Examining Excuses What excuses have you used to explain why you are still overweight, inactive, out of shape or otherwise unhealthy? What excuses will you use when you fail to follow through and become the New You? Let’s look at some of the more common excuses and examine their validity. (For the full effect, read the list out loud in your best whiny voice.)
- I’m too busy. - I’m too stressed out. - Now is not a good time. - I have too much weight to lose; I’ll never be able to do it. - I didn’t/don’t understand what to do. - My husband/kids/friends/parents aren’t supportive. - I just can’t get motivated. - I’m embarrassed by how I look. - It’s in my genes to be fat. - It’s too difficult.
Excuses, excuses! Sound familiar? Now, let’s see how these “reasons,” hold up under close inspection:
- I’m too busy- The truth is, just about everyone is “too busy.” We all have responsibilities, errands, families, demands, deadlines, etc. We all set our priorities. If I decide that I am a priority too, I will rearrange my schedule, cut back on time-wasters and combine tasks to find the hidden time in every day. Plus, people who work out typically report having increased energy which leads to getting things done more efficiently.
- I’m too stressed.- Exercise reduces stress and gives you the ability to handle future stress better.
- Now is not a good time.- Let’s just be honest with each other, it will NEVER be a “good time.” That’s why now is as good as it gets. If you wait until you think it’s a “good time,” you will be waiting forever. Not to mention the fact that the longer you wait, the harder it will be to get started. So, why not resolve yourself to the fact that right now really IS a good time, after all?
- I have too much weight to lose; I’ll never be able to do it.- The years will come and go whether you are making progress toward reaching your health and fitness goals or not. Procrastinating usually means worsened health.
- I didn’t/don’t understand what to do.- If you are having trouble understanding something on your own, get some help from a friend, support group, personal trainer or Therapist. Many tutorial blogs and videos are also available online.
- My husband/kids/friends/parents aren’t supportive.- It’s human nature to fear the unknown and to resist change. Sometimes those closest to us worry that our conversion to a healthier lifestyle will change our personality or relationship. You can help to calm their fears by assuring them that you will be the same you, only better. Then, decide to get healthy for yourself and them, anyway.
- I just can’t get motivated.- If the standard looking and feeling better, fitting into smaller clothes and ridding yourself of those weight-related health problems doesn't seem motivating, dig deeper to underlying reasons.
- I’m embarrassed by how I look.- Embarrassment is a real thing. However, focusing on how other people (do you even know them?) are viewing us is a waste of time. These others are probably not even thinking about- or even looking at you. They are probably staring at their phones. If going out in public is too much, you can start with a simple exercise routine in the privacy of your own home.
- It’s in my genes to be fat.- You may get your height or general body shape and build from your parents, but the amount of body fat you have is mostly up to you. While some people may be genetically predisposed to a slower metabolism, most of the individuals who are members of overweight families are overweight due to environmental (not genetic) factors. This means that a person with a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits will teach their children how to have a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits.
- It’s too difficult.- Changing old habits can be difficult, but it’s not too difficult. Plus, it is definitely rewarding: the greater the degree of difficulty, the greater your chance to shine!
Examine your excuses and challenge them with facts and logic. Be mindful so you will notice when you go into excuse mode.
And finally, replace your excuses of why you shouldn’t, can’t, won’t and don’t, with reasons of why you should, can, will and do!
Back to LifeStyle Guide This information should not serve as a replacement for therapy. Please visit the Can Therapy Help Me page for more information if you think you may have an eating disorder, or should require individualized help.
FCCS is directed by Melinda Haynes, MA, California LMFT license number 102308. Oklahoma LMFT license number 1153. North Carolina LMFT license number 2143.