Hi Everyone! Hope you had a nice weekend and are off to a great start this Monday.
Today I wanted to address something that has come up a lot in my conversations recently with both friends/family and people at the gym. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to overcome obstacles when it comes to either getting in shape or staying in shape, and so I wanted to talk a bit about that here. Whether it be a limitation (real or self-imposed) due to an injury, or a perceived lack of time or ability, financial concerns or a stubborn mindset, chances are, at some point we’ve all let some kind of obstacle stand in our way of meeting our health and fitness goals.
I’m certainly no exception to this; when I injured my shoulder about 4 years ago, I let it sideline me entirely for a few months. I basically used it as a opportunity to feel sorry for myself, telling myself I couldn’t take this class or that one because it might aggravate my shoulder, and that I should probably avoid the weight room entirely because I might injure myself worse, blah, blah, blah. I somehow managed to convince myself at the time that the only thing that I could do at the gym was jog or walk on the treadmill, and truthfully I could barely convince myself to even do that a few times a week, even though nothing was wrong with my legs. I re-gained about 8 pounds with that injury. I’m sure in my heart of hearts I even knew I was being ridiculous at the time, but I let the situation get the best of me, and, hey, sometimes we can make pretty convincing arguments when we perceive an obstacle to be overwhelming.
The thing is, we often let obstacles becomes excuses. And really, it’s that mindset that it’s going to hold you back 100% of the time. Luckily I learned from that injury and was able to snap out of my funk before I got too far off course; I got myself into physical therapy eventually and learned corrective exercises to rehab my shoulder, got back into the weight room and worked the rest of my body, and went back to the classes I’d avoided (always giving the instructor a head’s up before class that I had an injury so that they could help me modify where need be). I re-directed my energy, and instead of continuing to see the injury as a roadblock, I figured out a solution to get around it. And without having to carry around that mental burden of my obstacle (which is always the hardest part), I dropped the physical weight I had gained, just like that.
It’s important to remember that how we feel on the inside truly does reflect on the outside. When we make excuses and allow an obstacle to get in our way, we’re really dealing with something much deeper than that. Whether it’s fear, depression, self-loathing…that mentality that is holding us back, allowing us to come up with excuses for why we can’t do something is the same one that is manifesting itself on the outside, keeping us from looking how we want to look, and being who we want to be. It’s only once we’re able to truly let go of that mindset, and turn these instances that could be considered obstacles into opportunities instead, that we’ll be able to be who we want to be, and we’ll get where we want to go physically.
So what’s holding you back? I guarantee that no matter what “obstacle” you are facing – insert whatever it is here, whether it’s that you don’t think you have the time to work out, or it’s too expensive/cold/crowded, etc., or you’ve got too much weight to lose and are embarrassed to be seen in a gym, etc. (you get the idea) – there is a solution. There’s a way around it. I know it’s tough, but if you make no excuses, you will be unstoppable.