It’s not your fault if you’re fat. It’s not a sign of weak character or lack of willpower or intelligence. Don’t blame yourself.
What about if you’re trying to lose weight and it’s not working? Should you be blamed for that? Absolutely not! It’s not your fault but you might be surprised to know that every time you make an excuse you’re giving away your power to succeed.
“I couldn’t exercise this morning because it was raining!”
That’s a legitimate excuse. “I was going to walk three miles this morning but it was pouring and I don’t have a raincoat or rainboots.” It’s not realistic to think you are going to walk three miles rain or shine.
Yes, the rain was legitimate, but only as a reason for not walking outside. The rain provided a handy excuse not to walk outside. If you wanted to exercise you could have exercised. Walking isn’t the only form of exercise. Exercise doesn’t have to be performed outside. You don’t even have to get all of your exercise at one time. Exercise is just as good if broken into shorter time periods. Let’s be real, if you were committed to getting some exercise, an alternate activity could have been found.
“I shouldn’t have gone out with Kerry. I knew she’d buy drinks for me and make me feel guilty if I didn’t eat all of that meat lovers pizza with her. It was Kerry’s fault and I knew that would happen.”
Yes, Kerry buys drinks for you and pushes food on you. You knew that’s what she does and if you wanted to go out with her you could have gone out with her and stayed on track too. Don’t blame going out with Kerry because you ate and drank too much.
Kerry’s behavior was predictable. She did what she always does and that gave you an opportunity to set ground rules before accepting her invitation to go out. You could have said, “Please don’t buy me drinks. I won’t drink them.” You could have impressed on her how committed you are to your weight-related goals by saying, “Kerry, I’m really serious about losing weight. If we share a pizza I’m only going to have one piece and that’s all. You can take the rest home in a box because all I want is one piece.”
It’s easy to come up with excuses and we think they make us feel better. Excuses are a way we say to ourselves (and others), “don’t blame me; it wasn’t my fault; it’s not what I wanted but I was unable to change it.” Excuses serve two purposes that undermine power and strength. (1) They’re a way to get us out of doing what we didn’t want to do in the first place. (2) They’re a way to make us feel better about doing something we regret.
Excuses hold you back. They’re crutches. If you’re looking for excuses you’re not finding solutions. If you don’t want to do something you’ll find the right excuse to take the ownership of your action, or lack of action in some cases, off of you. If you want something bad enough you have no time for thinking up excuses. All your thoughts are on how to make it happen!
If you are looking for ways to get out of exercising, recognize and own that you don’t want to exercise. You know that exercise promotes better weight control and it tones and firms your body so that you look and feel good. Exercise can be fun. It’s a matter of finding the right activities that you enjoy. The more you enjoy it the more you’ll do it. If the activities you enjoy most are something you can’t do all the time find a way to get exercise that’s maybe not fun, but at least not unpleasant, so that you ensure you get enough exercise everyday to support your weight-related goals.
If you know there is a risk you might overindulge be honest. It’s okay to go beyond your normal weight loss program limits. Eat Happens! Successful weight control doesn’t require perfection. All you need to do to lose weight and keep it off is to pay attention to food and activity most of the time. If overindulging only happens once in a while and your daily habits are pretty good, you’ll lose weight and maintain your loss.
Stop letting excuses take away your success and your power. Own your actions and change your self-talk. Instead of telling yourself excuses or blaming people and circumstances you say you can’t control, control what is yours and you’ll have the strength and power to get what you want. You can eat what you want, drink what you want, and talk to yourself so there’s no regrets and no need for excuses!