Monday, July 2, 2012

Cycling out of My Comfort Zone

As I stated at the beginning of June, I had a goal to lose 6 pounds.  Recapping the month, the first week I would have weighed in, my sister-in-law had stepped on the Zero Scale and made it look like I gained 24+ pounds the first week.  The second weigh in I lost 2 pounds.  Last week I forgot to weigh myself and this week I weighed myself but no photo because I left my camera at work on my desk and though I tried with the iPhone, it was so blurry you can't read it.  So you'll have to trust me when I say that I got exactly what I deserved based on how I've been eating and my total loss for the month was .6.  That's point six (i.e. just over half a pound) if you can't see the point.  So that's that.

I call that maintaining and since I "supposedly" want to lose weight and not maintain, the whole thing has been rumbling in my brain all weekend.  I mean, I keep paying lip service to weight loss but actions speak louder than words.  Even though I know I'm at a very, very dangerous place in this comfort zone I'm in, I can't seem to break out of it. It seems that good enough is good enough.

Ironically (or maybe not if you're a person who believes karma will put you where you need to be), by accident, I caught  the beginning of Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition (and I say accident because I didn't know that show was on) last night and saw part of the story of Mike who weighed 493 lbs.  He was given the opportunity to work with personal trainer Chris Powell for a year to try to lose half his body weight.  During the very first workout, Chris ended up walking away after threatening that he would quit because Mike wasn't giving 100%.  Mike wasn't even really giving 50% and Chris' attitude is that there are a lot of people who would give a thousand percent to have the opportunity therefore Mike needed to sit and think about what he was going to lose if Chris permanently walked away.  Chris explained:
"This whole process is about learning to be uncomfortable and learning to be OK with that.  It's mind over body."
Right at that moment I felt like he was speaking to me.

You see, I went to my first cycle class for black belt on Saturday and as I've mentioned before I've been pretty nerved up about it. We had a short informational meeting about what the requirements were to pass our test and then we were put through a fitness test so that not only the senseis but also so we could understand where we are and what we need to work on as individuals.  It was hard.  It was really hard.  At one point as we were doing sprints, the instruction was to run to the first station, drop and do a burpee, then come up and do a knee up, run back to base then run to second station, etc. (there were 4 stations). The knee up is not something that is done in Muay Thai - it's a karate move. It consists up jumping straight up in the air while pulling your knees to your chest.  I happened to be in a line with all karate students, one of whom is an adult testing for third degree.  I looked right at him and said, "Tom, I can't do that.  We don't do that in Muay Thai."  He responded, "You can do it.  Don't say you can't.  Watch us, copy what we do, and then remember, it's mind over body."  At the end of the class as I was picking up my gear he walked over and said, "Helen, if you hadn't said to me that you couldn't do that move, I would have thought you were a karate student.  You did those knee ups perfectly.  Your knees came up high, your arms stayed tucked in and you kept your fists right under your chin.  I don't ever want to hear the word can't come out of your mouth again."  I thanked him and then said maybe it was all the years of watching Mr. Helen.  

In any case, I came away Saturday having survived the cycle and knowing that in the next 6 months it was going to be mind over body.  To have that reiterated again only confirmed to me what my July goal would be:

Be Uncomfortable
Mind Over Body
Mind Over Food


  1. Great post, very well written. I have nothing to add, you said it all perfectly. The only thing is that it is a good reminder for myself. Thank you for that.

  2. so lovely and so well phrased.
    I need to consider runnnning out of my zone of comfy.



  3. I am having one heck of an ah-ha moment...and you can be sure I will be blogging about it. Thank you Helen :-) Oh, and good going on those knee-ups!

  4. Hmmm. "Be uncomfortable." Not sure I could ever write that as a goal. That test sounds pretty strenuous for someone who's supposed to be taking it easy! How are you feeling today?

    1. My shoulder is sore which is no big surprise. I actually had to skip the other pushups done at the end of class and just plank because it kept collapsing. I'm sure the doctor would not be happy with me. My back was a bit sore from the burpees but felt fine after I got home and iced it and yep, took some Motrin. It has felt fine since. This week will be a good test for me as I don't see the doctor again until Friday (because of the holiday) which will mean a whole week between appointments.

  5. Thanks for sharing this, Helen. I could totally relate with "I keep paying lip service to weight loss, but actions speak louder than words". I'm on a good run for now, but it will pass, and cravings and unwillingness to exercise "because it's so hot" will return. I like the notion of being uncomfortable...for awhile. Short lived but worth it. Mind over body. That phrase is a keeper that can help me a lot, if I let it.

  6. I could totally relate to this Helen - I can talk the talk, I just haven't walked the walk. I emotionally ate over the weekend - not like I would have in the past, i.e., I had one piece of deep dish pizza, where before I'd probably eat three - but there was no movement to speak of since last Thursday. There is no way that I will get to where I want to be unless I commit 100%.

    That being said, I've maintained around 165 for nearly 4 years, I've enjoyed lots of cheese, pizza and wine - life is good, and I know I'll eventually get to where I want to be.


  7. I got really excited when I read the title of this post because I thought you meant cycling as is riding a bike out of your comfort zone LOL (guess that is on *my* mind).

    Great job on the cycle test! You need to give yourself more credit and assume you can do much, much more than you think.

  8. Thank you for this perfect post Helen!!!!

  9. As I read this, I realized that your post was speaking to me--loud and clear. I get it...I had better!

  10. Thank you for this post. I really needed to hear this.


  11. It really is true about mind over body and food. For me 90% is mind and 10% diet. If I am in the right mindset, the good results will follow. I guess I am an emotional eater. Good post.

  12. Just stopping by to say "Hi". Catching up on what's going on in your life - you are posting excellent posts as per the usual - thanks! :)
    I've been crazy busy and unable to find anything interesting to blog about but I am keeping up on you and Kelly... stalker that I am :) LOL.....

  13. Congrats on your success with the knee ups! I understand and can relate to this situation. It's a sticky place you find yourself in. When you are sitting on the fence where you are you can easily fall on either side. Marisa from Loser From Life once wrote that she had a mantra where she would ask herself something along the lines of, "how does this choice help me reach my fitness goal?" When I remember to ask myself this question when faced with food choices or exercise choices it really helps me to reset my brain and make better choices.

    It's good to remember that the momentary pleasure of eating only lasts for a few seconds while we have the food in our mouths. The joy and happiness of being fit and healthy is something we can enjoy 24/7.

  14. This is AWESOME! You are an inspiration ~

  15. I needed this post today. Nice to be catching up. Sometimes getting my black belt seems so impossible and just plain HARD. I don't think people who've never done martial arts understand how hard it is. And I don't think people who've never been overweight understand how hard pushing yourself to that point is mentally. You inspire me.

  16. You are so great and help keep me going. Can't wait to see you in that black belt. It is HARD, but he's right believing you can do it is half the battle. I needed to read this today. Thanks!