What’s Holding You Back?

I have a hunch that you’re a pretty smart person.

You know how to eat healthy.

You know what “healthy” foods to avoid.

You know how to NOT suck at goal setting

You know how to build your own workout, or maybe you’re following another workout.

You’ve heard every excuse in the book and know not to make them.

You know how to identify your kryptonite and avoid it.

You have an incredibly active community of THOUSANDS that is ready to celebrate your accomplishments, support you in times of need, and pick you up when you’re down.

You’ve read crazy success stories from people like Saint and Staci and Tony that made you say “HOLY CRAP, maybe I CAN do this!”

And judging by the number of retweets, likes, and emails I received, you probably got all fired up by “It will never be…

So, what’s holding you back?

I want to make sure you have everything you need to level up your life and become a real life comic book hero.

However, as Morpheus told Neo in The Matrix, “I can only show you the door.  You’re the one that has to walk through it.”

I will continue to do everything I can to show you that freaking door, my dear friend.

What’s keeping you from walking through it?

I want to know what your largest barrier is to taking action right now, whether it’s mental, physical, or a combination of the two. 

If you’ve already begun your journey, what’s road blocks are you running into?

Leave a comment with your biggest struggle and let’s get you over that hump!

For the Rebellion,



Here’s a not-so-subtle reminder to order your Nerd Fitness hoodie today – free shipping, sucka!  They’ll keep you warm on long runs or outdoor workouts during these upcoming winter months, increase your intelligence and attractiveness by +2, and make great holiday gifts for your loved ones.  Pullover or zip up, you can’t go wrong – plus, whenever somebody buys one, another Death Star explodes….which is nice.


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  • Make sure you eat healthy BEFORE going to the social gathering, so you’re not starving and stuffing your face with chex mix?

    And a little bit of fun here and there is okay, but if you’ve identified where you’re slipping up…not making any changes but expecting things to be different is the definition of insanity 🙂

    So try something different.  Switch to wine or a drink with no mixer and sip on it….take each weekend like an experiment and try different things and see which gives you optimal happiness and health 🙂


  • I agree with Grinder on this…well said!

    Do the warm up, 5 MINUTES, and then the cool down.

    When do you exercise, do you enjoy it?  Or is it a struggle?  Maybe try out a new way to stay active (martial arts, yoga, whatever!) and see if you like that more?


  • Start setting tougher goals.  Maybe dunk a basketball, climb a tough rock wall, join a pick up basketball league, ultimate frisbee league, whatever.

    Give yourself a reason to want to be better…if you’re not satisfied where you’re at now, find a way to want that next level brother!


  • Himitsu

    Change ONE thing, and one thing only.  Focus on that one thing for 21 days.  Pick a cleaner diet, exercise, or whatever…but pick one, and focus on nothing but that.

    Small changes.  After you make that first small change, make another small change.  But don’t worry about the next ones yet, just get this first change done.

    And yeah…if you can get out and get 20 min of sunshine during the day if it’s up…youd’ be surprised how depressed you can get purely from not getting any sunshine!


  • Rachel, I don’t like cold, raw vegetables either.  But it’s actually really easy to make cooked vegetable combinations that, you know, taste good.  …  I don’t usually pimp my blog, but I have a few recipes up that you might want to try … because I too am a cheese-loving girl.  🙂 

  • If I didn’t enter us in competitions, we would never get our butts into the studio to practice!

  • A fit guy with a job who can cook?  Ryan, find yourself a dance class.  You will soon be surrounded by people who “notice”!

  • Eric, have you worked with a trainer to analyze your body mechanics?  If you are consistently getting injured there’s a high likelihood your form is not right for your body.  Massage should help relieve the trigger points but treating the symptom only goes so far, you have to find the cause – and fix it.  (Make sure any trainer is certified by NASM, NSCA, or ACE – these have the most well-regarded (by the industry) programs.)

    Because yeah, there’s nothing like pain to kill your motivation.

