Barriers to success

What blocks you from success in your goals in fitness and in life?  There are a few things that can get in the way and the biggest one is us, more specifically our thinking.  It’s a shock I know, to think that we might be the biggest thing to get in the way of the things that we want the most.  But what do I mean by our thinking being the thing that gets in the way?  Right now I have been talking with people about the stages of grief and it occurred to me that some of the stages are very similar to signs of relapse. 

Denial, I don’t really have an issue or I can’t make the changes that need to happen.  We deny the need or the possibility that we can change because we have a hard time believing we can.  I know in my own experience I didn’t even comprehend how heavy I had gotten and how much it impacted my life once I became an adult.  I think in many ways I had become complacent and bought into the impossibility of change. 

Bargaining, that idea that I will start the diet or exercise plan tomorrow.  It never seems like the right time to make change, even once we start to recognize it needs to be made.  I know that even on certain days I made a bargain with myself that I would work out extra hard tomorrow if I got to go and eat out with friends today.  Or I would splurge a little and say to myself I can work it off later today.  I am pretty sure that bargaining, or as a patient I know calls it the negotiator, played a role in me stopping at the drive thru to get ice cream after the gym.

Anger, stay with me on this one because it’s important, anger is an easy go to emotion to show to others.  I know during one point of my journey I realized that I was angry about many things.  One thing that I was angry about was I let myself get to over 200lbs.  Another thing was that there are other people that can eat all the things I want to eat and not get heavy like I did.  Believe me I know that by no means was it the fault of anyone else. 

Rationalization, a close friend and relative of bargaining, while not necessarily a part of the stages of grief it’s definitely a part of relapse.  Again reasoning out why now is not the time or that I deserve a reward for accomplishing my goal.  Another area that I am sure was related to that drive thru stop after the gym.  It’s also how we excuse going out and eating a ton more because we worked out really hard that day.  Umm…yeah you probably didn’t work out enough to earn the triple cheeseburger heart attack on a bun with the side of fries and diet soda. 

The biggest way we torpedo ourselves is letting fear take hold, a fear of failure or of success.  I think it’s the fear of the unknown or the fear of even if I am successful will I be able to maintain that success.  Fear can keep us from even exploring or trying for our goals.  This I am sure, is different for each individual and working through this kind of thought process takes effort and sometimes professional support. 

I think that the most important part of this is looking at these skewed thoughts and emotions so that you can address them.  I have been honest in my postings that I think a subtle message for me was that I didn’t deserve that potential change and/or happiness. Recognize that you deserve as much happiness as those around you.  Recognize that happiness comes from not only becoming healthier and more fit (weight loss is a bonus), but also from becoming more comfortable with ourselves.  Happiness actually comes from many things in life, however that is a discussion for another time. 🙂


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