Want to be Skinnier? Expand Your Comfort Zone - @GalTime

Health

Want to be Skinnier? Expand Your Comfort Zone

Published: 8/20/2013

How a need to be coddled is sabotaging your weight loss efforts

Every truly skinny woman I know has a big comfort zone. They can sprint to their connecting flight at the airport. They're fine with rock hard bleachers at the little league baseball game. They don't freak out when the air conditioning doesn't work. Without a doubt, a major character trait for the effortlessly slim is that they're more comfortable in more places and aren't afraid of being uncomfortable.

The inverse is true, too. Every (chronically) overweight woman I know has a shrinking comfort zone. They just might miss that flight because that gate is on the other side of the airport, or they bring a seat cushion to the baseball game or panic at a broken AC. And let's not even get into hunger—a chronically overweight person can't bear the pangs, and as a result they keep snacks on them and can't function without a diet soda.

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I rarely see an obese New Yorker and anyone who has lived in New York City knows that the city doesn't accommodate rigid comfort zones. You may find yourself on an un-airconditioned subway car next to someone who hasn't showered in days. You'll climb steps to get up and down into the stations, chase buses, walk for blocks on end. That pre-war, pre-elevator apartment is yours if you can do a five-story walk up! In New York, a big comfort zone either becomes your way of life—or you move.

It's a chicken-or-egg scenario. Those with expanded comfort zones tend to ride out the strife, which physically challenges the body, and in turn burns more calories. Plus, with a light and fit body, one is more apt to deal with the challenge in the first place! So how can you expand your comfort zone (read that as make your life healthier)?

How to Expand Your Comfort Zone

1. Become aware of your current comfort levels and see where you can expand it. Maybe air conditioning is non-negotiable but you are willing to carry your bags to your hotel room instead of paying the bellhop.

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2. Break from routine. Get out of your rut. Take a different route to work or to the park. Traveling is a surefire way to find those opportunities. When visiting my mom, I suck it up and sleep on the floor for the night. The goal is to rewire your brain, so you react to "hardship" positively. Instead of, "Woe is me" think, "Ok, let's see what I'm made of right now." It will lead to a thinner, healthier life over time.

3. See inconvenience as an opportunity. Car breaks down a mile or two from home? Walk it. Get off your train a stop early. Do a few errands on foot. Elevator out? Hit the stairs. Start seeing these little glitches as the opportunities they are to get physically engaged and a little comfier with the uncomfortable.

And remember, it's not about roughing it or being a martyr. Don't go off the grid and plow your own fields just because you want to drop some l-bs! Simply think twice and chill out the next time you seek momentary - fleeting - discomfort, and you'll experience, first hand, the way of the skinny woman.

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