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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.

154 votes + -


johnwhitent wrote 84 months ago:
Finding exercise that is fun helps. I love mountain biking, I look forward to every ride, just for the fun of it. And I ride the road bike to help develop aerobically so I can mountain bike better, though I enjoy the road bike too. And I have a blast trail running with my dogs. All the health benefits are just pluses on top of enjoying myself, doing things I want to do. And eating well helps me do the things I enjoy. No excuses needed!
Hoppymom wrote 84 months ago:
Do you HAVE to be right?! Dang. Ok You've held my feet to the fire. I am heading out for my walk on my sore knee. If it gets worse I am blaming you.
FYI: Dolphins don't drink sea water. They would die if they did.
Another inspiring post. :)
HappyAnna2014 wrote 84 months ago:
Excellent post! And as for healthy food, once you get off of the junk food "addiction" you find that healthy food tastes SO GOOD, and you have no desire for the unhealthy food. This past weekend, I purchased some organically grown red potatoes from a local farmer. I baked them with a little olive oil and a chopped up onion. Despite the fact that I used to be addicted to potato chips, and despite the fact that my (very thin) son had potato chips in the house, I thoroughly enjoyed those baked potatoes. They were so full of flavor that I didn't taste when I used to eat junk food.
brianfmatthews wrote 84 months ago:
Awesome post. Favorite line: "Trust me; you are not going to like heart failure either"
FitOldMomma wrote 84 months ago:
Until I was honest with myself, I found quite a few excuses to why I was fat and completely out of shape.

#1 on my list of excuses was my bone on bone arthritic knee. But like you said- If I could walk to the fridge, I could likewise walk from my car to a pool.

#2 I'm old and my metabolism sucks. Well, can't do anything about being older-but eating calorie laden food and lots of it certainly wasn't helping.

Thing is, I won't point out others' excuses unless they are asking for my advise.

If someone were to tell me they have significant joint pain so they don't exercise, I'd tell them about my experience with swimming and how it is almost zero impact, and my pain is GREATLY reduced.

If someone insists that reduced calorie diets don't work, I'd simply respond that it works for me.

I guess everyone has to come to their own self awareness that their excuses are invalid, and that they are capable of making changes.
fr33z3n wrote 84 months ago:
I;m afraid your list is very incomplete. please add.

I was born to be fat.

Im Big boned (have you ever seen a fat skeleton?)

I have slow metabolism.

I barley eat anything and either don't lose weight or gain more!!

I'm Morbidly obese but I a very healthy.

Society is biased towards fat people because they don't take into consideration big sizes.

I'm a fat anorexic (someone actually said this)

As for health reasons, I was diagnosed with wegners( which cause renal failure and hypertension) I have all the excuses I need to be fat, But I still go to the gym and lose weight, Excuses are just that, Excuses.

Great article btw.
TrackNit wrote 84 months ago:
Fr33z3n... LMAO "have you ever seen a fat skeleton?" " & "Im a fat anorexic" Right?!
Scoochie1 wrote 84 months ago:
Hey - I'm keeping the 'vacation' one! I'm all inclusive in October and I'm not going to calorie count a single morsel.
Punkedpoetess wrote 84 months ago:
Awesome blog post and I have found this to be absolutely true both in losing weight and maintaining weight loss. This applies to those with a small amount to lose and those with a large amount to lose.
gingermim wrote 84 months ago:
hope you don't mind but I am printing this out to use at my Tops is so true, not only for me but many others. Thanks.
wochlikgm wrote 84 months ago:
Wow... all of these are so true.
The biggest issue for almost everybody is the lack of motivation and loving support. That was my case.
Noodle797 wrote 84 months ago:
Great points! I've used almost all of them myself & then I woke up & realized that I could either make excuses or I could take action. It's not easy, and I definitely have stumbled along the way, but nowadays it's all about "I CAN do this" rather than "I can't".
FitFroglet wrote 84 months ago:
I loved reading this, I've been guilty of a few of them in the past!

