July 8, 2014

Top 7 Excuses Not to Workout

Being a Fitness Coach, I get to listen to excuses everyday. Excuses of why people can't workout and why people can't eat healthy. I live my life without the word "can't". 

When I started my fitness journey back in 2012, my life was defined by the word "can't". I gave myself a thousand reasons why I couldn't workout and why I couldn't eat healthy. I told myself that I didn't have time, I was too tired, it was too expensive and I told myself I was too overweight to exercise. "Can't" was a word that made me feel good because I thought it justified my excuses. That word made my excuses sound like legitimate reasons. That was all until one day when I realized that my "can't" attitude was holding me back from accomplishing the things that were important to me.

Believe it or not, getting healthy was really important to me. I knew my weight issue was the reason for my unhappiness. I didn't like what I saw in the mirror each morning. One day, I came to the realization that I COULD lose the weight, I was just not ready to give up the lifestyle that came with my weight. Being fat was convenient. I didn't have to cook, I could spend my evenings in front of the TV, I could sleep in, I never had to break a sweat and I loved my junk food. It wasn't that I couldn't lose weight, I just didn't want to do the things necessary in order to do so. I didn't want to spend time at the gym, I didn't want to have to meal prep and eat healthy. See my point? 

"Can't" is just a fuzzy way of saying "I don't want to". It makes us feel better. We use this word as a crutch.

The day I deleted the word "can't" from my vocabulary is the day my life changed.

I CAN do anything I want to do as long as I am willing to work hard for it. I lost 55lbs through clean eating and exercise. Along with that came a lot of time spent in the gym, working out, sweating, meal prepping, grocery shopping, hard work, dedication and tears. Was it easy? Heck no. Was it worth it? Heck YES! This is my new lifestyle and I love it. I will be on my fitness journey for the rest of my life, it never ends. 

Now, as a Fitness Coach, I get to listen to other's excuses all day long. Sometimes I wish I could just shake people and tell them to lose the excuses!!! Of all the reasons why people think they cannot workout, I have never heard a legitimate reason. I have been where these people are at, I know how difficult it is. But, at the same time, I know how amazing life is when you get rid of the excuses and go after the things you want. 

So, I decided to make a list of the Top 7 Excuses I hear most often and give you reasons why you need to lose them.

Top 7 Excuses Not to Workout

1. "I don't have any time"

This is the most common excuse I hear. I get it, you are busy. I am too. Do you think those of us who workout have a lot of extra spare time? So much extra time we feel like we might as well workout? If you do, you are wrong. We are all busy and have a lot going on. But, if getting fit and healthy is important to you, you have to make the time for it. When I hear this excuse, I really hear someone saying, "I am busy and in the spare time I do have, I'd rather do something else than workout". I always tell people, if you have time to scroll through your Facebook newsfeed or watch TV, you also have time to workout. Wake up 30 minutes earlier, go for a walk on your lunch break, take your kiddos to the park, replace the time you watch tv in the evening with a quick workout. 

I work full time as a Marketing Analyst, I work as a Fitness Coach in my spare time, I cook dinner every night for my husband and I, I pack lunches everyday, I run weekly trainings and team meetings, I coach monthly challenge groups and free clean eating groups, I like to watch reality tv at night, I like to spend my extra time with my husband and I am preparing for our sweet baby boy to arrive this fall. You see, I am busy too. I don't technically have time to workout either, but I find it. I will wake up 30 minutes early, I will sneak a quick walk on my lunch break, I will meal prep on the weekends so I don't have to do that after work and I ask my husband for help. My husband isn't an extravagant cook, but he does know how to cook some really great meals - breakfast, GLOP, tacos, chicken, etc. When I know I am going to need to workout in the evenings, he will prep dinner for me and then come workout with me. 

Make exercising something that is a part of your daily routine. You wouldn't skip going to work or eating because you were too busy, you make time for those things. Make working out something that you make time for too.

2. "I am too tired"

I understand there are times when you really do need your rest. For example, when you are sick. But more often than not, this is just an excuse to justify the fact that you don't feel like working out and you would rather lounge on the couch. Find a pre-workout drink you like (My favorite is E&E) or drink a cup of coffee before you workout. Did you know that exercise will actually give you more energy throughout the day? There are a lot of times I feel really tired before a workout, but once I get started, I actually feel more energized.

3. "I've tried, I never see results"

When I was overweight, this was one of my biggest excuses. Even though it took me years to gain the weight, I still expected to see results immediately after one workout. I would give it my all for about three days and then would be so discouraged when I saw no change in my body. So I would quit. After trying a million and one fad diets and weight loss pills, I realized the only way to truly see results was consistent hard work.

