Lap Band Success – How I Pushed Outside My Comfort Zone

by sandi on July 26, 2012

I have been working to improve my fitness level recently and have been successful.  But, as with everything in life, it is all about degrees of success.  As I sang along with Adele on the elliptical this morning I started thinking about where I was at vs.  where I had started and where I was trying to go.  Wow, heavy duty thinking for 6 in the morning.  I must have slept well last night…

Sandi before weight loss surgerySo let’s turn the clock back 8 years.  Talk about stepping outside of my comfort zone… at 424 pounds going to a seminar about weight loss surgery was WAY outside of my comfort zone.  I knew I was fat, I knew I had illnesses related to my obesity like high blood pressure, sleep apnea, asthma, knee problems but SURGERY!  Wow, once I quit shaking and sweating and committed to the surgery I was ok, not comfortable but ok.  I did it! 

Then it was follow the liquid to soft to solid food guidelines from my doctor.  Certainly out of my comfort zone but since I was afraid to eat for a few weeks, totally “do-able”.  Now the weight started coming off, the medications and co-morbidities started to fade away and this was not uncomfortable, this was GREAT!!! 

Next step- I was able to walk around more comfortably, I was actually going grocery shopping and walking in the mall without too much pain so I had to start thinking about exercise.  Ugh, exercise- definitely outside of MY comfort zone.  Exercise definitely was a 4 letter word to me.  How about you?  I thought long and hard and with my arthritic knee and my still over 300 pound body water was the only answer for exercise.  So off I went to find an indoor swimming pool that wasn’t filled with perfect buff bodies that I could use.  For a blow by blow description of me stepping outside of my comfort zone with exercise, take a look at

OK, exercise is covered.  I stepped way out of my comfort zone and started seeing my successes multiply.  Now I am a gym rat.  Who would have thought exercise would become like breathing for me?  How about you?  Remember your initial step into the exercise arena?  Where are you now?

Now let’s look at food.  At 424 pounds fast food, rich food, desserts, chips, trash food were all my friends.  On May 28, 2004 they became my nemesis.  I made a commitment to myself that I would begin eating healthy and avoiding all of those trigger foods.  Well for the first 2 years I pretty much ate the same few things over and over and over and over…it was easy, it was quick, and I knew the calorie/protein count so I was following the “rules”.  Then I started experimenting.  Scallops with spinach in curry sauce.I stepped…yup, you’ve got it…outside of my comfort zone and starting figuring out how to plan and cook incredibly tasty meals that were within my calorie/protein budget.  This year I even added one vegetarian dinner to the mix weekly and found out that lentils and quinoa and black beans can all be my friend when I use great, fresh spices with them and top them with either a bit of freshly grated cheese or a dollop of fat free Greek yogurt.(both within my calorie budget for the day) I have again successfully stepped outside of my comfort zone and won.

Clothing is next.  I felt abandoned when I was verbally evicted from the Big Girls store because I no longer fit the description (or the sizes).  Where would I shop?  The answer was anywhere, but I kept looking for someone to kick me out of the ladies or junior’s department when I was shopping.  Just who did I think I was taking junior sizes into the dressing room and actually buying them?  This one was uncomfortable, and 8 years post op still is uncomfortable to me.  My new clothes at WLSFA 2012At the WLSFA Meet and Greet in Vegas I had tried on a great outfit and desperately wanted it because I felt good in it, but was still so unsure of myself that I brought not 1, not 2, but about 4 people with me to try it on again and get their approval.  Then, before I paid for it, I actually brought my husband to see it on me as well.  So outside of my comfort zone that I still can’t believe I bought it and wore it and can’t wait to have the opportunity to wear it again.  Who is that imposter staring at me in the mirror?  Damn she looks pretty good for a 63 year old grandma!  Ever feel like you weren’t looking at YOU when you put on a great outfit, it fits like it was made for you and feels awesome.  You feel great in it, but you are just not “comfortable” with being so comfortable with yourself?  Makes no sense, right?  But yet, it happens all of the time.  Buy it, wear it, it looks as great as it feels, I guarantee it!!!

Sandi speaking in publicThe final area of stepping outside of my comfort zone that I have dealt with is public speaking.  At 424 pounds I was invisible.  Nobody saw me or gave me much credit as a human being.  Now I absolutely adore sharing my stories, sharing my successes and failures, the ups and downs of my journey with anyone who will listen.  It is especially gratifying to get up in front of a group of people and share some tips and strategies and have them acknowledge that what you say just might be what they needed to hear.  Yet, every time I stand up in a group I still get butterflies in my stomach and desperately seek approval because – I have stepped outside my comfort zone. 

How about you?  What challenge can you take on that is just a little outside your comfort zone, or maybe it’s A LOT outside your comfort zone?  Doesn’t matter, just step away from that old familiar feeling and watch and experience LIFE unfold right in front of your eyes.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly August 1, 2012 at 8:25 pm

What does WLSFA stand for?

sandi August 3, 2012 at 9:13 am

Weight Loss Surgery Foundation Of America

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