reasons I hear from people as to why they aren’t able to make their health a priority. I’ve thought about my excuses and what helped
*me* find my motivation and wanted to share in hopes it may work for you as
2. My goal is intimidating. Ok, so you have to start somewhere. If your goal is stressing you out, make mini-goals. Total of 100lbs to lose, break it up into 25lb increments. Or even 10lb increments! My best advice is to start with a small goal so that it is more manageable. And, once you reach that goal (because I know you can do it!) you will be so thrilled that you will be motivated to continue. As humans we need quick satisfaction, the sooner you feel like you’re accomplishing something the better for your long term goal, you are less likely to give up. Focus on the short term, don’t stress about long term.
3. My family/friends are not on board. First, family, when it came to making time to workout, I told my husband why it was important to me, what my goals were and what I planned to do to reach them. He was supportive. Asking our spouses to give us a half hour a day to exercise or to try some new foods we cook, really isn’t asking that much, is it? Better yet, get them involved! Why not everyone go for a walk on a local trail, go for a bike ride, play kick ball, basketball or in the summer go swimming. If the weather is yucky, places like AirTime Trampoline let paying adults jump as well, it’s a fantastic work out! Laser Tag can also get your heart rate up or play an interactive game on the Wii like Dance Dance Revolution.
Friends- I suggest surrounding yourself with positive people! People who understand why you want this change for the better and who will support you, not criticize or try to sabotage. Talk to friends and find someone who may like to come over to do pilates, go for a run or join a Zumba class. Everything is much more fun with a friend. Ask friends to check in with you to keep you accountable.
4. I don’t have the energy. I was surprised to find out when I started exercising, that I had way more energy after working out than I did before starting. As well as on days I exercised vs. days I took as rest days. Energy creates more energy! If you are still tired, you might need to look at your sleep habits, 6-8 hours a night is the recommendation.
5. I hate cardio. I get it, I used to as well! I hated sweating and I hated running. Guess what? One day I thought about how great it was for me and I started Couch to 5K. 5 years later, I’m currently 4 weeks out from my first marathon! Ok, ok, so running and cardio is NOT for everyone, I’ll be realistic. But, what is important here is that you find something YOU enjoy. Whether that be pilates, biking, swimming, weight lifting, a spin class, boxing, yoga, hiking, volley ball, dancing…the list goes on. Try something and if you don’t like it, try something else. I do know that if you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you won’t stick to it. That’s maybe the most important point here, you have to find something you enjoy doing. Because the goal is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.
6. I have no one to watch my kids. Can your kids play on their own for 30 minutes or watch a favorite TV show for that long? I know mine did. Especially once they got used to the routine that mommy exercises each morning for a half hour. Even better, some mornings the kids worked out with me! My boys love to do push ups and jumping jacks. If it’s a nice day we can ride bikes, play soccer, go for a jog or walk. If it’s not a nice day and I’m feeling down, dancing to some music always puts us all in a good mood.
7. Gym hours don’t work with my schedule and/or the gym is too expensive. Who says you need a gym? I started with Jillian Michaels DVD’s that I did in my living room while my baby was in the exersaucer. $10 for the 30 Day Shred which has 3 workout routines on it, you can’t beat that! If you have some sort of program you can do at home, you really limit your excuses as to why you can’t make it work with your schedule. And if you don’t have even $10 to put towards a program, there are a lot of free workouts available on places like Fitnessblender.com, You Tube or even check out your local library’s selection.
8. Not seeing the scale move. There are a lot of ways to measure success besides the scale. Are you feeling better, do you have more energy, are your pants loose? Is your digestion better, skin clearer? There are a lot of things that exercise and better nutrition does for us. Don’t get discouraged if the scale stays the same initially or from time to time, slow and steady lifestyle changes turn into habits. Your goal is to be healthier for LIFE, not for bathing suit season. Reaching your goal in 6 months vs. 3 months is still reaching your goal. Enjoy the journey.
9. I’m limited in what I can do, my knees are bad, I have asthma, I can’t do a burpee etc. There are actually a lot of people who do have legitimate health issues or concerns when it comes to starting a workout program. You may not be able to do burpee’s or run a mile, but start where you can! Go for a walk, try yoga or pilates which are low impact. There really are lots of options out there for anyone.
10. Need motivation in general? This January I started a workout tip jar, every day I exercise I put in $1 and on days I do double digit long runs I put in $5. I have $200 currently that I can spend on myself (feeling guilt free) while on vacation this year; sometimes money can be a great motivator!
With all that said, most importantly, you have to WANT it. Plain and simple, you have to want to get healthy more than a doughnut in the break room, more than sitting on the couch relaxing and more than staying out late with friends at the bar. That’s not to say you can’t have those things, but you need a good balance. And most days, you will have to choose wanting to be healthy, over those things. Why? Because you’ll have to get up early, you’ll have to squeeze in time where you can to workout, you’ll have to meal plan to some extent and you’ll have to not out-do your exercise by what you put in your mouth. You may even need to justify to friends and family why these changes are important to you and why you are making it a priority. Not everyone will support you or understand, unfortunately I’ve come to learn that myself. You won’t likely get kudos when you order a salad and everyone else gets a burger. But you’re not in it for everyone else, you’re in it for YOU, so remember that.
So do you want it? Do you want to be healthy and feel good? Do you want to set a better example for your children? Believe me when I say that I understand and have struggled myself. I’m not saying it’s easy by any means when I get up at 5:30 am or when I have to decline an glass of wine or avoid a piece of cake at a party, but what I can say, is that it’s been 100% completely worth it!
Theresa is a wife and stay at home mother of 2 boys, David (13) and Aiden (10). Her hobbies include traveling, reading, running, cooking and volunteering at MI Humane Society with the adoptable cats. She also spends her free time serving as PTO President at her son’s elementary school. She enjoys being active and is proud to have completed 4 marathons. She loves to share her passion for health and fitness with others.