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Obesity, Fitness, and Excuses
Let's face it. When it comes to the one thing that will cure us of obesity, we find hundreds of excuses as to why we can't do it. Who's with me on this one? We here the words “exercise” and “fitness,” and we cringe. The excuses start racing through our minds like we are in the final lap of an Indy 500 car race. Why do we so diligently repel the one thing that we must commit to doing in order to become healthy and free of disease/illness?
We protest because, well, to be honest about it, exercising hurts us. It literally hurts our bodies to move when we are obese. It hurts our feet. It hurts our backs. It hurts our necks. It hurts our chafing & burning skin. It hurts our legs, our knees, our arms, our wrists and our hands. It feels like torture. Nobody wants to feel tortured, not even to get healthy.
I have excuses. I have many excuses as to why I don't want to exercise. Some of my excuses are valid, and some are created out of fear. We fear many things when we are obese. One of those fears is suffering through the shame of social stigma while being seen working out in a public setting. I had this fear at one time, too, so you are not alone in your feelings. Your feelings are real. Social stigma is real. It exists, and it can be crippling to the success or failure of a new weight loss program. The key to overcoming social stigma when working out is to have an excellent support system, and a positive/encouraging workout buddy!
Another crippling fear is injury. The fear of injury (most likely caused by the instability of your inner core, and the weight of your body bearing down on your muscles and joints which throw you off balance) is not only a fear, it is a reality if you are obese and just starting out with fitness and weight loss goals. Finding the right program/trainer/coach is essential to your weight loss goals and program. Utilizing your own body weight is imperative to building inner core strength and being injury-free when you are obese.
If you have previous injuries like I do, then you'll want to be cleared by a physician before starting any weight loss/fitness program. Due to previous right-knee injuries, I must always have a knee brace or ace bandage wrapped around my knee at all times when walking, jogging, or working out. This provides the stability and safety that I need in order to prevent further injury, and to strengthen my knee at the same time. Always inform a new trainer/doctor/coach/program director or supporter of any previous injuries you may have suffered, even if they are years behind you. Your injuries must be factored in to your weight loss and fitness plan in advance, to prevent re-occurrence. Otherwise, you will have a physical set-back that will throw your fitness goals off track, and this is when many people give up.
Fear of working out can also be caused by a plethora of other factors, including anxiety and panic attacks, current disease or illnesses, lack of self-esteem, lack of support, and fear of failure, just to name a few. These should all be addressed by a certified professional before you begin any fitness or workout regimen. Your physician or Psychiatrist can address your physical issues such as high blood pressure, anxiety attacks, current medications, etc., that may play a factor in exercising. A licensed Health Coach or Psychologist can address self-esteem issues, anxiety issues, failure issues & stigma issues that, once properly addressed, will assist you in creating healthy & do-able goals.
A good support system is imperative to your success. Unfortunately, I find that I can rely on one or two close personal friends rather then any of my family members. Family can sometimes be unsupportive, and may lack the knowledge in order to help you through your weight loss goals in a supportive manner. As upsetting as this is, not everyone is going to be happy that you are deciding to do something about your weight. I have found family to be some of the most sabotaging elements in my weight loss endeavors.
Although you may be one of those lucky individuals who has a great support team in your family, it's best to test the waters before you begin your weight loss program to see where your family's integrity and support 'intentions' are. This will enable you to properly plan ahead with alternate support options and alternatives. As much as we would like to believe that our family will be happy for us and support our every goal, this is not always the case, and we need to be prepared in advance for hiccups that could derail our motivation, our commitment, and our goals.
You must put your foot down when it comes to sabotaging family members. Have a family meeting if you must. Explain to everyone that comes into contact with you on a regular basis that you will not allow bribery, teasing, taunting, sabotage, or any other negative behaviors associated with unhealthy foods/temptation that may cause you to stray from your program, to interfere with your daily goals.
There is also the excuse of 'lack of time' when it comes to committing to a fitness/weight loss program. This excuse, in itself is, well, an excuse. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. You must make changes and implement new habits in order to achieve your goals of weight loss and optimal health. No exceptions, no excuses. There are thousands, if not millions of ways that can be found on the internet to make your life easier! Whether it's cooking, meal planning and food preparation, getting your family to help out and take on more responsibility, or just waking up earlier each day to get a good walk or work out in, you can do it! Lose the excuses, and watch the pounds start whittling away.
Fitness can be fun, safe, and life changing. Find the right balance and program for you and your current weight and needs, and you will be sure to find success if you work hard, utilize your support system, and make some subtle changes to your lifestyle. Make fitness fun and enjoyable for you according to your needs and requirements, and your excuses will be gone. You'll be amazed at how much better you feel, coupled with all of the energy you will suddenly have. You deserve it! Fitness is the only way to escape obesity. Find a way to enjoy it, and you'll never miss another work out session again!
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