Leaving Comfort Zones

66 Responses

  1. Patty says:

    Tyler, like a lot of other people, I found your blog after your story appeared on cnn.com. I just wanted to say I really hope you continue your blog even after you’ve reached your goal. You’ve got something to say, and you say it so well. Sometimes your thoughts make me tear up…. things like life is too short, etc… I have not been willing to do the work for far too long and have remained in my comfort zone for what seems like forever. I’m 42, but I have a lot of living left to do, and I need to do the work. I’m optimistic I can do it and I appreciate that you put your heart and soul out there for everyone to see. Thank you for doing that.

    P.S. I wish I could download your blog from the very beginning into one file so I could read it from start to finish!

  2. Chad says:

    Amen to that Tyler – life is much too short to live only inside your comfort zone! Totally agree.

    But Moe’s over Chipotle? Can’t say I’m with you on that one! 🙂

    Seriously, though – great post.

  3. Michelle says:

    I think not only is lazyness in the way of our lives changing, but our egos also get in the way. It would be a blow to the ego to say what you’ve been doing for so long is wrong. It feels like a blow when you “screw up” and binge and gain some weight back. I think our egos and pride get in the way because of the fear of failure. The “what ifs” in life keep us from changing, what if I cant do it? what if I can’t lose the weight and keep it off?

    Fear sucks, and its something that can be very hard to break through.

    But I do have to say I love Chipotle. It makes me a happy camper. Burrito bowls, chicken,rice,salsa,beans,light cheese and sour cream, then drizzle fresh lemon juice over it. Yum!

  4. AndrewENZ says:

    Yeah…it’s easy to stick with what is comfortable. Time for change!

  5. Merry Mary says:

    Well said Tyler. I’ve embraced this concept so fully that I don’t even think I have comfort zones anymore. I do everything new I possibly can and it’s always worth it, even when it’s not the coolest thing ever. A new experience is a good experience.

  6. Derek says:

    Excellent article, Tyler. We all need a kick in the butt about living the life we deserve. It’s easy to get stuck in bad situations. Change is hard, but change is good.

    I definitely prefer Chipotle over Moe’s. How boring would life be if we all liked the same things?

  7. Tyler says:

    Hi Patty — I’m working on that feature so you can start viewing the blog from the beginning going forward. Give me time and I’ll make it happen!

    I will definitely continue my blog after I reach my goal. I wish you luck with your journey and I hope I see you around!

  8. Tyler says:

    Moe’s > Chipotle. 🙂

  9. Tyler says:

    Fear can be incredibly hard to break though.

    I’m not a big person to regret a decision. Your past makes you who you are, whether it’s “wrong” or “right.” If I wasn’t overweight, I would’ve never created this blog and met all of you. It’s funny how life works sometimes.

  10. Tyler says:

    I’m changing my voicemail today, too. I’m making a list of things I want to change up in my life.

  11. Tyler says:

    Like bungee jumping!? That’s a new experience I need to try, quickly followed by crying in front of grown men when I’m too scared to jump.

  12. Tyler says:

    I’m against two of you on this Chipotle over Moe’s battle — it boggles the mind! Anyway, your call on that one 🙂

    Change is extremely hard, but it’s addicting.

  13. Steve says:

    When I hear someone mention Chipotle the first thing that now pops into my mind is the episode of South Park w/ the Billy Mays “Chipotlaway” commercial : http://www.eatmedaily.com/2009/10/south-park-billy-mays-chipotlaway-video/

    Anywho, leaving your comfort zone is a GREAT idea, b/c it will only help you see what you truly capable of (like you losing 125+ pounds, for example). Great article.

  14. Holly says:

    Thanks for your post – and you are so right! I’ve been pretty good about leaving my comfort zones for pretty much anything except for my eating habits/exercise. But I’ve been on the journey to leave my comfort zones in that area for about a month now. And it is hard work…but I’m starting to see it pay off! I have a long ways to go, and your story is motivation for me. I’ve been a reader for a few weeks now…thanks for sharing your story and being a motivation for others!


  15. Tom says:

    I would think filming your body changes is a HUGE step outside of anyones comfort zone. I for one don’t have the cahunas to do that one. So I admire you on that one. I agree about working outside of the comfort zone and trying new things, but I think routines are good. I actually look forward to my routines during the week. Routines CAN help one stay on track too.

    Come see my weigh in today!

