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Overcoming Your Barriers

Excuses are very easy to create. For the sake of not using a triggering word, excuses are “barriers” throughout the rest of this post. Something that we must overcome first to make it possible to do what we are avoiding.

When talking with people about mindful eating and/or committing to a regular exercise routine, here are some of the barriers suggested:

  • “I do not have time.”

  • “I do not know what to eat.”

  • “It is hard.”

  • “I cannot afford it.”

  • “It hurts.” (Get yourself a physiocoach for this one! Hint: ME!)

Over the last couple of months, I have found myself creating more barriers than usual, as it pertains to my health:

  • “Got baby to bed late. Guess I will have to skip my morning workout to sleep.”

  • “Well, I did not add this meal/food into MyFitnessPal; guess I am not tracking today.”

  • “I am nursing. I can eat whatever.”

  • “I do not have time to wake up early for a workout.”

  • “It is too cold to walk.”

Just to name a few. We are likely creating barriers to feel better about how we have prioritized things.

This past week, I finally said to myself, “Ana, get your shit together. You are supposed to be modeling healthy habits and behaviors.” The barriers above did not magically go away. These were still real problems needing solutions.

  1. I set up a solid routine for the little. Set a wake-up and bed time that allows for getting sleep and a workout in…at a time that is better for me (morning). If Baby Z wakes up during the workout, she plays while I finish up.

  2. I did the calculations and added the meal/food. Easy peasy.

  3. No, I cannot. Nursing does require additional calories. However, it does not have to be ice cream.

  4. See first bullet point. And, guess what? I LOVE waking up early!

  5. Well, yes. BUT, I could add in another conditioning session instead of a walk. Until it warms up – then GET OUTSIDE. I also signed up for another mileage challenge.

It did not take long to knock down these barriers. It required thoughtfulness about what would work for myself and my family, committing to it (I wrote it down), and then implement. Of course, there are days in which things go “off the rails.” That is fine! No one is perfect, and you should not be striving for that – that is unrealistic. When that happens, I simply note how I felt or how it affected life; that way, I know how to adjust or what to expect when it happens again!

So…time to break down those barriers. I am imagining yours may sound similar to the first section.

  • Grab a sheet of paper or a note on your phone.

  • Write down all the barriers you have said or thought regarding food, exercise, stress management, sleep, etc (any aspect of WELLNESS) in the last month.

  • Now, take it one at a time. What can you do to address the barrier? What could change? How would you change it? Be specific.

  • DO IT. Make the change. It will be challenging at first, and it takes a while to establish a new habit or routine. Give yourself up to a month before changing anything (unless it is really not working for your life – then, go through the steps again and adjust!).

Do you need help? We offer a program focused on establishing a routine that promotes improved wellness. It starts with a tracking and discovery phase in which we see your current patterns and routines, and then start planning how to address them.

Learning more about how you create barriers (excuses), how you respond to challenges, etc is instrumental to your wellness journey. Knowing yourself allows you to knock down your barriers and prepare your mind for those tough days when nothing goes right. And yes, there will be those days. Put in the resources NOW to be better equipped or prepared.

Let’s get after it, people!


Dr. Ana

Ana Grimh, PT, DPT, CSCS, CNPT, FMS-1, CF-L2 Doctor of Physical Therapy Certified Nutritional Physical Therapy Owner/Mastermind Align Wellness Services, LLC

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