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Excuses, excuses, excuses...

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 3 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.

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!

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 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 80% of weight loss, you can make better choices.

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

If Quitting Were Hard, No One Would Do It

Did you ever have one of those days where you just didn’t feel like doing this fit lifestyle crap? I know that I have. Worse, I have one and the next day it seems I have a worse one. It's one of the big reasons I can't have cheat days - they end up as cheat weeks.

I confess, it's been hard to stay focused.

I just completed marathon number 6 in San Diego. I finished and it wasn't even my worst one. Running 20 miles and walking 6 is not a failure. This blog is isn't about running anyway. It's not even about finishing a race.

It's about food. It's always the damn food!

The food has been my problem since I was 41. Before that it was cigarettes and drinking and kids; I have a lot of kids. ;) At 41 I went from 165-175 to 230 pounds and then to around 300. I have struggled with my weight ever since. I put smoking and drinking behind me decades ago, many decades.

And my last kid will be on her own in a few years.

Lately it seems that I eat out more, cook less, and don't pay attention as much. I dread making lunches and snacks. Sure the scale is only a few pounds up, but it's bothering me. I am working hard to stay in the day and just live one at a time.

You certainly can't outrun a bad diet.

Granted I have a lot going on in my personal life: final agreement on the divorce, three skin cancer surgeries the week of July 2 to 9, and a new manager at work. Some days everything seems impossible.

Nothing is impossible - well, for me, nothing is impossible with God.

The flip side of having a lot of stuff to deal with in life? Having a lot of ways to counter it. I put things in my life that are worth looking forward to. I purchase something small online that I need so the pile of medical bills seems smaller when I get to the mailbox. Of course I run. I register for local races, I ride my bike, take an occasional ride on the motorcycle and I have taken up competitive shooting.

Some days I just sit on the bed and enjoy some of the blessings I do have.

If quitting is not an option, then entertaining myself, visiting my kids, and being a smartass online is a positive response.

When I am doing those things, I am not eating or thinking about it.

I was going to write 10 things to help lose or maintain your fitness. I can only think of one.


Fat to Marathon Number 6, San Diego CA

I started out at close to 300 pounds. I wasn't going to be running like that. At 276, I got on the treadmill. A few weeks later I had heart failure.

Not many days after I was in ICU I went to watch the Boston Marathon. It took 55 minutes to walk home just under a mile. Sunday, May 31st, I completed my sixth marathon in San Diego, CA.

I have been on MFP just 4 years now. It's going pretty well. I am not dead yet.

As I ran along the route, which for the most part is really beautiful, I was grateful. A few people clapped, and I said "Thanks for cheering on the old fat guy." Or, "you are just doing that because I am not dead."

It was a lot of fun. Then I got to mile 17 and the wheels fell off. I got leg cramps of the Charlie Horse variety. I thought I had overcome them. I ran 3 marathons without incident. I managed to down 15 Endurolyte capsules, 3 GU gels and 15 packets of salt.

Here are the highlights from my day:

Michelle - He was 78-year-old gentleman from Normandy, France. I noticed his shirt Seven Continent Marathon Finisher! I had to know the story. He was seven during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. He started running at 53, completed over 30 marathons, and here he was running with me. One of those 7 marathons was in Antarctica when it was -35 degrees!

Light Shows - Because it was a Rock 'n Roll marathon, they had a number of live bands and some music stops. The under passes had light shows! Light My Fire, I Love Rock n Roll, Tush, Smoke on the Water and a dozen other tunes blasted from the side of the road.

The Effing Hill - I have run enough marathons to know what it takes to get to the finish line. This one took more than I had. At mile 21 there was a huge hill. It was more of a small mountain. We ran up the freeway back towards downtown. I saw one guy try to run it, and he failed. Everyone else walked. It took 16 minutes for that mile.

The San Diego Cop - He was at the top of the aformentioned hill. I told him he could shoot me and I wouldn't tell anyone.

Vera - To fight off the leg cramps, I took salt at every stop they had it. In mile 23 there were no more salt stops left. I had drunk 5 bottles of water and 2 bottles of Gatorade. The cramps persisted. Vera was an on foot race medic and gave me enough salt to finish the race. Amazing!

Michigan Man - I passed him 20 times on the course. I kept telling him that if an old fat guy beat him, he would never live it down. He passed me 30 feet before the finish line.

Harriett Thompson - The oldest woman to ever finish a marathon. I passed her. She's 92.

My Kids - My older kids live in San Diego. They came out to meet me at mile 19. I was so cramped up I could hardly walk, forget running. I got salt, a banana and some Gatorade. They walked about a half mile with me. I cried. I have run a lot of races alone, ones with no one at the finish line. This time they were there. I cried some more.

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