I will share with you the story of one of my clients that I helped to lose weight.
Sara was overweight and struggled for many years to lose weight. She had tried many ways but so far nothing worked for her (she went through diets several times, hired personal gym & aerobics instructor, did swimming when not doing sports), till she decided to try a different way, contacting a personal coach. When we met the first time she was almost hopeless. We spend more than 2 hours talking about her childhood, teenage period then her career and personal life. Slowly but feeling more confident, she started to get more energetic and got involved in the conversation. I told her that she doesn’t need me but if she wants to break the patterns of the past, and create her vision for the future I can support her through coaching. The first day we started to work together I used “the comfort zone” exercise.
I asked Sara what she does regularly and together we identified that circle that I call “The comfort zone”. In other words, what she does regularly, on daily basis. I checked with her the understanding of the statement “If you want to be somewhere you have never been, you must do something you have never done” and paused till she was ready to continue. Because she has an IQ above average, she quickly understood it properly but confirmed that even though she wanted so much to lose weight and be fit, she couldn’t. We started coaching and Sara was having many insights. Among other fears, she came out of the fear of not being loved. She recalled when she was child that her mom kept telling her that if she didn’t eat all the food she would not love her. At other times her mother was saying that she was lucky they have food on plate because other children were dying from lack of food.
Unconsciously, Sara picked up the fear of not being loved, if she wouldn’t eat all the food and please her mom – the person she loved the most. And to please her and get more attention and love, she was eating more and more. The same thing happened when she got married. When she started to lack attention from her husband her fear of not being loved and not being good enough was triggered. So, again she started to overeat and gain a lot of weight. Being overweight, she started to have low self-esteem and feeling that she was not being loved enough. She was eating her emotions and not the food. This insight brought her into tears. As I was using neuro-coaching techniques, I left her for a couple of moments to contemplate and get relief of past emotions till she started to feel better. Then we started with the “comfort zone” exercise.
Comfort zone: she is over-eating, so this is her comfort zone. You must know that fear lives around comfort zone.
Stretch zone: Things you know you should do but you have never done:
Most of people that want to lose weight know what I mentioned above, but this remains their wish-list. Everything you desire is a dream but only when you take action it becomes a reality. In most of the cases, fear decides for us, and leaves us without choices but only procrastination.
The first important step is to stretch out of your comfort zone. When you take this action, celebrate and congratulate yourself even for the very little steps. By doing so, you get more confidence and motivation to continue further.
Risk zone: You don’t know if you can do it.
Most people give up on risk zone. They sabotage themselves unconsciously. That’s why it is important to have guidance and support from professional people. Moving from 3 big meals to eating five times/day smaller portions was a progress for Sara.
Exercising – brisk walking everyday in the morning
Die Zone: You think you are going to die if you do it (physical and emotional). You consider it “mission impossible”.
In case of Sara, the “die zone” was having a sugar free diet. She thought she couldn’t make it but she did it.
You have to do this exercise step by step, moving from comfort zone – stretch zone – risk zone – die zone. Anytime you want to go from one zone to the other, fear arises because your brain wants to keep you safe and protect you from being hurt or feel failure. Fear can’t guarantee that you will be safe in the new zone. It alarms, through amygdala, the same way as being physically threatened.
You must be persistent and create new habits in order to get out of your “Comfort Zone”.
I will talk in another article about beliefs and new habits. Till then perspire and get out of your comfort zone.