I recently read a pretty lame article on Active.com entitled The Diet Detector: 9 Excuse Busters. It talks about some common excuses people make to not exercise or be healthy: I don’t have time, I have kids, I’ll do it tomorrow. They deal with each excuse individually with things like, “You have to make time for exercise!” and “Don’t put off until tomorrow what can be done today!”
Ultimately, a healthy lifestyle is a choice. My sister recently made a “lifestyle change” and she sticks to that phrase. When anyone called it a “diet,” she corrected them by saying that it is not a diet because diets fail, this is a lifestyle change! This change was not easy for her, but it was the mindset that really helped her get started and stick to it, more or less. As with any lifestyle change, it can look many different things. The best part of her lifestyle change is that she eats WAY more vegetables and tries way more foods than she used to. Growing up, my sister was THE pickiest eater I had ever known. She didn’t like anything on her hamburger and she ate her pasta without sauce. Vegetables were her nemesis. She has even cooked tofu herself! I like to think her big sister had a bit of an influence on her, but it was her decision to do it. And until she was ready to do it, there was no amount of articles talking about excuses that would have changed her mind. At least not in the long-term.
That being said, I have thought about my own excuses not to work-out or eat healthy foods. I don’t have many, but here are some of them:
It is -40 outside… too cold to leave my house or my bed! or There is a down-pour outside – I tend to think that these are good excuses, but I have to remind myself that I have other options. I can drive to the gym or bike on my trainer. Also, I ski when it’s that cold out so going for a ski would be all right. It may not be the workout I had in mind, but it’s better than sitting inside doing nothing.
I’m tired! – This is my most common one. I have a tendency to use this one too much, but I listen to my body. That being said, while training for Ironman I need to work past this one. During the race I will get tired and won’t be able to stop. As long as I’m getting one rest-day a week, I should be good.
I’m too sore – This is usually a result of going too hard or taking time off and getting back into it. Either way, moving is good for the sore muscles. Also, it probably means that I am due for a massage and chiropractic adjustment (as it is usually my back that is sore).
I don’t have time for this whole workout so why bother? – This is a tough one for me, but one that I have been working with. Sometimes I have time constraints and getting a whole workout done is tough. Lately, because I understand workouts so much better I am able to shorten workouts appropriately, without cutting down too much on the quality of the workout.