  16. Britty says:

    I’m going to have to vote for Chipotle over Moe’s… By a very slim margin. Did you know those burritos have like 1,000 calories or something? Eeek!

  17. Emily says:

    I’m still trying to push myself out of my get up, go to work, come home comfort routine. Today I’m heading to the Y post-work, so that’s a start!

    I have only had Moe’s once or twice, but I’m a Chipotle fan all the way. I think the trick is to find the right combo. Personally, I don’t like the way the beans are flavored and I’m vegetarian. Each element really changes the overall flavor of the bowl/burrito. I’d say experiment a little, and you might be surprised.

  18. Will says:

    Life Group joinage is great, the wife and I got involved in a ‘Young Marrieds’ life group last fall and although we’re still getting to know people, it has been a great place to grow and experience things we never would have done ourselves.

    Moe’s v. Chipotle is a no contest, since I’ve never had Moe’s and Chipotle is just ok, although I do enjoy the lime cilantro rice there, it wasn’t the first or last place I’ve had it.

  19. Jaclyn says:

    Tyler the TANK.
    Snap son. Ya done it again. Chills. “It’s too short not to be who you want to be.” Man, that is liquid gold. I mean, really? Where do you get this stuff! Its juicy good! 🙂 Thats going on my facebook status update right now! Bet you didnt know you were quotable!

  20. Kathy Evers says:

    For such a young guy I am constantly amazed at your insights. Thank you.

  21. Susan says:

    Congrats on the Life Group joining! Its a great experience! Just food for thought for the future too….. YOU would host a great Life Group at your place of worship. Imagine the stories you can tell with the struggles and rewards each day has to offer you and how you tie your faith into that. You are reaching thousands online and helping them, but a Life Group would give you that in person :).

  22. Tyler, looks like we were on the same wavelength today – my post also deals with change, comfort zones, etc. I think it’s great that you’re venturing out beyond yours (comfort zone). You’ll learn and grow so much!

  23. I love this! Absolutely good stuff! I think venturing out of comfort zones is why people don’t make a huge effort to lose weight. It’s always so comfortable going with what you know rather than getting into something you don’t.

    That’s why sometimes I think we have to hit rock bottom before we can have a desire to dig ourselves out. Some people are able to realize that much sooner than rock bottom… but most of us don’t.


  24. Vanessa says:

    Hey Tyler!

    I’ve been working out at the Y now for about a year…doing boot camp and a little Jazzercise for fun. I have lost 40 lbs and feel like a new person. The problem is that I really need to lose another 40 lbs…but somehow I’ve lost my zip and determination. I’m in a funk. I want to keep moving…I love my new food habits, but my “Y” habit seems boring to me and even “punishing”. I didn’t connect with the people, (make friend connections) there like I wanted to…they are all great, but the head “guru” is in a worse funk than me. As I type this I am listening…whine, whine, whine…
    Any ideas?
    By the way…I’ve never tried either cafe….maybe my whole problem is about trying new things…I’m in a RUT!

  25. Christine says:

    Right on Tyler. Step out of your comfort zone and guess what??? Your comfort zone gets bigger!! How cool is that. As usual, more great perspective… keep it coming!

  26. David Foust says:

    AHHH i love this post! Everyone seems to “settle” so many times in their life because its the easy way. Everyone has big dreams (or small ones) but don’t act on them because it requires leaving the comfort zone. Great Post! I like when you get these types of areas.

  27. Rebekah says:

    Chipolte is a great healthy place to eat! It’s all natural foods, and a lot of time the food is bought locally. Keep up the changes in your life…it’s so worth it! We’ve started a new finacial resolution to make some major changes in our lives.

  28. Tyler says:

    That’s some funny stuff, Steve! I need that 125+ pounds to be 150, though. Help me make that happen!

  29. Tyler says:

    It’s hard work and it will take you a LONG time to get where you need to go. Just keep going and one day you’ll be there.

    I’m SO glad you’re reading the blog. I LOVE your blog.

  30. Donald says:

    Great message about comfort zones. today the President announced the end of NASA’s (my employer) program to return to the moon. With the Shuttle only flying 5 more flights, the issue is the US’s capability to send humans into space. How will we do that? The plan is to give a significant boost to the space commercial industry to provide the capability. This is a gamble. We either are at the precipice of a new “aviation-like” industry with routine access to space, much like the early days of air travel, or we bet wrong and the US will depend on the Russians, Chinese, Indians and maybe the French for access to space. Now THAT is chutzpah. What does that have to do with weight loss and health. I personally think you have view your journey of health like a journey into Space. There’s just no McDonald’s on the moon (or on the Space Station). You can’t come back to Earth (soon), and you can’t open the hatch and decide you don’t want to go. Surrendering to that reality is freedom which is the gift Tyler is continuing to give all of us – freedom to be the man or woman we always wanted to be.

