person you can be proud of.
(For those who don’t know… I am doing “30 days to 30” and sharing life lessons and stories in order to celebrate my birthday—hoping to break stigmas and stereotypes about what 30 means and looks like)