Comfort Zone – Should You Get Out?

Cozy Couch

When I think of the word comfort what comes to mind is a warm, cozy room whee I feel loved and secure. But when I think of the words comfort zone I think of a place where I’m comfortable yes, but also a place where I might be letting the status quo get the best of me.

I always had good intentions, even as I was gaining upwards of 50 pounds a year. I intended to lose weight (again) and I intended to exercise and I intended to make some positive changes in my relationships but I didn’t. Why? There are probably a thousand and one reasons I couldn’t get myself going but one of them was due to the fact that I was comfortable.

Not comfortable sitting in chairs or moving from place to place, but comfortable in my fatness. I felt insulated and safe in many ways. I didn’t have to “put myself out there” because no one expected much of the Fat Diane. I didn’t have to try new adventures because I wasn’t physically capable. I was comfortable in existing but not improving.

Why can it be so hard to move out of our comfort zones? Here’s some thoughts I had:

  • scary
  • unknown results
  • lack of self confidence
  • risky
  • rewards not known
  • hard to take the first step
  • lazy
  • pressure from others to stay put
  • influences

For me it was a combination of a lot of these things. I was scared to really give 100% effort at improving my health. I didn’t know if I could make enough right choices to make a difference. And I was afraid of what might happen. I knew that losing some weight, okay a lot of weight, would improve my health, but I also knew that changing my life would well – – change my life. Was I really ready for that?

It took me a long time to get to the place where I could move out of my comfort zone. Oh sure, occasionally I’d stick my toe outside my comfort zone for other things, like selling kitchen products (that’s another blog post), or having another baby, but when it came to moving my body and making good food choices I was firmly ensconced on my comfy couch. What finally got me to haul myself out of my comfy cushions was the realization that if I continued down my current path I could end up housebound or worse. I got so worried about my health and so disgusted with my ugly, homemade jumpers that I got up and got moving. Even though a “negative” emotion got me started, that negative emotion was quickly replaced by one amazingly positive experience after another. And not just with my weight, but with my life.

Where are you? Are you on the couch or out on the road? If you’ve made that move what got you there? How did you get out of your comfort zone and take the risk to try something new? Diane


Here’s the guest post I did for Frito-Lay on Holidays Don’t Have To Be Hard. It’s true – they don’t!!

29 thoughts on “Comfort Zone – Should You Get Out?

  1. Yum Yucky says:

    My comfort zone is the dreaded couch. There’s some type of potion it releases whenever I sit down on *just* the family room couch – no other. The dang thing makes me tired and sleepy and lazy at any time of day. And causes me to do jack if it gets a hold of me.

    Many day of fitness have been forfeited because of it. Geesh.
    .-= Yum Yucky´s last blog ..I’m Gonna Have a Foodgasm! episode 3 =-.

  2. 266 says:

    For me I think it’s the continuation of the journey – not the beginning of it – that is outside of my comfort zone. I have never had a problem with starting a new diet or exercise regimen, but sticking with it? Having people finally notice the changes, feeling accountable to the readers of my blog, and knowing that these differences will effect my husband and future children are the things that take some getting used to for me. Making this a lifestyle choice rather than a temporary solution is where I have moved beyond my normal range of comfort.
    .-= 266´s last blog ..Appreciation =-.

  3. Marisa (Trim The Fat) says:

    Hmmm…I have thought about this a lot lately. Seems I have taken comfort in being 10 pounds from the “high end” of my goal weight. I have been working on other changes such as trying to free myself of dieting and instead, eating intuitively. That has been my new focus, however, it’s definitely a learned behavior that requires much more time and effort than I realized. I’m okay with that part, but the “10 pounds from goal” still lurks in the back of my mind and I can’t help but wonder if it’s just me being afraid to move out of my comfort zone and take it all the way…

  4. Monica says:

    This is why I find your posts to inspirational. I don’t know if you remember but when I first started coming around I thought I couldn’t manage to make it work but now I’m losing weight and feeling good about myself for the first time in a long time.

    I am out of my comfort zone – not every day, but a lot of days I get out and make choices that are better healthier and good for me.