The biggest one for me was always "it takes so long!". Then one day I realised that actually I'll never fix my weight then "go back to normal" I needed to change the nature of my normal permanently.
kraft_kris wrote 84 months ago:
yep, yep and yep. I am sure that I have made one (or all) of these excuses at one time or another. Right now, I have no excuses. I take full responsibility. I am eating too much and not moving enough.
marekdds wrote 84 months ago:
Yup, I had excuses for 50 years. In fact, my profile says, "excuses, excuses, that's why we get fat". I have lots of excuses. I don't like exercise, I love goodies, I am old (63), my metabolism has retired, my knees hurt, my back hurts, I don't have time (four kids and a hubby and full time job), I have Hashimoto's disease, (auto-immune hypothyroidism). I have every excuse under the sun to be fat. Got real and lost 80+ pounds. Suck it up people, it can be done. Great post!
celticlass69 wrote 84 months ago:
I can't afford a personal trainer or going to a gym ... answer walking is free.

My spouse doesn't support me ... slowly change things and you'll be suprised how much weight they loose and then hopefully they'll come on board. If not, just keep a changing regardless.

It's healthy ... still doesn't mean you can eat a whole bunch of them.

Great blog as ususal!
janet0513 wrote 84 months ago:
Another great blog. I have used many of these excuses. I love when you said to schedule it in, that is what has worked for me. It is on my calendar like all my appointments.
meganjcallaghan wrote 84 months ago:
I CAN eat whatever I want. The magic of running 20+ Km a day. lol.
CignaSi wrote 84 months ago:
How sad, and lacking of any insightful depth into the humanity worldwide. Compassion empathy understanding, and good teachers cure all,not your toxic dribble.
angieroo2 wrote 84 months ago:
My excuse was "I can't do it" also "it's too hard". Once I got over that, I lost 50 lbs. Anyone can do it. You just have to WANT it more than anything. That was key for me.
swat1948 wrote 84 months ago:
Yup, lots of excuses...I should know cause I've used every one of them. I do have hypothyroidism and artificial knees and I used the knees for a long time as my main excuse because my orthopedist told me the more I use them, the sooner they would have to be replaced. But I got over that and I got serious and sorry Buddy, I have a big family and I do have days I eat anything and everything but I exercise religiously and I log everything I eat excepting those days when I want to spend time with my kids and grandkids. I lost 130 pounds over a little more than 3 years and I have maintained it for about a year. I WILL NOT go back to what I was and for the record I am 67 and if I could anyone else can.
mlsutton73 wrote 84 months ago:
Love it!
tspencer824 wrote 84 months ago:
I was just thinking about blogging this today and beginning my blog with just this.

I am a personal trainer and I compete in the NPC. Discipline is not that hard. I just want to tell people just to do it and stop making things up.

I was giving free advice to a woman today and her excuse was that she has a family... but don't we all!? I told her, "So what? Don't they need to be healthy too?" People are just busy dying and not busy living.
SunnyDuckling wrote 84 months ago:
This is crack! I love it. I've already saved this to print out and stick on my wardrobe door.
I've just come out of a cycle of excuses - 'too busy', 'not the right time' 'my dodgy knees' etc. Well, now I'm on school holidays for the next week, with almost no obligations, so I'm back again for another round of getting life and health into order.
Thanks again for this. :)
transformedbyhim56 wrote 84 months ago:
Loved your post! If we can quit making excuses, we've got over half the battle won! I've used all of them at some point. You just have to decide that your health and life is worth it and make it a priority. You have to find some exercise you love. Everybody can find something they love. And even if you don't, exercise gives us a gift. They're called endorphins, or feel good chemicals and they make you feel wonderful after a good workout. Eating healthy tastes better than any junk food out there. You may have to try some foods you never thought you'd like and surprise yourself and find you actually like some things you never thought you would. Get creative with your eating and start replacing treats with healthier alternatives. Everyone can do it if they want to bad enough!
makena78 wrote 84 months ago:
I loved your blog post. I will admit I said a few of those excuses to myself. One of my biggest issues was giving up the yummy pasta I love so much. I just didn't think I had it in me to do this.
This week alone I proved myself wrong. I can eat spinach and love it and I CAN still have pasta, even if it's a measly half a cup. lol
I am tired of excuses and actually loving that I am challenging myself to be better.
fuelednfit wrote 84 months ago:
I have to be honest, I did use a lot of those excuses, especially time and kids and my husband loves me this way. I think it is a matter of priority. Once Health, exercise and clean eating becomes your priority, you are still as busy, you still have kids, you still have stress, you still don't enjoy broccoli and Water still makes you gag ( I love water), but now you have a new perspective and you find solutions to meet your priorities. When I see these excuses, I recognize myself. I think they are just not there yet.
GREAT blog by the way
aprilpkm wrote 84 months ago:
Thanks a bunch for sharing and teaching again! So much truth and inspiration in your post and follow up posts. Thanks all!
MyChocolateDiet wrote 84 months ago:
You knew my grandma?
cheryl2926 wrote 84 months ago:

