We have all heard them and probably used them one thousand times before….I’m too busy,I’m too tired, It’s too hot/cold/(insert any other adjective that may make it not as perfectly conducive to exercise as you make like). Excuses! They obviously occur in all aspects of our life, but probably are most frequently used when talking eating healthy or exercise. I’m not here to berate you for using them, as I said we all do it, but I hope I can you learn to call yourself on your BS!
Excuses can be divided into two categories: Internal vs External. Internal excuses are those that relate to your self talk and are ‘in your head’, whereas the external excuses have some outside influence. You may or may not be able to control or find alternatives to external solutions depending on the situation. When starting on a lifestyle transformation, I think it is vitally important that we take the opportunity to think about and write down our excuses. What has been stopping you up to this point from eating healthy or working out? Once these are down on paper, you can then make a plan for how you can work around them or if they are nonsense excuses- call yourself on your nonsense! What is your solution? This process should be repeated each time you notice old habits slipping back in. For the excuses that are outside of your control, find a way to work around them. If it is just one day that things don’t go to plan- no big deal- but if the same external excuse keeps causing a road block, you really need to find some alternatives.
To be perfectly honest, I can say all of this, but unless you are mentally ready to acknowledge your excuses as just that- excuses- then nothing will change. We all have been there, if someone points our a flaw in one excuse, we have another ready to go! (Heck- this morning I didn’t ride to work because of the fog…now if that’s not a lame excuse I don’t know what is! We are all guilty of it!). Once you at the point where you can acknowledge your excuses, overcoming them then comes down to PREPARATION. You need to schedule your workouts into your diary- make a date WITH and FOR yourself! You deserve your time more than anyone- so no more I’m too busy excuses. A great point is made by Michelle Bridges as part of her 12WBT program- are you busier than a prime minister? ……didn’t think so! The likes of John Howard, and more recently Tony Abbott, find time to fit in exercise (be it walking or cycling) into their VERY busy schedules each day. If they can do it- so can YOU!
Eating healthy also requires preparation or you are likely to fall off the wagon. Putting together a meal plan each week and then doing a cook up on the weekend helps me keep my diet on track (for the most part). Without this kind of preparation, it is too easy to reach for a chocolate bar or order takeaway for dinner, putting you right off track.
So here’s some tips on how to stay on track and fit everything into your busy lives!
– MAKE IT A PRIORITY!
– Find something you enjoy doing! If you can find an activity you enjoy- you will definitely want to do it more often! I will admit-w hen first starting anything you do may not feel wonderful whilst you build up fitness. Try different classes/workouts and give them at least 2 weeks- if after 2 weeks you still hate it…move on!
– Choose quality over quantity
- Consider High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts- these have been shown to increase adherence to exercise schedule, increase no# days per week you work out, overall increase duration of workouts/week and bonus- increase the weight lost! (Jakicic, JM et al. 1995)(View article here)
– Turn your commute into a workout
- Walk/Run/Ride to work
- Park further from your workplace to get in some exercise pre and post work
– GET UP EARLY!
- Set your alarm- get up 30-60 minutes earlier to fit in your workout before work. Unless you are already up at 4am there’s no excuse, its out of the way and then you don’t need to worry about being too tired after work. Plus you will have more energy to get you through the day!
- Sometimes I even sleep in my gym gear so I can literally get up and get my butt to the gym- NO EXCUSES!
– Squeeze in a lunch time workout- go to the gym, go for a walk with colleagues or hit the park for a circuit/interval session.
– Are you a busy mum? Get the kids involved! Play with them at the park, let them be your cheer-squad for a home workout, or use services such as the gym crèche…there are many options out there.
– Make it a date with your significant other or invite a friend. Plan an active date such as a hike or a cycle, or find a workout buddy to keep you motivated (you are less likely to bail if someone else is relying on you!)
– Don’t want to miss your fav TV show? Workout whilst tuning in! Many gym cardio machines now have individual TV screens, or do an at home workout in front of the TV either during the show or during the commercial breaks.
– Put it in your diary! Schedule your workout for straight after work (consider it a meeting with yourself!). I find that if I go home first I’m far less likely to go to the gym or head out on a run. If I’m organized and pack my gym/running gear- I can head out before heading home. Even rope in your colleagues to motivate each other!
– Workout at home! There are plenty of workout ideas online, fitness dvds available or if you have the funds set up a home gym (this can be as basic or luxurious as you like!)
– Fit in incidental exercise (it doesn’t all have to be formal!) Take the stairs, walk to the shops, invest in a pedometer to see how many steps you take each day!
– My biggest tip would be SET A GOAL! I wouldn’t have done half the training I have if I hadn’t set some pretty outrageous goals! If you have a goal with a deadline (eg. an event)- you will train to be able to be able to finish on the day.
– Plan your meals (and snacks!)
– Weekend cook ups are a great idea so after those busy days at work you can just pop your pre-prepared meal into the microwave and have a healthy dinner ready to go.
– Keep it interesting- the internet is full of great healthy recipes for breakfasts, lunches, dinners and even healthy desserts!
With time both exercise and healthy eating will become a habit- so stick with the planning and preparation for now and your life is well on the way to becoming amazing!
Stay tuned for meal and workout planner printables coming soon!
Love D x
PS. If you have time to read this blog- you have time to exercise!