  • Work with a trainer to fix your body mechanics and improve your functional flexibility.  Shinsplints are a preventable injury!  Good luck!

  • Kate

    The race isn’t the hardest part, its getting over the starting line.

  • Scared of dolphins

    Bring on more change? Geez, losing my husband, dog, house, and
    TWO jobs within a short time span was bad enough. Then the motorcycle
    theft and burglary left me…well…empty. I got tired of eating right and ramping up exercise for several months but not seeing results that I wanted, which was some weight loss. Even a pound would have been nice. Instead I sprouted muscles!! No thanks!
    Keeping up with demanding course work in the medical field in addition to working at “doing it right” took too much out of me. Let others carry the torch.

  • Anonymous

    I am one of those who struggle with consistency in my workouts.  I find that shift work really gets in the way – when I am on nights or have not slept well I just can’t seem to find the energy. 

    Another huge challenge is the social pressure from the people around me. I work in a small, intense unit and they just do NOT get what I am doing.  They constantly bring in junk food and plan social events that include lots of booze and “snacks”…I feel like an outsider when I don’t eat it or a failure when I do.   I also get lots of strange looks and am constantly questioned about food,supplements, workouts – and I don’t mean in a “wanting to learn” kind of way..it’s a “you have three heads and come from another planet” kind of way. And they definitely do NOT want to meet my leader. 😉

  • Anonymous

    Janet me too. After working really hard for six months, including the Whole30 challenge, I got tired of denying myself everything. Thanks Steve, I hadn’t thought about this way.

  • My work schedule. It’s screwing over from left to right :/

    Still gives me enough time to eat 100% paleo/primal but in the past 3 weeks I only had the time to go to the gym 3 times, which is freaking ridiculous.

    Nontheless this motivates me very much to start setting steps towards being financial independant already.

  • iffy

    It’s the energy issues for me. I make it to the gym at least twice a week, eat half my meals healthy bordering on paleo, and work enough to semi-comfortably support myself; but more often that not I feel physically exhausted to point where staring at the wall becomes a preferred activity.
    But I’m not complaining too much. Instead of walking through it, I’m walking towards it; any progress is still progress.

  • glover_darren@yahoo.com.au

    The eating man. It’s killin ‘me!! I live with my soon to be ‘in-laws’ who are Chinese. Which is great and I love ’em to death, but it’s rice, rice n more rice!! Bit tough for an Aussie boy. I’m trying to get my partner to join ‘me but she isn’t into it and my efforts are not even half hearted. Time to ‘man up’ I think. I think of Uncle Ben chatting to Peter Parker “with great power comes great responsibility!” the power to change ‘me is MY responsibility.
    Thanks for the greatly needed attitude adjustment. Daz aka Flash

  • What’s hold me back? My lack of energy and I am always so tired. Even though I get between 7-8 hours a night, getting up in the morning is difficult and at night after all the homework is done I just done in.  I have to try and find a balance some where. I just don’t know how. 

  • I had the best run of consistant workout and life change from April to August of this year.  Then I injured myself. Was off cardio for weeks but was still able to lift. Got back at cardio and had a serious flare up of arthritis in my hand = no lifting.  While off lifting I injured my foot.  Now I’m off cardio and lifting.  Although I’m feeling back to about 80%.. that I could start easy easy lifting and cardio again I feel disappointed. It was so hard to get to where I was before I injured myself.  The mental and physical work was tough. But now I’m starting to feel the old yucky inactive feelings I had before I started working out in April — lack of energy, low self image, pants are getting snug etc… and those feelings are overcoming the disappointment and making me want to say “Yeah, it’s going to suck to get started again but that’s temporary and then it gets much better… the unhealthy path you are on only gets worse.”

