I hear from friends and people I know that they want to lose weight but they don’t have the time to exercise. Or even worse I have friends who go on crash diets and restrict their intake without increasing their levels of activity. I feel like screaming when I hear about people going on crash diets to lose weight.
Having lost weight myself, I am a true believer in the fact that exercise and a healthy diet helps you lose weight – but what if you find every excuse under the sun not to exercise?
You are the one who can choose if you want to lose weight. You don’t have to choose to exericse, but if you want to make changes in your body and in you life – I think that exercise is key to it. Exercising will not only help you to lose weight but will also help you to feel good with all the endorphins you’ll create and raise your metabolic rate to help burn even more calories.
If you want to make changes in your life through exercise you need to make time for it. You need to make time in your life for you to get off your ass and exercise. You have to create the perfect time, and avoid making up excuses every day, every hour and every minute, not to workout. It doesn’t have to be much… just make time where you wouldn’t have exercised before. Try and fit it in around work, family and social engagements.
Excuses not to exercise come up for everyone. If you aim to train in the morning, it’s the snooze button that rears it’s ugly head and darkness or bad weather (especially in winter) that stops you getting out of bed half an hour early to threaten you with an out of shape, second rate body which you wish was fitter/better.
When it’s time to get up, you know it’s dark and cold outside and you need to decide whether you get up and train or hit the snooze button and doze on. Sleep for an extra 30 minutes or workout?
You want to get into the best shape of your life, but you’re so tired and you had a long night, and today will be even busier and…. it goes on. We’ve all been there. I’ve sat in my car outside a swimming pool for 20 minutes making up excuses not to go in…then turned around and come home without even getting out of the car!! :-O
You want to be fitter…but you don’t want to let go of your comfort for 30 – 60 minutes or so. You want to be leaner but you don’t want to go through the hassle of breaking old eating habits. You want to workout, but you also want to sit on the couch and relax. The examples of excuses are endless.
Quitting and failing become a habit. It gets easier each time we give in to the excuses, while our commitment and resolve are strengthened each time we don’t give in to weak mindedness.
Your mind can be amazing at making up excuses. The bottom line is: What is most important to you – your goals or your excuses? What are your goals and what is in the way of you achieving them?
Even short workouts pay enormous dividends once they’re over. Stress is washed away, your mind and body are revitalised, your self esteem is lifted, and those feel good endorphins explode through your body. This is the outcome of letting the world and its excuses wait, and taking a few minutes to yourself. If you can motivate yourself to do it, your workout will pay off in bucket loads.
If you think you are too tired or you don’t have enough time, get yourself set up to do a 10 minute run / walk / exercise. Once you get your trainers on and you get warmed up you’ll most probably want to keep going for longer. Worst case is you’ll end up with a shorter workout, but anything is better than nothing. If you are really dreading the type of exercise you have planned, mix it about and do something else you enjoy. Make exercise fun. Even take some time out and play with your kids, run after them, kick a ball about with them, anything to get you active.
Set some goals and value your goals and your training more than your comfort and excuses. If you succeed in following your training plan and you don’t give into your excuses you will have command over a stronger, healthier body.
Each day you decide what form your body will take through commitment, perseverance and vision. You choose what you put into your body and you choose what you will do that day to improve your body and achieve your goals (or what you don’t do, to ensure you fail).
The dozens of excuses that your mind makes up when you’re tired or short on time can be ignored. You can press on because you have a set goal, and falling short of your goals is as habit forming as everything else you do in life. You realise that giving into your excuses becomes easier the more you allow it, and that your resolve strengthens each time you don’t give in. Each time you don’t give in you’ll feel even better and will be able to pat yourself on the back, knowing you did it, you beat the excuse.
You must keep your goal in mind, temporarily set aside your comfort and train, and eat well. If you’ve made a decision to change to improve your body, all you need is one short workout at a time and watch what you eat and drink. That one workout is more important than any fatigue or stress that you might be dealing with. It’s a small immediate sacrifice for a long and healthy life.
So how do you stop giving into the excuses?
- Set yourself achievable long term goals (6 weeks to 6 months). It could be to run a certain distance (5k or 10k or half marathon) by a certain date, or lose weight (x% of your body weight – but be realistic – maybe 0.5 – 1lb a week?).
- Set up a training plan: Choose exercises or classes you like and enjoy and try and avoid exercises you hate. Don’t give in to those excuses and remember to have rest days in your plan.
(See my weekly training plan for a busy example – you don’t need to do as much as this – remember I’ve been doing this for years!).
- Make sure your goals are realistic. Write down your goals and tie them into your training plan.
- Write down any excuses you might come up with: here are some of mine:
I don’t have time.
I’m too tired.
I’m in a bad mood.
I don’t feel like it.
I need to relax.
I’ll start over next week.
I’ll make up for it tomorrow.
They are all a load of crap. My mind playing tricks on me to stop me being motivated to get up and do what I love and what I need to do: Train.
Making training / exercising a habit. Like you are in a habit to get up for work, get ready and make your sandwiches in the morning. Fit exercise into your long list of habits you do but you don’t even realise you do.
After you’ve written your excuses down, take a look at them. Remember them and decide now what your come back will be. And when you hear your excuses, answer them by going and doing your workout. Get off that couch. Get out of that bed. Because the effort is well and truly worth every minute of it!
Now I just hope I can get out of bed on Tuesday morning to do my run like I’d planned after writing all this!!