(Ps, Yes this is attainable)
How many times have you heard someone you know say, “I want to lose weight” or “all I want is a flat belly”? Yet two weeks…one month…a year later, they are still saying “I want to lose weight…I want that flat belly!”
In order to find out what keeps so many women from achieving the body they want, I took to the streets and public areas of Birmingham and London UK, to ask 100 women. I heard reasons ranging from the ‘weather’ to blaming it on dirty gym wear (really?). But what I found most interesting was hearing repeatedly, the following 5 excuses, keeping 80% of these women from achieving the body they want. Any of these sound familiar?
Excuse 1: “I am so busy; I can’t find TIME to exercise”
I understand first hand that life can be HECTIC! Between your job, social life, possibly motherhood and any other event which makes up your 24 hours, you are likely to agree with the majority (47%) who said “…if I had more time I would exercise”. But guess what;
“You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it” (Charles Buxton).
- SAVE time with a home work-out
Going to the gym/aerobics class can eat into your already hectic schedule. Instead, consider a fitness DVD (Amazon has an excellent range), exercise programme on TV or download a FREE app such as ‘The Nike Exercise Club’ (great for beginners).
- Be Solution Oriented
Review your daily activities, and ask yourself how/where can I create time in my day to exercise? If you struggle, ask a friend to review your daily activities followed by an honest opinion, for example, “you spend way too much time doing x, y, z, you should be exercising instead”.
- Rise & Shine!
Make a habit to wake 30 – 60 minutes earlier to exercise at least 3-4 times a week, as in her book ‘What the most successful people do before breakfast’, Laura Vanderkam says “…tasks that require self-discipline are simply easier to do while the day is young”.
Excuse 2: “I’m too LAZY to exercise/Lack Motivation”
Are you uninspired or constantly feel under pressure from work or family commitments? Regardless, calling yourself lazy is an easy way out (we don’t do those). You are not lazy, so let’s focus instead on how you can overcome these feelings and get the results you desire.
- Recreate an ‘inspired moment’
Can you think back to a time when you were inspired to exercise regularly or you felt ‘at your best’? What worked well for you then? Could you implement these habits again to achieve similar results?
- Keep in mind your ‘Why’
Congrats! You’ve lost the weight and toned up. Are you more confident? Have increased energy? Feel Sexier? Stay motivated, by remembering what ‘having the body you want’ means for you.
- Keep track of your successes
Feeling unmotivated? Keep track and celebrate your little successes along the way, such as losing 1lb or sticking to your workout for a week. Little wins, keep you focused and lead to the BIG win.
- Give yourself a deadline
So you want to lose weight or tone up? By when do you intend to achieve this goal? Having a set deadline and the discipline to ensure you see your goal through, should without a doubt bump up your motivation to an all time high.
- A team will help you get there
Joining a team or group focused on achieving similar results to you is a sure way to keep you motivated. Whether it’s a sports team, Weight Watchers group or a Meetup group created by you, being around likeminded people will encourage you to not give up on your goal.
Excuse 3: “I HATE the gym”
1 in every 5 women I spoke to expressed a dislike for gyms, using this as an excuse for why they do not have the body they want. If you also feel this way, I am happy to share a secret;
‘Consistent Exercise minus The Gym = Still Get the Body You Want’
Listen Up! There are other ways to achieve your fitness goals; the key is consistency and discipline.
- What do you love to do?
Find an activity you enjoy and commit to it; dancing, boxing, yoga… Take time to think about this as it could be make all the difference to your activity levels. Book a class to try, what have you got to lose?
- Want Guaranteed Results?
Offering a selection of fitness programs to get you in the best shape of your life, Beachbody claim they will provide a ‘no questions asked’ refund to any individual unsatisfied with their products. What have you go to lose?
- How about Pole Fitness?
This is a biased paragraph as it is my passion, but an option all the same. Bored of gyms? Try a pole fitness class and thank me later if you find you have become addicted to this type of exercise. Remember, you don’t have to be a certain weight or size before you sign up, so give it a try!
Excuse 4: “I don’t have a regular babysitter”
I know first-hand the challenges of exercising around young children, especially when they decide that is the time to throw a tantrum. If you find yourself in this predicament, your mission is to discover alternative ways to exercise around the pressures of motherhood.
- Walk, Walk, Walk
Particularly if your child still uses a buggy, opt for long brisk walks
- Schedule fitness around family commitments (your health is just as important)
If your child is having a nap or having daddy time for example, as exhausted as you may feel, don’t slump on the sofa or sleep. First, try your best to complete a short workout, you will feel better for it.
- You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours
If you know another mum in a similar position to you, make an agreement to watch her child/children whilst she exercises and then vice versa, it is a Win – Win situation.
- If all else fails, include the children in your workouts
Get creative, take them to the park and use the open space or put on some music and dance until you are exhausted, your children are likely to also have a fun time.
Excuse 5: “I LOVE chocolate!” (Or maybe cake, sweets & savoury treats)
99.9% of the people I know love chocolate and having the occasional treat is great, enjoy it, savour it and don’t have any regrets. However, if you find you are struggling to control your cravings, it may be time to adapt your behaviour as Nate Miyaki says “…If you want to look good, 80% of your results are determined by the food that you eat”.
- Have you tried dark chocolate? (in moderation)
If you feel you cannot possibly go a week without chocolate, substitute with dark chocolate (75% + cocoa content), as the health benefits may include lower blood pressure and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Create a healthy environment
Replace snacks at your home and place of work with healthier options such as fruit, nuts, flavoured yoghurt or juices. The less temptation you are faced with, the less you have to give in.
- Healthy Snacks on the go
Aim to always carry a healthy snack in your bag when you are on the go as to avoid the need to purchase a chocolate bar for a quick energy boost. Planning ahead leaves no room for excuses.
Exercising with Health Conditions…
It would feel slightly insensitive labelling this paragraph ‘Excuse 6’, but I did want to share this with you.
1 in 10 women I spoke with, said suffering from health problems or chronic pain had prevented them from consistent exercise. If you are experiencing a similar situation don’t suffer in silence, I advise you to speak with your doctor first as there are likely to be many activities you could both enjoy and benefit from.
Need More Motivation to achieve the body YOU want?
Three key words…‘Improved Sex Life’! Yes, Mayo Clinic staff suggest that regular exercise will enable you to look and feel better, which is likely to have a “…positive effect on your sex life”. Need I say more!?
Finally, if you can take away one thing from this article, remember…in every situation you have a choice! You can choose to remain in the shackles of your excuses or on the other hand accept that nothing will change until you do!
You want more time? Create it. You lack motivation? Find a way to overcome it. You hate the gym? Try another activity. You don’t have a babysitter? Work-out around your children’s schedule. You love chocolate? Well…doesn’t everyone? (moderation is key).
So are you ready to drop the excuses and get the body you want? I encourage you to ask yourself if not now, then when?
“If you really want to do something you’ll find a way, if you don’t you’ll find an excuse” – Jim Rohn
To the future you, excuse free, fit & confident!