I’m great at coming up with ways to wriggle out of commitments that I’ve made to myself. There’s a lot of popular excuses around, especially while the days are still short and dark and Christmas cheer and New Year resolve seems long banished.
Do any of these sound familiar?
“I can’t eat a healthier diet because …”
- I’m too busy to faff around preparing complicated meals
- I don’t like fruits/vegetables/“healthy” food
- I’m on a tight budget and can’t afford to buy diet foods
“I can’t lose weight because …”
- I’ve been fat all my life. How can I expect that to change now?
- I’ll have to buy new clothes
- I’ll be hungry all the time
“I can’t exercise because …”
- I’m too fat and unfit
- I don’t have any time
- I hate exercise and always have done.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing a series of “excuse-busting” articles, showing you how to break through the mindset behind each of those excuses and giving practical tips on storming ahead with your new, healthier, lifestyle.
In the meantime, it’s important to acknowledge those excuses that have held you back in the past. Get a piece of paper and write down any reasons which you use to convince yourself that you don’t want to change, or which make you feel you can’t change.
For example, “I’ve tried diets before and they never work.” That was my excuse as a teenager.
When I was seventeen, I realised why diets had never worked for me: I’d start a new one every Monday then give up and turn to food as soon as I was bored or upset. And I saw dieting as something I should do rather than something I wanted to do.
But I realised I could turn this around. I wanted to lose weight for myself – because I knew I’d be healthier. I wanted to take care of my body by eating proper meals and nutritious food rather than constantly snacking on crisps and chocolate. And this time, I wasn’t expecting instant results. There was nothing wrong with the diets I’d tried before – just my attitude towards them.
Take a good hard look at your excuse. Can you find a way round it? Is it worth letting it hold you back from achieving the best you can for yourself?
All the articles in this series will be labelled “Excuse-busting” (you can click on the link in the side bar to see all the articles in this category).