is almost giving way to Do-More December (can you believe it??), but before it does I wanted to dig deeper into the top 3 excuses I used to use before, frankly, I got fed up with myself and decided to get back into shape! See below for what they were, why I used them and how I finally overcame them! My big ones were:
- I’m way too out of shape to start exercising now.
- I don’t have the time.
- I don’t have the money.
Now lets dig deeper into each one starting with:
I’m too out of shape to start exercising…
This was an excuse I almost let derail my journey before it even got started. Getting back into shape was something I knew I had to do. It was something I wanted to do. But it wasn’t something I was enthusiastic about doing in the beginning mostly because I knew how much work I would have to put in before I began seeing results. Basically I was feeling impatient before I even got started. I also was feeling down about myself because I had let my health, both mental and physical, get so bad I felt like the mountain I would have to climb to get back to where I wanted to be was almost insurmountable. I was embarrassed to start working out knowing how out of shape I was. But in the end my desire to do better was stronger than the negative talk that was going on in the background.
Some of the ways I overcame this mental hurdle were:
- Set small, manageable goals for myself in the beginning.
- workout for 30 minutes, 5 times a week
- limit how many times a week I was eating out/fast food
- add one shake a day to get the nutrition I need
- add a multi-vitamin to my everyday routine
- drink more water
- Started an accountability journal to log all my workouts and plan ahead each week so my workouts were well thought out
- Made a conscious effort to change my thinking. Started embracing the 30 minutes I was working out as “me” time. This was and still is time I use to turn the noise of the day down and concentrate on my health and well-being.
- Gave myself a reward. Blocked out one cheat day a week where I could look forward to eating some of my favorite foods without feeling guilty….tacos are still on the top of that list!
- Set specific goals I wanted to achieve. The first one I set was to run a 5k by a specific date. I set this goal early on because it had been something I really wanted to do for many years but didn’t think I was anywhere near ready or able. Having this goal really pushed me to keep going and not give up. I had finally gotten to the point I didn’t want to let myself down! I am happy to report in the eleven months that I have been on this journey I have completed 3 5ks and have my sights set on even more in 2019!
Changing my lifestyle to make my health a priority was not easy at first. The biggest shift I had to make in the beginning was my attitude. I had to convince myself that exercise was a positive thing, not a punishment. Once I had made that mental shift, I got out of my own way and started knocking down all the goals I at one point thought I would never achieve! Now on to #2….
I don’t have the time…
How many times have you personally said this?? There just aren’t enough hours in the day! Let me tell you, I don’t at all disagree with that! We are all busy, there usually isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done as it is already, so how in the world am I going to fit in working out and eating right?? Sound familiar? This is a really legitimate concern and one that I know prevents a lot of people from even thinking about starting down a healthier path sadly.
I used to think there is no way I had to time to workout after commuting for 3-4 hours a day, working at least 9 hours, going home and walking the pups, cleaning the house, doing laundry, grocery shopping, try to maintain some sort of social life….AHHHHH!! I was spent by the end of the day. The last thing I wanted to do was even think about putting on gym clothes, getting back in my car and driving to the gym only to struggle through a workout, get all sweaty, have to come home and take a shower and then figure out a healthy meal to make. So how do you find the time?
Unfortunately I can’t wiggle my nose or wave my magic wand and give you an extra hour each day but what I can do is tell you it is possible to do! For me it was about shifting things around, starting with my priorities! I made the mental decision that my health had to start coming first and from there it wasn’t a matter of IF I could find the time it was a matter of WHEN would that time be each day. You have to actively carve out space for this journey in your life, one day at a time. Here are a few ways I did it:
- Set my alarm an hour earlier and worked out in the mornings before work
- Used my lunch breaks to get my workout in even if it was just a 30 minute walk outside when I didn’t do it in the morning
- Started doing a big shopping trip each Sunday to stock up on healthy food for the week so I wouldn’t be rushed after work and give in to that oh so easy to use drive thru window
- Found a program I could do in my living room at any time of the day so there wouldn’t be any excuses about not wanting to go back out once I was home
- Held myself accountable by tracking my workouts and results using a workout calendar and pictures
You can find 30 minutes a day to be active, I promise! After all 30 minutes is only 2% of your day! The time you invest in yourself is priceless, you guys, and the benefits will far outweigh any sacrifices you have to make. Now on to #3…
I don’t have the money…
I have a confession to make. I am a recovering Starbucks-a-holic. I was a two-cup a day offender. I literary would go to Starbucks twice a day just about every day and I am not talking about going and getting a small drip coffee. Oh no, I would get the biggest, most sugariest (that’s probably not a word but you know what I mean) drink they had on the menu…twice a day you guys!!! We are talking like a $10 a day habit that was draining my wallet and enlarging my waist line all at the same time. 😮
The point of that confession was that when I was taking a hard look at my life and how to clean it up for the sake of my health this was the habit at the top of my list of things that had to go! Then when I stumbled upon the super-food shakes that I swear by now I realized that for the price of just one cup of coffee I could afford to have these shakes every single day. Easiest and best decision I ever made! Just like the not having enough time excuse, not having the money was also something that just took some shifting of priorities.
Other ways I have re-prioritized my life financially for the good of my health:
- Bringing my lunch to work instead of eating out every day – this was also a great switch because I pack healthy food instead of the fast food I would grab mid-day!
- Along these same lines I started meal-prepping on Sundays for the week so that I don’t spend money eating out because I don’t feel like cooking after a long day at work.
- Got home gym equipment used (Craigslist is a great place to find deals)
- Set up an HSA (Health Savings Account) which is a great, tax free way to save on healthcare expenses such as those co-pays or those crazy-high deductible payments I always seem to get hit with at the mos inopportune times
- I started paying attention to when certain fruits and veggies are in season and buying them then because they are generally cheaper
- I started working out from home! Found a great plan that was wayyyy cheaper than a gym membership that I absolutely love. I am also lucky that my office has a small gym in it that I am able to use for the treadmill and cardio equipment when I want to but the majority of my workouts I am able to do right from my living room! This is also nice for that “no-time” excuse!
Invest in yourself guys! Find the motivation. Find the time. Find the money. Get rid of the doubt and the excuses. Your body works so hard for you all day long. Reward it by doing something good for it in return!
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, ate lots of yummy food, spent quality time with your loved ones and most importantly remembered to be thankful for all the wonderful things we each have in our lives. 😊