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Shackled By Excuses

Posted December 26, 2012 in Altoona, Advice Column, Pleasant Hill

What would stop you from seizing the opportunity of a life time? Too fat. Too old. Too young. Too inflexible. Too injured. Too healthy. Too poor. Too rich. Too stupid. Too smart. Enough already!

It comes down to choice and the consequence of action or excuse. We teach a “No More Excuses” program inside the ladies prison giving tools to overcome excuses and take personal responsibilities. The excuses are numerous. But once in a while you’ll hear someone own up to their choices.

When it comes to sticking with our diet and fitness goals, we make excuses, mostly because we’re not fully committed to what we want to change, so it’s easy for outside influences to distract us from our intended goals. In order to help you to stay on course, here are a few common excuses that need to be “busted.”

Excuse: “I’ll do it tomorrow.”
Excuse buster: Procrastination is the number one dream killer. You need to start right now. Your diet and fitness program needs to be something you can live with forever, not something you put off because it doesn’t happen to be convenient for you. You need to make your diet and fitness convenient and automatic.

Excuse: “It’s useless; my genetics are working against me.”
Excuse buster: You can lose weight. It’s very rare that a person can’t lose weight and get in reasonable shape for his or her body type.

Excuse: Cook dinner? Please! Do you have kids?
Excuse buster: Even if you have no time to buy healthy food and cook at home, you can still make convenience and fast foods work for you. For instance, get menus in advance and figure out what healthy offerings you might enjoy at your favorite restaurant. Or go to the supermarket and buy some tasty, low-calorie frozen dinners. Some of them are delicious. You can also try batch cooking: Pick one day of the week to prepare an entire week’s worth of healthy meals.

Excuse: I only live once, so I might as well enjoy myself just this once.
Excuse buster: Really? The truth is those “one-time” events add up. Some time write down your “special occasions,” and you’ll be shocked at how many you come up with (about 30,000 calories or 8.5 pounds per year). The most important reason to eat right and move more is to improve your quality of life. The more you do for your body, the more your body can do for you.

Excuse: “I’m too old.”
Excuse buster: You’re never too old to start exercising. The research is clear: Exercise will help you live longer, with significantly increased mobility and independence. It has also been shown to improve cognitive function and prevent diabetes — even in old age. Overall, exercise will help to improve your quality of life. Try looking for programs that are specifically for your age group. Also, if you can afford it, hire an experienced and degreed trainer.

Excuse: “I’m too tired.”
Excuse buster: Go to bed earlier. You need seven or eight hours of sleep. Research shows that lack of sleep can cause weight gain by increasing appetite. Also, when you’re tired you’re less likely to be able to make the healthiest food choices.

Also, you may feel lethargic before your workout, but you will feel refreshed and energized afterward. By working out regularly, you will have more energy and feel less lethargic in the long run. I encourage you right now to make a change for the positive. Please don’t be a prisoner to your excuses.

Article by David Charleston, owner/founder, The Orange Planet Athletic Club, 5650 Metro Business Drive, Pleasant Hill,

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