We start out with the best of intentions when we commit to lose weight and shape up. We are determined, motivated and sure of ourselves.
We can see our trim, healthy, fit future, and we know we will make it happen.
Everything goes along just fine until we are faced with tempting food at work, at home, driving down the street, at lunch with friends, or on a holiday. Suddenly, our resolve to lose weight begins to melt, and the excuses start flooding in:
- If I have just one, it won’t matter.
- I don’t have to tell anyone, no one will know that I slipped.
- I’ve had a hard day, I deserve a treat.
- I’m starving and I can’t wait until I get home to eat.
- I’d rather have what is being offered at work rather than eat the nutritious food that I brought with me (it’s boring).
- I’ll start again tomorrow, I want to have what I want today, now.
These are a few of the many excuses that I have used. However, in my experience so far, if I give in, I don’t have “just one”, and I end up wanting more. Is it worth it to give in? In my opinion, I say no.
1. The first step is to recognize the fact that you are using excuses. This is all about being honest with yourself. If you are serious about losing weight and keeping it off, then why the excuses? How will giving in to your need for immediate gratification through food help you to reach your goal weight? You must be honest with yourself and view your excuses for what they are. If you truly want to lose weight, you won’t use excuses because you will look for all of the reasons that you can succeed, rather than why you cannot.
2. Get back to basics and reaffirm why you first committed to yourself to lose weight. What are your goals? What are you expecting to achieve? Do you truly have solid goals? If you don’t already have your goals written down, you could refer to this post for an easy way to keep them forefront in your mind.
3. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Prepare in advance for your excuses and always have healthy food choices on hand. If you regularly use the excuse that you are too hungry to wait until you get home to eat, and then you indulge in a drive through or in the “food day” at work, make sure that you always have those healthy alternatives with you.
4. Your excuses may be your food addiction talking. This is a very important point to remember. If you are addicted to sugar, flour, fat, or even certain textures of food and you are not currently eating them, the excuses that you are telling yourself (i.e.: “a little won’t hurt”, “I can have just one, no one will know”) could be very dangerous territory for you. If you do give in and eat the food you are addicted to, it can be difficult to “get off of it” again. You do go through withdrawals (can bring up what look like excuses) when you get off the addictive foods, and if you eat them again, you will very likely want more and more.
When you remember this, it can be much easier to put your excuses aside, because the longer you stay off of the addictive foods, the easier it will be to stay away from them. I have done this more times than I can count, and I have always thought I could “have just one”. However when you are addicted to sugar for example, it’s never “just one”. There is no moderation.
5. Get out your journal and start writing. If you are struggling with your excuses and want to give in to them, start writing about how you are feeling at that very moment. If you are at work and faced with tempting sweets, bribe yourself by committing that you will go back to your desk and write for 5 minutes about how you are feeling and what you are thinking. Tell yourself that if after those 5 minutes, you really want to indulge in the food, then you will.
Write about the reasons why you want to give in and eat the food that is not what you would choose for weight loss. Write down the excuses that you are currently giving yourself. Note whether or not you are physically hungry. If you are, then eat the healthy food that you brought to work with you. If you are not, then write about what is driving you towards the sweets (or whatever food it is).
Review your list of goals and reaffirm why you want to lose weight. More than likely if you journal for 5 minutes, you will no longer want to give in to your excuses and you will bypass the temptation. However, if you do still want to, then I would suggest “going through the motions” and telling yourself that you will get through today and decide tomorrow if you still want the sweets. No, they wouldn’t be the same that you have in front of you today, but again, you must remember why you want to lose weight in the first place.
All of these tactics can help you get past your excuses and keep on track towards your weight loss and fitness goals. You can use them if you are making excuses to exercise, also.
When it comes right down to it, there are no excuses when you truly want to accomplish a goal in life. When you know what you want, you will achieve it and the excuses will have no power.
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