Leave the baggage behind

by 24 Jun 2008

Many fitness trainers started out their career by overcoming their own health issues. Therefore, they understand the emotional aspects of being unfit. When approaching clients, however, the number-one reason people give for not wanting to train is because they can’t afford it. But this is not true. If a person can afford to eat out,smoke cigarettes, take overseas holidays, go to movies and nightclubs, live in the trendy part of town or drive expensive cars, they can afford to go to a gym. It’s not the money. Often, it’s fear.

Fear of failure is the obvious one. “I’ll probably just waste my time. It’s too much work. I can’t handle it.” Low self-confidence will lose the battle before it’s fought.

Fear of embarrassment comes next. A person might think they’ll look silly or awkward in front of others at the gym. They’re afraid other people in the gym will laugh or make fun of them behind their back. Usually, this is all in one’s head. In reality, you’ll find more encouragement from trainers or other gym members than you will from anyone else.

Fear of success occurs as well. Some people feel a certain level of comfort with their weight. They’re not happy, but they’re used to it. They know what to expect from themselves and everyone else when they go out into the world each day, but they don’t know what will happen if they lose weight. “Will people notice? Will they treat me differently? What if I can’t maintain it? Will they think I’m a failure? Better stick to what I know…“

Of course, all these fears are fears of the unknown. No one really knows how they’ll cope with a big change until it’s upon them, even if they really want that change. So, they avoid it. “I can’t afford it. I don’t have the time. I don’t know how. I’ll have to give up too much.” Excuses.

What are you really afraid of? If you can actually define the real reason that you avoid a healthy lifestyle, you’ll already have taken the biggest step to getting there. Stop being afraid and start living.

By Brian Merrill, certified fitness trainer. Email: b.e.merrill@gmail.com