Ep #137: Expanding Your Comfort Zone

It’s nice to be comfortable. But it’s not nice when your comfort zone includes binge eating. What you want, to stop binge eating, is outside of that comfort zone so if you’re going to get it, your comfort zone needs to expand.

In this episode, I’m talking about what you need to do to expand your comfort zone so you can include into it the things you need do to stop binge eating. Doing things you haven’t done before can be uncomfortable and the only way to get comfortable doing them is to practice doing them. Learn how you can do that is make more progress toward stopping binge eating.

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WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:
  • Why binge eating is in your comfort zone
  • What needs to be included into your comfort zone to stop binge eating
  • How do to more things that feel uncomfortable
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The Stop Binge Eating Program

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Hello! Last week I told you about the free 5 Day Training I’m doing this week and if you haven’t joined yet, it’s not too late! Well, if you’re listening to this the week it comes out it’s not too late. You can go to coachkir.com/training and register and watch the replay of anything you missed BUT, the replays will only be available for about a week after the training is over so get on it before they’re gone.

Today here on the podcast, I’m going to be talking about expanding your comfort zone.

The reason why this is important is because binge eating is in your comfort zone.

I know you get extremely uncomfortable after you’ve done it but, you choose to do it because it’s an option that resides within your comfort zone.

The definition of comfort zone is “a place or situation where one feels safe or at ease without stress.”

I mean, come on. Does that describe a reason why you binge or what?

People always tell me how it’s just so easy to give in to the urge and binge. It’s the easiest thing to do when they’re feeling the discomfort of an urge or emotion and the easiest way to create fun and the easiest way to comfort or soothe themselves.

You want to be without stress and binge eating has proven to be an easy and effective way for you to do that. Temporarily of course. It’s not truly effective otherwise it wouldn’t be a problem.

But you see it as an effective way to make stress, or any discomfort, go away therefore, binge eating is in your comfort zone.

Binge eating also feels safe.

You know it. You know what to expect. There really isn’t any unknown when you’re going into it.

It’s very simple. You’re going to find food, eat it, and feel better. Again, that better feeling is going to be temporary but you’re not thinking about that or you’re hoping it won’t happen and you’ll be able to stop before it gets bad.

I’ve talked before on here how I many times chose food over friends and it was for that exact reason. So much was unknown when I’d be with someone else and doing something I hadn’t done before. I couldn’t be sure it would be as fun as I wanted it to be. Too many variables that I wasn’t in control of because I couldn’t control the other person and how they felt and acted and I couldn’t control the circumstances of where ever we were going.

But when it came to food and eating, I had all the control. I controlled what I ate, how much I ate, what I did while I ate, and in my mind, I was controlling how much fun I was going to have because I was only relying on me.

The food, in my mind, was reliable because I knew what I liked and if I was trying something new I’d make sure to also buy something I’d had before that I knew I liked just in case so I wouldn’t feel dissatisfied.

To me, bingeing was a safe choice. I know it makes very little sense because we know how unsafe it really is, not that it’s dangerous, although it could possibly be long-term, but it was destructive to my life and probably to yours too.

Bingeing is a comfortable choice.

And you know what’s not a comfortable choice? Allowing an urge to binge.

Allowing an urge to binge is when you choose to feel the urge rather than choosing to eat to make it go away.

You allow yourself to feel uncomfortable rather than eating to try to feel comfortable.

When you stay in your comfort zone, you don’t venture out into the uncomfortable. As soon as you experience discomfort you’re like, “Nope!” and you find something in your comfort zone so you can get away from it.

When you feel an urge to binge, or another feeling you don’t like, you’re like, “Nope!” and you find something to eat.

Or, when you anticipate that a feeling you are feeling that you like is going to go away the same thing happens.

You’re experiencing pleasure, it’s comfortable, and you don’t want to not feel it. Not feeling it after feeling it might be a little uncomfortable.

Stopping eating when food is delicious might leave you feeling a little uncomfortable.

Your unwillingness to feel discomfort is leading you right into a binge, or maybe even just overeating.

If you want to change, you have to be willing to step outside of comfort.

It’s probably not going to be fun, it’s probably not going to feel good but, you know what will feel good?

Feeling proud of yourself, feeling accomplished, feeling more confident. You’re not going to feel those if you are only doing what’s comfortable.

Staying in what’s comfortable may seem like a good idea, and for some things it is. Like, let’s not go do extremely dangerous things just for the sake of not being comfortable. I know some people are into that, and good for them, I hope it all works out for them but, speaking for myself and most people, I’m not going to go free solo climbing, only relying on my fingers and toes without ropes or protective equipment to scale up an enormous cliff. No thank you. I’ll choose comfort over that.

