Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 29: Excuses are Like Assholes

If I had a dollar for everytime I've heard the expression "excuses are like assholes, everyone's got one" then I'd be one rich lady!! Before the challenge started, I'd spent almost 10 years coming up with every excuse in the book as to why I couldn't diet or lose weight. "Who has the time for exercise?", "I can't afford to eat healthier - it's too expensive", and my favorite "it's too much hassle counting calories". There's more truth to the "excuses are like assholes" tale than many may believe - it seems the more excuses I made for myself, the bigger my ass got!!

Excuses are people's way of reasoning with themselves that there are valid reasons as to why they don't do something - it doesn't just pertain to weight loss, but every chore or unlikable thing with life. But, it's amazing, that when push comes to shove, how lame the excuses really are. Today I'm going to battle the excuses that I hear all to often, and the ones I used myself.

A quick intro.... I am a mother of 3 children, I am a full time student, I work part-time, and I own my own photography business. I also blog, coach little league softball, and attend all of the sporting events and school functions that my kids are involved in. I also have to find the time to do the grocery shopping, clean house, and do laundry. PLUS, there are several shows on each week that I try to watch. I lead a very busy life - and I LOVE it!! Ok, so now lets get to the excuses:

"There are not enough hours in the day for me to workout or go to the gym"
Now, this is the one I used most often before my challenge started. With just a quick explanation of my life - many could understand my problems when it came to exercising. People often say, just get up an hour earlier every day. HAHAHAHA!! Please!! I go to bed, if I'm lucky around midnight - and up at 6:30 with a toddler...I'm not about to cut into the little sleep that I do get. So, how did I manage to find time?? Well, I bought a treadmill and a home gym system. There really wasn't time for me to travel to a gym - so I brought the gym to my home. I work outside of my home 2 days a week, but I find at least 30 minutes the other 5 days a week to jump on the treadmill. I do it when my toddler takes her nap. The other two kids are old enough to fend for themselves for 45 minutes while I work out. If you run thru your normal day - every single person could find 15-30 minutes to do some kind of exercise. If you watch TV for an hour at night, if you get online to check email 5 times a day, or if you take 10 minutes every couple of hours to step outside for a smoke...YOU HAVE TIME!! Another great accessory I use is my Wii. I have the Wii Fit and the Personal Trainer. The Wii offers a fun option for exercising - and if you're competitive in nature (like me) you'll find yourself working out a lot more just trying to beat your score each time.

"I just don't have the motivation to work out"
Again, another of my favorite excuses. I was always so worn out every day from my hectic life - I just didn't have the motivation to exercise. Then school got out for the summer, and for 5 days a week I've been at home with a 9 year old and an 8 year old that fight ALL THE TIME!! The first day I spent on the treadmill with my radio blasting for 30 minutes, I just didn't want to stop. I was so frustrated when I started, but the workout helped relieve the built up stress - and it stopped me from strangling my kids!! For all of those that don't have kids - or motivation - I'd be happy to send them to you for an hour...yes, just one hour would be all you need before you're screaming for some kind of stress reliever!! Seriously, though, everyone has stress in their life. If you use the excuse "I don't have the motivation" just force yourself to do some kind of exercise for just 15 minutes one day. You'd be so surprised how energized and stress free you feel after it's done. It will then motivate you to do it more often.

"It's too expensive to eat healthier"
You got me with this one. My grocery bill has increased somewhat since I've started eating healthier. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that you should be eating less when you start eating healthier. Think about how much money you spend on soda, unhealthy snacks, etc. Now, pool that money and spend it on healthier foods and you will somewhat break even. Just cause you want to eat healthier doesn't mean you have to go "all organic" like the big hype is nowadays. Don't buy bottled water!! Buy a filter, it's much cheaper. By smaller amounts of stuff. If you're a monthly grocery shopper - start going more frequantly. One good way to do this is plan your meals. Also, don't buy unhealthy junk for the rest of the household and then spend extra on healthy stuff for yourself. It doesn't hurt to get the rest of the household eating healthier. If your a smoker or the occasional drinker - think how much you spend on that each week!! Cutting down on those things and using that money for a much healthier diet pays off more than you know!!

"I hate counting calories every time I want to eat something"
Then don't!! If you plan accordingly, you can do all your counting at once. What I've done is do estimating. I try to allot approximately 300 calories for each meal, and then a couple of hundred calories (broken up) into snacks. Another easy thing to do - just to get you started - is to take whatever you ate before and cut it in half. Use a smaller plate, use veggies as a side dish rather than mac & cheese or french fries.

"I want to lose weight - but I don't want to spend the whole time eating rabbit food"
Just because you're trying to lose weight and eat healthier doesn't mean you have to eat salad and veggies 3 meals a day. Eat what you want, but try to avoid fried foods. I still eat pasta, bread, etc. The only change I've made is to eat whole grain versions. I avoid white flour, sugar, etc and eat multi grain or whole grain versions. They are much better for you, taste just as good (in my opinion) and are much better carb servings than white options.

"I have no willpower - I do good for a couple of days and then I'm grabbing at the nearest bag of chips of candy bar"
You won't kick these habits until you force yourself too. Just like any bad habit, it takes time - and willpower. I found alternatives to help with my cravings. Before the challenge started, I was a MAJOR chocoholic. I couldn't go one day without some kind of chocolate. I can honestly say I have gone 29 days without a single piece of candy or chocolate. How? you ask. I found things to take the place of these cravings. Here's a couple of my replacements to my fav junk food:

Potato chips: I slice up some cucumber, sprinkle just a hint of salt - and ta da!! I have potato chip craving gone!! On occasion, I sprinkle over some kind of seasoning - calorie free - to give the cucumber a more robust flavor.

Late night sweet tooth: I get the urge almost every night for something sweet. That's usually when I'd grab some form of chocolate. Now, a bowl of grapes does the trick. I eat about a half a cup of grapes, or I eat a peach, or some other really sweet fruit. It really helps kick the sweet tooth!!

Ice-Cream: I'm lucky when it comes to this one, cause I'm not a big ice-cream eater. Although, there's nothing better on a hot summer night than a nice bowl of ice-cream. This one is super easy. I buy low calorie frozen yogurt or sorbet instead. It gives me the satisfaction of the frozen creamy goodness - but with much less fat and calories.

Fast Food: I used to be so guilty about eating A LOT of fast food. Mostly for convinience when I was out running around in my busy, busy life. If you work and frequant fast food places for lunch - TAKE YOUR LUNCH!! I hear the excuse now "I don't have time in the morning to get my lunch ready"..LOL Well, then do it at night. Pack your lunch at night, right after you do the dishes or get the kids in bed. It's cheaper and healthier. If that just doesn't work for you - most fast food places are offering healthier options now, but taking your lunch is still the best way to go.

So, there's some of the major ones. If you can think of more - and wanna try and stump me, give me your best shot!! I've got answers, just like you got excuses!! Remember, I got one huge ass that came from all those excuses - and I've managed to find my way around about every one of them!!

Till next time ;)

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