These 5 Negative Thoughts Will Derail Your Fitness Progress

Alyssa Atkinson

Stop saying them to crush your goals.

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Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

My collegiate running career would best be described as a roller coaster ride. I experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and by the time I graduated, I was exhausted.

So, I took a break from running completely. One day turned into two, then into four, and pretty soon, it had been two weeks since I moved my body in any meaningful way.

And while I needed that mental and physical break at first, I quickly realized that a series of excuses and negative thoughts were starting to hold me back from crushing my health and fitness goals.

If you also are struggling to motivate yourself to workout or get back into a routine, one of the following five phrases of negative self talk might be to blame. If that’s the case, you should stop engaging in them so you can actually reach your fitness goals.

1. I’m too busy.

I know that you’ve all used this excuse before. And I am certainly no exception.

Whenever I really don’t feel like working out, my clear schedule suddenly turns into a list of 50 things that I just have to get done. I tell myself that I have a story to write, some editing to get through, or an email to respond to.

But no matter what my excuse is, one thing remains clear. I’m really just procrastinating actually getting my workout in. The truth is, it’s better to get it done instead of putting it off until later.

Just the other day, I was dreading my five mile run. But, after I got out the door, I quickly got into a rhythm and was able to enjoy the workout.

Often, the first step is the most difficult. So, if you find yourself making up an excuse for why you can’t exercise, such as being too busy, try to redirect those thoughts. After all, if it’s important enough to you, you can make time for anything (or anyone).

2. I’m not worthy.

Time and time again, I’ve seen people put others before themselves. But, when it comes to your health, you are allowed to be selfish. Everyone is worthy of becoming a healthier individual if that’s their goal.

When I first transitioned to a vegan diet, there were people around me who just didn’t understand it. And it made things harder for me, because I felt like an outcast.

But, I knew I was making the right choice for me based on my personal ethical and environmental beliefs. Knowing my own worth helped me eventually be proud of being vegan.

If you want to start your own personal health journey, remember that you are worthy of that time investment. Acknowledge that, and keep working towards those lofty goals you’ve set for yourself.

3. I can’t give up my favorite food.

One of my favorite foods in the entire world is peanut butter. If someone told me I had to give it up for the rest of my life, I truly don’t know if I could. I eat it a couple times a day, and I really do enjoy it.

However, I once went about three weeks without it. Not only did I want to prove to myself that I could, but I also wanted to add more variety to my diet, and peanut butter was getting in the way of that.

Trust me, you can give up anything if you truly have to. If your health is at stake, you might need to be tough with yourself. Keep your goals in the back of your mind, and keep working hard at it. If you fail, that’s ok. Get up and try again.

“It’s not about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”
- Rocky Balboa

4. I’ll start tomorrow.

There is no greater time than the present to become a better version of yourself, especially when it pertains to your health.

I’ve went through periods of my life where I said I’d get back to running tomorrow. Then, tomorrow came and the cycle continued. Pretty soon, I woke up and realized I hadn’t worked out in a week. The same can be said about eating healthy.

Making or breaking a habit is no easy feat, but there are a number of scientific strategies you can use to form better habits, such as knowing your triggers.

Getting into a regular health and fitness routine will be difficult at first, but it will get easier as time goes on.

However, if you are always telling yourself that you’ll start tomorrow, you will never reach your end goal. Instead, start today. You will thank yourself later.

5. Exercise is boring.

If you find working out to be a chore every single day, you are likely doing it wrong. There is no one correct form of exercise that everyone must do.

I personally love running. It is only on very rare occasions that I do not truly look forward to my daily run. But, you should not force yourself to do a specific form of exercise just because it is popular or recommended.

Exercise should be a celebration of what your body can do. Find the style of exercise that brings you joy, and stick with that, whether it be yoga, running, cycling, dancing, swimming, rowing, lifting weights, or anything else you try out and find you love.

Final Thoughts

As humans, we often rationalize things in our own minds in order to justify our actions. However, in doing so, we avoid facing our problems head on.

When I reached a low point in running, I told myself that I would get back into it eventually. But, it was not until I addressed my root issue, mental burnout, that I finally found my joy in running again.

So, the next time you’re falling short of your goals, take a moment to evaluate where things might be going wrong. Be honest with yourself, make the changes you need to, and you’ll be back on track and crushing your goals in no time.

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Ohio U XC/Track alum. I love to run. I blog about food, health, fitness, lifestyle, etc. Personal Blog - nomeatfastfeet.com | Electrical and Computer Engineering Grad.

Raleigh, NC
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