  • The biggest thing holding me back is fear of my body.
    Several months ago I had surgery to correct an inguinal hernia.  Before that I was in good shape, ran, did martial arts, etc.  But immediately after the surgery I was so helpless and in pain.  Originally they were going to be able to fix it laproscopically, which wouldn’t have been that invasive, but it was worse than they thought and they had to make a full incision (four inch cut through my inguinal abdomen).
    Now I’ve slowly worked my way back up to physical activity and even exercise, but I’m just afraid I’ll injure myself and I’ll feel like I did the past couple of months again.  Every time that I get sore, or especially if I feel any sharp pains, I worry that something went wrong or that I might just force a hernia on the other side.
    I don’t know how to stop worrying that something is or will go wrong.

  • K.

    My problems:
    1) remembering to work out regularly
    2) this famous “community of thousands” just didn’t seem very supportive to me
    3) making time to cook all my meals in advance.  I am a grazer, so when I get hungry I reach for whatever’s closest, healthy or not
    4) I like fresh food and lots of variety, so cooking the week’s meals on Sunday (for example) wouldn’t do it for me

  • Ah I’m late but I’ll comment anyway. The only thing holding me back (from full-on consistency) is a physical accountability partner or an arch-nemesis like you describe in an old article (http://bit.ly/qEkBZY). I work hard to eat well while living with three other family members who all eat very poorly and even moreso in an attempt to get me to fall off my plan. And I do the same in a corporate environment that often has free lunches or free food or potlucks and where my co-workers have comments about my lifestyle as well. I’ve managed to stay strong 90% of the time but there are moments after a few months where I get really depressed and unmotivated because I feel like my environment is super toxic. And then I stop everything. Even though I’m on the internet doing productive things, I’d still rather be outside (why I’m not great at forums) and away from the computer getting results with someone who has the same goals as me. 

    In short, what’s holding me back is a toxic environment. My spirit is inundated with de-motivators and naysayers, and I’d love to actually find an outlet. For now I’ll keep pushing, goal-making, and taking it day by day…

    This is a post I wrote about another thing that’s holding me back. Really proud of it. http://bit.ly/s5pSJB

  • Shanonczerwinski

    Procrastination is my biggest mountain to climb. I like to play video games and do my hobbies, I always get so caught up in them. I say I’ll go to the gym in an hour, then an hour goes by and I make up another imaginary time. I don’t want to stop what I’m doing, I want to get the next achievement in the game. But what about getting the next achievement in my LIFE? Why do I care more about the game than my health? I take my young years for granted and don’t exercise much because of my high metabolism. One day that will be gone. I want to be a hero like in the comics, I want to become stronger like them. They say if you want something done right, you do it yourself. I’ve tried that already, I need someone to push me. I need someone on my hump everyday pushing me to get out there and do it! I need a Steve 😀

  • Meta-Girl

    It’s tough listing reasons out! Acknowledging them head on, phew!

    I’ve got 4 main reasons that I’ve been struggling with my weight for the last 3 years. I don’t want to have any of them.

    1)I need to eat MORE to lose weight – seriously. My metabolism was slowed right down due to working nights & eating very late. I usually drink lots of water but my first food of the day is usually at 1pm. I have around 1500 calories per day. I know if I started early with breakfast it would make a huge change for me. I struggle to feel hungry early on in the day though. I love good, healthy food & am able to resist the junk on offer at work. Where as most people have alcohol at the weekend, my treat is a soda.

    2)I struggle with sciatic nerve pain. I’m able to do exercise however this results in serious pain as the muscles cool down & contract. To the point where I can’t walk. This makes exercising really de-motivating. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor for it and am now able to do a full day at work with just the odd twinge. It used to take 3 hours of heat & rest to walk at the end of a working day. It is all muscle related, getting stronger muscles will fix it in the long run.

    3)I feel SO heavy when I exercise, it’s tough on my joints. Also I grew up naturally fit and sporty. As an adult I did 3 years martial arts (stopped when I worked nights) so it’s maddeningly frustrating to be struggling with just a few simple press-ups when I vividly remember being able to pump them out with ease – and actually enjoying them! That makes me really angry.

    4)Feeling guilty. If I do some exercise, it never feels like enough. If I choose to go exercise over spending time with my boyfriend, I feel bad. I’m pushing XYZ out of my shedule to make way for exercise.

