No pain, no gain. There is some truth to this.
Think back to a time when you made a hard decision. Not necessarily something life-changing at the moment, but a choice that took you out of your comfort zone. It challenged you. It made you uncomfortable to even think about it; even more so to actually follow through with it.
Now think about how you felt after you succeeded. Tastes pretty good, doesn’t it?
We are comfort-seeking creatures. Our bodies tell us all day what feels good and what feels bad. Pleasure and pain are the fundamental, biological signals that allow us to collect information from the world around us. These are good signals that should be acknowledged so we can make the right decisions and learn about ourselves. Yet these signals can also be barriers that keep us from improving and taking that next step with courage. Let’s face it, we would rather be comfortable, but that’s not how we improve.
This is especially true when you try to change your body through exercise and nutrition. What separates the person who gets minimal results from the one who has amazing results? Intensity. By intensity, I mean your willingness to be uncomfortable. A person must be willing to go outside of their comfort zone to change, and whoever travels out the furthest gets the best results.
Let me illustrate with an example from someone right here in our community. I’m going to underline the disadvantages she had to overcome along the way.
Just this year a 58-year-old woman lost 50 pounds in five months, preparing for knee replacement surgery. Her exercise routine consisted of two strength-training sessions per week that were 30 minutes each, but performed zero cardio sessions because she could barely walk. How did she get this done? This woman decided to intentionally and intensely change her nutrition and work through pain in order to walk, or dance, or just live better. Was she comfortable in this process? No way… but she’s much more comfortable now than she was 50 pounds ago.
I’m not asking you to be uncomfortable for nothing. I’m asking you to decide that something else is more important than your comfort at this time. Are your results worth it?
Want to lose fat? Be willing to give up some of your food. Being comfortable is what got you fat.
Want to get stronger? Be willing to push weights that will challenge you.
Want to walk up the stairs and not lose your breath? Be willing to walk those stairs every day and it will happen.
“If you really want to do something you will find a way. If you don’t, you will find an excuse.” — some wise person
Venturing outside of your comfort zone has always been the way to improve. Human beings are designed this way. What are you going to do this week that will make you uncomfortable in order to improve? Now do it … it will feel really good.
Mark Moreland is the owner of Body Outfitters Personal Training Studio in Zionsville and has 13 years of experience as a personal trainer. Mark welcomes your comments and ideas for future topics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.