Sunday, March 30, 2014

Removing myself from the dreaded Comfort Zone

Over the course of the last year I’ve allowed myself to get somewhat comfortable in my weight loss journey. It’s certainly not that I’ve given up … but I’ve allowed myself to get comfortable. The downside to being in ones comfort zone is nothing really happens there. You sort of float around, maintaining … which isn’t a bad thing, but at this point in my life and journey I need to push myself to be uncomfortable.

In April of last year, I had surgery. It was deemed to be a routine procedure where the recovery period was to be 6-weeks.  Unfortunately, due to complications, it turned out to be a 6-month recovery. During that time I was advised by my physician to not do any activity. Nothing, nada, zilch. It was a very long 6-months which involved weekly trips to a physical therapists office to try to help myself get better. A lot of frustration – both emotionally and physically and to this day I’m still dealing with a few issues from the procedure.

I’ve been so used to tracking and planning my meals so when I was advised after surgery to eat protein to speed up the healing process, I was like “Alright…”. Truthfully, in my mind, I was like “Okay … I can eat protein and track it.” But during that time I was told to not follow any weight-loss program… so I followed doctors orders for the first 4-weeks and didn’t track but ate mindfully (and maybe subconsciously tracked points in my head just to feel a sense of accountability and not like it was a free-for-all). During that first 6-week period zero activity was fine for me because I had a hard enough time walking a short distance. I suffered an unrelated shoulder injury during surgery and it affected my posture, my ability to move, etc. I had abdominal surgery which also added onto my pain and also added onto some of the complications I suffered.

Fast forward to 6-months post-recovery and I was advised that I could begin activity, in small doses, and do what felt right. I was also advised to not lift anything over 20-pounds for 3-months.

I’ve had my ups and my downs over the last year … but for the most part I have been maintaining. I’m proud of myself for being able to maintain for that length of time, particularly after all the emotional and physical jolts I’ve been through. But now that it’s about a year later … it’s time to put my “big girl panties on” and keep it moving.
It’s time to make myself uncomfortable because nothing “life changing” begins in my comfort zone.

My goal weight is within sight, but I don’t want to focus on the number. Focusing on how much I have to lose and how close I am sometimes scares me. As with anyone who’s lost weight we sometimes panic when we’re nearing the end of our weight loss journey and I personally don’t want to freak out. I also realize that since I’ve been a Weight Watchers member for 4-years, it would be REALLY nice to not have to pay my monthly membership once I get to goal and lifetime.

So how am I going to shake things up and get myself out of my comfort zone?

Well, I’m finally going back to work … I was laid off from my job last year and I was recently extended a full-time ob opportunity, which I accepted , that will give me some structure during the day. The kitchen won’t be accessible so I’ll be forced to be prepared. This way, whatever food I bring with me to work will be what I have for the day (all pre-tracked and portioned). My new job is also about a 10-minute drive away from my gym …so that means I can start taking some classes that begin at 5:30pm and I can also include some weight training into my routine. I’m aiming to make a “work, gym, home” routine for myself. Of course I’ll have to coordinate my workouts to work with my physical limitations, while working at gaining more strength without hurting myself. I’ve also been making meal plans for the week, so I can have an idea of foods I have available to whip together for myself, depending on the mood I’m in and if I want to take my time making something or if I want to make something quick.  I’ve also been working on asking myself if I really want something and not just having it because I feel like it or because it’s there and seems like a good idea. Also, working towards eating more power foods and reaching for carbohydrates a little less will definitely help me out. I’ll also be going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier, which will help get me “back on track” in that respect … because sleep is very important not only to function but it can make or break weight loss.

All of these in combination will undoubtedly shake up my world, bring me out of my comfort zone and keep me focused on being a better version of myself each and every day. It may lead to a new routine that is chugging forward instead of floating gracefully in the abyss.


  1. Shannon,
    I am looking forward to continuing to see how you are doing in your new plan. I know you can do it, and perhaps the new "out of your comfort zone" plan will turn into a nice new routine. I come to your site everyday and you have helped me an amazing amount already. I love your reviews/recipes and hope you can continue with all of your new responsibilities. I am inspired by your talk about comfort zone to start getting up earlier in the morning so I can fit in my physical activity for the day before my day gets out of control with work and kids. Thank you so much for putting yourself out there!

    1. Thank you for reading! I have high hopes for this new routine, I think it'll be the shake-up I need and the re-focus I'm looking for. I'll definitely share an update as things progress. I'm glad to hear you were inspired and are going to be fitting activity in in the morning. Best of luck and please do let me know how you're doing!

  2. Congratulations on this new step Shannon. Thank you for sharing your recipe finds. I look forward to hearing how things are going. Good luck.

    1. Thank you! And thanks to you for reading!

  3. Congratulations on your new job! And, on starting your new routine. You have come so far, and your transformation is really awesome. :)