Starting and sticking to an exercise or nutrition program takes a lot of discipline.  Here are the most common stumbling blocks to exercise and healthy eating that you may experience and healthy ways to overcome them.  Sometimes, even when we have good intentions and want to do the right thing, it can slip us up if we have the wrong attitude about it.  Do you see yourself in any of the following scenarios?

I don't have enough time.  If you have trouble finding time to exercise, you are not alone.  A perceived lack of time is one of the most common excuses for not starting or for quitting an exercise program.  But it really does not wash. We have clients who manage large businesses, clients with 6-8 children and clients who seem to do it all.  How do they do it? They make health and fitness a priority in their life. When life gets rough, exercise is usually the first thing to go when, in fact, it should be the last.  Exercise is the glue to mental sanity when life becomes chaotic. 


Somehow, when others need you, your needs tend to end up on the back burner.  Someone at work asks you to complete a project, your spouse needs your attention, the kids need some quality time, your friends are asking you why you have not called, and you have a to-do list that extends well into the next 6 months.  You can see how easy it is to convince yourself that the morning workout can wait until lunch and then until after dinner. Or maybe tomorrow and finally, "I'll get back on track next month!" Commitments, responsibilities and the demands of work, family, and social life are always going to be there.  When you allow yourself to put your own needs second to everything and everyone else, you will end up the loser. 


Research, in fact, shows that people who exercise are more productive at whatever they are doing.  Translation: You will be able to do more when you are in good shape. As for believing exercise is a huge time commitment, even 10-30 minutes a day, if done consistently, can result in health benefits.


Make an appointment with yourself, just as you would for your doctor or dentist or a meeting with your boss.  That way, when someone asks if you can meet at 5 o'clock, you can honestly say, "Sorry, I've got an appointment.  How about at 4:00?" Scheduling fitness into your life is why personal trainers have become so popular. Now you are accountable to your trainer as well as yourself.


Stop putting it off!  "I'll start exercising right after New Year's…in the spring…right after I'm finished with this huge project…once the kids get older…once the kids leave home…after I've retired…Now is the time to start because there will always be things competing for your time.  You can choose to make exercise a priority in your life now or wait until you're forced to make it a priority. People who cannot find the time to exercise are often forced to find the time for illness. We take our health for granted until we get sick. People who swear they do not have a minute to exercise, then find themselves hospitalized for bypass surgery and out of commission for weeks, soon recognize that the extra time taken to exercise would havent been well worth it!  The message is clear. Unless you take care of yourself now, one day you may find yourself unable to take care of your business, family, or any of your other interests.


Another helpful strategy for overcoming the time obstacle is to sit down and record how you spend your time on a typical day.  Then go through the list and identify any time wasters. It could be the television or computer or perhaps there are constant interruptions at work.  Now determine how you could eliminate some of these time wasters. For example, at work, make it known that from 10:00 until noon you are not to be interrupted so you can focus on some important projects.  You will find that you do have time to exercise – you just need to restructure your schedule to make sure you have time for the important things in life.  


“It’s a Lifestyle”


Carl Comeaux


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