    What works for me is having a low barrier to entry with exercise. i.e I decide to go for a jog & I get my trainers on & I’m out the door. I HATE having to say where I’m going, what I’m doing, how long I’ll be, thinking should I take a water bottle, should I map a route… aaargh! Over analysis kills the motivation.

    I’m excellent at knowing where I’m going wrong. Now I need to start finding solutions. I’ve learned that if I promise myself something, reaching a goal etc, if I fail – I crash & burn, badly. So I don’t do that anymore. 

    For those that struggle with food, the only thing that matters is the next thing you put in your mouth. There’s no need to think long term about meals and denying yourself. Just make your next meal healthy & tasty. If you slip up, just remember you can fix it with the next thing you choose.

    Being overweight is the first and last thing I think about each day and hundreds of times in-between.

    I need to lose 48lbs and it feels so far off & impossible.

    I’m great at thinking up meals and enjoying my food. I’m lucky to be in a job with reasonable hours where I could exercise before, during or after work.

    If I could have a few weeks to myself – no interruptions or distractions, the old me would certainly come back.

    I’ll keep hacking away at ways to remove my road-blocks. I’m just not meant to be over weight!

  • SK

    Denying myself that I could actually be happy and get into shape. I just dont feel like as a person I am worth it. strange huh? I need those endorphins.

  • MickiRehm

    It’s a situation problem. I’m going to school and live at home and just make enough money to pay for my gas and insurance. My mother, who therefore buys all of the food, tries to shop healthy but usually fails because it’s cheaper to buy tons of uberprocessed foods and things with a ton of refined carbs. I want to eat full-on paleo, but neither my mother nor I can afford it.

  • Dextersmart Harry

    Hi, I have had a nagging ankle injury that inflames everytime I start
    working out. I currently fell in love with Shaun T’s fast and furious
    but there is so much use of the ankles that I got into a lot of trouble.
    I love workouts, really love jogging but the ankle gets worse. I really
    need help because my weight is getting alarming.

  • Mark

    Injuries, injuries, injuries. It seems if it’s not one thing it’s another. Currently dealing with barefoot running agrivated pain in the ball of my left foot & a shoulder issue that’s taking over a month to come around. Concerned about potential for surgery with the shoulder. Love my 5-Fingers, but worry about my feet & knees (little, to no meniscus post surgeries 10 yrs past). Practice mindfulness in my workouts. Kept me going than longer than ever before. Trying to reframe all this negativity. If I’ve got anything it’s willpower, maybe to a fault.

  • KC

    I LOVE this saying beth: The person on top of the mountain didn’t fall there…. they climbed.  And you can too… you just have to take small steps. Its like the ‘to do’ list problem. For example; It doesn’t help if you have on there: *loose 50 pounds. Instead if you have it broken down: Today: *drink enough water, *Work out for 20 mins.  Each step becomes a little easier. 

  • Jburns08

    Biggest hurdle is that I don’t cook my food when I’m on rotation at work (4.5 weeks at a time). So I’m stuck just try to cut back on portions of often VERY carb heavy food.  Also the lack of a gym, because I really really miss weights 🙁 and running just dosent motivate me like lifting heavy things does, lol.

  • Budgielover2010

    Im too young (13)

  • after years of battling with starting diets and work outs I’m finally am trying a new approch. I have found a over eating support group close to my home and I’m hopping having a physical locating with in person people going through the same problems tied in with food will help me out. this will be my first time anyone else out there going to over eaters annomyous

  • Hmm….not having a workout partner, but that’s an easy fix. Just got to grab someone’s number at the gym or spend some money for a personal trainer.

  • Hmm….not having a workout partner, but that’s an easy fix. Just got to grab someone’s number at the gym or spend some money for a personal trainer.