  31. Tyler says:

    Yeah, filming your body and sending an e-mail to your friends and family like I did at the very beginning was pretty scary. It also motivated me to keep going.

    Nice 5+ pound loss this past week!

  32. Tyler says:

    I thought you were on my side, Britty. Traitor.

    And yes, I did — 1,000 delicious calories. 🙂

  33. Tyler says:

    Again, what is it with you Chipotle folks? Moe’s ROCKS! But with that said, Chipotle does have potential. I will definitely give it another try and report back with my findings.

    Good job going to the Y today!

  34. Tyler says:


    I’m flattered to be quoted, thanks Jaclyn 🙂

  35. Tyler says:

    I think we joined the pastor’s life group, which makes for a more interesting time. Got to be on best behavior and such.

  36. Tara says:

    Stepping out of my comfort zone meant moving my exercise to the streets in front of people instead of at home on the treadmill. I’m going out early in the morning in hopes of not seeing anyone but I’ve managed to get a few waves from those die-hards going to work at the buttcrack:30 am. I just hold my head up high and think “fat girl running…that’s right FAT GIRL IS RUNNING!!!”

    I’ve also started posting my weight on my FB cause I’m a firm believer if you can’t say it out loud you can’t lose it! Talk about gettting out of you comfort zone.

  37. Alisha says:

    OMG theres a chipotle in columbia?!

  38. kate says:

    I accidentally came up with a phrase that summed that up. I got home the other night to a beautiful moon and snow between the naked trees and thought I should go out and take pictures with my new tripod and remote. Instead I looked at the temperature of 4 degrees and stayed inside.

    Comfort is where motivation goes to die.

  39. Tyler says:

    Thanks, Kathy. It means a lot.

  40. Tyler says:

    I might host a Life Group one day, but we really don’t have a place to host one — our house is small, it’s a bungalow. Great for two or three, not so much for hosting a party unless it’s outside on the deck (which is massive).

  41. Tyler says:

    Nice blog post! I swear I didn’t steal it!

  42. Tyler says:

    You’re right. I hit rock bottom about a year ago and have been climbing my way out ever since. It’s been a struggle, but it’s been worth it. I can’t tell people enough how worth it is to lose weight. I didn’t have a bad self image before, but now that I’m 100+ pounds lighter life is so much easier.

  43. Tyler says:

    Keep going, Vanessa! Even if you don’t connect with other people, it’s still worth going. Think of it as a time to bond with yourself, because it truly is. Put some music on and just workout for 30 minutes to an hour — know in the back of your head that you’re improving your body and your life. You won’t see the results today, tomorrow, or next month, but a year down the road you’ll be where you want to be and it’ll all be worth it.

    Even with all the people that know me at Hampton Hill (my gym), I’m not very open at the gym. I like to turn my music on full volume and just work “it.”

  44. Tyler says:

    Exactly, your comfort zone just keeps expanding! You’ll be open and ready to try anything.

  45. Tyler says:

    Thanks, David. These type of areas are hard though because frankly, it’s hard to put my thoughts into words.

  46. Tyler says:

    Good job! We just started a monthly budget to keep track of where everything is going — it’s amazing how the little bit of money spent here and there really adds up!

  47. Tyler says:

    Yes! Alisha, where have you been!??! I haven’t seen you on the blog in absolute months. Hit me up through e-mail. And yes, there is a new Chipotle that just opened near Forest Drive.

  48. Tyler says:

    Good job, Tara! Post your weight on my Facebook page or here in the comments, if you don’t mind.

    I know what you mean about working out in public. I still have that problem, but I don’t care — I may be 200+ pounds and have few muscles now, but I won’t forever. That’s why I’m working so hard.

  49. Tyler says:

    Very well said. Comfort is where motivation, inspiration, and change die. It’s where the old, boring, and same ole same ole live.

