This weekend while I was hacking up all 5 lungs, wheezing like a wheezer song, and trying to breathe out of a quarter of a nostril (stupid re-infected cruditis), I determined I’d watch an episode of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition to help boost my fresh start desires… aka try to keep myself from holding up a Twinkie factory. Plus, I like that Chris Powell dude… he’s a smart dude and he isn’t too horrible to look at either.
On this particular episode, there was a lady from Las Vegas. She was pretty gung ho about wanting Chris’s help in the beginning. So much so, that in order to be taken on as a client, she walked several miles and up 5 bajillion stairs just to get the chance. For those not familiar with the show, it’s set up that they follow these people for 1 year as they transform their lives. It’s set up in 3-month increments where at the end of each increment, they weigh themselves to see if they’ve hit the goal they’ve been given. The first 3 months, they live in Colorado at a hospital, where they learn about nutrition and exercise, so it’s a pretty controlled environment. At the end of those 3 months, they are sent home to take the journey in the real world.
The first 3 months, you could tell she wasn’t confident, but she made her goal. The 2nd 3 months at home, she was less confident, but I believe she still made her goal. Then the 3rd interval hit… months 7 through 9. The polish had fallen off the newness of it all and she started skipping exercise sessions, not eating what she should be eating, and then lying about it all. Chris and his wife, Heidi, tried to change the out-of-control freight train of inevitable weight gain by inviting her back to Colorado to train with them once again. She reluctantly (and more angrily than anything) packed her bags and came back, only to half-heartedly work her way through exercise sessions with a bitter anger brewing beneath the surface.
Chris confronted her… and what he said to her hit home like a ton of bricks at a Britney Spears concert… You’re afraid of being uncomfortable! Afraid of the way your legs hurt and it’s hard to breathe when you go all in at an exercise session. Afraid to feel the feelings of sadness and anger instead of stuffing them down with a Ding Dong (do they make those any more?). Afraid of being uncomfortable! In a nut shell… that’s what this life all comes down to. To advance at anything in our lives, we’re going to HAVE to feel freaking uncomfortable at some points. It’s the newness of it all that makes it uncomfortable. The trick is to keep doing the uncomfortable thing until it becomes comfortable to us… and that’s when it’s time to take it to the next level… when it becomes comfortable.
How many times have I not exercised because I didn’t want to get sweaty and/or hated huffing and puffing and burning legs? How many times have I stuffed my face to feel better about something that has given me anxiety or made me mad? How many times have I been afraid to be uncomfortable? Too many to count.
Thank you, Chris Powell for making me realize that it’s part of life… that uncomfortableness… and unless I want to sign up to become a dust bunny in the basement, I best learn to celebrate that uncomfortable feelings bring about stronger men and women. The Twinkie factory can wait.
Oh, and by the way… the Las Vegas lady… she quit the journey… she was afraid of the uncomfortable and let it get in her way of accomplishing what she wanted so much in the beginning.