Excuses. They are powerful little things aren’t they? They hold immense power in their greasy little hands. They keep us from living healthy, fuller lives by planting doubt and fear in our minds.
The reality of excuses and procrastination is that we all use ‘em. After all, they are shockingly easy to make.
Why do we sabotage ourselves this way?
It is the easy thing to do. We are programmed (and quite correctly I believe) to always find the easiest route to doing something. It just makes sense – why do more work than you have to? But this dedication to efficiency has also lended itself to our biggest shortcoming – the ability to convince ourselves of a perceived inability to accomplish something.
Additionally, excuses mask fear. We perceive things to be more difficult than they really are or should be. How many times have you put off doing something, then ultimately carried it out and felt a tad silly for not having done it earlier?
Probably at least a few times, right?
The next time you find yourself making one of these silly excuses to not go to the gym, think to yourself the alternative to acting. Of allowing fear and procrastination continue to run your life. And consider what you are missing out (ahem, a healthy lifestyle!) by allowing these excuses to take root.
1. I’m too embarrassed to go to the gym.
You know how you look around at people you admire and think to yourself, “I wish I had that person’s body.” Well guess what… Someone is saying that about you right now. Seriously. So go to the gym. And eventually more and more people will gaze in wonder at you and think… “Daaaaamn. Wish I had his/her body!”
It’s your body and health, and you are going to have far larger problems than being embarrassed later in life if you continue to ignore it.
2. Eating Well Costs Too Much
I would love to know where this excuse originated from, because it is complete rubbish. The only thing that eating convenience and processed food hold over healthy, organic foods are convenience. After all, there are few drive-thru windows offering organic chicken and fresh veggies. But you can beat that as well. Eating healthy may require a minor amount of planning, but when you consider the trade-off – your health – it’s an easy “sacrifice” to make.
3. I Don’t Have Time To Make Good Food
Time for some Time Management 101. You do have the time. You just don’t know it. A simple and super powerful way to figure this out is to simply log the time you spend doing your day-to-day tasks for 2-3 days.
You will be shocked and chagrined when you see how much time gets drained to tasks that don’t really matter, or activities that provide little to no benefit to your health (or life, for that matter). Did you know the average kid spends 7+ hours a day looking at a monitor? I bet we as adults are not far behind either!
Between Facebook, TV, our mobile phones (where we watch more TV, and spend more time on Facebook) and our computers, we spend a disproportiane amount of time unplugged from “real life.” #RantOver
Anyways… Write it all out. Note where you are spending the most time. And be merciless cutting it out. I bet you anything an hour or two per day will free up.
Still don’t have enough time?
Use my favorite healthy eating tip and pre-cook your meals. I do this every 3-4 days. Pre-cook a buttload of chicken, salmon, veggies and lunches to last me 3-4 days. You save a ton of time making it all at once, and when those stomach grumbles need to be acquiesced you slap em in the face with a pre-cooked chicken breast and a handful of vegetables. Whammy!
4. I don’t have money for a gym membership.
Stop going out for food. Stop paying $5 flippin’ dollars for energy drinks and coffees every morning. That money will stack up in a hurry. If you still don’t have the bills to pay for a gym membership, get creative and build yourself a home gym.
5. I have no idea what I am doing.
Confidence comes from doing. I would also add that confidence comes in mastery. Learn everything you can about working out. About how your body works. How it reacts to specific types of exercise. Get curious about how your body functions, and learn to make it run better.
Learning how your body works has one other little benefit, you are exponentially more likely to take care of it once you realize what you are doing to it.
6. I’m Not Ready.
You’re never going to be ready. Conditions will never be perfect. There will never, ever be a day where you wake up and feel like going to the gym and eating well.
Chances are very good that the day you get there will be because you are fed up with the alternative. You will reach a point where you say to yourself, “Enough is enough, I cannot and will not live another day like this.”
7. How am I supposed to know what I am going to do when there are so many conflicting opinions?
You gotta keep it simple. I’ve said it a million times and I will say it again… Keep your fitness + diet plan simple. Less room for error, less room for wiggle room, and less to think about. You shouldn’t have to obssess over every last detail (and who would really want to?), and truthfully, there is only so much information you need to learn before it becomes more about diminishing returns.
