We all get stuck in a rut every now and then. As for me, I am definitely a creature of habit. If I happen to make a meal that I especially enjoy, I can have it 5 days a week indefinitely. I don’t get bored with it. I have worked with other people who get bored very easily and have to switch things up constantly. When you are working on losing weight often it makes things so much easier to automate and just come up with 2 or three menus and cycle through them until you make some progress. Neither is wrong. It depends on how you are made. And we are all unique and different.
That’s not what I am referring to in this post. Often we are stuck in a habit that is no longer serving us. Many times it takes getting sick or injured for us to realize we better make some changes. Now I realize change is not easy and it is especially difficult for some of us, myself included. Some people love change and others dig their heels in and refuse to move out of their comfort zone.
I see this quite often as it relates to health and nutrition. Even when something is clearly not working for you, and you know it, familiarity usually wins. Even if it is painful – as in you are overweight, or in pain, or have no energy – there is a comfort about it. People in advertising use this truth all the time: they know people express undue liking for things merely because they’re familiar with them. It is referred to as the “familiarity breeds liking” effect.
Comfort zone isn’t all that comfortable at all – it’s just familiar! It feels safe and “normal.” Staying in that place, that comfort zone, can create a lot of collateral damage and unnecessary pain. So I don’t call that space a “comfort zone” I call it the default zone. It is what we know, feel safe with because it is familiar and so we just stay in it because the unknown, the new, is too scary!
But is it really? We have to break out of our patterns and embrace change, which may cause us some discomfort. However, we need to realize that we may already be quite uncomfortable in the situation we are in. Just because we are used to something, doesn’t mean it is the best situation for us.
This is true in relationships, in changing your diet, starting an exercise plan, beginning a new job – it all begins with an unknown. The only way it becomes familiar and our new normal is to push through the awkwardness in the beginning. You may have to get used to new foods. Change your meal times. Stop visiting those old friends (like chips and donuts and candy) and make some new ones (like kale, salmon and apples)!
I want to encourage you today not to stay stuck in “normal” and step out into “new”. You may like it so much better and you’ll never know until you take that step. The choice is yours. And you never have to do it alone. Help is one click away.
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