Excuses That Need to Stop

terracotta warriors

 

Over the past few years, I’ve gotten very involved in fitness and nutrition communities. I am a lover of knowledge and when I decided to lead a more healthy lifestyle, I learned as much as I could about it. I’ve read a lot of books on health and I have been a member of many fitness groups. However, nothing has taught me more than the people within health and fitness community itself. I highly recommend that you make some friends, in real life or online, that are also into making healthy choices.

More than all of the facts about calories, saturated fats, cardiovascular exercise, and weight lifting,  being among those who choose to live a healthy lifestyle has made me more aware of the excuses and complaints by those who choose to stay where they are.

Don’t get me wrong. This is not me having a go at people that I feel I’m better than. I’ve heard more than one of these excuses come from myself.

Here are a few things I’ve overheard from others through the years and my responses to them:

 

“I’d be fit if I didn’t hate exercise so much.”

WRONG! The reason you’re not fit is that you think you have to exercise in order to be fit. There are a few things wrong with that point of view:

  1. Most of your health has to do with your diet. You can’t out-exercise a Big Mac. It would take a whole lot of exercise – a lot more than most of us are willing to do – to burn as much as you’re able to eat. Remember that it starts with food.
  2. Stop exercising then! If you hate it, then why are you doing it? Is it because you think you have to? You don’t have to exercise. Not in the traditional sense. Yes, you do have to get your butt off the sofa and get moving, but that doesn’t mean go out for a run or do a bunch of jumping jacks during commercial breaks. Sure you can do those things if you want, but prepare to be bored for the rest of your life.

You hate exercise because you’re not doing it right. You’re doing what you think you have to do or what everyone else tells you to do. What you should be doing is finding something you love to do, be it gardening, horseback riding, taking walks, dancing to your favorite song or playing tag. Whatever it is, if it involves moving – guess what? It’s exercise!

“But I LOVE food!”

Who doesn’t? Boring people, that’s who. I know very few people who don’t love food. It’s in our DNA to stuff our faces with the yummiest things we can find. It helped our ancestors survive harsh environments.

Most of us don’t live in very harsh environments anymore and the yummiest foods are just a quick trip away. So, yeah, it’s easy to eat a lot of crap when it’s so…well, easy.

But you can still love food, you can still eat yummy things until you’re full. You just have to pick the right yummy things. Whenever I hear someone say they’re “on a diet” and watch them eat a piece of toast with half a can of tuna on it, I want to slap the food out of their hands and jump up and down on the table in front of them while shouting “YOU DONT’ HAVE TO DO THIS TO YOURSELF!”

If you cut out grains (omg grains are so good right?) you can eat plenty of the yummy fatty stuff that makes everything taste so awesome. Butter is great, cream is great, steak is really really great. Add an extra piece of bacon to those whole eggs. Seriously, have those dark chocolate covered strawberries.

I’m not going to lie, grains taste so good – pasta, amirite? But we don’t live in a perfect world. Something’s gotta go. You don’t get to have your cake and lose weight too. BUT you can keep a lot of the things that are just as yummy and learn to appreciate them. Watch your friends with their sad tuna toast look at you in envy as bacon grease dribbles down your chin.

“No matter how hard I try, I don’t see results.”

Maybe you’re trying too hard! Maybe you’re not doing the right thing. If you’re not seeing results, that’s no excuse to stop trying. Not doing anything isn’t going to get you results either. Part of the joy of life is experimenting and learning new things. Experiment on yourself. Learn what foods work for you and foods don’t. Learn what type of movement makes you happy and what doesn’t and do those things that you enjoy and that do get results.

“I hate how I look when I exercise.”

Seriously? You’re going to let that stop you? Are you going to live your life in fear and die regretting everything? I guarantee you that when your ghost comes back to haunt this world, you’re going to be really embarrassed to tell the other ghosts that you lived a boring life because you didn’t like the way you looked.

Yes, some people are dicks. Some people are going to say terrible things because that’s how they are. Guess what? Those same people are still going to be dicks if you were made of unicorn dust and sunsets. Forget other people, you are doing this for you. Once you get past your fear of how others perceive you, you will find happiness underneath.

“I just don’t have the patience.”