  5. Uma says:

    My comfy spot is the bed – warm safe and insulated from the world….as much as I wish to be fit and not fat – I am stuck here in my comfy spot not making any effort -the intention and want is there – but nothing else 🙁

  6. mamajuliana says:

    I was (and still am at times) afraid of failure again. I was miserable being my fatself, but I was also comfortable. I didn’t have to try I could just let be and stay my….fatself!

    I am in the middle of it all now and there are times when I can’t believe that I have come this far…then there are the times when it seems that it could be easier just to quit. It depends on the day…

    This might sound silly, but one of my biggest hurdles to cross was actually exercising! When I first started doing any kind of exercise I was actually embarrassed about the way I looked doing it! I would wait until the hubby and the kids were not home, and not goin to return for a LONG time, then I would begin to ‘move it’. I would make sure that there were no mirrors around or even reflections from picture frames-so I wouldn’t catch a glimpse of myself exercising! Sometimes I even turned off the lights! I know, that sounds silly…

    Now I don’t care who’s at home when I exercise! Let ’em look! That is actually how I got the name for my blog…when I am getting ready to do fitness walking time at home now…I go to our rec room and say, “Fat Woman Walkin’ and they know it’s my time-mom needs the dvd player! IT is nice to here, “No your not, Mom.” now from the kids!

    Thank you so much for your wonderful posts!!!

  7. Larkspur says:

    My yes, I do that. But I think I do it more professionally than with my weight. I would like work that challenges me more but that would require more time and more committment– I’m actually scared of that as I have a young child in addition to the big kids and I don’t want her to be overlooked. And yet my forties are passing and I’m still kind of treading water where I was. Not sure in my case whether it’s prudence or laziness 🙂
    .-= Larkspur´s last blog ..That BMI Thing =-.

  8. Ka says:

    Diane, your posts are great and help me a lot to keep my motivation. Yes, I was in a comfort zone for a long time and it wasn’t until I decided to lose weight that I realized how bad it really was. It seemed to be so easy being there, but now I see how easier (and better) life can be when we are at a healthy weight. I’m still struggling with the last lbs but the worst has gone, and I can say it’s been totally worth getting out of my comfort zone.

  9. Mia says:

    I think that Comfort Zones should be constantly changing throughout our lives. If we want to continue to grow as human beings we must constantly push ourselves beyond the margins we create for ourselves. This applies to everything in life, our personal growth, our jobs, our relationships and yes, our approach to nutrition and exercise.

    Have a great weekend!

    Mia

  10. vickie says:

    This isn’t mine – it is Jonathon’s:

    ‘When you are experiencing a true plateau –that is, you are not gaining, and you are not losing– it is the result of the fact that your desire to change is exactly equal to your desire to stay the same.’

    if you want to read the whole thing:
    http://jack-sprat.net/?p=62

    It is from June of 2006. I keep a link on my side bar. I read it several times a year.

    And – babies were a part of my hiding routine. Because no one expects much of a pregnant person, no one expects much of a new mom, no one expects much of the mother of a toddler. It was part of my cycle. I look at lovely baby bumps now and realize there WAS another way instead of just turning into an whale and not moving. I have pregnant women in my exercise classes on a regular basis. And I am so happy that they are not using their pregnancies as an excuse – because I certainly did. My pregnancies were even more protection than my fat.
    .-= vickie´s last blog ..It IS emotional, and I thought it wasn’t =-.

  11. Amy says:

    Another great post Diane! The problem with being in a comfort zone is that it is so hard to get your momentum going to push you somewhere else!

  12. Leah says:

    I can relate to this so much!

    Sometimes I have to realize that I’m not losing because I’ll have to work at it and thus get out of my comfort zone. I may have to push myself a little harder than I like, and then when I see that I was capable of rising to a certain level I can’t say things like, “I can’t lose weight.” because now I’ve proven I can.

    Don’t know if that makes sense or not. 🙂 Anyway, it’s very true post. I know that I’m having to push myself out of my comfort zone and I surprise myself a little when I see what I’m capable of.
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..Weigh-In … Back On Track =-.

