We all know or are that person that says "I want to get in shape, but [insert reason]" Mostly it's that you have no time or you're waiting until after the holidays or you don't have a gym nearby, and so on.
Let me tell you about my friend. She’s in her 50s, married, raised two kids, is active in her community and built a nice career. She’s busy but comfortable and enjoys a nice life and she wants to work on her fitness goals, but guess what she doesn't do?
Every few months, she tells me how she wants to start working out and lose weight. Of course, I always encourage her.
And then she says, “But I can’t. You know… I have so much going on right now… And my busy season is coming up at work… Maybe later, I guess.”
The next time this happens, I’m going to gently point out that she is her own worst enemy in this.
Why? Because she assigns everything else in her life as a higher priority.
I'm not saying she doesn't really want it, is lazy, isn't busy or doesn't have real obstacles. She's a truly wonderful person and this is an extremely common situation to find yourself in. Sometimes it doesn't feel like you have a choice.
I'm going to challenge that belief and say you do. You should be able to make your health and wellness top priority without feeling like you have to sacrifice something else. You absolutely can.
A lot of the roadblocks and obstacles we all face as humans, including my friends, act as barriers to stand in the way from our ultimate goals. You may find you put up these barriers for multiple deeper reasons, like fear of success or fear of failure. Or maybe you tried in the past, felt discouraged or deprived, and don't want to feel that way again.
Luckily, getting started is the hardest part. Start with small healthy steps and build your way up. That way you can slowly prove to yourself that things like your job, family and busy or stressful times don't actually have to get in the way and cost you from improving your health.
And if you have a friend like mine who struggles with this, try gently pointing it out. I find a good way is to relate it to myself when I do this (because we all do). You should also wait until the time is right. This can be a difficult topic and you would never want to blurt out something like "it's your fault!" because that would very, very likely not help anyone to get started.
We can all support each other without enabling each other and there are tons of healthy ways to reach your goals that don't require you to ignore all of your other responsibilities.
Ask yourself today, what barriers may actually be excuses? What do you want your priorities to look like? What solutions can you come up with off the top of your head? And then, maybe put a couple to the test.
And remember, it doesn't have to be all or nothing to start today. If you need help starting, check out my free, private Facebook group, Weight Loss After 50.
Every week we have a new wellness challenge focused on everything from healthy eating habits to creating a positive mindset. Each mini-challenge is bite-sized and easy to fit into your days and if you don't want to participate, there are plenty of other free resources to choose from.
Head over to the group now to join our growing community of women in midlife who are ready to take charge of their health and fitness journey.
Lisa Swanson is an ACE Certified Health Coach, Personal Trainer and Orthopedic Exercise Specialist as well as a certified AASDN and PN level 1 nutritionist. With over 35 years experience helping people turn their lives around, she is on a mission to provide relevant and useful knowledge to help women in midlife reach their goals.
Check out my interview with the Magnificent Midlife podcast on staying fit and healthy long-term.