Patience for what? What do you want RIGHT NOW that makes not doing something you love so important? The reason you don’t have the patience is because you’re expecting too much too soon. You need to learn to let go of that expectation. The only expectation you should have right now is to find something that you enjoy doing and go do it. You might find in the end that you got what you wanted in the first place. Or you might not. Either way, you will improve yourself and you will be doing something fun, right?

“Yeah, like I have the time for all that.”

But you have the time to be grumpy? Unhappy? Sick? How about time to be on Facebook? Or to watch a bunch of crappy TV?

If you really want something, really really want it, you will make time for it. And it doesn’t even have to be a lot of time. If you find something you are passionate about, you will find that you suddenly have plenty of time to get it done.

“But I gots kids!”

So does half of the population! Okay, I made that statistic up, but it’s not too far off. Look around. There are children everywhere. I know from personal experience that some things are much tougher to do with children around, but people for millennia have been making it work. Get yourself a support system. Family members are great for looking after kids. If you don’t live near family, get yourself some friends. Or, if possible,  involve your children in whatever it is you’re doing. Don’t let your children be the reason you’re not doing something that makes you feel happy. They wouldn’t want that.

“I just can’t give up donuts.”

Or cake. Or chocolate. Or video games. Or whatever it is that makes you happy but might not be so good for you. For now, let’s just assume that it’s donuts. We all struggle with our donuts. I don’t think there’s a single person who doesn’t have something that they find difficult to give up.

My personal belief is that you shouldn’t give it up. Unless it’s something really, really damaging like drugs, I think you should be able to have what you want. The real tough part is learning how to moderate your use of …donuts.

Saying you “can’t” give it up is just setting yourself up for failure. If you tell yourself you can’t then you can’t. It’s as simple as that. Sure, it will be hard, but you have to at least take a step. Sitting at the bottom of a mountain talking about how you can’t climb it isn’t going to get you to the top.

“I’ll start tomorrow.”

I’m guilty of this one. So hard. It’s so easy for me to relegate something to tomorrow. Tomorrow is a new beginning. Tomorrow brings so much promise. Tomorrow is when my life starts getting perfect. But you know how it is. Tomorrow never actually comes. If you keep putting off what you want, then you’re never going to get there. There’s always going to be something standing in your way, something holding you back. Life is never perfect, so waiting for some perfect moment is futile. 10, 20, 30 years from now you’ll wish you had started right now.

 

speak no evil

 

So there are a whole lot of excuses here, and a whole lot of responses to those excuses, but I think it can all be summed up like this.

Do you want to be healthy and happy? REALLY?

If you don’t, then there’s the door.

But if you really want to change something, then stop with the excuses. I didn’t say that it was going to be easy, I just want you to stop making these excuses. You’re the only one stopping yourself. No one – and I mean no one – can change anything except you. You have to really want it.

If you’re ready to make some changes, then I think we can start on this together. What do you say?

 

Photo sources: Terracotta Warriors (Contemporary) by Paul Stevenson, Speak No Evil by Robert Young

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Devyn

10 Responses to “Excuses That Need to Stop”

  1. Suasn Sherbert Website

    All good points. But you are totally right at the start. Simply hanging out with active people is a good place to start. Even if it’s only someone to walk around the block with, that’s a help.

    Reply
    • Devyn Website

      Yes! Hanging out with active people is probably the biggest step you can take. Especially if they’re the really pushy kind that make you go out and do things.

      Reply
  2. Tracy M. Website

    These are great points! It seems like people have a tendency to think in absolutes when it comes to health and fitness, telling themselves that they need to get 60 minutes of cardio five times a week and never touch a cookie or go over 1200 calories a day. I’ve done much better since I stopped dieting and started making lifestyle changes.

    Reply
    • Devyn Website

      That’s exactly right. I was one of those people who used to think exactly like that. Although I did lose a little bit of weight, it wasn’t until I stopped calorie counting and stopped thinking in absolute terms that I started to lose weight. It’s hard to let go of those expectations that have been drilled into us.

      Reply
  3. Nana K Website

    Great article, Devyn. Another suggestion for those who have kids….
    Involve your kids in your fun. They can put down the joystick and learn by example how to live a healthy lifestyle and stay fit on their own adventure playground. 🙂 When they see mom and dad having fun, they will want to have fun, too. And what better way to nurture the family bond than by spending that that fun time together.

    Reply
    • Devyn Website

      Very true. I did mention you can include kids and that’s especially important for parents of young children.

      Reply

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