Obstacles and Mental Resilience – Get Fit Series, #4

“Obstacles are those frightening things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry James

When it comes to weight loss and fitness, everything becomes an obstacle. Time, resources, other people, life… all stand in your way – because YOU let them. You’ve decided, somewhere deep inside that monkey brain of yours, to prioritize your fitness goals out of your daily schedule… and maybe for good.

The number one reason why we do this is because our workout isn’t fun. I touched on that in my earlier post, “The World is your Gym” and I will hash it out again here with, simply, “if your workout isn’t fun, you will give up!” Make your training fun and uncomplicated. If you can’t do it in your backyard or a nearby park, or in your home, or without commuting or aligning your fitness training with your workday — you are setting yourself up for failure. Take advantage of nature and what is readily available. No gym membership needed! Remember, they are counting on you to eventually stop showing up.

Now, for those obstacles. To realize what an actual obstacle is, think no further than the things you have no control over. That’s just about everything, right? Believe it or not, you have very little control over your body. You can fall ill or become injured… things you most definitely didn’t plan on. You have no control over the weather, other people, the world around you. Sounds quite grim, huh? So, in reality, if you cannot control it, it isn’t a viable obstacle. But, you DO have control over your mind. Your mind – that untouchable, nonphysical element that exists inside that squishy mass we call a brain… our command center. An obstacle is what you make of it. Mind over matter. About to go for a run and a storm rolls in. The storm is real… you can see it, touch it, even smell it – it exists! But, is it an obstacle that will stop you from your goals? “I’ll get wet and catch a cold,” you say. Nonsense. Being wet is just the opposite of being dry. It’s not a death sentence. Ever skipped and jumped through puddles as a kid? Why did you stop?

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius

Whatever gets in your way is an opportunity for progress. Think of it as a challenge. The gods are challenging you! Except death itself… nothing can stand in your way if you decide that it isn’t going to. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

The next time you’re making excuses to skip a workout – think about how you’ll feel afterwards. We’ve all been there… regret. Often, the hardest part is to just step out the door. Do that first. Take that initial step, no matter what stands in your way. Your mind is a powerful thing and you are in command. No obstacle is too great… except death – and you have no choice in making yourself available for that.

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