  50. Michelle says:

    First of all this Moes vs Chipotle thing is very silly both are equally gross. We have something up here around Syracuse called Fajita Grill and the food is far better with that said food from authentic mexican places is far superior. With that said I randomly found your blog today. My question for you is how did you start working out? Being an athlete my entire life I have at times worked out like a crazy person. Now after graduating from college I find myself extremely obese I went to get a physical today and the doctor was like oh yeah you’re 22 years old 5’10” 320 pounds I nearly passed out I can’t believe I have let myself get this fat. Anyway I just feel like if I start to work out I will literally have a heart attack.

  51. Stephanie says:

    Love that Marvin Gaye song, and other inspirational songs too. In fact I have been in a bit of a funk this morning, but I just started singing that song in my head and experienced a shift in mood. It’s amazing what music can do. Thank you!

    BODA weight loss

  52. I found you through a link…possibly CNN (but not sure-don’t remember)…I have never commented until today. Why today? “Leaving Comfort Zones”

    This post is HUGE for me…HUGE!!!!

    For me: my new weight loss, school, career, my husbands sickness…there are times I am so overwhelmed I can’t see straight, let alone think straight.

    I just started a class and today the dirty thought after a guest lecturer was “I can’t do this….I will NEVER be able to accomplish this goal”…….

    You know what….yes, I can. Thank you for the reminder and the encouragement!

  53. Charlie Altman says:

    I like to consider myself a connoisseur of California style burritos. Moe’s, Chipotle, Qdoba, Flaming Amy’s, Burritoville, I love em all (well, not Burritoville [NYC based chain that closed down last year, probably due to being horrible and tasting like…nvm]). This has been my latest addictive comfort food in a list of old standards that we probably all have (pizza, bacon cheeseburgers, french fries, mac and cheese). This has definitely contributed to my waistline, and will without a doubt be the most difficult thing for me to cut back on (but not completely, moderation is so obviously the key. You’d have to pry my burrito from my cold dead fingers!).

    Anyways, I would say out of all the national brands, Chipotle has, in my opinion, without a doubt the highest quality food. I sometimes travel for a living and have sampled their fare, and the others mentioned (except for Flaming Amy’s, that’s a local Wilmington, NC favorite…just wanted to give them a shout out!) and Chipotle is always consistently good.

    Their hot salsa is the most flavorful salsa I have ever eaten, and the perfect temperature to get you sweating, but not dying. Also, they are committed to organic and fair food practices (you can get information about it on their website).

    All that being said, one of my favorite foods to eat when I need something satisfying, I’m in a hurry, and I’m craving a big fatty burger or something similar, are there chicken tacos. Get a plate of their chicken tacos, go easy on the cheese and skip the sour cream, then add some of their hot salsa. The heat from the salsa kicks your metabolism into overdrive, the calories are less than half that of a burrito, and they are INCREDIBLY satisfying.

    According to the nutritional calculator at chipotlefan.com, my taco plate has 515 calories, as opposed to about 1455 for my burrito.

  54. Tracy says:

    Hey Tyler, great post… I emailed you a couple weeks ago, and you were very nice to reply! I think I tossed around several accolades your way and 25 or 16 WOWS. So understand when I lapse into this :
    Dude, you have come SO FAR to let those stupid, selfish, whiny little *19 pounds kick your butt – not even for a second! They’re just getting desperate – they aren’t strong. Just noisy. Kill ’em and build that muscle. They are only serving to delay. Don’t let them have even one more day.

    *I am not a math expert

    Ok, that said – Today I get to re-restart getting back to where I want to be, where I see myself. I think I told you in my email that I was almost done with those first 2 weeks of OMG I HURT from returning to any exercise program… But then some moron in a Kia Minivan (seriously?!) slammed my truck in the rear while I was at a stoplight… giving me a lovely concussion and the ER dr. thought some initial “minor” brain bleed. I had to deal with some lovely symptoms over the past month, including that whenever my heartrate went up I got dizzy and a pounding headache. Since getting one’s heartrate up is sort of the point of exercise… Yeah, you can see that the moron stole that finishing the hard 2 weeks from me. I get to ramp it up again starting tonight…. gugh….

    Running the mile…. I grew up as a runner in a family of runners, and the way to hit a distance/time goal for us was to 1st establish the pace you need to maintain. Do that pace every couple of days for just a half mile. Find your best pace music that maintains that pace and only use it when you are working toward that goal. For some reason “Armageddon It” by Def Leppard was one of my pace songs back in the day. Don’t use those tunes for the elliptical or the weight bench – just when working your goal. One day just for kicks, use that pace for a mile, after a couple weeks hitting the half goal easily. That’s how we did it most of the time.

