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Excuse me! Umm, no...

Is it me, or just the posts that I happen to read? I have read some pretty creative excuses for falling off the wagon, overeating, and not succeeding at learning to eat healthy and exercise three times a week.

People are pretty lazy. That is my perspective.

I am at the top of the list. I have a million excuses for not losing and maintaining my weight. Since I ran Berlin i have gained back 9 pounds. WTH is wrong with me?


Even the one committed to cardio has excuses.

I had a heart trauma in April '11, and what I heard afterwards was this: 57% of those that have had a heart attack don't even continue to take their medication after the first refill! Worse, almost 80% make no significant lifestyle changes!

If you are telling yourself there is some reason you cannot lose weight or can't get cardio in, you probably won't!

Last week's knee injury is not healed. I went and had an x-ray yesterday. Nothing there so it's onto the othopedic surgeon for an MRI and hopefully I can find out what's really wrong.

On top of feeling sorry for myself, I can't run right now. I am signing up for a gym so I can do something. I am also signing up for a weight loss clinic. I need some motivation, because I have a long list of excuses.

Here is my list of excuses:


I don't have time. 
- If it was going out to dinner you probably would. Look you have time for lots of things, you need to schedule it. If working out is not in your calendar, it is unlikely that you'll win at this game.

I still have time. - You may be young enough where your food and lack of exercise is not a problem, but for most it doesn't work forever - especially past 40. Yeah, I know about your grandmother that drank a case of beer and smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day, only ate fried food, dated 5 men at a time and lived until 145. Let me know if you make it.

Everyone in my family is fat. - Why is that? Could it be diet and exercise?

It's a cheat day. - Get out your stones and excuses about shaking up your metabolism blah blah blah. The truth is that cheaters are in the group of roller coaster dieters, from which nearly all of them eventually gain back the weight they lost the other 6 days a week.

I have kids. - Yeah, so take them for a run. I take my 11-year-old walking, running, riding bikes, rollerblading, every chance I get. We plan vacations near bike trails so we can ride. When she was a baby, we just put her in the front pack, or bicycle trailer. My YMCA has kids care as well.

I'm too busy. - Well, health is a choice; it might be time to make it.

The dog/kangaroo didn't eat it. - If you are full at the restaurant, you'll be tempted to eat whatever you bring home before lunch the following day. If that is the case, leave it.

I don't know what to do. - I don't know about you, but most of us here do not have degrees in health and nutrition. MFP is a good guideline for the amount of food, and balance of what we call macros: carbs, protein and fat. Here's a tip, if it is low-cal junk food, its still junk food. Cardio which is truly healthy is when the heart rate goes above 120. This requires walking at 3 mph or possibly higher.

It's too hard to lose weight, I've already tried. - You are correct, and you've proved it. That is why you need to forget dieting. You make changes you can do for the rest of your life.

I can't afford healthy food. - I will agree that a variety of healthy food costs more. Here are some tips for saving money. Drink only water, it's free. Many grocery stores have fruits and veggies that are discounted because they are past fresh: we buy 6 apples for a dollar, 2 peppers for half a buck, and 3 bananas for even less. Over all we find them to be a good value. Brown rice is the same price as white and far better. You'll be eating less, usually 3-4 ounces of meat or fish. You can buy packaged ham and cheese in bulk and freeze it. The same is true for some fruits and veggies. Frozen food isn't horrible, and most canned food can be rinsed to reduce sodium content.

It's too late.  - I'm already _____ years old. - Yup, and tomorrow you be that plus one day. I don't get it.

I'm afraid of failure. - I have met a few folks on MFP that have a lot weight to lose (me I was close to 100). It is a daunting task, and it takes time. Read the Success Story forums and friend those folks who have done what you need to do. I find it inspiring. On average, those that work at it can lose 40-100 lbs in a year. (Yes, I am sure there are some with medical reasons who cannot and I am not talking about them.)

I'm afraid of success! - Being obese for a long period of time becomes a way of life. We set up our enablers, buy cars, furniture and even our personality changes to accommodate our physical state. I sat with a guy the other day that could not fit in the booth at a lunch place. It was sad. Then he ordered a 3000 calories steak bomb.

