Writing my post on why I want to lose weight reminded me of what my husband encouraged me to do in the run up to our wedding when I was trying to shift a few pounds to fit into my dress: He suggested that I make a list of all the excuses I could think of for not sticking to my diet and exercise plan. That way, when one of these excuses came up, I’d recognise it for what it is: Just an excuse.
I thought this was a good idea so I wrote the following list on the noticeboard in my study:
- Too tired
- Too much work to do
- Don’t have time
- We’re going out
- I’ve never been to this restaurant/tried this dish before
- Can’t be bothered
I did find that it helped me to ignore these excuses.
Since starting my weight loss efforts afresh in January this year, I’ve been thinking about these excuses again and I’ve found it useful to spend some time considering how to respond to them. I’ve found this strategy to be even more helpful because I haven’t noticed the excuses surfacing so far, despite the fact that I’m now well into my second month, a time by when my initial flush of motivation would definitely have expired in my previous weight loss attempts.
Here are my musings on each of my excuses:
Too tired (to exercise) – Will I be going to bed instead of the gym? No? Then I can’t be too tired. Also, once I get there and get going I’ll feel more energised. I’ll feel great after my workout and I’ll have an even better night’s sleep because of it.
Too tired (to cook healthy food) – I’ve made sure that I plan very quick and easy meals for week nights and I’ve also got some stock cupboard staples, such as beans and bread, for when I really can’t be bothered. I also make sure I freeze extra portions of the meals I cook so that I’ve always got a healthy ready meal on standby in the freezer.
Too much work to do – Yes, work is important but so is my own health and well being. Just because I have a job which will expand to fit every waking moment doesn’t mean that I should allow it too. Exercise is an excellent way for me to de-stress at the end of the day. I can always go into work a little bit earlier the following day if I have something really urgent that I didn’t get done. I also make sure I have quick and easy meals planned for in the week (see point above).
I don’t have time – I need to prioritise my healthy eating and exercise to help me achieve my weight loss goals as I really want to reach my goal weight. Simple. So I make the time to plan my meals in advance and then make a list of all the foods I need. I then shop either in person or online. This makes it really easy in the week as I just have to refer to my meal planner. I also keep things realistic in the week sticking to recipes that are really quick and easy and using frozen portions of recipes I’ve already made. I also plan my exercise classes into my week – they’re just part of my routine.
We’re going out – We might be going out but I can still make wise choices. It won’t be the last time I ever go out and I’ll get to my goal quicker if I stay on track.
I’ve never been to this restaurant/eaten this dish before – I try to look at the menu in advance of going out for a meal so that I can choose the most plan-friendly option. This also allows me to work in any higher Pro Points options I want to try. However, I do often ask myself is it worth spending the points on one meal or even dish?
I can’t be bothered – Let’s face it. We all have days when we simply can’t be bothered. I’m not 100% sure how to best tackle this one as I haven’t really experienced one yet this time around. I have had a couple of ‘can’t be bothered’ moments, but I’ve just given myself a bit of a mental talking to and reminded myself that I REALLY want to reach my weight loss goals and throwing myself off track won’t get me there.
I’d like to end on a quote I came across the other day which seems to encapsulate the attitude I’d like to adopt towards excuses:
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn
Thanks for reading!
PS How do you deal with ‘Can’t be bothered’ days?