You didn't gain 50 pounds overnight so you can't expect to lose it overnight either. And...quitting isn't going to get you any closer to that bikini either. Quitting is the only way to guarantee failure.

Be consistent. If you are working out and eating healthy, I promise you will see results. It might take you a couple months to see noticeable physical results, but that time is going to pass regardless. You will change on the inside before you change on the outside. Pay attention to non-scale victories - How your clothes fit, how you feel, your energy levels, etc. When you feel discouraged, remind yourself why you started your journey to better health. I used to keep notecards with me of my 'whys' (to be able to wear a bikini, to feel good about myself, to prove to myself that I could accomplish what I set out to do, etc) so I could remind myself of why I shouldn't skip my workout and why I shouldn't hit up the drive through.

Work hard and don't give up. In moments of weakness, remind yourself of your 'whys'.

4. "It's boring"

If you think working out is boring, then it just means you haven't found your soul mate workout yet. I would hate working out too if it meant hours on the elliptical everyday. I spice up my workouts daily. Some days I do at home workouts and do T25, PiYo, the 21 Day Fix, P90X, Les Mills Pump or Body Beast. Other days I go to the gym and watch TV while on the treadmill and follow it up with some heavy weight lifting. Find a home workout program that you love, take a class at your local gym, go for a run outside, etc. There are plenty of ways to get in exercise that aren't boring, you just have to find what works best for you! Some people love zoning out and running on the treadmill. For me, that sounds like a punishment. Find different workouts that you enjoy!

Also, spice up your music! Download some new music to your iPod. Find a podcast or audio book that you enjoy listening to. These things will help you take your mind off of the workout itself.

5. "I can't afford it"

I can relate to this one. With a baby on the way, money is tight for us. I don't have a ton of extra money to be throwing around. When it comes to my health, I consider it an investment. I actually don't even have a gym membership. I workout at the gym at the apartment complex we live in and I have invested in home workouts. Home workouts are great because they are like working out with a personal trainer or going to a group workout class at the gym, except you get to keep the workouts forever. Over the years, I have invested in P90X, the 21 Day Fix, PiYo, T25, Les Mills Pump, Hip Hop Abs and Body Beast. I love having a variety of workouts at my fingertips. I can do pilates one day, weight lift the next and then get in some hip hop cardio. I never get bored. If you cannot afford a gym membership, save some money and invest in a program and you can keep. Consider your health an investment.

6. "I am too overweight"

Too embarrassed to go to the gym? I used to feel the same way. In the end, if you let people's assumed judgement hold you back from losing weight, you are really only hurting yourself. We all start somewhere. Just as I mentioned above, there are many alternatives to gym workouts like home workouts and even just walking outside. Just don't use the fact that you are overweight be something that holds you back from getting healthy and fit. We all start somewhere and sitting at home embarrassed of your weight isn't going to help you reach your goals.

For those of you who judge others at the gym - QUIT IT. Gyms should be a judgement free zone. A place where someone can go to work on themselves and feel comfortable doing so. Respect those who are at the gym regardless of their weight or age.

7. "I am a stay at home Mom"

I know my baby boy isn't here yet, so maybe I have no right to even talk about this one. But, I am going to anyways. A lot of the people I coach are moms. When I talk to them about the reasons why they want to get fit and healthy, they usually say they want to be healthy so that they can keep up with their kids and also set a good example for them. At the same time though, I find moms using their children as their reason for why they can't workout. Your children should be a reason, not an excuse.

I have found myself stressing about how I am going to fit in my workouts once Baby B arrives. Will it be difficult? For sure. Will it be impossible? Not at all. It is going to require me to get a little more creative and I will have to manage my time a little bit better. Maybe I will find that I need to workout solely on my lunch breaks at work. Or maybe I will be able to still sneak in my morning workouts, or workout once he falls asleep in the evenings. My workouts will most likely revolve around my sons schedule, but I refuse to let my son be the reason I don't get my workouts in.

Workout while your children nap or after they go to bed. Take them to the park and get in some exercise there. Find a stroller fitness group that you can join. Have your kids join in with your workouts. Find a gym that offers child care.

My point? Don't let your kids become your excuse. Easier said than done, I am sure. Set a good example for them. Kids do what they see.

Excuses are for people who don't want it bad enough. Don't let your excuses hold you back from reaching your goals.



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