My significant other doesn't care why should I? - Most mature adults are smart enough not say "I would love you better thinner!" I suppose there are some that have spouses that like them in an unavailable state, but for the most part, our health is our concern. Losing weight has many benefits other than just looking and feeling better.

I can't exercise, there's no place for me to walk/run. - We need to start where we stand. The goal is eating well, and getting in three 30 minute cardio session a week in which we get the heart rate over 120. You can walk in place, by home gym resistance bands, and an array of other things. I bet you can find a treadmill on Craigslist for cheap!

I love to eat. - Yup, me too. I am just enjoying eating better, and less.

I do a lot of traveling for work and find it hard to stick to my weight loss plan. - It is not an easy task to eat out all the time, but many places I have stayed at had a refrigerator and a grocery store nearby.

I've heard that running puts me at risk for knee problems and arthritis later in life.LOL, that's BS. But you can try swimming, use the elliptical or riding a bike.

I Have Bad Knees (bad ankles, bad hips, bad a$$): From here it looks like they can get you back and forth from the store, the bathroom and the refrigerator.

It's just one. - One breakfast muffin is equal to two 30 minute cardio sessions.

It's the holidays. - So? The Bermuda Triangle: Thanksgiving Christmas and New Years. (Or Memorial Day, the 4th and Labor Day.) Flag Day, the dog’s birthday. There are lots of holidays!

I don't cook my own meals. - It's hard to control what others do. I made an agreement with my ex-wife over what I was willing to eat each week. Communication helps, and filling up with a large snack before meals is also another option. If you eat half a bag of baby carrots, you are probably not going to chow down on the fried chicken.

I Have Slow Metabolism: Right, and if your body was a car, it would be in reverse. Personally, mine hit a speed bump at age 40 and broke the steering column.

My Parents didn’t Teach me How to Eat: - Are you kidding, have you looked in the mirror? You are probably good at eating, in fact very good! For God’s sake, birds manage to get south.

It’s Vacation: One of my personal favorites, lots of eating out, and lying around (actually that sounds more like work too). Staying in the hospital is not a vacation.

I Don’t Like Healthy Food: Let me know when the pity party is over. Trust me; you are not going to like heart failure either.

It’s Emotional:
 WTH? It’s food, nothing else.

I Can Eat Anything I Want! Apparently.

I’ll Start Over Tomorrow: It’s here, now what?

Water Makes Me Gag! Well I guess it’s a good thing you are not a dolphin.

How about you, can you share some your most creative excuses for staying the way you were?

Disclaimer: Look, there are people who have legitimate medical reasons for being where they are. However; if you can get out of bed, you can probably begin to exercise. Seeing as diet is probably 85% - 90% of weight loss, you can make better choices.

Thanks for the votes and comments, I very much appreciate them.

132 votes + -

35 comments:

jjalajandra wrote 1 month ago:
love the excuses! My son is a beach body pilot and his face kept popping into my head as I read. Thanks for writing this,
pizzafruit wrote 1 month ago:
You are a real treat! I sit and imagine myself exercising - recumbent cycling and walking on the treadmill. You're telling me that doesn't work? Now what?
sanish44 wrote 1 month ago:
I love your blog(s)!! The Grandmother comment was one of the best I've ever read. But you nailed every possible excuse in the world, Lol! And I think you stepped on a lot of toes as there are only 15 like votes and my comment is #2...so, I think a lot of people said ouch to some of the things you pointed out. Thank you for taking away the reasons we pity ourselves and you also empowered us as well. For every dis-ease, there is a cure! Bravo
kdbulger wrote 1 month ago:
It's so funny - as I read through this list, I started to feel defensive.

Then I realized that I'VE HAD THIS EXACT REVELATION and I am currently DOING the work and succeeding. Why on earth would I feel defensive?

Probably because we are never truly a 'new person'. We'll always have to battle some demons that try to pull us backward or make us non-starters.

