What’s really happening when working out is hard

Since I released When Change Takes Time (the eBook), I’ve been surprised by how many people have gotten back to me saying that what they’re primarily struggling with has to do with their physical bodies. You said it, and I heard you:

You want to lose weight, get healthy, or exercise more – but you feel stuck.

I know that this is a challenge for many people – so hearing this hasn’t been a shock at face value, per se – I just haven’t been able to stop thinking about how the principles behind When Change Takes Time (that our history impacts what we believe we’re capable of, that we’re often ambivalent about creating change because it’s scary, or that becoming someone new is hard because it means leaving behind who we’ve been, for example) apply when what we’re working on relates to getting fit.

Truthfully, there are a lot of reasons why changing our bodies “takes time,” some of which are as biological as they are psychological, so I wanted to loop in a bonafide fitness expert who could round out this part of the dialogue for us, and I knew just who to call: My dear friend Erin Stutland.

Erin is the creator of Shrink Session – a workout video series that aims to give people a kind, approachable, and sustainable method to getting in (and/or staying in) shape. Even more significantly – for our purposes here – Erin is an extremely smart and thoughtful woman, and she’s worked as a coach for years, so she totally gets why people are so challenged when it comes to weight-loss and health. She sat down with me recently via Skype to talk about why changing our bodies can be so incredibly challenging, and I have to tell you – I really loved having this conversation with her:


It isn’t too often (in my experience) that you hear people talk psychologically about exercise – but we did it! Here are some of the things that we touched upon that I loved the most:

  1. How some people avoid exercising because it brings up old, negative feelings, or a challenging inner dialogue. You can hear Erin share her thoughts on that topic right around the 1:42 mark – and she has some great insights on that subject.
  2. The fact that progress builds on itself – and that change is possible via exercise if we’re patient. Right around the 7 minute mark we talk about the importance of starting small and being gentle with yourself.
  3. How to fit in a work-out when you’re busy, and the notion of the 5 minute work-out. Right around mark 8:45 Erin talks about how she struggles with this as much as anyone – which makes sense given that she runs her own business – but it still surprised me.
  4. Last but not least: That no one goes through life without challenges and that “change takes time” for pretty much everyone. Right around 10 minutes in Erin bravely shares some really personal information about her road to success and how rocky it’s been at times. I think anyone would be inspired by her story.

If you liked this article and/or the video, please share it. For more information about Erin and Shrink Session you can visit her site here.