  13. michelle says:

    Today I decided not to live by master plans of anything. I want to get out of the comfort zone of ‘starting tomorrow’ by solely focusing on making today perfect! It is so damn freeing.
    .-= michelle´s last blog ..Annoucement!!! =-.

  14. Josie says:

    Maybe that’s why I still haven’t started c25k even though I had planned to a week ago. I’m scared to run. I’m afraid of the results (falling, making fool of self) and yes, it is so hard to just take that first step. Thanks Diane for reminding me that this is just me wanting to stay in my comfort zone. I can’t expect change if I’m not willing to make the change.

  15. Pam says:

    I am definitely struggling with a comfort zone, and have been benched for weeks. I am going to be trying for as long as I am able to working diligently again. I have a feeling that I am about to be sidelined with a medical condition for a while, but I won’t let it defeat me, either. Its funny, I saw this journey as a straight line that I was going to get to fairly soon, but its turning out to be a very winding road with surprises around the big turns!
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..Let The Half Time Festivities Begin! =-.

  16. Gina Fit by 41, Maybe 42 says:

    My comfort zone is like a magnet…it keeps pulling me back. And each time I’ve tried to pull away (and would lose weight), I’d be pulled back to the zone, and the magnetism would be that much stronger.

    My health is in question, now. I’m starting a fitness journey…and I’m so scared. I want this to work and be a permanent change. I want to get so far from the zone that I can’t feel the pull.

    I see the proverbial starting line. I’ve got my “shoes” on and my number. I’ve warmed up. I just haven’t walked up to that line.
    .-= Gina Fit by 41, Maybe 42´s last blog ..Rake, Baby, Rake =-.

  17. Sunny says:

    It was pure, unadulterated fear. High blood pressure, raising blood sugar test results with a large family history of diabetes…how much further was I going to go, killing off myself prematurely? That’s when I decided to start living responsibly. No more knee-jerk reactions to life by stuffing myself with food. Face life head on, instead of ducking it with unhealthy food. Literally get off that sofa, and dance. Enjoy life by becoming healthy.
    .-= Sunny´s last blog ..GOODBYE, 140’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cya! Don’t wanna be ya! =-.

  18. Gigi says:

    Oh, you really touched a nerve when you wrote about not getting started because “no one expected much of the fat Diane”. I think that’s part of my problem – if I accomplish this goal then bigger and better things will be expected of me…and I’ve already lived so beneath my potential that it feels like a very overwhelming task. But of course my comfort zone has gotten me nowhere and so I figure up is the only way out. Great post!
    .-= Gigi´s last blog ..Shhhhh…..She’s Thinking =-.

  19. Jody - Fit at almost 52 says:

    Such a great post. I guess I was tired of being me when I finally pushed out of the comfort zone. BUT like you said Diane, it is a mixture of things like lack of self confidence which is part of a lot of overweight people’s problems & I had fear of failure as well.

    Now I can push myself big time in the gym BUT I still have that fear outside of gym stuff. I need to find how to get out of the comfort zone there.

    Diane, always great posts!!! Going to read your Frito post now!
    .-= Jody – Fit at almost 52´s last blog ..You Say It’s My Birthday??? =-.

  20. Jody - Fit at almost 52 says:

    Great Frito post! I wrote this there: Diane, you know me, I follow all of what you said above! I plan, plan, plan & know what I do & do not want to indulge in. I keep up the good eating all thru the holidays but choose what is most important to me when I splurge. I also do not let my exercise program lag. I find a way to do it no matter what! Makes it so easy to enjoy the holidays in all ways! And it is about family & friends, not just food!
    .-= Jody – Fit at almost 52´s last blog ..You Say It’s My Birthday??? =-.

  21. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    I think it’s so easy to get stuck in our comfort zone in all areas of our life. I think moving outside our comfort zone involves change & the unknown and that’s scary. Stepping outside of our comfort zone also often means acknowledging that what we had told ourselves wasn’t possible for so long, is actually possible. We often have to admit that we were wrong. And that’s hard to do but so important. And I think the key is to start slowly and take it one step at a time. It’s all about moving in the right direction…

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