My excuses were that I have young children, I don't have money for a gym membership, I can't lose weight while breastfeeding, I wasn't ready to make the change.

But my priorities changed, clear and simple. Most of those things still apply but I'm making it work.

Thanks for the opportunity for self-reflection today.
marlown wrote 1 month ago:
Thanks for hitting the nail(s) on the head(s) yet again. Humorous and yet so true. TY!
bmeadows380 wrote 1 month ago:
Related to the "my family is fat" is one I recently got from my sister: "its my genetics; all my health problems have nothing to do with my obesity".

I've been guilty of a lot of those excuses. But my biggest killer is lack of will power and a really, really negative view of myself. Sometimes it takes all my will power to ride through depression episodes, but then I have none left to make healthy eating choices, but then my body weight leads to deeper depression. Its a vicious cycle that I'm hoping I've finally got a loop hole out of!
Goal179 wrote 1 month ago:
The one that I used to tell myself, "I have hit a plateau and I can't break it no matter what I try. This is the weight I was meant to be"
spenceramcleod wrote 1 month ago:
Nothing perplexes me more than people who claim to hate water. Like... one of the three things in life you are genetically programmed to crave(Food, Water, Sex), you somehow dislike it? It may be the worst of those three things, but it's still awesome!
Stormykitty wrote 1 month ago:
2 yrs ago I couldn't walk or stand for more than 1-3 minutes at a time. I used a bariatric walker. Now I am up to walking on the treadmill at a rate of 2.3mph for 23minutes. I am down 95lbs so far. I go to a therapy pool and use resistance bands. I have to keep reminding myself about what I have accomplished rather then dwell on the things I haven't. I'm a work in progress. Every minute of activity is a benefit. Yep-portion control is very helpful too. Now that I am regulating my portions I can afford healthier food choices.
Meghann1965 wrote 1 month ago:
I love this blog! You have just covered every single excuse I've made in the past! My new excuse is that I'm "in a committed relationship with walking" so I don't skip my daily walks at work. Thank you for this reminder that we're all making a journey to better health!!!
Adc7225 wrote 1 month ago:
I feel so good after working out and having a great meal . . . but I just don't feel worthy of feeling that great!

That is the flip side of all the excuses.

For me right now it would be the company that I keep. I did my weight loss alone and since then with others trying to get some motivation from me it has just not worked. They are dragging me down and while I feel bad dropping them is what it is. It's almost like it needs to be a private secret that I went to the gym and why I am eating what I am. Funny, nobody every told me to put down that cookie or suggested we go for a walk when I needed that.
IremiaRe wrote 1 month ago:
My Parents DID teach me how to eat - BADLY... lol

But, last time I checked it was a good 35 years since they had anything to say about my food choices. Yeah, I GOT fat because of what I learned by living with my folks... I am getting thin (FINALLY) by bucking up and learning a few new tricks.

Great post!

Re
BlowPopKisses wrote 1 month ago:
Love this!
Beowolf95 wrote 1 month ago:
All so very true! I am guilty of using many of these, and this blog was spot on! So much so that I am going to print this off and post copies on my fridge, home gym door, and bathroom mirror to remind me daily of why I continue to fail.
grammyv2 wrote 1 month ago:
Love this!! Am new and have had all those excuses. Am currently doing pool therapy at the local YMCA for my back. After therapy I plan on joining the Y and trying pool exercises. Keeping my fingers crossed!
JustaJoe00 wrote 1 month ago:
there's always tomorrow! why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? but my horoscope said only good things will happen today, so i'm waiting. I'm hungry, damn it and i enjoy the process of eating. Jesus would eat cheetos. Dont even mention chocolate...brb need to go to 7-eleven really quick.

