Comfort Zones. They suck as a general rule. How do you think I got where I am healthwise? I got in a comfort zone, and packed on the pounds. It easier to eat junk food than prepare a healthy meal. It's easier to sit around playing on your devices all morning than to get out and walk or run the block, or go to the gym. It's just too hard! I don't want to choose the steamed vegetables over the fried jalapeños! I would be swapping out something I love and have a toxic relationship with for something that is good for me but brings me no immediate gratification! That's too hard!
And you know what, there is an argument to be made for it actually being too hard. The human will is resistant to wholesale change all at once. Do you know how many health pursuits I have dropped because it was just too hard to get up and cook a healthy breakfast, or head to the gym at lunch every day? I couldn't even begin to imagine the count.
It seems counterintuitive, but the reality is, for your very first steps into a journey to health, it may be wise to build a cheat day in. I have. Come Fridays, I let My Fitness Pal go, and I don't shame myself for a bigger and less healthy breakfast, or the fried jalapeños at lunch (in case it isn't obvious, I had fried jalapeños at lunch yesterday). But that is a slippery slope! To have the cheat day will require you to honor the fact is ONE DAY out of 7, and you must NAIL the other 6 days. I hesiateted to write this post because I know cheat days are a big temptation to go back to the comfort zone. But I am two weeks in to having Friday as a cheat day, and it has been both reasonably easy, and beneficial as all get out. Why does it benefit me? I am a big picture guy , so I am not caught in the moment all the time. I can see past the end of my nose. And I find it is much easier to kick ass outside my comfort zone if I KNOW there is a break coming. I have been so overwhelmed by the idea that I "can't have crappy food ever again" before that I just quit right then out of sheer panic and frustration.
Now let me say this. I have a plan even for my cheat days. The last two, I have just taken the leash off Friday morning, and had the whole day to eat whatever. But middle of next month, I am changing that up, and it will be that I take the leash off at noon on Friday. And who knows, maybe at some point I move it to 4 pm on Friday. But for now,I think it will keep me on track and headed in the right direction.