I am the former reigning queen of excuses

I am again amazed at some of the aha moments I get to witness in groups that I am a part of, I can’t tell you how jazzed it makes me feel.  Yesterday witnessing such a moment for a group of pretty special people really inspired me to discuss the big E word: EXCUSE.  We all have them and much like armpits and other body parts they often involve a stink.  BTW I am trying to write this with my cat laying on my arms and lap, but I’m not letting that excuse get in my way.  I think she is trying to take over the blog….

It struck me that there are reasons why we buy into excuses and the number one thing in my opinion is because they often have a basis in reality.  For example:

  • I’m too tired after working all day and don’t have energy to work out.  You may very well be tired and lacking in energy by the end of the day, but still an excuse.  There are other times of day that you can work out.
  • I get short of breath when I try to exercise or I have exercise induced asthma.  Again possibly very true, but um…it won’t get better if you don’t exercise and hate to break it to you, but that is what your inhaler and medication is for.
  • I worked out hard to day or I am in training so I deserve a treat.  Again could be true, and the occasional treat won’t hurt you, but…if you work out like me almost every day that is a lot of treats.  Also just because you did doesn’t mean you can eat the whole thing of ice cream, a six pack of beers, a 10 oz steak….you get what I mean.  It’s not clearance for total over indulgence.
  • It’s too hot out.  Dude, seriously, if it’s important you will find something to do inside or get up early enough to do it outside period.

All of these excuses are rationalizations or justifications to do what I want to do because I wanna and I’m a grown up so I can, so there!  I know, because I am the former reigning queen of excuses.  I say former, because I do much better now at recognizing it for what it is.  So here’s a suggestion or two for you, again let me emphasize if you have legitimate medical problems, still consult your doctor and a trainer they can help you find something you can do, but get guidance.

Recognize your excuses and counter them with options.  Work out in the morning if later in the day won’t work, or if you can mid day (will work better than a cup of coffee to wake you up).  If you are really unfit, start somewhere, anywhere just move.  You worked out hard, you want a treat, make it a healthier one and keep in mind how much it will get you to your goal. Make your health a priority, you have one body and one life.  If you are a mom, a dad, a husband, a wife, or a caretaker if you don’t take care of you YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF OTHERS.  I see it in my own life and I have seen it my whole career, trust me on this one.

 Most importantly, look at the emotion behind the excuse, I bet you it’s fear and fear can be over come.  I think part of it for me was I had a fear of what if I tried to lose weight and it didn’t work?  What am I left with then, just being fat forever?  Worse yet an expensive surgery maybe?  I can tell you too that fear still likes to pop it’s head in despite the success I have had.  That is why it has taken me so long to commit to a half marathon, I was afraid I couldn’t do it or I would hurt my knees.  That is why I am public about my training, because I figured out I will work past those fears of commitment if I verbalize it outside of my own head/heart.  I recognized if I build up to it, build muscles that support my knees, monitor and respond to how they are feeling, and use the occasional tape I will be okay.  That’s how it worked with starting to exercise.  I put it out there and then I felt I had to follow through.

Stop the excuses, make the commitment, and take care of you. 

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