Comfort zone is easy. When is a person in a comfort zone? It is when they are not being pushed or challenged. When they are simply existing in life. It is coasting through life. Are you one of these people? Are you making the most out of your life? In the past, my daily diet comfort zone was stopping at a fast food restaurant on the way to work, bad snack and a soda mid morning, a BIG lunch, more bad snacks to get me through the afternoon and then eating a BIG dinner. After dinner, I just would lounge around and watch TV and eventually call it a day after some ice cream and/or cookies. That was life to me and it was easy. Not a thought of exercise entered my head. (Looking back at it now, it seems like it would be difficult to eat that bad, that much and for that many years. How did I do that?)
When I finally made a DECISION to get out of that zone, I woke up and started living. Was it hard the first few weeks? Heck yeah. However, I kept telling myself that this had to be good for me because I was sweating, breathing hard and using my body. I was sore for days, I hated getting up and just walking to the bathroom. I survived and eventually the pain went away as I got stronger. The workouts got easier. In fact so easy that I needed to find a new zone to challenge me and that is when I found running.
Once I could run 1 mile straight, I signed up and trained for 5Ks, then those got easy. Then 10Ks, then a marathon, then a 6 hour run. What I continue to do now is try to be uncomfortable. It was easy for almost 30 years of my life being overweight (and abusing my body). It is time for new experiences during the last part of my journey here on earth. I have a list of goals I want to reach over my next 5 years. I will never get there if I just lay off the gas pedal and ride it out at the level I am at right now.
Why wait? I know it is easy to say, "I will start on Monday. I will start when the kids go back to school. I will start once the kids get older. I will start once I find the time. Fast food is cheaper." These are delay tactics and excuses. If you keep pushing out what you NEED and WANT to do until "later", what happens when you literally run out of time? Do you really think it will be easier the longer you wait? One day it will be too late. I have lost people in my life because they kept waiting and waiting...and then one day they were gone.
Challenge Your Fears. Are you afraid of the gym? Join one this year and face what you have been avoiding. No one will bite you, you will survive and it will be good for you. Have you been exercising and "thinking" of joining a 5K? Do it. You won't die Will you come in last place? Maybe. But who cares. You don't want that to happen, then you find a 5K plan and you train and you will do fine. Don't like the results? Sign up for another one, train better and beat your previous time. The entire experience will make you physically and mentally stronger. Go to any type of race and the types of people that finish those races. No matter how they look, they were brave enough to sign up and strong enough to finish.
It takes more courage to sign up, show up and finish a race and is more important than the results. The place for your first race truly does not matter as long as you were challenging yourself, reaching the goal of finishing and/or facing a fear. Facing a fear this year, will get you at least one step out of the zone you have been sitting in for a while. Find one and face it.
Every Monday for so many years, was my "diet day". Not only did I hate Mondays because it was a workday but because I had this monkey on my back that I HAD to change my eating habits. It weighed me down for so long. Now I don't have to worry about that on Mondays or on January 1st of every year and I feel so free because of the decisions I made a while back to face something I avoided for way too long. I joined a gym and I truly exercised for the first time in my life.
Every transformation begins with a decision to make a change. Have you done that yet? Have you taken the first step to improve your life? If not, what are you waiting for? Determination, dedication and desire is what will get you to your ultimate goal. It is not how you start, it is how you finish.
By: Fred Lechuga