    When I was a kid, we would annually enter a fun run called Sound to Narrows out here. Back then they didn’t really separate the “serious” runners from the goofs like us or from the Military. I tended to beat my goal by quite a lot purely because I would find myself “trapped” in the cadence songs of a military group. I WANNA BE AN AIRFORCE RANGER! i WANNA LEAD A LIFE OF DANGER! and I could just not break free. It got to where if I was at a track meet or was having trouble finishing a run and wanting to end early, I would start singing those cadences to myself. Distraction technique! Nowadays I guess the military groups have to leave at a different start time. 🙁 Killjoys.

  55. Tracy says:

    Oh and… I have no idea what y’all are talking about Chipolte’s and Moe’s… Moe’s like Moe Szyslak in The Simpsons? Does he even have any food to order?

    My bday was yesterday – we hit Olive Garden. I think even their breadsticks are about 5,000 calories… URAH!

  56. Kim says:

    The most liberating feeling in the world is when you finally realize that you do have control over your own life. It’s just a choice. Make it. Great blog!

  57. Tyler says:

    Moe’s isn’t gross, Michelle. I’m glad you randomly found my blog, I hope you keep commenting!

    I started working out on the elliptical — low setting at first for low durations, eventually building up to the hardest level at the max time allowed (99 minutes). I highly recommend the elliptical if you’re just starting out.

  58. Tyler says:

    I’m glad you finally commented! YOU CAN DO THIS! We can do it together, Michele. I wish you all the best in the world. I know times can be overwhelming, trust me…

    You can STILL accomplish your goals. Good luck!

  59. Tyler says:

    Chipotle does have extremely high quality food, absolutely no doubt about it. I could “taste” the freshness so to speak. Don’t get me wrong, Chipotle wasn’t bad, and the black bean corn salad I got was only about 650 calories. I know Moe’s has more calories, I just think it’s a better overall experience.

    I’ll definitely go back to Chipotle though and try your chicken tacos — thanks for the recommendation!

  60. Tyler says:

    Olive Garden will put 50 calories on you by just smelling the breadsticks. They’re soooo good though. I haven’t been to Olive Garden this entire journey for what it’s worth. I used to go, it’s just a place where there is very little option to eat moderately and still maintain a low amount of calories.

    And when I want to cheat, of course, I don’t go to Olive Garden, I go and get sushi.

  61. Tyler says:

    We do have a choice every single day. It doesn’t matter how many perhaps bad, unfulfilled bad days we’ve had in a row, today can be the first good one.

  62. Tyler says:

    Thanks for the long comment, Tracy! Glad you’re here with us. I am trying to respond to all the e-mails, just like I did with yours — it’s taking a while though, so I still apologize for how long I took to respond!

    Thanks for all the tips. I’ll definitely use the suggestion about running and keeping a pace…

    By the way, is that a Cocker Spaniel in your image? I have one at home and he drives me crazy!

  63. LOL – I know you didn’t steal it! Great minds think alike. 🙂

  64. Shahntay says:

    Tyler, thanks for sharing your weight loss stories, I just came across your blog and what a blessing it will be for me I have lost 50 pounds and have been on a plateau for about a year and a half why? Simply because I have failed to change my eating habits , I am already physically active and I realize that I am an emotional eater…admitting it is the first step right? Right. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement I agree, if you don’t like your life, I am for changing it and trying new things. Sometimes it is hard for you to get out of your comfort zone but, why not. Please continue to let us know how it goes.

  65. Life is like riding a bicycle – in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.- Albert Einstein

    This sums it up for me….yes I moved out my comfort zone at age 46 to go live in Germany, learning a new language and settling in is hard…Tyler you inspire me…I love your blog…and it does tear me up….but also gives me hope…

    Thank you

  66. Olivia says:

    Hey Tyler.
    I found your website after the story on cnn.com like many other people. i havent seen many of your posts but i already find your words inspirational. I mean the fact you could loose over 100 pounds in a year gives me hope. I am about 40 pounds overweight, though i dont exactly look like my weight. I weigh 180 pounds and i want to loose it and be down to at least 145 but i am not entirely sure of the best kinds of meals for that kind of thing. Any recipies i could try that would fit my weight loss plan that dont taste completely bland?

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