Fear is a powerful emotion; it stops us from putting ourselves in unnecessary danger, it can keep us safe, but it can also hold us back from growing and exploring something new. Now when I say fear I don’t mean phobia which easy to identify (for me it’s heights, spiders and the dark), what I mean is that little invisible barrier that stops us in our tracks from moving forward. Everyone experiences this at one point or another, in fact for some it is just a part of everyday life and you may find yourself asking: is there a way to push past it?
A good place to start is by identifying what you are afraid of, which is actually a lot harder than you may think. Imagine you are in a situation where a new and exciting opportunity presents itself, but instead of diving right in you hesitate and hang back (we’ve all been there). Now think about why, what is it that’s holding you back, what are you really afraid of? Are you afraid of failing? Are you afraid of the consequences? Or are you afraid of the unknown? For me it’s the unknown that holds me back.
Once you understand what you’re afraid of dig a little deeper and look at how that fear is affecting your life. Maybe it’s what’s keeping you from going after that promotion at work, or from trying a new fitness class or finally dropping the weight you’ve carrying around with you all these years. Fear affects your health in many ways and not just psychologically (although that is a big part of it), fear can stress you out, keep you up at night and for some it can even cause extreme eating patterns like binging. Look at where you are at right now and where you’d like to be and from there you can easily see how your fears are keeping you right where you are. You may not like to admit it and you may not like what you uncover, but take some time to think about it, it can really help you to continue growing and lead you to the life you always wanted.
When it comes to health and fitness, your fears can definitely hold you back from getting in great shape and maintaining it. You may chalk it up laziness or a busy schedule, but if you really wanted to lose fat or build muscle don’t you think your determination would override those excuses in the same way it has with all of your other achievements? I’ve mentioned a few times that if you happen to slip up and maybe skip a workout or eat something more decadent that usual to not beat yourself up over it, but that doesn’t mean that you should be complacent with it either. Yes it happens, but if it occurs every week or more, you’re letting yourself stay right where you are and you will never reach your goals. Don’t give yourself permission to be unhealthy; discipline yourself, be consistent and show a little self control. It’s hard and it’s challenging, but don’t be afraid of it, welcome change and embrace the challenge of being healthful for life.
I’ve said it before that the best way to make your health a priority to is do what works best for your lifestyle, that way you can adopt healthy habits and make them stick. When it comes to fitness, work around your busy schedule and breakup your workout throughout the day if you have to (for example 10 minutes in the morning, a walk on your lunch break, and another 10 minutes when you get home) and be sure to do a workout that you actually enjoy; maybe it’s yoga, zumba or jogging outside. When it comes to nutrition, just be honest with yourself; if you can handle only one bite of something decadent each day then go for it, but if one bite sends you into a tailspin then don’t bother. If you hate certain vegetables don’t eat them instead find others that you actually like and try some new simple recipes to mix it up a bit. As always be reasonable when nourishing yourself and if you’re afraid that you may never get to enjoy the junk food that you gorge yourself on now ever again, stop for a moment to focus on what really matters in life because I guarantee you it’s not that bag of chips. When you do slip up own up to it, recognize what triggered it and then move on.
Since Halloween is today there will probably be a lot of tempting snack foods within your reach, so use this holiday as an opportunity to exercise a little self control and not overdo it on the mini snickers bars and snack sized bag of cheetos. As I mentioned, be real with yourself; if can handle just one that’s it then no problem, but if it’ll lead to a binge, stay away from the junk. The other alternative is to make it your treat meal of the week, but again be reasonable. Make an effort to eat well throughout the day so that when it comes time to celebrate you’re not starving and you won’t stuff yourself with the bad snack foods. If you are taking the little ones out for trick-or-treating use this opportunity to enjoy being outdoors, spending time with loved ones and walking around instead of lounging on the couch in front of the tv.
Your health and your level of fitness affect every aspect of your life so stop letting yourself make up reasons for not being at where you can be, you have the willpower to start being healthy and continue being healthy everyday of your life. Acknowledge your fear, say it out loud if you have to and then power through it. Remember, you’ve got this and you can accomplish anything you want, so go for it! Don’t let fear hold you back anymore, get out there and start living!
Start It, Finish It