Eliminating Your Excuses for Fitness Failure
So, I have to start off this post by saying upfront – I’m not perfect. I’ve let myself off the workout hook many times. I’ve negotiated my way out of it, opting to clean house, rakes leaves, or clean out the garage instead. I’ve promised to make it up on the weekend, if I let my morning slip away from me. I’ve let myself out of it when I didn’t feel well. So, it’s not like I workout 7 days a week.
The difference is in the excuses.
And we have a TON of them, don’t we? When it comes to not eating right, or not working out we will use EVERY excuse in the book (sometimes twice.) And you might have used some pretty bad ones yourself from time to time. Keep in mind that there’s #nojudgment here. It’s up to you to be honest with yourself and determine if you really have a problem or whether it’s really a case of the “shoulds.” (That is, you think you should, but you don’t really want to or care to.)
I don’t have the time.
The single oldest excuse in the book, this one is the most common. But it’s also one of the biggest lies. If you think you don’t have time, consider looking at your definition of “workout” or “exercise.” Do you think it takes a hour to do an effective workout? Nope, no, and nuh-uh. There are tabata workouts that last 7 minutes. HIIT workouts that are 10. Dr. Jade Teta has 3 series that I personally own (Metabolic Aftershock, Metabolic Prime, and Metabolic Renewal) that each workout is right at 15-18 minutes. If you don’t have time in a linear chunk, you can exercise in small spurts. Consider taking the stairs or doing squats in the elevator or in the bathroom stall. You can walk around the building during your 15 minute lunch break.
It’s too hard.
Please don’t tell me you give up on everything this quickly. But seriously, if it’s too hard, you’re trying to do too much too soon. Don’t push yourself so hard the first several days that you can’t walk for a week. That’s a sure-fire way to make you give up. Those memes about “leg day” – they’re real. It’s a thing. So, to use Dr. Jade’s phrase, “Push until you can’t, rest until you can.” Or consider setting smaller “baby step” goals.
I’m too tired.
“I’m too tired” is the best reason to get your workout done in the morning. I used to try and do mine after I came home. The problem was that by the end of the day I had already used up my willpower resources, and didn’t have it in me to make myself do one more thing I didn’t really want to do. Also keep in mind that breathing light and shallow (like you might do while sitting at a desk) will create a sort of “Stagnation” in the body that will make you feel tired and lethargic. Getting moving can oftentimes be the perfect antidote to that slump.
It will keep me up.
Many people just cannot find time in the morning to workout. This is often because they stay up late and don’t get the restful sleep they need, and so mornings are often a struggle to get going. If this sounds like you and you must exercise in the afternoon or evening, consider walking or yoga, or another activity that will be restorative, and calming. These types of exercise may help wind you down instead of revving you up.
I missed today, I’ll start over next week.
You might repeatedly fall off the wagon and say, “I already blew it. I’ll start back Monday.” This is another very common problem but if it’s a cycle for you, then stop allowing yourself to have a redo on Monday mornings. Instead, start over with the very next meal or next day if it’s about exercise.
But it’s cold or hot or raining outside.
Some people use the excuse of Mother Nature, saying, “It’s raining, or cold or too hot.” There are clothes that help with that. There are also indoor areas where you can work out and set the temperature to anything you wish! I personally have a treadmill, and a rebounder, plus a few weights, and bands for working out in the house.
I don’t have enough space.
You really don’t need a lot of space. A rebounder needs about a 3 foot by 3 foot square to sit in. This Urban Rebounder (the one I have) even folds up for storage should you want it out of the way. The videos I told you about by Dr. Jade – I do those in a space that’s roughly 3 feet wide by 6 feet long.
I’m too stressed.
Exercise is a stress reliever. And it’s better for you than stuffing your face with food. Also, it should be said that if you are stressed due to problems, some of my most enlightened solutions popped into my head while it was working out. (I attribute it to the extra oxygen and blood flow.)
It’s too boring.
Perhaps you’re trying to do something you don’t really like. For me, even the most icky exercise (or chore) can be improved with music. I just pop in my earphones and I can walk, run, rebound, mow the lawn, clean house, rake leaves – all with less resistance. So create a playlist, or download a new album to listen to and get going!
I hate working out/exercise.
This one is all about mindset. What are you doing in your head? When you say “workout” – are you thinking about the “work”? What else can you think about? Perhaps the pride of committing to yourself and doing it. Maybe focusing on all the positive benefits (cardiovascular, flexibility, moving lymph, etc.)As an example, let’s say you chose walking as your exercise. Do you hate walking? Do you hate getting up and going to the bathroom so as to not leave a puddle in your seat? Do you hate walking into the kitchen to get food to nourish your body? Do you hate walking through the airport to get to your plane that’s waiting to take you to a fabulous vacation destination? No? Why not? It’s walking – and you hate exercise. Notice what you do in your head. Pay attention to what bothers you about exercise and working out – and start flipping it.
For example, if you don’t like because you “have to” – then make the choice – decide it’s what you want to do, and see how that changes it.
Finally, if after all of this you are still struggling to get your workouts working for you, it might be time to take an honest look at whether this is something that you want to do, or something you think you should do. If you think you should because society or a doctor or a book or a guru or your mother tells you that you should – but you don’t really want to – then it’s likely going to be a struggle for you. That kind of external motivation never lasts very long. you have to find your reason – why you want to do this for you. Then you’ll find the motivation and your need for these excuse busters will be lessened.
I hope these mindset hacks have helped you. If you have an excuse you think I haven’t heard – let me know!