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Discomfort and Weight Loss



Just got back from Pilates class.


I drag myself there, but I love the feeling when I’m done.


I started about 6 months ago and I’m getting stronger. Actually stronger.

In the beginning, I couldn’t even hold my body in the full push-up position (called a plank). Now, I can hold my plank up to 60 seconds (woo hoo!).


It feels so good to watch my body change and become more powerful.  


This result comes with a price tag, though.

I have to show up twice a week and I have to push my muscles past their comfort zone.


If I only do what feels easy, I will not improve. Sure I’ll burn some calories, but I won’t get stronger. So I have to tolerate some discomfort.


It’s a great metaphor for all growth/improvement.


Discomfort is inevitable when we’re trying something new, looking to change or grow.


I was so resistant to the idea that there’s pain in growth. But the more I watch my kids struggle through their school assignments and notice the difficulty I experience while building Maintenance University and see it with my clients’ successes, I know it to be true.


Weight loss and maintenance is one great growth opportunity.


Changing course when it comes to eating habits certainly puts you in the position to tolerate discomfort. When you no longer use food to soothe, there are some moments to endure.

Time to reframe the discomfort as part of the growth process.

Because the reward of living easily in a body you’re happy with is worth it.


Here are 3 steps to getting through the discomfort of growth:


Step 1: Feel the fear and do it anyway.

  • Acknowledge the pain and difficulty you feel and still do what’s necessary.


Step 2: Keep the end in mind

  • Remembering your goal and why you want it sustains your motivation


Step 3: Revel in the feeling of pride.

  • Reward yourself (with something other than food) for accomplishing what you set out to do.


If the discomfort was just too great, use the information you gained from going through the difficult situation and scale-down the expectation for next time. Then try again.


Just like we shouldn’t exercise through tremendous physical pain, we should strive to discern between discomfort and true “STOP NOW” emotional pain.


Start with the Minimum Viable Discomfort (MVD).


As you manage each MVD incident, you’ll gain confidence making the next one seem more do-able. Before you know it, your ultimate goal is in reach.


The last piece of this growth puzzle is kindness.

We can be in pain and kind to ourselves at the same time.


Kindness, understanding, deep acceptance and appreciation for yourself as you navigate any growth opportunity makes the process more pleasant and increases the likelihood of success.


No pain, no gain, no kindness, no sustained success.



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