Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

I apologize for not creating my regular Tasty Tuesday post this week. To be honest, I haven’t cooked anything blog-worthy in days. I have been cycling through some old recipes and just eating a lot of vegetables and lean protein. Nothing to write home about!

As an aside, I’d like to write about another recent ‘revelation’ in this journey to fitness: it requires getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.

One might think that my recent enthusiasm for consistent running and seeing my cardio improve would make me a happy participant in last night’s jog. But no. Instead I found a zillion negative thoughts going through my head as I started out on the run. I only got through my first set of 4min running, 1 min walking before the negative thoughts started to creep in. What it came down to was my inner fat chick wanting to wimp out on the run. My internal dialogue went something like this:

Internal Fat Chick: My legs are tired.
Rae: No sh*t. You’re actually using them.

IFC: I’m so hot!
Rae: Well, of course you are. You are running. Come on...if you really want to be hot you will have to work hard and get this lard off.

IFC: I’m so sweaty. Look at this...dripping!
Rae: Well...duh! When you move your butt, that’s what happens. At least you put on antiperspirant!

IFC: There goes my breathing. I’m gasping for air!
Rae: That’s just your lungs getting stronger. Besides, this is nowhere near as bad as your first run. Remember that!? Ya –you survived!

I’ve decided it’s time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I had to address every last cop-out and just accept the fact that it isn’t going to be easy to climb out of the inactive lifestyle I’ve been leading for so many years. I had to acknowledge the fact that running isn’t easy and – for me – doesn’t come naturally. I had to ignore the fact my body wanted me to stop. I had to find a way to keep on pushing and get myself comfortable with the idea that this is the new ‘normal’. And you know what? It worked! It felt SOOO good. I not only did I complete my run successfully, I felt fantastic afterwards. Can you imagine if I had quit after that first interval?!

How do you keep yourself going? Are you comfortable with being uncomfortable?

Thanks for reading!


  1. Oh yeah--totally know where you're coming from. You are right on though--uncomforatble is the new comfortable!! Not really much to add. When I want to stop I just try to take my mind to a higher level, if you will, and ask myself if I am really dying. When the answer is no I just keep going.

    Thanks for all your sweet encouraging comments on my blog!!!


  2. I can so relate. I have to tell myself the new things I am doing should and will be the norm! Great post!

  3. I think it's great that you are telling your inner voice to shut it! You can do it! You're doing awesome!

  4. I always ask myself "How will you feel about yourself if you quit?"

    I was doing intervals on Monday and really wanted to quit but then I thought it's only 5 mins you'll beat yourself up tomorrow if you quit during a puny 5 min run.

    I also switched from a book on tape to my favorite tunes to motivate me in that last segment.

  5. I used to try to mentally convince myself to not sweat. Then I said "screw that!" and now I enjoy it. I mean it is totally gross when I stop running and feel it dripping, but I love it because I know I worked hard for it.

    My motivation varies. I either picture running through Cinderella's Castle in my 1/2 marathon and how great it will feel to have all those happy guests cheering us on. OR I picture going to Las Vegas and I don't want to look like some chubby girl that doesn't belong. That one usually seems to work the best!

  6. I totally understand about not giving in to your own cop outs. I have had to really learn to listen to my body especially with my heart issue. I would constantly use my tachycardia as a cop out not to push harder, but now I truly listen to my body and decide if it is a mental thing or a physical thing.

  7. I talk "back" to myself just as you did. Way to go Rae!!! So happy for you!

  8. What sucks is that it's never constantly easy. You will always have days or a week where you just feel bad during every run. Other times you'll have weeks where you feel amazing every run. It's torture on the bad ones when you know how great it feels when you're running AND feeling good. You push through the bad runs to get to those.

  9. Way to go girl! Great job pushing thru and completing your run! My ifc has been running my life and it's time for me to take control again.

  10. WOW - that is exactly what happened to me today! I was running at the gym and I usually run about .5 miles then walk .1 then alternate between running .3 and walking .1. Today I decided I was going to try to go longer then the .5 I've been doing. I got to about .55 and my IFC was screaming "OK S-T-O-P!!! You've gone crazy!" But I told her to shut up and kept going all the way to a mile! I've never run a consistent mile without stoping to walk a bit until today and it wouldn't have happened if I had let my IFC have her way! Kudos to us!!


  11. Hey Rae! I haven't been to your site in forever!! Looks like things are going well for you! Ill have to try out some of those amazing recipes!

    I am finally back from working at that camp so I should be posting somewhat regularly! hope to see your comments again!

  12. Way to go ~ you got it done!!

    When I'm pushed beyond my ability with exercise(like tonight at the gym with my trainer - check out my post) The first thing that happens is my eyes shut (only if I'm not on the treadmill or something dangerous) or I hyper focus on something and my mind just goes somewhere else. I don't know what else to say about that. It's like I'm saying to myself "I can't" or "it's too hard" and when my eyes close I just go to the next level. It's funny because my trainer kind of gauges the torture she gives me when I do that. She gets more out of me when I get to that place! Then if it goes beyond that, I just have to pray, like I did tonight!!! My trainer kick my butt!!!

    Keep at it my friend!!


  13. Hey Rae! I just gave you an award on my blog! Check it out!

  14. Way to push through!

    I also talk to myself a lot - usually not out loud, but that happens sometimes. :) I also do things like tell myself to just run to the next light post or to the next intersection or to the end of the song on my iPod. I do intervals fairly often, so I'm accustomed to being uncomfortable, but that doesn't necessarily make it any easier. I just know now that I CAN push through - most of the time. Sometimes, I just need to stop and walk at that next intersection.

  15. Oh my gosh! We did write about similar stuff. I haven't even had a chance to read this so it's so funny! I just had to push through mine and the last 20 minutes were heaven.

  16. Can so relate to this! You had me laughing at the convo with yourself! I say shit like that to myself as well! LOL! x

  17. OMG! When I found your blog, thanks to my friend Katie, I was wondering what it'd be about.. but I am excited to follow you and read what you write, because it seems that you and me are of a similar mind-set.. I hate to run because I huff and puff, and then tell myself "at least I ran for _____ minutes".. then I'd stop for a week..

    Thanks for inspiring me to try it again and keep going forward, no matter what I try to tell myself..

  18. I'm not at all ok being uncomfortable...most of the time! But I have these random bursts of inspiration to push myself. Mostly I just try to work out with people who will push me, knowing I'm too chicken to whine to them and slow down!