When I started my fitness journey, I had just about every excuse going. It was a bizarre conundrum of my mind flittering between let’s be healthy and I don’t want to! To summarise; these were my most common thoughts and how I managed to tackle them.
Photos are of the beautiful @_carlyoga
The excuse: “I have already eaten badly today, I may as well continue until tomorrow or next week”
Tackle: I am neither a dietician, nutritionist or personal trainer, but I am confident that your body does not cancel out food because you decided that your diet can wait. All you are doing is adding mess to an already messy environment. It is like saying – I will continue to pile up plates in the sink as there are already plates in there.
Firstly, change your mindset. If you are going to indulge – indulge. Do not guilt trip yourself or start electing ‘healthy days’. Creating a healthy lifestyle means balance. For me, I took a step back and said ok – I am going out for dinner tonight and I will want dessert, so let’s eat a nutritional breakfast and lunch and then enjoy myself when I am out. Another way, is to set a proportion limit; I want to treat myself without going too far, so instead of drinking 2 glasses of wine, cake and bread for an appetiser, I will drink 1 glass of wine, bread and halve the dessert. Allowing baby-steps really shaped my transformation.
The excuse: “I am too tired to exercise and I don’t have enough time”
Tackle: This is a tough excuse because it varies for each individual. When I was working really long hours and commuting, I would look for time in between waiting. If my food had 20 mins of cooking in the oven, that was 20 mins to do a quick workout. If I had not recorded a program and waited through adverts, that was 5 mins of stretching.
One thing I love, is waking up an hour early and power walking for a majority of my commute. I am not a morning person, but a few weeks of this and you will notice such a difference. My energy increases, I am less tired and feel more alert. Even if you decide to exit your route a bus or tube stop early; if you tell yourself that your travel involves walking, you will be more likely to implement it through.
Furthermore, countless fitness individuals take immense precaution in planning. You can set out a schedule and write exactly what you will do and for how long. The same can be said for your diet.
The excuse: “I can’t stop eating these chocolates, biscuits, sweets, etc”
Tackle: Out of sight, out of mind!
It is human nature that if a bowl of snacks or treats are presented in front of you, you are far more prone to eat them – even if you had no cravings whatsoever. I have an enormous sweet-tooth and I am the kind of person that will easily munch through a packet of something – virtually for the sake of it.
To combat this, I told myself that whenever I fancied a chocolate bar or ice-cream etc, I would have to walk to my local shops to purchase one. Eventually, I cut down on my daily intake and can now have chocolate around the house without being allured to finish every mouthful. My exception to this is Sunday!
I recommend keeping an eye on when you desire sugar. Notice your habits – are you running to sweet snacks on an empty-stomach, or do you grab them as you watch T.V? See if you can swap these moments for natural sugar alternatives. Placing a bowl of fruit besides you will help to keep you occupied.
My last tip is to research like a scientist. There are thousands of ‘healthy dessert’ recipes out there. Find one’s that are easy for you to make and contain ingredients that are easy to source.
The Excuse: “It is hard to find healthy food and it takes too long to cook”
Tackle: Unfortunately as I discussed here, finding meals that are packed with nutrition is equivalent to going to space. Cafe’s, restaurants and food chains are abundant with refined sugar, high salt and saturated fat. If you do manage to come across a wellness cafe or a healthy meal option, you tend to find a dramatic increase in pay.
In these instances, I try to search for a decent balance. I also stock up on cashew nuts and bean packets, to carry around when I am out. Meal prepping is hugely popular and a few hours on a Sunday can help prepare you for your week of lunches.
In terms of cooking, I refuse to accept that healthy food takes long. I am a fan of Nutribullet recipes (many do not even require a Nutribullet) and I am always amazed at the speed and taste of them. My favourite is a stir-fry which entails cooking tofu and roasted veg in the oven, followed by prawns and noodles on the cooker. If you are vegetarian/vegan, you can easily replace the prawns and use butter beans (I routinely do this).
In general, most healthy recipes that I view, only require food prep in the form of cutting and slicing vegetables. My solution is to practice and experiment in the kitchen. In 2015, I could just about cook pasta; in 2017, I can combine ingredients in my cupboards into a recipe.
The excuse: “I do not like going to the gym”
Tackle: We are a fortunate generation in that we have the choice to work out with digital support. Whether that is through tracking a run, working out online or downloading a fitness app. There is variety everywhere with health and we can all benefit. I am still surprised at the classes you can take on YouTube.
What is your biggest fitness excuse and how are you planning or how have you managed, to overcome it? Which of my excuses resonated with you most?