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Comfort zones are overrated

When you embark on a new eating plan you try lots of new-to-you foods. Grains like quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), amaranth and spelt. Greens like arugula, watercress and chard. Similarly, when you’re trying new forms of exercise be open to a broad range of possibilities. Not everything you try is gonna stick, right?  You may find that ballroom dancing is not your thing, but maybe belly dancing is! There are about one bazillion different kinds of yoga, so try at least a couple of them.

marilyn-mckenna-yogaI discover my best finds after an injury forces me to stop one activity and pick up something new. I finally relented and tried hot yoga after a stress fracture led me to several doctors and friends who were all singing its praises. I took my first class a few years ago and have never looked back. Hot yoga, because it’s done in a room that’s 105 degrees and 40% humidity, takes some getting used to. But the heat, the deep stretching, the peaceful meditative quality of it make my little heart sing. I love this stuff. My body absolutely craves it. And I never would have known that if I hadn’t been willing to give it a try.

My favorite form of aerobic activity is running, but I can’t always do it because of injuries. Running is a cruel companion! My most recent injury led me to take up swimming, yet another form of exercise I had previously resisted pretty strenuously because I didn’t feel comfortable with it. I hadn’t swum (other than being in a pool with my kids as toddlers, holding them while they splashed around) since I took lessons at the YMCA when I was nine years old. I didn’t know how to do the breathing thing; I wear contacts and I didn’t know if I should wear them, and if not, how could I see? And it just sounded boring to me. But I decided to push past that resistance, outside of my comfort zone, and try it.

Because I didn’t know how to swim for fitness I opted for lessons. Yes, you can take adult swimming lessons! The lessons taught me some basic skills and gave me the confidence to start swimming on my own. After a couple months I could do more than a mile in the pool. I dropped weight, sculpted my upper body and even better, discovered that I absolutely love swimming! Huh, who knew?!

My point is, there is no growth inside your comfort zone. Just none. You must keep pushing into new territory to keep your workouts interesting, to tax muscles in different ways (cross-training, remember?) and to find new things that get you jacked up. You’re gonna miss out on those things if you don’t push yourself.

Losing weight is hard, for sure. But it gets easier. And you’re so damn worth it!

Let’s go get it!!!


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