Find that nice balance where you are getting the results you want without having to spend all day measuring micrograms of carbs and protein.
A simple diet plan. A simple exercise plan. Nothing more, nothing less.
8. I don’t want to go to a gym.
Then don’t! You don’t have to go to a gym to get fit. In fact, you don’t even need to set up a little gym at home either. You can get in great shape by enjoying a limitless number of outdoor exercises. Running, swimming, biking, hiking, wind-surfing…
You get the point.
9. Exercise is Boring
Being a couch potato is boring.
Being active and healthy gives you countless opportunities to get the exercise you want. You got your workout at home options, boot-camps, circuit training, your local gym, countless outdoor activities and sports and so much more that it makes me cringe when people belt out this excuse.
10. I’m probably going to fail. I have every other time.
You only need to succeed the last time. I could fill this point about how the road to success is paved with failure, or that each failure is a lesson in succeeding, or any other countless “get up and give em hell” quotes. But I’m not.
Learn from your failures. Adapt, adjust and move on.
11. I have injuries preventing me from exercise.
I’ve leaned on this crunch on occasion. I have injured my ribs, shoulders, fingers, knees and even my ankle (twice). But with each injury or ailment that I incurred, I was also given an opportunity to try different forms of exercise.
For example, being a bigger fellow, I don’t like running too much because it places a lot of stress on my joints. Does that mean I stop doing cardio? Nope. It means I get my butt into the pool to swim some laps, or hop on the elliptical trainer.
12. I’m too out of shape.
Everybody starts somewhere. If walking up the stairs winds you, start by walking for 15 minutes. The next day, 16 minutes, then 17 minutes, and so on. Where you are at right now does not matter. The act of doing something – anything – is what does.
13. I have too much stress in my life to deal with working out and eating healthy.
Not working out, and not eating well is only contributing to your stress levels. Doing exercise does much more than just make ya look good in a bathing suit – it is a proven stress killer.
14. Keeping a strict diet seems like a lot of work.
Wrong. It’s actually pretty simple. When you reduce your diet to a select number of choice foods, it surprisingly becomes very clear-cut.
15. I’ll never look as good as those rich, famous dudes and dudettes on TV.
Being “in shape” means something completely and utterly different to every person out there. Throw out the fitness magazines. I know it is hard to not compare yourself to the impossible figures we see on magazines and on television, but it’s necessary to abandon these comparisons.
You’re not going to have the body of Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie. That’s a fact of life. And not even close to a sad one. You are unique and awesome and wholly special. True story. So embrace it.
16. I can’t get motivated to go.
Want one fail-proof piece of advice I give (and have followed on more than one occasion)? Just start. Drive to the gym. You don’t even need to tell yourself that you are going to work out. Just drive there. Or just put on your running shoes and walk to the end of the drive way.
Once you start, the excuses start to fade away, and before you know it, you are working out and wondering how you almost talked yourself out of the opportunity to get fitter.
17. My family/friends/spouse hate healthy food.
Don’t be afraid to put on your Daddy pants and sit your inner circle down and tell them what the dilly is:
“I am going to get fit. I am going to get in the best shape of my life. This means a great deal to me, and I need you to support me in this goal. I cannot do this without you. Do you mind having my back on this?“
Despite the initial murmuring and resistance, I guarantee you that they will be grateful in the long term for your positive influence on their lives. Oh yeah, plus they’ll get healthier too. Sounds like a pretty fair deal.
18. I’m scared that I am going to gain the weight back.
Adjust your expectations—working out isn’t about losing weight or getting jacked, necessarily. It’s about getting healthy. Taking care of your body is your first priority. The physical effects – dropping weight and gaining muscles are simply a side-effect of healthy life choices.
19. I’m so far away from my goal, I will never get there.
Not starting is about as far away as you can get. Each time you lace up your sneakers to go to the gym, each time you pass up that last bite, each time you cook a meal instead of dialing delivery is another inch or two closer to your final goal.
20. I’ll start tomorrow.
No you won’t. You know this, and I know this. Tomorrow leads into the next day, which then leads into next week, etc. Eventually, you are saying that you will go to the gym “someday.”
“Someday” is not a day in the week. Wanna know why? Because it never comes. Today is the only day that matters.