I'm out!
The_Movie_Chair wrote 1 month ago:
Goodness, I have used some of these excuses myself. But that's was in the past and I don't linger in the past. :-)

Great post!
msjodi777 wrote 1 month ago:
Thank you, I needed this! Yes, I do have heart problems, but I've been to the cardiologist, and he says I can work out again, and I got back the results of the blood work which tell me that the kidney is back on track, so all I need to do is get up out of this chair, and get back into the gym. See you there! <><
Detritus_1965 wrote 1 month ago:
Been there, heard them all (most of them by myself), got the darn T-Shirt ... But guess what, the Shirt now is sized M not 3X-L

Excuses don't burn calories

BTW: Would have loved to run with you in London, sadly I have already signed for the Vienna-Marathon on the very same day ... We WILL meet
dsjohndrow wrote 1 month ago:
We will!
SamanthaLandman wrote 1 month ago:
If excuses burned calories! Bwhahaha.

I had excuses too, many of them. Now I find I am making excuses at other things to get to the gym, to skip that "night out" binge friends do and similar, haha.

Oh sorry, I can't meet you for lunch today, I already have an appointment. (at my gym) LOL, yes, I actually take my lunch hour break from work at the gym, as its really close to my work. Never in my life would I have imagined I would be making excuses to get to the gym, instead of avoiding it haha
bebeisfit wrote 1 month ago:
Great post! Thanks for the reminder.

I'm sure I've used a number of these excuses. My latest has been - I used to be super fit and now, I'm older and can't do all that hopping around like I did in my 40's. I'm 55 with no real medical problems.

"Excuses don't burn calories" LOL

Cheers! I'm off to the gym as soon as they open.
joanrollier wrote 1 month ago:
I've used most of these excuses also. I've gained and lost the same 60 lbs so many times I can't remember. I'd always blame my failure on mindset. I'm just not into it.' I think this time I have figured it out. I had a hip replacement in October of 2016, for two years prior to my surgery, I was in excruciating pain and was only getting up to go to the fridge or the bathroom. As of January 1, 2017, I found the mindset and started walking, then cycling, now I am going to Zumba and Aqua Aerobics as well as eating a healthy diet. I am definitely not starving. Logging on MFP every day and leaving room for my indulgence of 30 grams of 70% dark chocolate. I was on vacation for the month of February and gave myself permission to 'cheat' and the summer months were a little challenging what with guests and BBQ's, but in both instances, I was able to get right back on the wagon and continued to exersize throughout. Long story short, I am down 54 lbs now, my goal is to lose 70 lbs. I know I will do it, but I am already starting to fear when I reach my goal as so many times in the past I have said YAHOO, I made it, now I can eat whatever I want. I am hoping that at 66 years of age I am finally mature enough not to do that.
SbetaK wrote 1 month ago:
Love this! 100% true, and all the better with the sarcasm. I've heard just about every one of these, and probably said a few myself. Keep it coming!
LASeattle wrote 1 month ago:
good job with the excuses. I've used several over the years. I'm determined to change that - no more excuses!
kar328 wrote 1 month ago:
Love this. It should be a sticky note at the top of the getting started forum.
bosswitch wrote 1 month ago:
"Yeah, I know about your grandmother that drank a case of beer and smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day, only ate fried food, dated 5 men at a time and lived until 145. Let me know if you make it."

This line about granny took me out. Great post!
OregonRunner5 wrote 1 month ago:
When I was in my 20's and effortlessly underweight I watched my mail get delivered. Everyday, all day my post-lady walked her route. In the cold. In the heat. She walked mile after mile with at least an extra 60lbs on her apple shaped frame. My skinny self who ate all the pizza and cookies I ever wanted and made zero effort to understand nutrition got to know her struggle with weight, with blood sugar, with being very heavy in a world all about thin. She definitely wasn't lazy. She wasn't making excuses. She certainly wasn't skipping exercise.

When my Dad came up with Diabetes after working blue-collar labor his entire life that would absolutely flatten and destroy most of the jocks at the gym it definitely wasn't because he made excuses or had been lazy about his exercise and most of the day he had no time to eat and just had some Southern home cooking (note: No fast food) in the evening.

Yet over and over I'm asked to believe that weight is a purely derived from motivation, lack of skill watching what we eat and excuses. This belief permeates everything and I would submit to you dear readers that at this moment we aggressively start question this.

