I am inspired to write this post after a conversation I had with someone last night through a series of text messages. I was talking to someone who I met at the gym and they confessed to me they had not returned since the day we initially met. Her story was one that is familiarly relatable to all of us, myself included. She stopped going to the gym because she lost her motivation.
Her reasons for not returning included a hectic schedule, she can’t eat healthy, lost interest in the gym and that leads to emotional eating. She continued to share that she is not athletic, has been diagnosed with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and was pre-diabetic. She reminded me of myself when I first started working out. I shared my own struggles with her by relating that I also have PCOS, I have arthritis in my back, degenerative discs, an inverted sacrum, misaligned hips, a bad right knee, and I am asthmatic. I have never been the athlete that played on a team sport. The point is, that we all have crutches that we use to justify our inaction.
We all have been guilty of it. We have all found ways of masking the truth about how we get in our own way to achieve success. I used to use my asthma as an excuse of not being able to run. I decided that I was slowing myself down from my progress and the truth was, I felt like it was too hard. The ugly truth was that I had spent a lifetime creating a pattern for myself. When things became too hard, I simply gave up. I realized that I allowed that pattern to spill over into every aspect of my life. But at some point you have to look take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and face the truth.
Facing the truth about yourself is more challenging than what anyone could imagine. It does not take place overnight, nor is it a simple glimpse that leads you to an epiphany with all the answers. It is looking at yourself and being brutally honest about what is holding you back in life. It is about facing your fears and asking why you keep getting in your own way.
Sometimes you have to call your self on your own bullshit. It is hard to do, but in the end you will be glad you did it. I personally found it to be a freeing experience. My hard truth was laziness. I wanted things, but was not willing to put in the work. Sometimes I would consider myself to be putting in the work, but the truth was that I was taking a half-assed approach.
Even with reaching my fitness goals. Putting in they physical work was never the problem because trust and believe me, anyone who has worked out with me can tell you that I work out VERY HARD. Always looking to reach my next level of fitness, I constantly read about it, became friends with other fitness-minded people and personal trainers. I lost weight, but was always a few pounds or one clothing size short of my goal. At that point I would plateau and I would give up. The ugly truth about my fitness goals is that I was busting my ass every day in the gym but my eating habits were horrific.
I was still eating fast food, and snacking on junk food. I was still drinking sugary beverages like juice, soda, and mixed drinks. I was staying up late and constantly snacking. I used snacks as my comfort food (emotional eating). So when my results were minimum, instead of owning up to my bullshit, I used having PCOS as my crutch. While PCOS plays a part with weight issues, it is not the reason WHY you gain weight. Having PCOS makes it challenging to lose weight, which means you have to work that much harder. It meant that if I was serious about losing fat and reaching my ultimate fitness goals, that I not only had to work hard in the gym, I had to really monitor what I eat, how much I eat, and when I eat it.
I have started to learn more and more about nutrition and I can be honest and say that it is an everyday struggle. All it takes is one wrong snack to send me spiraling. But I have learned not to beat myself up about it. I have also learned to make small changes at a time. Making big drastic changes and being so hard on myself was being destructive and this destruction was not helping. So I choose to keep reading, stay positive, and stay focused of what my accomplishment is.
We all have genuine problems that arise every day of our lives. It can be health, finances, work, home, relationships, health. There will always be a reason why. But these reasons do not have to become a crutch. Instead, they can challenge us to reassess how we handle the various obstacles that come our way. I realize that it is about learning how to adapt to our environment because life is always going to find new ways to challenge me. We are all a work in progress and life is always looking for a way to surprise us. We simply have to learn how to roll with the punches and not break our stride on the road to our personal success.