Sunday, August 7, 2016

What's Your Obstacle?

Last night our daughter randomly woke up in the middle of the night and just couldn't fall back asleep. I tried my best to help her get back to sleep, but the next few hours until dawn were riddled with restless sleep. The result? When my alarm went off to go running.....I didn't. Therefore this blog idea was born.

To start this off, give an honest answer to complete the following sentence. Don't worry, you are not being graded, and you don't have to share your answer with anyone. 

My biggest obstacle to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is: ________________________

Your first response was quite possibly something along the lines of, "Seriously, how can I pick just one?" It is like when you are asked to pick your favorite movie, book or food. What an impossible question.

To be fair, I'll share the answers that crept (more like stampeded) into my mind.

1) FOOD: That probably seems like such an obvious answer, but I had to include it. Carbs, chocolate, and cheese. Those, along with many other things, can go down this hatch whenever.
2) ENERGY: If you wonder what I mean by this, go back and read paragraph one again. 
3) KNEES: I had two ACL surgeries on the same knee in my early 20s. Now at 40 sometimes that knee aches a bit.
4) TIME: I'm a wife, mom to two girls and I currently have two jobs.
5) BUDGET: Our limited budget doesn't always have room for the healthiest options.       
6) LIFE: No day, week, or month is ever the same. Not being able to adjust to what is around you can sometimes become an obstacle. 

Some of my obstacles I'm fighting to love of food,
not consistently exercising, and random sleep patterns. 

This got me would a professional trainer or nutritionist complete that sentence? No person is perfect, so I'm assuming even those that earn a living based on helping others with their health and fitness goals must at some time face some obstacles.

As an It Works distributor I end up talking with many people that are looking to help maintain some sort of health-related goal. Oftentimes they are overwhelmed by the amount or severity of obstacles that they are facing. One lady I met at a vendor show asked me, "Where do I even start?"

I always start by clarifying that I'm not a doctor or a professional trainer or nutritionist. As I stated in a previous post titled I'm No Jillian, I'm just an average mom looking to overcome some obstacles of my own. I honestly think a first step is just realizing what those obstacles are, and then making a game plan that fits you as an individual. What works for me might not necessarily work for you because your obstacles might be different.

Let's take a second here to analyze the word obstacle. Some may say I should replace it with the word excuse. Obstacles are defined as things that can block or hinder someone's progress, while excuses are reasons put forward to defend the fault of someone. When I consider the individuals that I have talked to before about attaining health goals, I look at their struggles more as obstacles that prevented them from even starting in the first place. Personally I think an excuse is when you have the tools to do something, but you don't. For instance, if I had started this blog by saying I have had some great nights of sleep lately, but I didn't get up to exercise because my favorite TV show was on I don't think you would empathize with that as much. OK, that maybe wasn't the greatest example, but I think you know where I'm going with this.

This obstacle vs. excuse discussion makes me think of a quote I've seen floating around social media a lot lately.

"Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you don't know anything about."

Recently I was talking with someone that I have known for quite some time, and they shared with me some HUGE obstacles they are facing on their health journey. I was blown away. I had NO idea this was going on in their life. Their obstacles are not just physical, but mental and emotional as well. If anyone told this individual that they were excuses to them maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I truthfully would probably slap them.

So, if you are sitting there ready to take charge of your health goals, think back to those obstacles that popped into your head up top and start formulating a plan to help you overcome those obstacles. Maybe identify what your biggest struggle is and start there. If that seems too overwhelming start smaller and tackle those first. Once again, I think every individual is different, so what works for Joe doesn't necessarily work for Jane. In my next few blogs that are on the health-related spectrum I'll explain how I'm overcoming (or trying to) the obstacles that I listed above. 

Remember, you are NOT alone in this. The internet and social media can get some bad rap, but there are a lot of good parts of it as well. Not only is there a ton of information to be found, but Instagram and Facebook have so many groups that are there to support you in whatever your obstacle might be at this time. Want to find another average overtired working mom (or whatever your role is) out there that might be able to understand your struggle? Look no further....they are out there....or here. 

Staying fit and healthy is something that is important to me. It just is. I know how vital it is to how I feel, how my body functions and my overall mental state. Is it easy? No way. I have obstacles, but I just keep trying, day in and day out. 

Simply put...don't let your obstacle become your excuse.