Saturday, April 06, 2013

Screw the Comfort Zone!

(UPDATE FROM 2014 - I am no longer involved with Take Shape For Life.  Some day there might be a follow-up blog article about this, but I didn't want to leave my TSFL blog posts sitting here without that disclaimer.  The weight loss was real, but the results weren't permanent.  I have always contended that restricted calorie diets only work as long as we are eating restricted calorie diets unless the underlying behaviors causing the poor eating habits are addressed.  I still believe that from the bottom of my heart.  TSFL didn't do that for me in the long term.)

Sometimes, the greatest personal growth we achieve is when we step out, or are kicked out, of our comfort zone.  For example:

This former high school gymnast who was afraid to do a handstand on the high bar, six years later was the first of her business partners to bungy jump off a 150 foot bridge in Nanaimo, Canada.  And she risked everything she owned to get that business off the ground (pun intended).

I never thought I would have kids, until I met Clint.  I wanted him, and he wanted kids.  So we had one, and then he was cute and fun and challenging. Now we've got two.  If I had never made that paradigm shift, there wouldn't be piano music and singing coming from my living room right now.

I never, EVER, thought I'd be a stay at home mom.  In fact, I used to openly scorn my mother for being a housewife even though that choice benefited me directly.  This gal was going to be the career woman who would never depend on a man for anything, though I might like to have one around.  And for many years, I had a career that was full-time plus, lucrative, and kick-ass travel package (I did international work).  Yet, a little over a year after my mother died, I gave up the money, the prestige, and the trips all over the world.  I became my mother.  I'm sure she laughs hysterically in her grave every day about that.

Although I'd been in fitness for many years, I openly scoffed at Zumba when it came out.  For another seven years, I continued to scoff Zumba, calling it "hi/lo with hips and shoulders."  And today, I teach 5 regular Zumba classes a week, plus Zumba Toning, plus Zumba Gold.  My classes have always been reasonably well attended, but with Zumba they have exploded.  And I LOVE the format!  It took me seven years to figure out that this hip and shoulder thing wasn't just a fad, but I'm glad I figured it out.

An accountant to the bone, I don't tend to make gut decisions, I make analysis-based decisions.  Pros.  Cons.  Risks.  Rewards.  I think it through before deciding for myself, and I never ask anyone to follow me unless it's a decision I've tested myself.

If I hadn't made a paradigm shift 3 months ago, I would be sticking to a way of thinking that I'd maintained for many years.  And I'd still be 171.4 pounds.  Instead, I decided to listen, to focus on my entire health picture (including depression, health, and weight).  Was it an easy thing for me?  Hell no.  It challenged many of my long-term beliefs about health and eating, and it made me feel a little like a hyprocrite to speak out for so long against low calorie diets and then try one.

Today, the hypocrite behind the typewriter weighs less than 150 pounds.

But it's not "being on a diet."  It's sooooo not that.  It's behavioral change.  The people who are most likely to keep weight off are those who address the behavioral aspect of their health choices, eating included.  A stress-based eater (me! me! me!) who doesn't address the link between stress trigger and eating is still a stress-based eater.  Less than 10% of the people who lose weight keep it off.

Take Shape For Life is an important piece of my behavioral puzzle.  While it would be great if I had had the individual discipline to "do it without pills, bars, shakes or supplements," the fact is that over 50% of the people in the US are overweight.  Over 30% in the state of Oregon are OBESE!  The "do it on your own" method is clearly not working in today's society for most people.  Yes, there are people for whom it works, and a little less than 10% of them even keep it off.  To them, hearty congratulations!

Others need a catalyst.  Something to jumpstart them so they can get on a successful path.

If you want to learn about why I chose Take Shape For Life, why I think it's not only safe, effective, and long-lasting, then I'm happy to tell you.  I'm not a hard-sell sales person.  I'm not going to chase you down.  I can't, and won't, make you do anything.  You have to be ready.  I want to work with people who are open-minded enough to listen to facts about the program and who are willing to shake up their foundations, then make an educated decision to join me.

When you are ready, I am a catalyst.