Overcoming obstacles to exercise and healthy eating

One of the favorite topics of discussion in my online women’s fitness training group is obstacles to exercise and healthy eating. It seems like one of us is always struggling with making healthy choices in the face of circumstances, seemingly out of our control.

obstacles to exercise and healthy eating

This is my kind of obstacle course!

Common roadblocks to consistently following an exercise routine and sensible meal plan include (but aren’t limit to…);

  • special events (I can’t say no to cake and wine at my best friend’s birthday party)
  • lack of support from family and friends (my saboteur husband undermines my resolve by constantly ordering pizza and bringing chips and dip home from the grocery store)
  • poor sleep or low energy (the dog was sick and kept me up half the night, I can’t possibly get to the gym today)

The underlying theme being that, anything other than our normal, well-controlled environment tends to result in going off-plan.

The thing is, only rarely are we ever in that ‘normal, well-controlled’ environment.

I don’t know about you, but my life is one big variety show/circus.

Each week is different from the last, presenting it’s own unique set of challenges to stay true to my fitness routines and goals.

It seems to me that rather than creating structure around exercise and nutrition, we really need to learn the dual arts of adaptability and resiliency.

Adaptability is the art of making due with what you have. No access to the gym? Head to the playground. Cable and pulley machine taken? Sub out a similar exercise that only requires dumbbells. Only burgers and fries on the menu? Go ‘bun’-less and ask for extra carrot sticks.

Resiliency is the ability to rebound quickly after a set-back. Beer and chips and s’mores at the weekend’s Cub camp? Eggs and veggies for breakfast on Monday. Back from an ‘exercise-free’ holiday? Schedule your workouts for the next two weeks as soon as you’re back.


Rebounder fitness is so fun!

There will always be obstacles to navigate. The trick is to remember the end game.

And to remind ourselves that no one can force us to do something we don’t want to do.

In the words of a very wise friend (and member of my online training community);

In the end, the only one who controls my destiny is me

This week, I challenge you to recall these words whenever you find yourself facing an obstacle to exercise or healthy eating. 



  1. Thanks for this Tamara! I have come to the realization that I have been using my knee injury as an excuse. There is more I can be doing although sometimes hard to see past the pain. That being said, poor eating choices paired with the inability to work out at my normal level is working hand in hand against me at the moment and as was so wisely said in the group and to paraphrase the quote. It is all in my hands, I create my own destiny. Excuses are just that…

  2. to bastardize Shakespeare (as I cant imagine Im getting it right?!):
    the choices we make dictate the lives we lead…
    Carla recently posted…Happiness bullying.My Profile

  3. Yeah, finding that fine line between a reason and an excuse is a tricky one. You nailed it on the solutions.
    kymberlyfunfit recently posted…Can’t Run or Jump? Paddle and Drink Up!My Profile

    • Why thank you! And I must profess to really dislike the word ‘excuse’. I find it to be really value-laden (probably due to all those ‘no excuses’ social media memes…)

  4. Adaptability can be superimposed on most any other circumstance. There are always options when strive to find or create them. I think there’s something to be said though, for allowing one’s self to be victimized, and liking one’s self anyway — said the trainer to himself as pizza stared him in the eye…

  5. Love this post about adaptability and resiliency! Great motivation. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Great points. I think because I ^^need^^ to start my day with exercise, I am really good at figuring out how to make it happen no matter what. On the other hand, I’m less motivated about avoiding unexpected brownies ….
    Coco recently posted…The Life Stages Of CourageMy Profile

  7. My life – adapting always for 35 years plus! 🙂

    In my younger days with the monthly, I would hear people say they can’t go or hubby would say why go if you feel bad. I always said if I never went to the gym every time I felt bad with the monthly AND I had a very bad time of it thru my life – well, I would never go. I had like 1-2 decent weeks a month! 🙂
    Jody – Fit at 57 recently posted…Creatine for Weight Lifting – My Personal ThoughtsMy Profile


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