Want to Lose Weight? How to Overcome the Obstacles

If you’re overweight and out of shape, working on your wellbeing isn’t easy. In fact, the difficulties you face as an overweight person can put you off even trying for better wellness in the first place. The obstacles to your weight loss are both mental and physical, and challenge you in every possible way. However, Fitness and Behaviour Expert Dean Anderson asserts that these obstacles are well-worth facing.


According to Anderson, ‘These obstacles are not just obstacles to exercise—they are the same challenges that stand between you and the life you want for yourself. If you can find a way to meet these challenges head-on now, by being successful at making exercise a part of your daily life, you’ll have self-management skills and the confidence you need to handle just about anything else life might throw at you. Exercise can help you shed pounds, and a lot of other unwanted baggage as well. Sounds pretty dramatic, considering we’re just talking about exercise, doesn’t it? But it’s true—at least it was for me.’


For Anderson, trying to reduce his 370-pound size was a wake up call, revealing all the parts of himself that had got him into the mess he was in in the first place: ‘The part that had become an expert in excuse-making, procrastination, and rationalization; the part that relied on food and eating to manage feelings; the part that was afraid of what other people might think about me; the part of me that didn’t think I had what it took to lose weight (or do much of anything else); the part of me that was terrified of what might happen if I actually succeeded and no longer had my physical limitations to use as an excuse for avoiding intimate relationships, challenging work, and other anxiety-provoking situations; and yes, even the part that just plain liked sitting on the couch with a bag of chips a lot more than all the huffing and puffing and discomfort of exercise.’


If that sounds familiar, and you want to do something to change those parts about yourself, let’s take a look at some of the challenges you might face, and how you can overcome them to get off to a safe yet effective start with your weight loss:


1. Safety: Anderson points out, ‘One of the biggest mistakes people commit is making assumptions about what they can’t do without checking with someone who knows how to determine that. You may have physical problems, ranging from medical conditions that impose unavoidable limitations on what you can do, to the typical after-effects of years of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, such as chronic inflexibility, weakness, and muscle pain. These problems may rule out one kind of exercise or another. But it would be unusual if there is truly nothing you can do.’ So what can you do? First of all, take a trip to see your doctor and get a medically approved exercise prescription. This means you’ll have something concrete to tell you what you can and can’t do. You should take this prescription to a personal trainer, and between these two sources, you should get ideas to start safely.


2. Finding a good place to start: Some movements are difficult for overweight people to achieve, especially if they involve getting up off the floor quickly or bending in a certain way. Then you have gym equipment that’s too tight a squeeze for comfort, and the soreness and cramping that comes with even simple activities like walking. Anderson notes, ‘Almost every exercise can be modified so you can do it (or something like it) in a way that meets your needs and present capacities…Chair exercises allow you to do many strength and stretching exercises that otherwise would have to be done on the floor or standing.’ You can also take water aerobics classes and/or do your walking in a swimming pool.

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