  • Spritemaster13

    My biggest roadblock would have to be the unavailability of “healthy” food, and the abundence of “bad” food in my house. Also, I’m a freerunner, and I would like to work on my front flips, but I’m kinda nervous about attempting it. I know you say to put fear behind you and to just DO IT, but something’s holding me back. If there are any solutions to my probles, help would be appreciated! 😀

  • What’s happening 2 me

    7 months and i still have not gotten over my ex GF, and now i’ struggling 2 figure out who or waht the F*** about me ,

  • Floorman

    Can one get hernia from doing body weight squats. I mean is it even possible.

  • Armin M.

    Greetings Nerd fitness
    Here is my main problem – I am playing video games for over 10 years (I’m 22 now) and from the first years it was fantastic and I had fun and didn’t care about reality.When I reached 15 years I realised that I was starting to gain a lot of weight and I didn’t care much about it and that’s where the world of problems and depression began. Every day starts like this, get up , eat,play video games , eat more, play video games more and in the evening rant about my life and how I want to change it, rarely went outside and lost a lot of friends because of that. This was my childhood. The more I was thinking of changing , the more depressed I become. I really want to workout and had for few months and actually lost some weight, but suddenly I returned to my daily routine.I was training in a certain martial art but gave up because of this inner thinking of being home alone and play videogames with friends. I gave up on lots of things even the college. Everyday I was thinking of going home and relax in a bed or games , I didn’t study because of that so I got a job in hometown. I am happy that I at least got something and some money, but the lifestyle went to a lot worse. By having money I could afford to buy new videogames and buying food whenever I wanted and this brings to my other problem EATING AT MIDNIGHT , the biggest source of gaining weight, I just can’t stop , im always incredibly hungry at that time and even having trouble sleeping because of empty stomach. Now having a job I have time about thinking cause I’m not doing anything hard and I’m bored, I’m always saying to my self to get my butt off the room and start walking forward and I always feel that I can achieve that.BUT when I come home my brain turns off and I start eating , playing games and occasionally be outside for a while and in the evening rant again in my head. The more I’m thinking about this the more depressed I become. I really want to change I really want to have a better life,even have goals,but there is something inside of me holding me back,paralyze in my room and don’t move outside. I really can’t describe it what it is. Quit eating so much , stop playing videogames , lose weight and have a body I always dreamed of , I don’t want anything else.But I just can’t for some reason even move from my room . Is it because of fear??? Is it because I’m scared of reactions of other people? I did exercise a lot so its not like its something new to me, but every time I felt uncomfortable because of the surroundings. I feel that the only time I can exercise is when I’m completely alone . People say to me that I should not care about what others are saying, for me its just not that simple . Stop eating at.midnight? I feel that I’m starving to death . Go to the gym? I keep up for a while but later I find it incredibly boring and repetitive so I stop. I needed this out of my head . Sorry for it being so long.

    Thank you for reading

  • Chloe

    I ran or do a lot of cardio activity everyday.. And I mean everyday. I feel like that’s the only way to lose weight and get skinny. I use to weight 145 but now I weigh 137 and lift (or try to) also but want more muscle definition and fat loss. I eat clean but don’t see any muscle growth or fat loss.. As soon as I eat a bad meal or don’t do any long amount of cardio I feel like I gained back all the fat and feel awful. I try to change up my routine but don’t see anymore changes. It’s discouraging and I am now eating no carbs and doing more cardio hoping it loses that fat. I know that’s probably wrong but I don’t like the idea of eating more carbs and doing less cardio. I feel like that will just make me bigger

  • Chloe

    I ran or do a lot of cardio activity everyday.. And I mean everyday. I feel like that’s the only way to lose weight and get skinny. I use to weight 145 but now I weigh 137 and lift (or try to) also but want more muscle definition and fat loss. I eat clean but don’t see any muscle growth or fat loss.. As soon as I eat a bad meal or don’t do any long amount of cardio I feel like I gained back all the fat and feel awful. I try to change up my routine but don’t see anymore changes. It’s discouraging and I am now eating no carbs and doing more cardio hoping it loses that fat. I know that’s probably wrong but I don’t like the idea of eating more carbs and doing less cardio. I feel like that will just make me bigger

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