Hello, Mission Makeover Viewers!

The title of this week’s episode —“All Work & No Play”— really spoke to me. I know what it’s like to start an exercise or weight-loss regimen; and feel, before too long that I’m kind of burned out. After all, monotony begets boredom — and if you’re eating or moving the same way for too long, you’re bound to get too comfortable and hit a plateau. It’s human nature and physiology; and it’s also one of the reasons that so many plans fail.

I live by and coach clients with two different credos: “Work hard, play hard, and rest hard!” and “Change and discomfort are good.”

The first one is self-explanatory. Give your all…pour your best self…into every aspect of your life, and you’ll simultaneously get results and have a completely guilt-free conscience when it’s time to enjoy life and/or take it easy. I ask myself repeatedly throughout my day, “Am I doing my best?” Whether I’m at work, with my family, exercising, or managing my home, if the answer is “yes,” I know I can truly relish my leisure time.  Keep in mind here, that we all have a different “best.” Mine is different from yours and all of yours are different from each other’s. Don’t hold yourself to anyone else’s best…do the best that YOU can and you’ll rock.

My second credo is more of a mind bender. “Umm…discomfort? How is discomfort good?” you may ask. It’s a natural question, because we’ve all been hardwired to think that only comfort is good. After all, we sing about “comfort and joy,” long for the “comfort of home,” fight over the “most comfortable chair,” and love to indulge in all kinds of “comfort foods.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that comfort is bad. (No way…it is great and totally has its place. I love being comfy.) But, trust me on this: Discomfort is great, too. These words are opposites; but they shouldn’t be. Here’s why.

Discomfort means you are challenging yourself. Discomfort means you are trying something new. Discomfort means you are evolving. Discomfort means you are stimulating your body and mind. Children grow and develop in large part, because they are always trying new things. They have to. Everything is constantly new to them. But, adults? We tend to get — and want to stay —comfortable. And that gets us into a rut. That can be self-destructive with food, exercise, work, and a ton of other things. We are built to be challenged. We are meant to keep learning.

Many folks, when they hear the word “discomfort,” think of “pain.” Though they are often misused as synonyms, they are not alike. Discomfort is challenging. Pain is damaging. I am not recommending pain. Big difference.

In this week’s episode, you’ve watched the Mission Makeover contestants and coaches at a trampoline park in South Florida called “Sky Zone.” I don’t know about you, but it’s been awhile since I’ve spent hours jumping around on a trampoline…it’s not part of my regular work or play routine. But when I heard about it, I thought, “YIKES, but COOL.” Not because I love trampolines, but because this was something different…something out of my comfort zone. I knew it would be a day to remember, an opportunity to expand and challenge my mind and body, and it was.

Now, here’s how I’d like to challenge you: TRY SOMETHING NEW. Meet a new person, try a healthy new food, exercise in a new way, read, watch or attend something out of the ordinary, get off your usual schedule. Nothing bad will happen. Something good might happen. And, if nothing else, you’ll be proud of yourself for making a change.

Until next week,

Dr. Jessica