As part of the Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation pre-season, one of the tasks is to have a good hard look at yourself and identify and call some of the excuses that you've been using for not eating well, not exercising, generally not looking after yourself. This calls for some brutal honesty after some soul searching.... I have pondered on this for days, especially because I realise that once I've identified one of my excuses I can no longer use it as an excuse......!
I have come up with a list of excuses I have had on pretty high rotation for a while now:
1. Jane, you're too fat to ever make a difference, so you might as well just enjoy yourself. (yes, I honestly think like this and use it as an excuse to eat what i like)
2. Jane, you can't do it because you're too lazy and, frankly, you're a bit dumb. (yep, I think like this sometimes too. Amazing isn't it - you'd never talk to your kids or your friends or loved ones like that, and yet some of us have this as part of our self talk).
3. It's too hard. I have never 'succeeded' before, why would this time be any different?
4. I'll never look any good anyway even if I do lose weight.
5. I will have to give up so much, I will never enjoy myself,
6. I am a working mum with 2 kids so I don't have time to eat well and exercise hard regularly.
7. This is the LAST time I'm going to do this (usually involves Milo) or eat this so I might as well go for it.
Any fans of cognitive behaviour therapy will recognise that these thoughts need to be challenged and held up against reality. (Also it's quite Biblical - checking out whether our thoughts are really truth.) And, guess what, when I look at these excuses closely, they are a load of absolute bollocks!!
So here are my responses to my favourite excuses above:
1. Nonsense! Any reduction in weight will improve your health and, anyway, how much are you really enjoying yourself as you eat whatever and look and feel like the side of a house
2. I know I'm not lazy. i work hard and I do my best. I am well organised. So naff off and don't be mean to me again thanks very much.
3. "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent." So said a long ago US President Calvin Coolidge who must have been quite a wise chappy despite being a Republican. You really only fail when you give up trying.
4. You will not be a 20 year old again, but you will certainly look better than you do now.
5. I will have to forgo certain things - and certainly obscene quantities - however, the payoffs promise to be far more rewarding. They may just be worth the sacrifice. I'm prepared to find out.
6. The old hoary chesnut about not having enough time is just not holding water (sounds like a mixed metaphor, but you know what I mean). I can make time, I will make exercise time part of each day, even if it is in two short blocks rather than one longer block of time. Organisation to ensure that there is healthy food available at all times will also help me overcome this excuse.
7. Clearly I've been lying through my teeth to myself with this one and I just have to call it and say 'Jane, you're so busted on this. Step away from the tin of milo.'
There are other excuses too like it's too hot, it's too cold, i'm too tired but these don't seem to bother me as much. The excuses I am really focussed on are the ones in my head.
Here is another blog post regarding fitness excuses and how to bust them, which may be interesting:
So that's my excuses out in the open and how I am committing to dealing with them over the coming months.