“Everyone you meet is fighting a different battle.” Have you ever heard that phrase, or one similar to it? I really believe it’s true; if we knew half of someone else’s story – be it about their day or whole life – we would treat others with less judgement and contempt and much more grace, giving them the benefit of the doubt. It’s the same in the fitness realm – you never know what someone’s going through. Perhaps they struggle with their eating behind the scenes, or are sadly sabotaged by their partner home, or haven’t had the courage to go to the gym in years and are finally getting in the door. We never know what people are pushing through. On that note, what are YOU pushing through these days? Is it a busy schedule? A lack of motivation?
I thought I’d highlight a few obstacles we often face and need to push through in our daily lives to keep up with our health and fitness goals – I’d love to hear if you resonate with any of them below:
Temptations – cookies, salty chips, candy or simply overeating!
Not everyone has a sweet tooth, but many of us have other temptations we face food-wise that serve as stumbling blocks for our health and fitness goals Sometimes it’s fighting the desire to eat too much sweet goodness, sometimes it’s foods of the salty variety, while other times it’s “clean foods” but having too much of them.
Take me, for example. I’m currently on day 5 of my “No Nut Butter!” week and although it takes everything in me to NOT add some almond butter to my oatmeal, on my hard boiled egg, with a banana or as a snack with some chocolate chips, I’m doing it! It took some time to realize what exactly was my stumbling block, but I think it’s healthy foods in too-much-quantities.
I dip into the nut butter jar far more often than I’d like to admit, but since that’s what I’m doing, let’s just say I can easily go through a jar of almond butter SOLO in a week. Yikes. So, I gave myself a challenge, put the nut butter out of sight in the cupboard, and said “no” to nuts this week too. Know what your stumbling block is, “healthy” or “unhealthy,” and do something about it.
Tips: Rid your cupboards of the bad stuff – just throw it away! OR, every time you run out of something in your pantry, replace it with its healthier counterpart (white rice for brown, processed peanut butter for the all-natural variety, dried fruit (which are so high in sugar and easy to eat lots of) for solid fruit, etc).
Frustrations – when you’re not seeing progress and you feel like giving up.
I’ve been there myself. You’re eating clean (or hey, at least 80/20!), pushing hard in the gym and getting good sleep. So where the heck are the results you’re waiting for? It can be frustrating when you don’t see your hard work paying off and can cause you to lose hope, to give in to less workouts and worse food and eventually give up.
Tips: Keep in mind that every body is different – some people lose weight quickly, others take more time; some people’s hormone levels are off or their medications cause side effects or genetically you don’t put muscle on as fast as others. But don’t give up, take heart! Isn’t the truth of it that it’s better that you’re moving at all, that you’re treating your body well by fueling with clean foods rather than sulking on the couch and eating potato chips? Think about what would happen if you DIDN’T stay consistent and keep that bigger perspective of health. Get off the scale if it’s a stumbling block; stop comparing yourself to others; learn to listen to YOUR body and love who YOU are and allow the changes to come when they will. Stay the course. Keep moving forward. Consistency is key.
Excuses – even “legitimate” ones.
I tell my clients often that “not having enough time” or “working late” are indeed valid reasons for skipping a workout, and yet they continue to remain excuses at the end of the day. So many people are fighting busyness in our culture – it’s almost a badge of honor, isn’t it? “How are you lately?” “Oh, so busy! But good! Just got so many things on the go.” There are a million things to keep you from prepping food for the week, to keep you from staying late at work when there’s so much to be done and you shouldn’t go to gym instead, etc.
From today’s run: it started almost-snowing and sleeting soon after this and the wind kept howling! Felt accomplished after this run outside today!
Tips: Take a moment to have a conversation with yourself. What do you really want? Perhaps you value that extra dessert or convenience over planned meals more than you realize. Maybe you really aren’t ready to make a change and go straight from work to the gym before going home to the couch, or you’re simply not going to set your alarm early and hit the weights before the office. Either way, you need to take stock of where you’re at and then decide what the next course of action is from there: stay where you’re at and learn to be content (not always a bad option! Sometimes we strive for the unattainable and compare ourselves to fitness professionals!) or make some changes and move forward with our plan.
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I’d like to offer another perspective too, that of Lindsay’s from a recent post. I encourage you to read the post yourself, but in a nutshell, she talked about knowing where to draw the line when it comes to her goals. Does she need to see a six pack? Does she need to be in the place of depriving herself in order to get to where she’d ideally like to be? There was a time when the answer was yes, but now she’s at peace with different goals and with loving and accepting her fit, strong body rather than striving for goals that are, right now and perhaps henceforth, unrealistic. What’s worth it to you? Are your goals motivated by the right reasons? What will it prove if you lose those last 10 lbs, if you see the definition you’ve been longing to in your abs, if you never take a bite of processed food again? Perhaps it IS worth it to you, but that’s something you need to decide and stick with for yourself.
Loved Lindsay‘s post – it gave me lots to think about! Here’s the bottom line: we make time for what we truly value. We might say we want to lose weight or get stronger or eat cleaner but unless we’re actually willing to make changes – sometimes painful changes and sacrifices – we don’t really want it that badly.
What’s your take on all this? What are you currently pushing through? What have you pushed through in the past and have your goals changed more recently?
I’d love to hear your thoughts – and want to end by encouraging you to keep pushing through those obstacles! Identify them (write them down! tell someone about them!), find a solution to them (make a real plan!) and take action. Live well & be well,