Getting to grips with your own excuses!


There are so many of us who have great intentions to start using the gym, eating more healthily and to change our lifestyles for the better.

We begin an exercise plan with great intentions; to feel better, feel fitter, to improve our lives by eating a better diet and making sure we do right by ourselves. A bout of inspiration usually does it, after a conversation with someone or watching TV or perhaps the feeling that we need to do something differently. But then the excuses start to seep in.

Some of the common excuses that we all tell ourselves;

  • The results will take a long time to come so what’s the point?
  • I cannot commit to this regime.
  • I had good intentions but I am not ready.
  • My friends and family think I am mad.
  • I can’t afford gym membership.
  • I just can’t be bothered.

Once all of the above have set in, then it’s back to square one. Do we start it all over again? Or do we strive and try to move forward and begin making these changes?

Once we’ve passed that difficult stage, usually about four to six weeks then we notice the results and really enjoy them. It doesn’t take that long to get results and to start feeling better. It will be noticed in every part of your life.

You will sleep better, you will be in a better mood, you will function better on a day to day basis. There is an element of vanity about us and being body conscious is something we are all accustomed to.

The same goes for diet.
We aim to eat a better diet and to be great in the kitchen. We start with big aims and then all of a sudden,  if something tempting is presented to us, we falter. Is it us being weak and our willpower failing or are we just kidding ourselves? We need to be strong-minded to break passed this phase, like with anything we do or take on, it takes a little commitment.

We all know we need to exercise and we all know we need to eat well at least eighty percent of the time but sometimes we cannot help ourselves!  As a sedentary nation we should move regularly for at least half hour per day to reduce our risk of heart disease, stroke and other related illnesses. It also helps our mental health too.

At what point does our inner voice take over and we begin to think ‘Can I be bothered?’ I find this rather fascinating the way people have great enthusiasm and then suddenly it stops. January is always busy in the gym with everyone feeling really enthused to get their weight down. But then weeks pass and the numbers dwindle. What happens to that enthusiasm?

It takes commitment.
Commitment may not be an easy thing to stick to, but if we keep going and keep eating well, then the results will come for sure!  I believe that we are susceptible to giving up on things that are proving to be too hard, because we are fearful of massive change. It is easier to stay where we are than to change things. It makes more sense to keep doing the things that are familiar to us. Ask anyone this question and we all know that familiarity is safe. I know only too well of my many years working in mental health and addictions.

Change is scary!
We strive to do the best for ourselves and our intentions are generally always positive, but once the real work needs to begin we tend to shy away and think of an excuse to not do it. Change is hard work, but it can also be very positive. It needs to be gradual for us to cope with it. Small changes and tiny steps are the best ways to avoid unnecessary stress.

It also pays to focus on ourselves and our own limits. If we feel pressured by others, this can be a hindrance. Follow your own path. Be methodical and be mindful about how you exercise and eat. This is your journey and you’re always in control. Make the first step today – you can do it, we know you can.

Thanks to Rosalia Barresi for this feature article on keeping a positive mindset.