Five Emotional Challenges Of Getting In Shape

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Sean Wilson

Sean Wilson

During your fitness journey, managing your emotions is one of the biggest challenges you will face. So, what are those emotions and how can you overcome them?

Some of the biggest challenges people face during their journey of getting in shape are emotional. While there is plenty of physical work that goes into your training sessions and other forms of exercise, many people give up because they can’t consistently stay in the right mindset.

The process is never linear. As well as your own internal emotions, you will have external factors that will exacerbate these, such as social events, temptation, injury and more. Therefore, your mind must be strong and prepare for the challenges that will come your way.

So, what are the emotional challenges that you will face? And how can you deal with them so that you continue to make progress towards your goals?

Low Self-Confidence

Many people who start their journey do so with low levels of self-confidence. This is largely due to their body shape and failed diets in the past. As a result, it affects important areas of their life, such as being able to talk to people socially or even going to their favourite events and locations. This can then transfer over into the early stages of training.

So, it is important to recognise that low self-confidence is normal and that the first few weeks may be challenging. However, once you know that you are on the right plan towards your goals, it is then about doing the necessary, week in, week out. Once you see positive changes over time, your confidence will increase, both with your body shape and your ability to train at a higher level.


This is another emotion that often links in with low self-confidence. A lot of people fail, not just at getting in shape, but at having success in life because they do not believe that they can reach a goal. Self-doubt may be an in-built emotion that stems from not having people around you that believe in you, or from previously failed attempts at achieving something. This can drastically affect your belief when you start another goal.

Self-doubt does not just happen at the beginning of your journey, either. It can happen midway or even towards the back end of the process when you can’t get back a certain number on the scales, a certain level of body fat, or just the weight of a particular lift in the gym. However, the more you find ways of breaking past these barriers, the less you will doubt yourself. So, it is important to seek out these answers and work with people who can help you along your journey.


In the modern world, it is very easy to get quick fixes for a lot of things. As a result, our patience to get what we want has decreased, which can often lead to frustration, anger, resentment and eventually giving up. Many people start off with the goal of improving their body shape but are not aware that the process is a long one and it requires repeatable actions and habits over a long period of time to achieve the end result.

So, it is important to make yourself aware that it will take a long time to get to where you want to get to and to have patience along your journey. Furthermore, you must track your progress in several ways, through photos, scale weight and how you feel, to remind yourself that you are on the right path. This will keep you motivated, patient and ensure that you enjoy the journey.

Low Motivation

Getting in shape is hard work, which is why not many people achieve it. The process is never linear, and there will be many days when your motivation is low and you don’t want to train or even stick to your diet. If you then give in to that low motivation, consistency then dips and your progress stalls. This is often the stage when people give up.

It is vital that you have at least one goal that you are working towards. Once you figure that out, you then need to go deeper. How does it relate to the things that really matter in your life? Ask yourself these challenging questions and link every task you need to do to reach those goals. This will help you power through those periods of low motivation and stay consistent over a long period of time.


This is an area that can be a big struggle for a lot of people. There is a stigma that getting in shape means the end of your social life and weeks of being very disciplined and alone. Firstly, there are some sacrifices that you will have to make, such as reducing poor quality food groups, regular nights out and significant alcohol consumption. This is going to be a key part of getting yourself in shape.

However, this does not mean that you will be lonely throughout the process. Balance and control are two key areas that you will have to master to make progress and maintain an enjoyable, effective lifestyle. For example, you can still enjoy time with friends and have meals out but acting in moderation will help you have a great balance that you can stick to.


So, during your fitness journey, there will be several emotions that you will experience and have to overcome. These include low self-confidence, self-doubt, impatience, low motivation and loneliness which can all put your chances of success in danger. However, learning how to overcome them and turn into a stronger person will be crucial to achieving your dream body shape.

Photo Credit: Envato Elements

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