Do you struggle with moving out of your comfort zone?
I sure do, most of the time.
But hidden behind my walls of fear and insecurity is the heart of an explorer, who ventures out from behind them and her comfort zone, every now and again.
I first connected with this side of myself, as a 10-year-old who insisted on taking a YMCA sponsored trip from my little town in Connecticut to Washington, DC during spring break. My best friend at my side.
Memories from that trip are still a highlight of my life.
When I give myself permission to move beyond the confines of my current life, I'm alway better for it. But it takes tons of effort to get me to move beyond my comfort zone. Sometimes I'm pushed by external forces, like a baby bird from her nest.
Other times I coax myself along. That's where tiny steps and self-talk come in...
"Just try it."
"What's the worst that could happen?"
"Think of it as a game or experiment!"
Allowing myself to "play" at something or "conduct a little experiment" just to "see what happens" is my most effective method of venturing into uncharted territory.
It frees me from the fear of failure that can keep me stuck and allows me the freedom to move on to something else when I've had enough.
I'm still working to fully embrace the concept that: Trying + Failing = Learning!
Here on Simple Nourished Living, some of my "healthy explorations" have included:
183 Days of Weight Watchers Friendly Slow Cooking. This was supposed to be a year-long project but I gave myself permission to stop at the half-way mark.
JuiceFest 2014 - A month long experiment with juicing.
Intermittent Fasting and Skipping Breakfast - As someone who was raised to believe that beginning the day with breakfast was non-negotiable, this felt both reckless and defiant for a "good girl" like me.
My most successful experiment to date occurred during the summer of 2010, when I read and implemented what I learned from the book Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink.
It was the tipping point that led to achieving the peace with food I'd been seeking while maintaining the Weight Watchers goal weight I'd set back in my late 20s.
6-Week Mindless Eating Challenge
Now seven years later, as I prepare to head back to the scene of this healthy exploration (Land O' Lakes, WI), I thought it would be fun to create a 6-week Mindless Eating Challenge to help others experience what I discovered.
For this challenge, we will all read Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (affiliate link) and share our awarenesses and experiences. Every week, for six weeks - from July 9 to August 13 - we'll read two chapters a week and share what we learn.
I'll kick things off every Monday with a post, which will provide participants a place to comment with their discoveries, if they'd like.
It seems like a perfect summer project: A virtual book club, but with homework 🙂
To be most effective, this challenge is best undertaken in a low key "let's just see what we discover" manner. No pressure. No way to fail.
But it does provide a bit of accountability if you find it helpful in propelling you into action.
All you need to do to take part is buy the book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (affiliate link), by Brian Wansink (or borrow it from your library).
I'll post a basic outline for this challenge next week!
P.S. If you want some support eating better and losing weight this summer, my 28-Day Smart Start Weight Loss Challenge may be just what you're looking for! Many of the tips and suggestions are based on what I learned by applying Dr. Wansink's Mindless Eating concepts.
This has been a wonderful challenge. Thank you for all of the support and encouragement. I have definitely made some positive changes that I plan to continue! ~ Bronwyn
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My book just arrived today! Perfect timing...sure, I'll happily participate!
Count me in. Ordering the book today.
Thank you for this challenge! I ordered the book as soon as I read your post last week talking about it!!
So where do I sign up for the mindless eating challenge.
Hi Brenda, You don't really need to sign up. Just leave comments on the Mindless Eating Challenge posts if you want!
In just ordered the book and am excited about the 6 week challenge. Will the posts come via email mail?
Yes, I'll be sure to email the posts!
I received my book and I'm excited to start the challenge.
I just ordered the book! Can't wait for the Challenge to begin.
I borrowed the audio book Mindless Eating from my library and am listening to it during my daily commute to work. Thank you Martha for recommending it! It is very interesting to learn all the subtle cues that drive us to (over)eat which then enable us to recognize them which is the first step to changing bad behaviors. Count me in!
My book is supposed to be here Friday. Count me in!
This program for 2017 or 2018.
I am reading this book. Fantastic reading.
I am so ready. I have been loosing and gaining the same 5 pounds fr over a year. I want to discover what I am continuing to do wrong.
Just got the book from my library! I am ready. Thank you for doing this!
Reading the book very interesting how good is presented and how environment affects what we eat! Excited to see what I learn and take away from this challenge.
Excited to join the group and hope this helps me stop (!) the mindless eating after dinner,
I totally agree with you. I'm a little late but just received the book and will be following right along.
Finally found time to order the book on kindle. So, I am starting now. Thank you!!
I just got the book in the mail...so I need to play catch up.
Martha, your quotes and your blogs are an inspiration.
Thank you for taking the time to do it for us!
Count me in. I already have the book and read a few pages but lost interest. Not in the book itself, but in Mindful eating. I am a mindless eater. I sit in front of the television and eat without thinking about it. The challenge will give me the structure I need to change my pattern.
I, too, just ordered and received the book and have been enjoying reading it. I'm taking notes on the Reengineering Strategies so I can implement them in my life. I have already identified some problem areas. Finally after 3 different attempts at losing weight with Weight Watchers ( and being a Lifetime Member) I realize that this isn't just a diet, it's a lifestyle change. Unless I change the way I eat and handle food in my life, I will regain the weight. It has to be a PERMANENT change to the way I live. Your website has been such a big help to me. I've been trying your recipes and using your 28-day challenge. Keep up the good work. We need you!
Thanks so much for you kind words, Connie! I'm so happy to know I'm helping you on your journey 🙂 ~Martha
Will I be able to access this 6 week course after it ends. I have had some medical issues and wasn't able to do this but I cana do it now.
The posts are here on the blog whenever you want to access them!