When starting a weight loss journey or journey to health...we have stories we repeat (what happened to us in the past or why we aren't capable of changing in the future), reasons why we can't workout or eat right, and things we tell ourselves to comfort and quiet all of those stories and reasons. Let's take a look at some of those stories and reasons
- I am too busy to workout/eat right etc.
- I am too tired to workout or prepare healthy food after working all day
- I have a child/spouse/parent with special needs that requires a lot of attention
- Healthy food is too expensive
- I can't afford a gym membership
- I always fail at diets
- It doesn't work-- I have tried it and it doesn't work
- I am "big boned"
- I barely eat...and I am still gaining weight/not losing weight
- My knee/back/arm/(insert body part here____) hurts
- I have a slow metabolism
- I have thyroid disease
- No one will work out with me/I don't know what to do
- I don't like the way this tastes
- I am too big to workout
Let's call these stories and reasons what they really are: EXCUSES. Now, before you get offended because you have used one or more of these excuses... let me tell you... EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE EXCUSES above trapped me in a 360 pound body. Those were MY B.S. STORIES... MY REASONS... MY EXCUSES!!!! And I used them all to make myself feel better about squeezing into size 28W capri pants. But until you find your "why" and get your mind on the right track to your goal... you will keep using your excuses. I want to help all of you turn your excuses around. I want you to be able to tell your excuses to sit down and shut up so you can achieve any goals that you want! (and focus on the words THAT YOU WANT). This journey is not for everyone. Some people are happy with where they are in life and this advice is not for you... this is for those that are physically at a weight they don't want to be at... and WANT change. I wanted and needed change... so here is my "sit down and shut up statements" for my excuses above:
- I am too busy to workout/eat right etc. - EVERYONE on this planet has the same 24 hours in a day. How are you going to spend yours? I am a single mom, I work full-time, I am the president of a non-profit, I workout 1-2 hours a day six days per week. Get creative with your time - cut out tv or watch your show on the treadmill, use 2 hours on a weekend to prep your meals for the week. Schedule time for your workouts and no matter what keep that appointment.
- I am too tired to workout or prepare healthy food after working all day - We are all tired... especially when we are obese or have a disease that makes us tired. Don't stay up late playing on the internet or watching tv (take the tv out of your bedroom). Put your head on your pillow and SLEEP!!!! Aim for 8 hours (that may mean an early bedtime!) If you know you are going to have a busy day and will be exhausted prepare a healthy meal ahead of time to be re-heated (Watch the blog for some of my quick recipes!)
- I have a child/spouse/parent with special needs that requires a lot of attention - I used this excuse for 7 years - I packed on 100 pounds using this excuse. I never would do anything for myself. I lived to be a mom. I was "autism mom super hero" but could have done so much more if I would have scheduled more physical activity and meal planning around those therapy appointments. Become a pro at multitasking... what can you do besides "sitting" while your loved one is in therapy/dr. visits/etc? Your loved one NEEDS you to be healthy.. it's not just for you... it's for them!
- Healthy food is too expensive- Yes, it can be...BUT you need to check your portion size...4oz of plain chicken breast makes a pack of chicken go a long way. Buy produce at Wal-mart or Aldi to save money. Buy frozen veggies in bulk, use coupons, STOP buying the boxed or processed food and drive thru and put that money toward healthy foods. Drink WATER instead of soda. Inexpensive, healthy staples in our home: Chicken breast, brown rice, frozen broccoli, bananas, eggs, fresh bell peppers, bagged spinach and yogurt. All of these things are CHEAP!!!!
- I can't afford a gym membership - Who says you have to work out at a gym? Make your own body-weight circuits you can do at home, find a good walking trail or place to hike by your house, buy used fitness equipment for your home off of Craigslist or Facebook trading posts in your area, do those fun 30 day abs/arms/burpee challenges you can find on Instagram. Utilize the "First time is free" deals at local gyms to try out. Usually big chains like Planet Fitness or 24 hour Fitness have inexpensive monthly fees. The YMCA is a non-profit and offers scholarships for those in need.
- I always fail at diets- I used this a LOT... it is because I wasn't eating enough calories of healthy food during the day and would be STARVIN MARVIN by 6 pm and BINGE OUT on dinner or snacks. I was always trying the Fad diet Du Jour.. If you have failed at 1 or a million diets - blow that off... get up, dust yourself off and change your lifestyle. There are no magic pills.
- It doesn't work-- I have tried it and it doesn't work - How long have you tried it? Have you asked health or fitness professionals to help you troubleshoot why it isn't working for you? Track your food and exercise. Be honest with yourself and the professionals and ASK FOR HELP.
- I am "big boned" - Your bones are not as big as you think they are. I feel so dumb that I used this excuse after I had a DEXA scan at the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center and saw these skinny little bones covered with muscle and lots and lots of fat.
- I barely eat...and I am still gaining weight/not losing weight - Look into how Sumo wrestlers eat... they don't eat breakfast, they restrict food all day then have a BIG high calorie meal at dinner. I did that for YEARS (I would have coffee for breakfast, a few things at my desk during the day and then be STARVING at dinner so I would consume a day or two worth of calories in one sitting. I would justify it by saying, "Well I haven't eaten all day". I do NOT want to be on the sumo wrestler meal plan...so I had to force myself to eat properly (several small meals -consuming all the calories I needed for fuel throughout the day - not just at dinner). YOU HAVE TO EAT TO LOSE WEIGHT!!
- My knee/back/arm/(insert body part here____) hurts - MODIFY, MODIFY, MODIFY.... Use what doesn't hurt. If your arms hurt....go walking, do squats. If your knee hurts when you jump... do low impact things like biking or swimming. You can work around almost all injuries. I have been low impact because of knee pain for almost this entire year.... and still lost weight. Talk to your doctor about what you can and can't do... then make a plan to work around it. And DIAL IN TIGHT on your nutrition!!!
- I have a slow metabolism - so fix it. You can. When you feed and hydrate your body properly stuff starts working right! Your metabolism is like a fire.. you have to stoke it to get it to burn efficiently (eating breakfast and then small meals every 3 hours, drinking water like it is your job (about a gallon a day) and getting physical activity). If you just throw a big ol log on your fire (eating once a day after restricting) that fire is gonna burn out and that big ol log is just gonna sit there.
- I have thyroid disease - Yep. Me too. Hashimotos and hypothyroidism since I was 18... take your medicine. stay on top of your labs. Proper nutrition and exercise will help your condition.
- No one will work out with me/I don't know what to do - Have you asked anyone to work out with you? Have you asked a trainer or gym staff for ideas? Have you googled "Workout ideas"? No one is going to walk up and hand you ideas. And the answer is always going to be "no" if you never ask.
- I don't like the way this tastes - Food addiction is real and its a struggle. Wrapping your head around "food is fuel" can be daunting. Once you only have those tasty but processed/sodium and sugar filled goodies every once in a while, your body will CRAVE the whole foods. Use garlic, herbs, stevia, no salt seaonings or jalepenos to dress up your "fuel"
- I am too big to workout - Watch an episode of Extreme Weight Loss on ABC. EXCUSE INVALID!!!! ;)
I truly hope that by sharing my excuses and how I pushed past them helps at least one of you! Put your pearls on and push through!!!!!