Expect barriers to spring up.
When we are mentally prepared for barriers to spring up, we become better prepared to get past them. Any worthwhile journey will have bumps along the way, that’s a given. Sometimes things work according to plan and many times they don’t. Keeping fit and healthy living is a lifelong journey, things won’t work according to plan a lot of times.
I mentioned in a previous blog that on my journey, I’ve injured every part of my body (read blog here ➡️ http://kehindepitan.com/ive-injured-every-part-of-my-body/). Last week I strained my arm, which means I’ve had to abort arm and shoulder exercises till my arm feels better. Injury is a barrier. Accepting that it is part of my journey helps me get past these niggles. Otherwise, I’d be discouraged and give up or reduce my activity.
If you prepare mentally to navigate around your barriers, and decide not be defeated by them, you will be able to achieve your fitness goals.
People assume that I do what I do easily. My journey has definitely not been a smooth sailing one. Barriers still spring up for me 20+ years into my health and fitness journey.
For example, growing older is a barrier. I remember the day it dawned on me that I could no longer sustain my top spinning speed. I felt so sad. It kind of felt like my enjoyment was greatly diminished, like spinning wasn’t worth doing anymore and I realised that I had stopped looking forward to the classes.
One day, I bumped into a guy I hadn’t seen in the spin class in a while. I asked him why I hadn’t seen him in the spin class in recent months and he said he stopped spinning because he started to struggle to reach his usual speed. There and then, I realised I wasn’t alone. I felt exactly the same – that spinning wasn’t worth doing if I couldn’t sustain my top speed. I had tried all sorts of things to get my usual pace back, I tried eating a banana before the class (I’m a fasted cardio girl) – no change, I tried warming up on the bike before the class, I increased my strength training leg work, some days I would get on that bike and feel like a pro and some days I would just feel off. I was up and down. I am well aware that not every workout can be great, but I was having more not great spin sessions than usual.
Think about the barrier(s) you’re facing and figure out how to get past them.
It really looked like this barrier was going to lead to the end of my spinning days. I just could not mentally get past the fact that I was slowing down. I took a few weeks off the bike and did other forms of cardio and I used that time to think about how I wanted to keep my body conditioned after I turn 50 this year and I came up with a plan.
I made the decision to stop competing with my old younger self, accept that my glory days are over. Btw, my glory days were the days I would spin so hard, I’d come off the bike like I needed a stretcher. I so loved that feeling, don’t ask me why because I don’t know. Crazy!
I took the pressure off myself. So what if I couldn’t sustain 130+rpm for 1min or more every time I spin? So what if I could only manage to do that 1 in 5 spins? What was I thinking when I thought I could sustain that year in year out into my 50’s and beyond? So what if I didn’t feel like doing that pace all the time anymore? That was part of the problem btw, even when I was physically able, I just didn’t feel like going that fast when instructed to. My enthusiasm for fast pace was diminishing.
I decided to stop thinking about what I did in the past, accept that as I’m getting older, I will be slowing down and focus on just getting a good spin cardio workout instead.
The truth is, growing older is a barrier to maintaining a healthy weight. We start to slow down and when we slow down we aren’t burning the same amount of energy and weight piles on. This is why strength training is so important in our older years to keep our metabolism boosted and body fat percentage down.
Now, I use spin to warm up or cool down before or after a strength training session and I’m in a happy place.
So, pay attention your barriers, accept that they are a part of life, don’t be discouraged by them and allow them to stall your progress, figure out how to get past them and soldier on!
Watch out for Part 2 of this blog where I write about the most common weight loss and fitness barriers (lack of time, lack of knowledge, lack of preparation, lack of motivation, bad habits and emotional eating) and how to get past them.
What barriers have you navigated around and which ones are you still yet to navigate around? Share your experiences in the comment section below.
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