Excuses That Derail Your Fitness Journey (And How to Stop Making Them)
The following is a guest post from Jeremy Scott of jeremyscottfitness.com:
Road blocks, bumps in the road, obstacles, brick walls, reasons, excuses, or whatever you call them - they exist and they get in our way daily in our quest to be healthy and fit. We can choose to let these obstacles derail our progress or we can view them as just another challenge to conquer and learn from them. Every day you sell yourself - you either sell yourself on a reason to achieve your objectives or you sell yourself on an excuse to fall short.
Today I want to share with you some of the biggest excuses I hear and see daily that derail thousands of people from reaching their health and fitness goals. Hopefully breaking down these excuses will allow you to never let them hinder your quest for the healthier happier life.
“I don’t have energy. I’m too tired to workout.”
Who isn’t too tired at times? I know I get tired, but at some point in my early adulthood I realized being tired is just a part of life and you need to deal with it. It doesn’t matter if you work construction all day in the blazing sun or if you answer phones in an air-conditioned cubicle, we all get rundown. There are a few simple fixes for this. The obvious ones are: sleep more and keep a balanced nutrition plan. Easier said than done, I know.
The other major helping point is finding something you are passionate about or enjoy. Exercise is much easier if you are focused on a goal and enjoy the journey to that goal. Many times I have set external goals to keep me motivated - a competition, a photo shoot, or a race date that helps me push through those days I am just dragging.
If you don’t have an external motivator to get you moving, find an activity you love. It could be hiking, swimming, yoga, or joining a basketball, volleyball, or soccer league. Anything that gets you excited to move around. It’s doesn’t have to be weights and cardio every day of the week. Personally, on days when I am “too tired” or lack energy, I pick a workout in the gym I love doing or go shoot some hoops. You would be surprised at how easy working out can be when you enjoy the activity regardless of how tired you may be.
“It’s too hard to get into great shape.”
You are right to a certain extent; it is hard. But thinking it’s too hard makes it seem impossible. The reality is, it’s not “too hard,” you are just being lazy. Battling cancer is hard. Fighting for your life in a foreign country is hard. Getting in shape is nothing in comparison.
Does it take work? Yes, you must be willing to put some time and effort to achieve a body you are happy with. In corporate America you don’t get from mailroom to CEO in four weeks. Fitness is no different. You can’t go from out of shape to great shape in four weeks. Time and effort pay off just like anything in life. Staying motivated by your goals or doing what you love makes this journey that much easier.
“I will start my ‘diet’ on Monday.”
Yeah, the problem with this is Monday seems to never come for these people. On a side note, why is Monday the “magic” start day for all things diet and fitness related? Do people feel, for some reason, this amazing power on Monday that they didn’t feel Sunday to achieve their goals? What are you waiting for? Sitting and waiting until Monday only keeps you fat and unhappy. Sorry, the truth hurts.
There is no time like a present, today is not a dress rehearsal, and you won’t get to do it over again. I urge anyone who is serious about changing their eating habits to start today. It will put you one step closer to your ultimate goal.
“I’ve done everything I can, but still no results.”
My guess is you haven’t done everything. I am almost positive you can try something different: a different strength training program, a different aerobic program, or (my favorite) a different nutrition program. All of these things can be changed and tweaked for various results.
Fitness is a journey. It takes time and effort. I had to do things wrong for years to figure what was right and, more importantly, what was right for me. When life pushes, you need to push back. My advice, ask a professional or, better yet, someone who is where you want to be and see what they did. I bet they have a totally different story and approach than you have taken so far and that may just be the thing to get you over the hump.
“I will never look as good as him/her.”
I will be the first to tell you comparing yourself to others physically is a terrible idea and a never-ending battle you can’t win. Genetically we are all given different cards to play. You can’t control anyone else, just focus on being the best you can be. So what if they look better than you? If you want what you think they have, then you have to go out and get it. Some people might be gifted with certain things you didn’t get. That’s life, but it doesn’t mean with hard work you can’t have those things, too. Last time I checked, hard work and dedication were earned, not inherited. You just need to focus on you instead of them.
The truth is we don’t know how hard other people work to get their bodies and that shouldn’t be a concern to us. At the end of the day you control you, what you eat, and how hard you work, and in my experience if you really want something bad enough you can get it. If you are willing to work for it.
These are just observations and things I have heard over the years in the fitness business, from more people than I can count. As you can see, these are all self-inflicted issues that people let cripple or slow down their progress. My best advice is never make excuses for anything. Simply accept the things you can’t control and do everything possible to improve on the things you can.
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.