Do you have excuses for not having a healthy lifestyle? At the beginning of every year many of you always set out to bring about big changes in your life. Often these changes will include things like losing weight, getting into shape, improving fitness. Each of these changes, like any kind of change takes a lot of effort and is rarely easy, but you don’t need me telling you that.
The decision to live a healthy lifestyle – including incorporating a nutritious diet, regular exercise, less alcohol, sleeping for more hours, drinking water and stress relief activities into our lives – is one type of change we are often reluctant to make. We want the benefits but are not prepared to make the sacrifices.
We know that taking care of our health is of paramount importance and to do this we have to establish a healthy lifestyle, but we keep finding ourselves making excuses for not having a healthy lifestyle.
“To insure good health: eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life.” William Londen
Having suffered with severely bad health in the last few years myself I am determined to make this the year where I get my health and fitness back. Every morning I schedule 30 minutes of cardio training. I know this is essential and no matter how hard it will be initially I know it will get easier, and I’ll see improvements within a month. It is essential for me, but I still find myself coming out with excuses. I’m to tired, my bodies not recovered from yesterday’s workout, I’ve got too much to do. I’ve found myself lying in bed debating whether to train or not. Fortunately my goal is huge and so far my training has taken place every day.
I’m sure every one of you has made excuse after excuse not to exercise. Perhaps you have those inner battles where you know you really should go to the gym just after waking up but the excuses just flow “Too early” becomes “Too hungry” becomes “Too full” becomes “Too late.”
Like you I’ve had to accept that my excuses for not having a healthy lifestyle were just garbage. They were limitations I was putting on myself to justify not training. Now I refuse to allow my excuses to stop me. Whether with my exercise, healthy eating, making time for meditation, no excuse will be tolerated. Again my goal is too important to me.
I can think of many of my previous clients when I was a gym instructor/owner who made fantastic changes in their lives. Yet many of them had tried many times before, unsuccessfully, and were able to come out with many an excuse to blame. Eventually they found a goal powerful enough to motivate them into at last make the changes.
Let’s take a look at 10 common excuses for not having a healthy lifestyle.
1. I’m Healthy I Don’t need a Healthy Lifestyle
Yes there are those who can eat, drink and live a lazy sedentary life who don’t put on weight or seem to suffer with their health. Not yet anyway. The best type of medicine in my mind is preventative, where one can stop illness from happening. And that’s the key to a healthy lifestyle. I don’t want anyone setting themselves up for a big fall later on in their life with potential health problems. If you feel generally healthy, now is the perfect time to focus on embracing healthy habits that will keep you feeling healthy. Remind yourself that prevention is always better than treatment; do not wait until you’re sick to live a healthy lifestyle – if you wait too long, you are taking a big risk, as many chronic conditions are very difficult to reverse.
2. Lack of Motivation
Probably the number one reason for not having a healthy lifestyle is the lack of motivation. Finding (and keeping) motivation is the hardest part of losing weight and keeping fit. We often make a start but soon lose our motivation and stop. We’ve all started diets on a Monday and break them by Friday. Staying in the right mindset is the key to successfully establishing a healthy lifestyle, but we know this isn’t easy. Staying in bed instead of going to the gym can be tempting, as maybe that bar of chocolate is just asking you to eat it. Often people fall off the wagon so to speak, or just quit trying to have a healthy lifestyle. They find their motivation has dipped and without it you can’t commit to eating healthy, exercising or the like. Being lazy and eating junk food is too tempting particularly if you haven’t really determined for yourself the massive benefits of having a healthy lifestyle. If you take time to think what these benefits are and how your life and health will improve, you can find the motivation. If we want something enough, then we would make it happen.
3. A healthy lifestyle costs too much
Many people find literally to their cost that healthy foods can cost up to three times as much as junk food. Joining a gym or buying clothes for exercise doesn’t come cheap either. But let’s remember takeaways are expensive, alcohol isn’t cheap and ill health can be incredibly expensive in many ways. An unhealthy lifestyle means more illness and more expense to treat those illnesses. Poor health also means more time lost at work, less quality recreational time, and even shorter lifespan. What I have found is that filling my freezer with healthy foods, stacks of frozen vegetables, white meat, fish and lean meat cost me no more than filling it with the unhealthy options I had it packed with during Christmas. So whatever the cost, the cost of not having a healthy lifestyle will be the most expensive.
4. I’m too old or out of shape to exercise
It’s never too late to get fit. No matter how big or small you may be you can always start to exercise, just be careful at the beginning. Exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself, for the older of us it can slow or even reverse the ageing process, fight off diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis. For the unfit it can make our bodies reduce fat, breath better, sleep better and increase energy levels. Simply exercise is good for everyone, the overweight, out of shape, inflexible, too flexible, old, young, and ailing. It makes us healthier. Starting and then sticking to an effective exercise plan will not be easy, but certainly worthwhile.
5. I don’t like healthy foods or exercise
You know you shouldn’t eat that cookie, but it’s as if there’s something from deep within that compels you to. It is so much nicer than fruit, salad and vegetables. All those things they say are bad for you just taste so good. Well I’m sorry they aren’t good for you, and I can assure you healthy lifestyle foods can taste absolutely delicious, apart from being far more nutritious for you.
If you want to be healthy then you’ve got no choice but to eliminate bad foods from your diet such as fried foods, chocolates, cakes, biscuits and fatty foods.
When it comes to exercise you have so many options. You can join a gym or do classes. Go swimming or take walks in the outside. Play sport or do dance classes. Everyone can find something they’ll enjoy or at least tolerate.
Again the benefits of a healthy lifestyle have to outweigh your excuse of not liking healthy foods or exercise.
6. I don’t have time for a healthy lifestyle.
8 hours sleep, an hour of exercise, another hour of meditation, and then you also expect me to prepare and cook healthy meals. I simply don’t have the time. Remind yourself of your health goals and just look at the alternative of ill health. Amidst all of the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, many of us think that we simply do not have the time to focus on a healthy lifestyle. However, the importance of your health should never be underestimated. Remind yourself that if your health starts to deteriorate, you will likely struggle to accomplish the other things you need to do that are so important – such as taking care of your family, succeeding at work, etc. If your body breaks down due to unhealthy habits, you will have no choice but to worry about it then, and everything else in your life is likely to suffer. So you best find the time for being healthy.
It takes a firm commitment and strong desire to make change. Only when you get to the point where you can’t take the things you want to change anymore will you suddenly find your resolve is resolute and now nothing will stop you from having a healthy lifestyle.
I’m sure you can think of many other excuses, you’ve probably used others yourself. These excuses are stopping you from doing what is best for you and that is living with a healthy lifestyle and taking care of your health. Can you really find an excuse for not improving the quality of your life?
“Intensity of desire will always find a way, just as weakness of purpose will always find an excuse.” Muriel Strode