Health, Lifestyle, Motivation, Weight Loss

There Are No Excuses/There Is Every Excuse in the World

No Excuses

The other day, when I was walking out the door for a workout class, my brain decided to try and trip me. “We haven’t gone in forever—it’s going to hurt so bad!” “Eh, we can go tomorrow.” “You know, there are a lot of shows we could be catching up with on TV.” The same thing happened a few days later, over the weekend, when my alarm went off for a Saturday morning class. My brain kicked in again, urging me to hit the snooze button. “Ugh, it’s so early! We never get to sleep in.” “Nobody will notice if we’re not there.” “We have all day! All those things we planned to do right after class can totally wait until later on.”

Losing weight and getting healthy isn’t just about the physical—for many (and for me), it’s by and large a mental game. It has been hard to get my brain on board. No matter how established my schedule, no matter how others encourage me about my good eating and exercise choices, ultimately the commitment is mine to keep or break. And, in the past, in the face of anything that would bring me instant gratification (Donuts … beer … the chance to go out to eat), I’d fold like a house of cards. But I feel stronger now, because, along with support from my chapter, family and friends, I also am learning better ways to take care of myself. Sometimes, this self-care is at odds with what my brain wants to do at any given moment. I’ve had to learn how to reason with myself.

I’m happy to say that, despite my brain’s best attempts, I made it to class both days. In response to the first set of excuses, I said, “Brain, you’re right. We haven’t gone in forever and the first time really is going to hurt. But the second time will hurt less, and the third will hurt even less than that.” On Saturday morning, I said, “Brain, we never, ever regret it when we go to the gym. Let’s just get in the door—that’s a victory in and of itself.” It turns out that I was absolutely right. The second time hurt less and I had a ton of energy to run the errands I needed to after class.

When we plan ahead with food, we make better choices. When we make sure to work movement into our day, we feel good and have more energy. There is no excuse for us not to do this, yet our brains seem to provide us with every excuse in the world. Self-discipline is a muscle, truly, and it gets stronger every time we exercise it. What do you say to your brain when it’s making excuses for you?

8 thoughts on “There Are No Excuses/There Is Every Excuse in the World

  1. I tell my brain I do not want to disappoint myself and the others in my chapter. If I exercise and lose a pound or two then maybe this will encourage others or at least one other member.

  2. My go to response is to say ‘ let’s just try it out for 10 minutes, if you still want to go back to bed, watch TV or whatever, then we will.” I have yet to stop after that 10 minutes!.

  3. Bad weather days, such as wind or rain, tempt me to forget my daily walk. But our small, rural hospital has a walking course inside the building that provides an alternative. Though not so enjoyable as walking outdoors, I will drive the 14 miles and do the laps, dodging patients and staff, but also sharing the walk with other indoor walkers. Even if I get the minimum of 20 minutes (roughly a mile), I can force myself to walk up and down my stairs at home in spurts of 5 reps until I get another 10 minutes in to complete at least 30 minutes for the day. I always do feel better after the exercise and relieved that for 30 minutes I was not noshing on a tidbit.

  4. Thanks, I needed that. Yesterday I was in so much pain that I decided to turn back from my walk. But, I said to myself……if you do that then the pain wins. So, I continued. Some of it was bad but also some not so bad. And, I had a huge sense of accomplishment when I finished. Your blog has given me the incentive to do it again today – push through the pain and just do it; thank you for writing Maggie.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. I too can think of a million reasons why I should not exercise. Sometimes it does hurt however, I do feel better after it is over. I think I look better too. Sometimes I just say put your shoes on. Okay now get to the car. Sometimes it takes me longer to get ready to go than it does for me to do my workout.
    I have been walking for the last two months with good results. I am excited each time I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I can see the change in me. I know the exercise along with the other tools of the program are contributing to my new reflection. No More Excuses

  6. “Mind over matter”…You have to be like “The Little Engine That Could”–“I think I can, I think I can then I know I could!” Excellent read and will be inspired to do just that-thanks!;D

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