4 Tips To Help Ride Out The “Healthy” Discomfort ZoneKeris Marsden •
We’re over half way through January and I’ve definitely seen loads of people emerging from their caffeine, sugar and alcohol withdrawals and starting to experience a new sense of awesomeness. However, it might be the case that you’re still treading water with this healthy malarkey and just counting down the days until you can resume business as usual. Every single day can feel like a struggle as you battle cravings, wade through daily dullness and feel constantly distracted by the lack of reward in your life.
Firstly, let me reassure you it will pass.
It’s part and parcel of what I call the discomfort zone where change feels challenging and like hard work on a daily basis.
It can take a while for health to become second nature, but trust me it will.
Sometimes the hardest thing to acknowledge is that this is the best future for you, there shouldn’t be any returning to old habits that got you here in the first place. It can be a difficult wedge of kale to swallow and can mean overhauling your lifestyle and environment including a number of relationships in your life, not just transforming your nutrition and exercise.
So this whole time can just feel generally tough and quite rubbish at times and that’s why you often end up heading back to your comfort zone.
I can empathise, I really can. I might be a few years ahead when it comes to health BUT I still regularly endure the discomfort zone in other ways. I actually find it pretty rewarding because once you emerge out the other side you realise how quickly you can overcome many personal fears and doubts, you can become a very different version of yourself.
You may or may not know I recently started lecturing in nutrition at the College of Naturopathic Medicine. My first few lectures were one big venture into the scary unknown, a big change for me but I had a gut feeling that my love of teaching needed to take the next step.
My first few lectures were an endurance test of total discomfort. I panicked that my commute would be delayed, I couldn’t work the staff IT system, the register crashed on me, my presentation slides wouldn’t open, I had complete brain blanks and was challenged by some tricky questions from students. Every time I could feel my stress hormones surging and craved the comfort of being at home with a brew, my laptop and just Hamish for company who isn’t interested in mitochondrial function at all 🙂
I strongly believe we all have a gut feeling when change is necessary, good or bad. The harder it feels to contemplate, the greater the change is likely needed. When it comes to healthy change the most difficult part is truly committing and then riding out those first few moments of ‘oh flip this is tougher than I thought!” Those initial days or weeks you begin working towards a different, healthier, happier version of yourself are undoubtedly some of the roughest yet as I mentioned also the most rewarding.
This week I happily set up for a lecture effortlessly, logged in, opened slides…all hunky dory. I loved every minute of my day and it occurred to me how far I’d come in terms of feeling at ease with the process. The technology, the environment and the routine, it doesn’t phase me anymore, lecturing is starting to feel like second nature. Even if things don’t go to plan I feel in control because I’ve come to understand how things roll.
It didn’t happen overnight, each lecture just got a little easier, I began to anticipate what might go wrong and prepare strategies in advance. All of this could apply to YOU and your journey to become a healthier, fitter person. There’ll be a trudging through mud phase where it’s hard work but it’s not for long and the most important thing is that you see it through.
We’re currently watching 100’s of people attack the first phase of Fitter 16 which involves a elimination diet to support gut and healthy hormone function, there’s also a weekly training plan and a focus on sleep health and stress management. It’s not easy but each day we see all the Fitter 16er’s get some mini wins under their belt, be it weight loss, a gym session smashed, 8 hours sleep or a big mood boost and as a result they feel stronger and more confident about what they need to do going forward.
So here’s a couple of things that always help me work through my discomfort zone, many are relevant to YOU no matter what type of change you’re wading through right now:
1. Remind Yourself DAILY if you Fail To Prepare You’re Preparing To Fail
For me this involved reading ALL my slides thoroughly (100’s of em!), commuting with plenty of time and writing down my IT instructions on a post it note and sticking it to my forehead haha. At times preparation steps can be bloomin’ onerous but seriously worth their weight in gold because it means events go to plan…BOOM!
For you it could be setting aside time for weekly food prep, packing your gym kit the night before, doing a weekly shop, booking into a gym class, switching your mobile off at 8pm – anything that ensures you stay accountable to your health goals that week – there are many ways to prepare and it can make or break the success of your healthy intentions.
2. Fuel Your Confidence With Knowledge
Sounds obvious if you’re going to lecture you need to be confident in the principles you’re teaching as there are a lot of “why?” based questions. However, it’s equally important if you’re about to implement positive change that you’re confident in the transitions you’re making and know your “Why?” You have to be sure these changes are RIGHT for you so when the doubt and discomfort creep in you can reiterate the reason and keep moving forward. This requires you to do your research and maybe have some professional guidance about nutrition, exercise and managing stress, if you’re unsure the discomfort zone can be 100 times tougher to manoeuvre through.
3. Move On From Your Mistakes
Expect to be far from perfect, it’s inevitable and actually advantageous because you can only grow and learn from you mishaps and blunders. I have left lectures and found myself face palming on reflection but then quickly stopped, noted some room for improvement and congratulated myself for showing up – it’s challenging, uncomfortable at times yet I keep going back because I’m passionate about teaching, I’m getting better and enjoying it more each time.
YOU mustn’t be deterred by a missed gym session, minor detour from your meal plan, that latte, late night or handful of chocolates – the stress will cause your health more harm than the lapse in good intentions. Just keep reminding yourself of your successes so far, how good they feel, how good YOU feel – they far outweigh what just happened there and are just around the corner again the quicker YOU get back to it!
4. Don’t Let the Fear of What Could Happen…
…mean nothing happens! Change is a journey of self discovery and I’m enjoying the process of lecturing for this very reason, it’s teaching me a huge amount of stuff about myself, so imagine if I’d never stepped forward. I’d rather have regrets about something I DID do rather than something I didn’t, the former requires much more courage.
If you’re discomfort zone isn’t getting you results right come and join Team Fitter 16 those guys are hauling and lifting each other over any obstacle going and it’s grand to see the daily victories they’re experiencing. Right now you can grab PHASE 1 for just £27.
It makes no sense to struggle alone when you join our awesome community and be can be part of this….