But when you’re doing things you don’t want to be doing and not doing what you want to be doing, your unwillingness to feel discomfort is probably standing in your way.

Too often I hear people say, “I just didn’t feel like it” or the opposite, “I just felt like it.”

If you feel like binge eating, not binge eating will probably be uncomfortable.

If you don’t feel like doing the work to not binge then doing the work to not binge will be uncomfortable.

If you want change, you gotta do things that you don’t feel like doing.

I work out most mornings and sometimes I don’t feel like it.

But I do it anyway because I know I feel better when I do not just for the rest of the day but if I do it consistently I get to feel strong and have endurance.

I choose discomfort for a little bit so I can have ultimate comfort.

When you work out, depending on what you’re doing, you’re most likely choosing discomfort. Most forms of working out are not comfortable.

But you do them because of what you’ll gain from doing them. You choose the discomfort during that workout to gain the greater comfort of how you will feel overall.

Growth and becoming a better version of yourself requires experiencing discomfort.

Achieving something you haven’t achieved before requires discomfort.

You may not feel comfortable feeling urges and negative emotions but, if you want to stop binge eating, it’s a requirement.

You can’t run to food every time you feel uncomfortable. You’ve done that and it hasn’t worked out for you.

Eating to make discomfort go away, including the discomfort of binge urges, is not a reliable way to feel better. When you’re done eating, the feelings will come back or you will create new negative feelings.

What is reliable, is going through the feeling and getting to the other side.

This is a skill that may not be in your comfort zone but, it can be.

It for sure wasn’t in mine. If I felt bored, nervous, stressed, anxious, I was then thinking about food and what to eat.

I would get food as soon as I could so I could bring myself back to comfort. And then of course, into discomfort after I was done eating because either I’d feel disappointed in myself for having eaten that when I was trying to lose weight or I’d feel way too full, or both.

But now, it’s not a problem. If I feel uncomfortable, I feel it.

Because I’ve practiced feeling uncomfortable, my comfort zone has expanded to include it.

I’m comfortable feeling uncomfortable and feeling emotions.

If I feel upset, frustrated, stressed, disappointed, or bored, I don’t eat to make them go away. I go through them. Eventually, they end.

Because you haven’t experienced discomfort enough, it’s still kind of an unknown for you. You may not believe you will get to the other side. You may not believe it will go away. You may not believe that it’s not as bad as you think it will be.

And the only way you will find out is if you do it.

You have to be willing to do it if you want to get better at it.

If you want to expand you comfort zone so you’re more comfortable feeling uncomfortable, you have to be willing to go into it.

When you go there time and time again, you get more comfortable going there and it’s not a big deal.

It’s not a big deal if I feel frustrated or stressed. I don’t love it, I don’t seek it out, but if I end up there for whatever reason, I go through it and I’m comfortable doing that.

Just like you may be comfortable working out even when your muscles hurt or your heart is racing or your breath is short. Do you love those feelings? Only if you’re thinking about where it will get you. Do you seek them out? Only because you’re thinking about the benefits of them.

You’re comfortable going through it because you think there will be a reward on the other side.

There will also be a reward on the other side of going through an urge and not bingeing.

When you incorporate feeling discomfort into your comfort zone, you will be able to do anything. No feelings will stop you.

I was talking with a friend yesterday about a goal I’m working toward and what would happen if I don’t achieve it.

My answer – I’d feel embarrassed. That’s the worst thing that would happen.

And I am willing to feel that and go through it. So I’m not going to let the possibility of embarrassment stop me from going for what I want.

Don’t let the possibility of discomfort stop you from what you want either.

Go into it and go through it so you can expand your comfort zone and feel comfortable feeling uncomfortable.

It’s one of the best things you can do for yourself when it comes to your eating and any goal you have in your life.

Now, there’s one more thing I want to say before I go, that you can do for yourself that will also be one of the best things. It’s getting help.

There’s a reason why people hire personal trainers instead of just working out on their own. There’s a reason why professional athletes have coaches instead of training and competing on their own.

Sometimes you need help seeing what’s blocking you from achieving your best that and achieving your goal that you cannot see for yourself. Sometimes you need someone to push you a little or you need incentive to do the work.

When you join the Stop Binge Eating program you will get all of that. The April 2021 group is open for registration and the deadline to register is Friday March 26th at 10am ET. Go to coachkir.com/group to get all the details.

And as I said in the beginning of this episode, this episode is also being released on Day 2 of my free 5 day training so if you want a small taste of the program, you can get one in the training and you’ll be able ask me any questions you have as well. You can register for the training at coachkir.com/training.

Alright, I’ll see you in the training and/or in the group.

Bye bye!

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