Sunday, July 27, 2014

Confronting Obstacles

I work with clients for a variety of reasons, but most of my clients have two very common goals:

1. To lose weight
2. To eat healthier

The two kind of go hand in hand, but overall, someone is looking for better health through weight loss and healthy eating because for one or many reasons they have not been able to maintain a healthy weight and diet for long enough that it has impacted their health in a negative way. One of the toughest facts that I have to face as a trainer is that some of the people I work with will return to old habits even after a successful weight loss experience. You see, even though they are happier in their healthier body, even though they feel better and have more energy and even though they are proud of their hard work, some old habits die hard.

If someone hasn't faced and conquered what brought them to that unhealthy point to begin with, unfortunately those people very often spiral backwards once the weight loss program is done and life kicks back in because you can't correct what you aren't willing to confront.

An important question that I ask clients is, "how did you get to where you are today?" because the real battle isn't just to lose weight and eat healthier. The real battle ahead is how to overcome the obstacles that got you where you are today by creating a new lifestyle that helps you overcome those obstacles versus brushing them under the rug during a temporary weight loss program.

Obstacles come in all shapes and sizes though. Sometimes they are obvious ones such as being too busy with family, work, extra curricular activities, etc... People are so busy they don't have time to exercise or eat healthy. Sometimes it's the opposite problem and people are too bored so they eat mindlessly and/or spend endless sedentary hours watching tv, browsing the internet or facebook or playing video games. But that's just the surface of a deeper problem very often.

Why are they so busy or bored in life? 

Are they unhappy in life so they bury themselves in busy schedules instead of facing the inevitable problems at home?

Is it that the person struggles with laying clear boundaries in life? 

Do they let people take advantage of them while not maintaining their own health and expecting others to respect their needs in return? 

Is it poor self esteem which makes it so they don't want to go out and face others with the way their body looks? 

Is it fear of being weak in front of others? 

Is it that food comforts them during times of stress that they haven't learned to manage any other way besides with food?

Is it that food is the only thing they can control in their lives at that moment because everything else is out of control? 

There are so many different obstacles in everyone's life that pull us away from not only being stronger, healthier, happier and more energetic, but that also pull us away from our dreams, goals, self worth and vocations in life. You can read a motivational book, do a 30 day challenge or even lose weight in a weight loss program, but the truth is that you can't correct what you aren't willing to confront and at some point you will have to face the harsh reality of your personal obstacles.

So if you've ever yo-yo'd in life (which I believe we all have at some point), I challenge you to take a deep breath, grit your teeth, swallow your pride and take a hard look into your life, job, relationships, mind, heart and soul and figure out what your true obstacles really are. After that, develop a plan to overcome those obstacles by reaching out for help if need be, and put in place lifestyle changes and support networks that will help you overcome those obstacles because they may not ever disappear but that doesn't mean they can't be overcome and corrected.