What’s Stopping You?!

Over his time in the fitness industry, Coach Sam from EFM Torrens Park has worked with a lot of people and seen what common roadblocks impact their attendance. If any of these sound familiar, Sam has a few tips on how to overcome them!

What is stopping you?

Whether it is cost, time, the genuine disinterest in fitness, pain, old injuries, perhaps the thought of new injuries, shyness, anxiety, your weight, or any other reason you can find. Ask yourself this: what’s stopping you from starting and reaching your health goals?

How many times have you said on New Year’s Eve “I’ll join a gym in the New Year”? Or maybe you’ve come out with “diet starts tomorrow!”, on a Sunday night. After being in the fitness industry for over five years, I have had many people tell me why they should get in shape, but take a while to move into action.

We all want one workout to instantly melt our fat and make us look like Superman or Wonder Woman. We hear red wine is good for us so we finish a bottle along with some dark chocolate. We search high and low to find one thing to give us the body we’ve been craving for years, but unfortunately it ain’t coming from the body-blaster 3000 you can buy in four easy payments.

Reality paints a much different picture.

A flat stomach doesn’t come from a protein shake or a DVD case. It comes from good old consistency. Yep, consistent action over months and years. Boring, I know…

I’m going to share with you three common reasons people struggle on their quest to become healthier, and some advice on how to overcome them.


Most members of EFM can, and do, work bloody hard, and if they aren’t, the coach fixes that pretty quickly. If you’ve been working hard in the club, you’ll probably find you’ve gained strength, maybe you can run longer or faster, or can get up the staircase without gasping for air. This is great, but why hasn’t your weight changed?! Nine times out of ten it’s because of what you’re eating. Remember these words:

Temporary changes to one’s eating, results in temporary changes to one’s weight and physique.

Starvation, eliminating your favourite foods and using willpower to say no to a glass of wine only makes you want it more. Like a child, if you take away their favourite toy, they will probably cry until you’ve had enough and give it back to them. It’s not weakness on your behalf; it’s just giving the baby what it wants. In this case, we are the baby wanting the thing we shouldn’t have. Generally people will diet for a few weeks or months, then slowly go back to eating normally; problem is their ‘normal’ is the reason they were unhappy with their body to start with. It’s no wonder a lot of people give up goals of being healthier when it’s just too hard to resist these things. Instead of starting a diet, try changing your nutrition instead. No, that’s not just another way to say stop eating crap. If you’re afraid of giving something up, or think you can’t go cold turkey straight away, make that a special occasion or once a week food.

  • If having no fizzy drinks is a scary thought, slowly cut back your intake every week
  • If having no pasta is a life not worth living, learn portion sizes
  • If Friday night drinks are too good to resist, try drinking something with less sugar, and skip the kebab on the way home (no one really enjoys the kebab the next morning anyway)

Instead of wishing to lose 10kg in 10 days, make a more realistic commitment and slowly cut back on the things that’ve been holding you back. Elimination will only make you want it more.


Some people, like me, love to exercise. I’ll train 6-7 times a week for a couple of hours every day. I thoroughly enjoy pushing my body to the limit to get the best out of myself. Some people see exercise as a miserable means to an end. I’m not saying you need to train three hours every day for a year to reach your goals; I’ve had personal training clients reach their goals after six hard months, and then say “Cheers Sam, I won’t need to fork out money each week for training now I’ve got to where I want to be”. Four months later, they call me and complain about weight gain.

Temporary changes mean temporary results….. does this sound familiar to you?

At EFM most new members will either leave after a few months, or stay for years. It’s a trend throughout all EFM’s, ask your coach. A contributing factor is exercise is still considered a chore to some people. My advice is switch up your train of thought. You don’t have to do the things you hate. EFM prides itself on the fact no two workouts are the same. I guarantee you will find something you don’t mind doing, maybe even enjoy doing it. Perhaps you like jogging; or despise jogging and love resistance training. Maybe you just enjoy being around great people, and suddenly it’s not such a hard slog after all. Use your goals to motivate you, not get the better of you. It might take a while to reach your goal, but it’ll only be longer if you wait for tomorrow, next week, next year… Every day you don’t start your journey is another day wasted.

Use your goal as a weapon

We all have different goals in regards to our health. Some want to lose weight, or gain weight, and some simply want to maintain their current fitness level. Whatever it is, you need to keep focus of it and be true to it. Many things can and will deter you, but that doesn’t mean they’re now out of reach. Is your goal more important than a couple of wines each night? Of course it is. Does your health mean more than a larger piece of cake? Well of course it does. No one in this world values cake more than their own health.

Whatever your excuse, your goal is far more important. You’ll always be busy, your child will be sick every now and then, and it will be cold for a few months every year. Fair excuses, but remind yourself why you are doing this in the first place.

Write down your goal. Don’t just write down “I want to lose weight”, that’s not enough to get you emotionally involved with your goal. Write down why you want to reach this goal. Why it’s important to you that you reach your goal, and what it will mean when you do reach it. Once you’ve written it down, put it somewhere you’ll see it every day. Maybe that’s your bathroom mirror, your diary, on the fridge. Accept responsibility for your current situation, take control, be patient, and good things will happen.


To summarise what’s been said:

You will and are allowed to make mistakes on your journey to a fitter and healthier you. Just don’t let those mistakes take control and change your attitude towards eating and training. If you were on your final drive in order to get your full licence but failed, would you never attempt the test again? No, you’d book in to do it again. Why? Because having your licence makes life easier.

Being fit and healthy makes your life easier. Write down your goals, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, be patient, and most of all, enjoy the process.