There always seems to be a reason we give ourselves for not starting down the path to health and fitness. When we rationalize these things to ourselves, they make perfect sense, and let us off the hook for not getting started, or maintaining our health. Since we are our own harshest judges, we must come up with some convincing arguments to get the judge to let us go without punishment. It doesn’t always work, but at least it gets the judge off our backs until the next time. Here are some of those arguments, and reasons the judge shouldn’t let you off the hook. It’s hard to conquer your can’t, but until you do you’ll never get back on that path to health and fitness. Tell the judge not to let you off the hook this time.
“I can’t get healthy or exercise because…”
“…it’s just a crazy time in my life right now” – Life is always crazy. That’s normal. Accept your life the way it is and figure out how to work in a healthy lifestyle into your version of crazy. It’s not an all or nothing proposition. Every little bit helps, so start somewhere, anywhere, just start.
“…I’ve got a knee/hip/shoulder injury.” – Who doesn’t. How does that stop you from eating healthier? Eat healthy and learn to work the parts of the body that aren’t injured, but keeping the body moving is critical to maintaining health.
“…I’m travelling a lot for work.” – Use hotels that have a decent gym. Rubber bands, body weight workouts. Travelling isn’t a reason to not maintain a healthy diet or to exercise, it’s just another challenge to work around.
“…I don’t live close enough to a gym/can’t afford a gym/don’t own equipment.” – You don’t need a gym. There are plenty of body weight routines available on the internet. Kettlebells, sand bags, slosh pipes, used tires, sledgehammers, these are just a few of the relatively inexpensive workout implements you can use to get great workouts at home. I’ve made plenty of my own workout implements over the years to know you can make your own stuff pretty inexpensively.
“…I’ve got family coming for the holidays and need to clean/shop/cook.” The holidays come at the same time every year so they cannot surprise you. Your friends and relatives can survive without your attention for a little while so you can take care of yourself.
“…this is a busy season for me at work.” It’s okay to taper down your normal exercise routine, but don’t just stop altogether. It’s incredibly hard to restart once you’ve completely stopped. Plus, working out can help alleviate stress during a busy time at work. Don’t use food to help alleviate that stress during a busy time at work, use exercise.
“…it’s just too hard to get in shape and stay healthy.” Raising a child is really hard, I’ve done it twice. There are lots of things in life that are really hard, yet we do them because we know the reward at the end is worth the trials and tribulations. The really hard part is getting started. Just get started and don’t look back.
“I can’t eat healthy because…”
“…my kids/wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend will not eat healthy foods.” Yeah, this is a tough one. We all have those folks in our life that might not want to participate in your efforts to eat healthier and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Let them understand that by taking care of yourself by getting and staying healthy, you will be a better father/husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend. Don’t force them to eat the way you do, or exercise with you, but when they see your success they’ll probably be asking to participate.
“…I don’t know how to cook.” Then learn. It’s a critical adulting skill. Healthy cooking doesn’t require a chef’s training. Google University has plenty of videos and recipes to help you get started. Just jump in, and realize that you’ll make a mistake here and there, and that’s okay. You’ll figure out what you like and how to cook it, and you might have some fun along the way.
“…I hate vegetables/fruit/plain water” Don’t force yourself to eat things you don’t like just because you think they’re healthy, but understand that this is always a learned response, and it can change. Humans never naturally hate things that sustains , it’s a learned response. You may have had a bad experience with a certain food once in your life, and now you can’t even think about that food without having a negative response. So don’t give up on healthy eating. Go find a vegetable or fruit that you do like—or at least don’t hate—and start there. And, this is really important, keep trying new and different things. We try a healthy food once and if we don’t like it, we never have it again. I’ve learned through my cooking experiences that there are many ways to prepare food that can change the way it tastes. Figure out different ways to prepare foods and you may find that some foods you thought you hated aren’t so bad.
“…I love chocolate, wine (absolutely not a health food), doughnuts, ice cream, pizza etc., too much.” Being healthy doesn’t mean you’re entering a monastery and living the life of monk. Indulging your bacchanalian side occasionally is not only okay, it’s healthy. It’s when you’re consuming those things on a daily basis, or as a part of your regular diet that they can have their cumulative negative effect on your health. So indulge every once in awhile, just don’t let these things become habit.