Since getting healthy and fit, it feels like the excuses I used to make for not exercising and eating right have fallen like dominoes. I had a lot of excuses. Here are among some of my most-used and favorites from days gone by.
Why eat healthy if you can’t enjoy life? I used to believe that the only way I could enjoy life was through food. This is laughably dumb on many levels. I was looking at life through the eyes of an obese man who couldn’t enjoy many other activities requiring mobility and fitness, so its easy to see how my view was so myopic.
A life without delicious food is a life not worth living. This is a good one, too. I mistakenly thought that healthy food was not delicious or filling. I’ve learned so much in the past 20 months, and the main thing is that most of the foods I find to be the most delicious are actually pretty healthy. Sure, pizza, hot dogs, and cake aren’t among the healthiest of foods, but there are often Paleo analogues that are close to being as tasty (or in the case of cake and chocolate chip cookies, even better than the originals!). I eat lots of tasty food, and honestly, the stuff I can’t eat isn’t missed.
I can’t exercise because I’m too heavy. This one was actually true. My doctor was very adamant about the fact that my joints, muscles, and more importantly, my heart was not up to the task of exercising. That leads me to an important point: not all excuses are fake. In this case, I was too heavy to exercise. The only way I was able to start exercising was to lose 100 lbs. When I lost 110 lbs, I started running. I’ve lost 40 lbs more since then, but the weight loss was due to me sticking to my diet. What I’ve gained through running and push ups is strength, stamina, and better heart health.
I could never give up foods with sugar. I remember a good friend of mine and his wife did a sugar detox. I remember when he told me, I told him, “I’m glad my wife isn’t making me do anything that stupid.” Less than a year later, I asked Sherry to do a Whole30 with me. Adapting to a life without sugar has been one of the most liberating experiences of my life, and I don’t ever want to go back to eating foods with added-sugar in them. I feel so much more energetic, I’m free of cravings, and I’m much healthier because of it. Besides, foods with fats are just as tasty, if not tastier than foods with added-sugar.
I hate exercise. I won’t do it. This was a very true statement, but I used this as a crutch to keep from even trying. Sure, I had doctor’s orders to not exercise when I was at my heaviest, but even as I lost 100 lbs, I would tell people that I wasn’t going to do any exercise. Once I decided to join the National Guard, it became apparent to me that I needed exercise to make my plan a reality. After running for a few days, I decided that I needed to start enjoying my runs and to like exercise or I was in for many years of drudgery. I am fortunate that my mind hack worked, and I can honestly say that I enjoy exercise now. Sure, there are still days when I don’t feel up to it, but typically, once I get started things just fall into place. I always feel better after every session, and sometimes, I cling to that when I don’t want to get started.
And the list could go on, but I think you get the message. We all have excuses. All it takes is to tip one of them and the rest will come crashing down behind them.