By Lauren Denos: 10/27/2014 (Mindset)

Excuses are like a nice, warm blanket we pull over ourselves to make us feel better about not doing what we should be doing. I am not talking about the issues that come up that really are a good reason to not do something; I am talking about the excuses that we give so that we do not need to do what we think we should.

What is the difference between an excuse and a legitimate reason? By definition, a reason is something that is logical, factual, and verifiable. It can also be a setback, but if you can look at it and learn from it you can get around it and find a solution. On the other side, an excuse is something that is illogical, but something that could be worked around easily. Essentially, an excuse is a cop-out.

The lines between excuse and reason can blur quite a bit. Because sometimes you’re giving a reason and it is legit, but you know you can easily find a solution around it. Or, you use a specific reason so much that it becomes an excuse. One you have dealt with a reason that may become a problem, and you have chosen to not find a solution for this issue, you have crossed the line into the realm of excuses.

We are going to look at a few reasons so you understand what they are, and then we will go over some of the most common excuses so you can see the solutions for them. You can choose to stop using these excuses or not, but you should be informed of what you are doing or how you are deluding yourself. As a well-known saying by Francis Bacon goes, “Knowledge is power.”

Reasons:

  1. Avoiding running because your ankle hurts.

    Even though this might be factual, you can work around it by doing something else that does not put pressure on your ankle.

  2. You’re sick, so you decide to sleep more instead of workout.

    A valid and more than likely true statement. In this case, before working out definitely rest and get better. Then, slowly work yourself back into your normal routine.

  3. You have a last minute work project that has to get done tonight, so you do not have time to cook or workout.

    This can happen from time to time without warning. If it something that was handed to you that day, and you have to have it done instantly, that is understandable. Know healthy quick food options so that you at least have a healthier meal. If this is something that happens to you often, you should have a contingency plan to deal with this.

Excuses:

  1. You only have 10 minutes when you get home to do anything, so "it is not worth it."

    You have 10 minutes, which is better than no workout at all. This is an excuse to be lazy. Do you really want to get healthier?

  2. "I'm just not motivated enough."

    There is a ton of motivational techniques on the internet, and a ton of motivational help on this site. There has to be something that will help. Many times, you just need to get started. Go on a walk at least; it is better than nothing. Motivation does not magically come to you, you have to find it.

  3. "I can't afford to eat healthy."

    We've discussed not being able to afford to eat healthy before. You may not eat perfect, but you can still eat healthy. Meat and frozen vegetables is not an expensive option. There are a lot of cheaper cuts of meat available. Is it as good as organic lean chicken breast no, but it is better than many of the "cheap" options.

  4. "I'm too stressed out."

    Exercise will help you release some stress. Eating healthy helps support your mind and body to combat stress as well. Does this mean that you need to be perfect 24/7? No. But, if this is a constant excuse, it is time to give it up.

  5. "I'm too busy to work out and cook healthy meals."

    Some of the most successful, ridiculously busy people find time to workout and eat healthy. It helps with your stamina and your mental focus. Besides, you can cook meals ahead of time, which saves time during the week. Buy precooked rotisserie chicken and throw a salad with it. This takes almost no time at all.

  6. "I'm too old to be working out, this is just what happens with age."

    Saying that age just makes your body go to hell is a cop-out. It is used waaay too much. If you would like to age well then start working out. No matter what age you are at, you can do this. You think you can't do an intense workout? Fine, do something more mellow. Just do something. You are never too old to start. Some people start training in their 60's or 70's, and wind up doing competitions. Health and fitness is the fountain of youth – use it!

  7. "Exercise is boring."

    Exercise does not need to be boring. There are so many options available to you. Look for something you enjoy. Dance, rock climb, hike, kayak, swim. Do martial arts. The options are endless. If you do not know what you like, then test a bunch of things out until you find what you like.

  8. "I can’t go workout because I need to spend time with my kids."

    Take your kids with you. This will teach them healthy habits from an early age, and gives you quality time them. Get the whole family involved.

  9. "My back hurts, so I can't workout."

    Unless you have a condition which a doctor is telling you not to workout, this is exactly the time to workout. Exercise will help loosen and strengthen your back, so that you will have less future pain.

  10. "I’ve been on my feet enough, so that counts as my exercise."

    If you really have a very physically-demanding job, then this is understandable. Some of us do. But, if you are just standing around or doing light walking throughout your day, then you are not really getting a workout. We are encouraged to do 10,000 steps a day to maintain shape and stay healthy.

  11. "The gym is expensive."

    There are so many inexpensive gyms now. Some are $10 a month. If that is still too expensive, then go workout outside, or in your own house. You do not need to go to a gym.

  12. "I don't know what to do at the gym."

    Most gyms have trainers that will do a free initial run through with you to get started and show you a basic routine to start with. You can also buy a session from a trainer, once a week or once a month, so that they can give you a routine, and help correct any improper form. If neither of these are an option, then there is a ridiculous amount of information online for exercises to do as well as proper form.

  13. "I don't know how to cook very well."

    There are videos online and classes in most towns that will teach you how to cook. If that is not something you want to do, then just buy the ingredients already done and put them together. There is so much variety of precooked foods now. At the grocery store, you will find precooked chicken, beef, fish, vegetable. You don't even need to know how to cook.

  14. "I don't weight train because I don't want to bulk up."

    This is something that women still think is going to happen to them. This is extremely rare. Most women just get a nice, toned body with curves in all the right places. Besides, being a strong woman is an incredible feeling.



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