When I was underweight and could polish off an entire large pizza on my own I would wonder sometimes - gosh just how much does a large person eat if I can eat this huge meal and stay rail thin? Answer: Probably less than half that, maybe not even a slice of that, not even in the same area code of how I ate. It's not fair but I would submit that will power and "personal responsibility" are simply a decoy to larger and misunderstood problems. Or could be - lets keep a questing open mind on the matter.

Additionally many of the people in my family who were very thin went ahead and developed type 2 diabetes (even VEGAN!) and thus a slender weight was no full proof dodge of that bullet.

But if we except that skinny is not protection against some common diseases now labelled lifestyle I guess a big industry might lose ground (like my underweight uncle with the heart disease or those with diabetes, but we all know it's diet related *wink wink*)

I wish there were simple answers and easy metrics but that's how dieting and food choices turn into religion rather than a science I suppose.

With respect, the totally unconvinced oregon runner.
jaci66 wrote 1 month ago:
OMG! LOL I love this post! I have used a lot of those excuses over the years. I'm one of millions who have tried dieting and failed. I failed because of excuses. I failed because I failed to learn what I needed to learn about foods and how they work together. I failed because 'diets' don't work. If you are not willing to change your lifestyle a bit to accommodate healthy eating and healthy activity, you will always fail.

I'm 51 now, soon to be 52. It's taken me some 25 years or so to figure this out. I say 'figure' this out, but what that really means is I finally accepted the fact that diets don't work. Eating smart is what works. I don't believe in cheat days anymore. If I want something it must fit into my daily numbers or I won't have it.
wannabpiper wrote 1 month ago:
Awesome! Can't tell you how many times I've wanted to say many of those things to my coworkers when they start whining.
Skydiver757 wrote 1 month ago:
You absolutely nailed it!!
Marjayhan wrote 1 month ago:
I love your blogs, they are so motivational and inspiring, plus it helps me stick to my goals knowing there's a bit of everyone going through similar things. In the past and recently even, some of those excuses were on my list . Well not anymore!I've lost 4lbs so far and here's to many more lbs to lose! Keep up the great work yourself too :)
gxmiller31 wrote 1 month ago:
I love that you never quit. Always enjoy your writing.
x_stephisaur_x wrote 1 month ago:
I actually really needed to read this today - thank you :)

I lost over 50lbs a few years back, but it's all creeping slowly back on. I keep trying to get back on the wagon but it seems SO MUCH HARDER this time around.

Thanks for reminding me that all my excuses are utter BS - time to get back on that wagon (again!) :)
lukilton wrote 1 month ago:
I agree, we all have used excuses to sabotage our weight loss, particularly if you have been overweight for many years. However, in this day and age when "fat shaming" seems to be all the rage, is it necessary for those of us who have finally
turned things around, and are making progress, to jump on that band wagon? To tell someone how they need to change their attitude, to tell them how they should "feel" about themselves, just because we have been able to make healthy changes seems counterproductive, and just a bit egotistical on my part. There is not one of us who is on this weight loss journey who doesn't "fall off the wagon" on occasion. So it seems to me if we want to help others do what we are doing as far as losing weight, rather than tell them they are just making excuses and are being lazy, or don't really want to work at this--why not just emphasize what has worked for us rather than tell them they fail because they want to fail? For 40 plus years, I kept saying, "I can do this on my own--I don't need weight watchers/a gym membership/bariatric surgery/etc...etc...etc... 40 years is a long time to wait on your ego to figure out what you are doing isn't working and that you might just need some help. But, had people continued to tell me I was making excuses, and that I was just being lazy, I would either be dead, or waiting another ten years before getting serious. I am one of the lucky ones, I have a primary care physician who knew how to prod me without making me feel even more of a failure than I already felt. So I began my journey a year ago, and today am down 106 pounds--with help from family, friends, a surgeon, nutritionist and my spouse. I will not be telling anyone how they should feel, or that they are just being lazy, but I will share my experiences in the most positive and helpful way I can. That I know, is what most people will be inspired by and will help them on their journey to better health. For someone who has used excuses in the past, it is what is working for me--not being shamed by those on the same journey.

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