That Gnawing Feeling: Are you Blocked from Progressing?

You met a major goal in the past year: You lost a lot of weight, you got back into working out, you changed your diet, you ran a marathon. It is life changing and glorious to have accomplished something big. But how about that under-the-surface gnawing you feel right now? Is this where you’re going to stop?  How long has it been since you reassessed where you are?

If you’re not still growing in your fitness or diet goals then you might have that gnawing feeling. Growth means firmly squashing down persistent thoughts that pop up and block us from progressing:

That’s not for me.
I don’t need that.
It won’t help.
I don’t have time for that.

We all get blocked this way, sometimes about small changes and other times on a major scale. Being blocked can be a lifetime struggle to overcome a weight problem or a perception that your identity isn’t someone who is athletic. It can also be as simple as never starting a yoga class that you know will add to quality of your life and help you reach your goals.

It’s the culmination of many small mental blocks, such as procrastinating about a yoga class, that end up blocking us from continued growth. Even if we’ve accomplished a major goal, we need to keep pushing through the smaller blocks to accomplish what we want.

My Own Mental Blocks

For myself, I’ve had ongoing realizations that I could be progressing better than I have. Yes, I love my body and its crazy energy level. And I’m still excited to work out every day. I’m even making small strides in size: I’ve gone up a pants size and can tell from pictures that my biceps and lats have grown in the last six months.

But there’s a gnawing feeling that I could be doing more, all the while not doing much about it. Sure, I overcame injuries and the fear of being injured and now feel and look the best of my life. But is that where I should now stop? It’s easy to get stuck once bigger goals are reached.

I know I need to get more calories to build more muscle. I know I could be tracking my progress differently. Slowly I’ve been moving towards getting more calories. But I haven’t been tracking, measuring, or even looking back at my journal enough to understand how I am progressing. I need to try new things to keep going forward.

There are some persistent thoughts that have been thwarting me (see above!), as well as feeling overwhelmed. Is this you as well?

This is called self-defeating behavior, in case you need me to point this out.

Get Liberated

There is one technique I want to use to track my progress that I’ve been ignoring. It’s called the one-rep max and I’ll write a post about it soon, but I’ve been avoiding it for various unfounded reasons. However, once I realized that I was mentally blocked about this, it was incredibly liberating.

Suddenly I had permission to just get over feeling overwhelmed and blocked and start squashing down the negative thoughts. Feeling overwhelmed is self-defeating. It gets me nowhere.

So I’ve decided to set small daily goals. Today I’m going to figure out what I’d like to change. Then each day I’ll research a way I can make progress. This will be handy because I can share it in my blog as well. After I’ve researched the options, I’m going to implement one or two methods. I already know how to build muscle. I just need to know how to make progress from where I’m at now.

Notice I didn’t say I’m going to do it all today. Or plan out the whole year. Or put all the methods into use. I’m going to take it one day at a time, one goal at a time, one method at a time. I don’t want to be overwhelmed – and self defeating – again.

It’s a major hurdle just knowing that you’re blocked. Give yourself kudos for that and set a few small goals. Call the yoga studio today and get a schedule. That’s day one. Day two? Look online at what you need for yoga (a mat, water, etc.). Day three? Pick which class you want to go to. You get the picture.

You can make it happen – and here’s a “Good Job” from me in advance. Are you going to break out today?

12 thoughts on “That Gnawing Feeling: Are you Blocked from Progressing?

  1. Suzanne, what a great timely post for me to read. I have had the same gnawing feeling and just tackled it by starting to get together with a few triathlete friends for some intense strength and core-training several times a week. My body and my mind are happy about this development. Also, kudos on the bicep shot, which proves that you truly are the bionic woman and could probably win a national arm-wrestling competition.


    • Wow! Impressive Shira. You knew something was amiss in your training and you acted on that. Sometimes awareness is the biggest hurdle (next for me is feeling overwhelmed). And thanks for the kudos! I want to be bigger :).


  2. I needed this, I’m trying sp hard not to be afraid to add calories to add some muscle definition. I’m underweight but scared eating more will turn to fat not muscle, even though I weight train 4 days a week.
    Thank u


    • Amy, if you’re underweight and weight training four times a week I’m glad you’re working on getting past the weight gain block. You deserve to see results of your hard work in the gym. On the other hand, I can relate with this so much. I am in the EXACT same spot, although I am not underweight. I’m eating more and indeed, I have gained weight. But it’s not really bad… I like having curves and it’s definitely not fat I can’t deal with. I’m noticing more muscle and that’s gratifying. If there’s anything I can do to support you, let me know… drop a line.


  3. What a great picture Suzanne! I have made great strides the last 2 weeks in my eating and strength training. I also have been running well. I am starting to see the improvements in my body and its such a wonderful experience to watch and feel!


    • Sheri, thanks. This is fantastic that you’ve made great strides!! I love hearing this! You are working hard and it’s paying off. Go Go GO!

      Michelle, you know I can’t get out of your head. I’m here permanently. You asked for it. NOW GET TO YOGA!

      Thais you crack me up. I hope you enjoyed my totally un-pro pictures. You said you’ve been giggling so even if they provided some level of entertainment, glad I could contribute :). At any rate, thanks much for stopping by xo.


  4. A part of me wants to say – what a great post I am glad I clicked on the link and took the time to read it! But i gotta be honest here.. i REALLY only came to your blog today to look at your pictures =P its just an added bonus that your posts are insightful, well written, honest and informative ❤


  5. Great post and great thoughts! I love that you are so in tune to your body that you know when something is blocking you from moving forward. And thanks for sharing this with all of us too so we can stop and examine where we are. 🙂


  6. I have this thing that I tell myself whenever I get overwhelmed with the things I need/want to do and accomplish. Here is it: No matter my laundry list of “stuff”, I do NOT have octopus arms – I can only address one thing at a time anyway.

    I’ve been doing small things for the last few days, so this post is fabulous reinforcement. 😉


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