Oh, the excuses!

I’m sick
I had the flu
I have a cold
I feel yucky
Exercise hurts my joints
I don’t like to sweat, how can I exercise without sweating?
I’m alway so out of breath when I run, it really hurts
I twisted my ankle
I got busy
Work is hectic
I have kids and no time
It’s the holiday’s
I’m too busy to make one meal for me and another for my family.
It just takes too much time
I don’t have any energy

These are just some of the excuses for not getting in shape that I have read online, heard from family and friends, or (and, yes I’m ashamed to admit it) used myself.

When did we get this idea the exercise and healthy eating are things that you do if you are already healthy? That, those of us trying to get healthy need a break from getting healthy when one of the above kicks in.

Shouldn’t it be the exact opposite… “I’m ssssiiiiccckkkk…. I need better food!”

What is an excuse?

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) – Cite This Source – Share This
ex·cuse [v. ik-skyooz; n. ik-skyoos] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation verb, -cused, -cus·ing, noun
–verb (used with object)
1. to regard or judge with forgiveness or indulgence; pardon or forgive; overlook (a fault, error, etc.): Excuse his bad manners.
2. to offer an apology for; seek to remove the blame of: He excused his absence by saying that he was ill.
3. to serve as an apology or justification for; justify: Ignorance of the law excuses no one.
4. to release from an obligation or duty: to be excused from jury duty.
5. to seek or obtain exemption or release for (oneself): to excuse oneself from a meeting.
6. to refrain from exacting; remit; dispense with: to excuse a debt.
7. to allow (someone) to leave: If you’ll excuse me, I have to make a telephone call.
8. an explanation offered as a reason for being excused; a plea offered in extenuation of a fault or for release from an obligation, promise, etc.: His excuse for being late was unacceptable.
9. a ground or reason for excusing or being excused: Ignorance is no excuse.
10. the act of excusing someone or something.
11. a pretext or subterfuge: He uses his poor health as an excuse for evading all responsibility.
12. an inferior or inadequate specimen of something specified: That coward is barely an excuse for a man. Her latest effort is a poor excuse for a novel.

The common theme seems to be to remove responsibility or obligation. In the context of changing from a unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one what does this mean?

There is a billion dollar industry out there telling all of us, many times a day, that it is not our fault we are not healthy, it is not our fault we are overweight. If we just used their gym, had their fitness machine, took their diet pill / diet shake then we would be healthy.

Weight loss is sold in easy to digest, bit sized sound bites focused on loosing the most pounds in the least time. If we can loose 12 lbs in 7 days then there is an end to this diet, and end to this healthy eating nonesense. Health and healthy living become a consumable product that we buy consume and then move on with our lives.

If we could just drink the shake for long enough, take the diet pill for long enough, had enough money and time for the gym membership then we would be healthy… but life got in the way… we can buy that tomorrow.

Our excuses, our removal of responsibility is simply another example of dieters buying into the billion dollar diet industry. Treating our health and our bodies as products to be consumed, to be shaped and manipulated by outside forces.

Think about this: would you give control of your body to someone else? Let someone decide what you wear, where you go, who you have sex with? No, probably not, and that seems like an extreme comparison for the diet industry, but is it?

When we believe the diet industry we believe that our goals are numbers not health, thin not fit. We are letting an industry tell us how to define our own body identity. Then we take it further and let them control how we act to try to obtain that image of identity, even when we intuitively know that it will not work. This is insanity.

There is a phenomenal amount of information, studies and research out there that prove the benefits of healthy eating and exercise. The improved energy, the sense of accomplishment, and even positive mood changes. But, you don’t have to read the studies to find this out for yourself. If you can exercise and eat well for even a short amount of time, maybe a week or a month you will feel it for yourself.

Every time I think of saying I can’t because __________. I need to turn it around and say this is why I need to be healthy.

When I make healthy choices:

I get sick (MUCH) less
I haven’t had a flu/cold in a year (and I used to get them every other month!)
I feel good
My joints hurt less
I feel gross if I don’t work up a good sweat regularly
I can run further
I may get injuries, but they feel manageable.
I have energy to take on more in my busy schedule.
I feel a sense of accomplishment like I can handle anything that comes my way.
I have more time to spend doing fun things with my family.
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends during the holiday’s, and they are here to see me, not me stuff my face.
I have introduced my family to LOTS of new foods they really enjoy and are now creating their own.
It saves me so much time.
I have so much more energy.


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