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Honesty time; I have always struggled with what it meant to be healthy. It was never that I just wanted to be skinny -though I have always struggled with my weight. It was never just about appearance for me, personally.
I always felt this pull to figure out how to be healthier in general. I want to feel good, be comfortable and confident, and be strong, but I quickly found that learning how to be healthier was super tricky.
Even just figuring out what it means to “be healthy” can be tough! Over the years, I’ve gotten better at sifting through all of the information out there regarding health (some good and some not so good). I realized that while so many people struggle, we all share one common thing that keeps us stuck where we are in an endless up and down cycle.
There is something holding us back.
What is holding you back?
Almost everyone has the goal of being healthier at some point in their life. But it’s not uncommon for people to struggle with this. We all just want to dive in and make progress, get results, and find solutions. This tends to often result in failure. So we try again. And we often fail again.
Before we can begin to address how to be healthier, we have to determine what it is that is holding us back. What is keeping here, where we have been for so long?
Very rarely do people really take time to figure out why they continue to struggle and find no success. They just keep jumping right back on that wheel, eager and determined to finally do it this time, just to end up exactly where they started.
What held me back
One of the things that held me back from being my healthiest self was rooted in
I’m sure this is a fear many people can relate to. It took me so long to figure out it was a root problem for me, though. You see, I didn’t have a rough or traumatic childhood. And in school, up until junior high math classes, I was always one of the smartest in the room. (Don’t worry, I don’t have a big head about this. It’s totally no longer the case.)
But I did have many moments where, as a child, I felt stupid. Like I couldn’t do anything right. One of My dad’s frequent phrases when raising my sister and I was “You need to use common sense.”
To lots of people, this might seem like nothing. But for whatever reason, I really internalized this criticism of not being able to use my common sense as not being able to make smart choices. And this fear started with my desire to not want to be seen as someone who wasn’t able to do that.
As a kid, of course, we don’t know everything. So a lot of situations where this came into play were in regards to me not knowing or understanding something. And so for a long time, I was afraid to make mistakes. Afraid to look stupid.
I understand now, as an adult and even more as a parent to a rather boisterous little boy, that he was trying to teach me while experiencing frustration. He never actually thought I was stupid. He was either scared because I almost hurt myself, frustrated because something was now broken or lost, or any other number of typical parenting emotions. But as a pretty sensitive person, my perception of what those words meant rooted themselves right in there until I was able to identify them and kick them out.
So being afraid to look stupid translated into me not wanting to go to the gym, because of the fear I would use equipment wrong or use the incorrect form in front of other people. Fear of looking stupid dancing in front of others.
These fears kept me from doing things that I knew would give me the most health benefits! I never would have been able to overcome those obstacles if I didn’t really understand why they were obstacles to begin with.
Some common problems that may be holding you back
There are so many different things that hold people back. Some keep us from starting, others keep us from progressing. It’s not only important to figure out what these thoughts are that
You might already have an idea of what a few of those might be for you after just thinking it over for a few minutes. If you don’t, that’s okay. Think
Some possible reasons you are struggling:
- Indecision: An inability to decide what’s best/right.
- Fear: Of failure, judgment, commitment, making the wrong choice.
- Confusion: Don’t know enough information or where to start (a lack of knowledge).
- Lack of a motivating reason: You’re doing it for the wrong reasons/reasons that have no meaning to you.
- Lack of confidence: You think you can’t do it.
- Expecting too much: Expectations are too high. You expect immediate results and give up when the process is slow.
Resources to overcome and resolve
This can be a long process, but it will set you up on the right track for learning how to be healthier once and for all. Once you identify what’s holding you back, there are so many places to turn for guidance on how to overcome or resolve the problem. From books to podcasts to websites, there is a wealth of knowledge waiting for you. Some of it you may have even run across before but didn’t yet realize you needed.
Here are a few great resources I’ve come across, but there are SO MANY options out there.
- The 4 Tendencies* and Better than Before*: Two books by Gretchen Rubin regarding habit building.
- The Do It Scared Podcast with Ruth Soukup: A podcast about addressing your fears and overcoming them to live your best life. (She will also be releasing a book of the same name in May.)
- Girl, Wash Your Face* by Rachel Hollis
- You Are a Badass* by Jen Sincero
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People* by Stephen R. Covey
- Armchair Expert Podcast with Dax Shepard: As their website states, it’s the “podcast that celebrates the messiness of being human.”
The first step to overcoming what’s holding you back is, that’s right…figuring out what it is! It’s time to get introspective and really what’s holding you back. Don’t wait any longer to make progress.
Once you figure it out, take some time to research books and podcasts that address that particular issue. Or, check out some of the ones listed above. I guarantee that no matter what you’re struggling with, someone else is too.
Figuring out how to be healthier can really feel like a daunting task. When you consider all of the information thrown at us, some right, some wrong, and some just plain weird, it makes sense it would be overwhelming. Add to that our personal fears, emotions, past and thought processes (read: baggage) and the task can feel insurmountable.
None of us are immune to this. We’re all viewing this world through the unique lens our life has formed. The best we can do is try to determine our personal hang-ups keeping us from making progress. Only then can we actively move toward resolving them to be healthier overall.
Over time, you may develop new sticking points. If you suddenly find your progress at a stand-still, re-ask these questions. You may find that a new roadblock has made its way in and needs to be resolved before you can once again move forward.
What’s holding you back? How did you overcome it to live healthier or more productively? Leave a comment below!