Diet and exercise excuses are part of life. In fact, they are life. It’s true, sometimes we indulge or extra sugar or lie on the couch because we feel lazy. But a lot of the time legitimate, human excuses are the reasons why we have that extra glass of wine or skip a workout.
We believe that excuses are okay, and forgiving yourself for your slip-up is crucial for moving forward. Dr Jenny Brockis talks us through two common excuses and why they’re acceptable. Plus she explains how we should handle them to reach our goals.
Excuse Number One: I don’t have the time
We’re all busy, in fact, it’s the new norm. To not be busy makes you different, a little weird perhaps. People find it hard to imagine and ask, “Is anything wrong?”
Being a fully paid up member of the super busy club affords you a number of privileges including,
- A free pass to validate getting take-out yet again.
- The perfect justification for not getting to your exercise class this week, last week or anytime over the previous month.
- The socially acceptable reason you didn’t reach any of your goals because your boss asked you to take on a couple of extra tasks meaning more hours spent at work.
The problem is this membership entrenches the idea that time is in short supply, and that work and other commitments always take priority over your self-care, health and happiness.
Time poverty is an illusion
When last checked, the earth was still spinning at the same speed and we do have 24 hours available to us in any given day. The truth is we all have enough time, it’s how we choose to use it and what value we ascribe to our own needs and goals.
The more time we have, we more we fill it with other things.
You may have noticed that for any task it doesn’t really matter how much time you have because you will always fill it. Giving yourself a deadline forces you to stop sooner, giving your brain a chance to restore and re-energise.
Technology makes time go faster
Studies have shown how being engaged with our technology creates the impression that time is passing too quickly adding to the illusion of time poverty and raising stress levels. It’s harder to be logical and rational about how to make the best use of our time if you’re feeling pressured and panicky.
Put ‘Me’ Time in the diary
If it’s in the diary it’s more likely to happen, especially if you attach a reminder to it. This is about making a promise to yourself that these appointments are just as important as all the others, if not more so. Working with an accountability buddy can help here too.
It’s not about scheduling weekly massages and facials, rather it could be time to spend playing with your kids, time to catch up with a friend you haven’t seen for ages or time to just chill out and relax with a cup of coffee in your backyard without any interruptions.
When you feel more rested and less time poor, it’s far easier to plan and take action on what you’ve identified will help you achieve your health and wellbeing goals.
Need ‘me’ time inspiration? See our self-care suggestions here!
Excuse Number Two: I’m too tired
Are you tired of feeling tired all the time, and just wish you could find a little more energy?
Fatigue is a huge motivation zapper. Rationally you know being healthier is a great goal to aim for, but getting there when you’re permanently exhausted is hard. In fact, everything gets harder when we’re tired.
Fatigue is one of the commonest presentation complaints we bring to a Doctor’s appointment. There’s a lot of it about.
Why? There are a multitude of reasons, but commonly our choice of lifestyle compounds the problem.
When tired, we make things worse by reaching out for those foods we hope will provide an energy boost but paradoxically often make us feel worse, we avoid exercise because we just don’t feel up to it and we lean on those crutches of having an extra glass of wine or three with dinner, or slump in front of some brain dead T.V. or binge on the latest Netflix series.
Fighting fatigue starts with three things
- Do a reality check on how you’re currently doing. This includes checking in on how many hours of good quality uninterrupted sleep you get each night, perhaps keeping a food diary to see what you are eating and drinking, asking yourself whether you’re doing enough exercise to meet the minimum requirement of 150 minutes of aerobic, huffy-puffy exercise each week and how well you’re doing at managing your current stress levels.
- Decide what needs to be addressed first and look to introduce one small change at a time that can be easily incorporated into your existing schedule, and build on from there.
- Measure your progress. This is about scoring yourself initially to provide a baseline for future comparison and checking in on a weekly or fortnightly basis to see what’s working well, what isn’t and what you can do to help push things in the right direction. Feeling change happening even it’s a small improvement is hugely motivating and makes it easier to keep on track. Sharing all your wins achieves the same thing, so shout it from the rooftops!
The solution to fatigue
Dealing with fatigue is exhausting and left unchecked means you may have forgotten what it feels like not to be tired. Introducing change even when it’s positive is always going to be easier when you feel you have the energy that boosts your mood, willpower and confidence to achieve your goals.
The solution to overcoming fatigue starts with including healthier food choices, including more physical activity every day, getting enough sleep and stressing less.
Next time you have one of these excuses floating around, take it as a sign that you’re only human. If you’re truly time poor or fatigued, the cure starts with giving yourself a rest. This will help you gain the energy and resolve to get back to hitting your weight loss goals!
Have you ever struggled with these diet and exercise excuses? How do you overcome them? Let us know in the comments below.