Awesomeness leaves one speechless and belly laughing

hey wait a minute laughing is healthy.... awe you gave me a healthy start

keep up the attitude and keep bypassing your inner excuses.

cuz lets face it... we all have conversations in our own heads that are more like arguments. Don't let the voices win!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Witchmoo wrote 84 months ago:
I need you on my shoulder please giving me a kick whenever I start to utter any of these.....I can laugh at the stupidity of it but recognise many of them far too well....
grammy809 wrote 84 months ago:
You listed every excuse I've used in the past 20 years. Guess I'm not the only one with excuses. I'm bookmarking your column so it will give me inspiration.
Chance535 wrote 84 months ago:
Thanks for giving me the kick in the ass I needed.
feetypajamas wrote 84 months ago:
Love this!! Thank you!!
nwppwn wrote 84 months ago:
38yrs old male, 5'11, starting weight 285, current weight 235, goal weight 165, 129 day streak on MFP.

You can eat whatever you want but need to stay at or under your daily calorie limit. Finding exercise that's enjoyable makes it easier to exercise and make time to exercise, so find some sort of physical activity you enjoy doing and make time for it. In the spring/summer/fall I kite surf, paddle board and swim. In the winter I shovel snow (ok that kind of stinks), go snowboarding and ice skating (kite surfing too when it's at or above 40 degrees). I can't stand going to the gym or doing cardio on a machine, I find it boring. So eat healthy or at minimum stay within your calorie goal and find activities to keep you active that you enjoy. You need to find a sustainable healthy and active lifestyle that you can continue indefinitely if you are going to stay healthy and maintain an appropriate BMI. BTW, I do 'cheat' from time to time but I maintain a higher calorie deficit for the remainder of the week or make sure to be more active to offset the additional calories.
landay wrote 84 months ago:
You forgot PMS as an excuse!
landay wrote 84 months ago:
LOOVE this genius blog.
arkham_ma wrote 84 months ago:
"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!"

Wow, seriously? Yikes. My dad had a heart attack and religiously took his medications AND made significant lifestyle changes. He had a heart attack at 43, triple bypass at 62 (after being told he'd need one by 53), and by the time he died at 72, his heart was in great shape. Unfortunately, that didn't prevent the pancreatic cancer that got him.

Me- I have struggled losing for years. Doing well at the moment - 34 lbs in the past year, most of that the past 6 mos. And if someone were to ask me how - I don't have any magic answer. I just decided to do it. It takes commitment and persistence and not getting derailed when the numbers on the scale go up or you eat too much one day, or three days. It's not easy, but a lot of how easy it seems is in your own mind.

I never "cheat", I have days when my net calories are higher than I'd like, but I just go back the next day and work on getting where I need to be that day.

My biggest problem these days is when the weather sucks and I can't walk. Walking is the exercise I really enjoy. If I can, I'll walk 5 miles a day. Heck, if I could hike 8 miles a day, I'd love that - but I can't do that realistically. Getting myself to the gym when it's raining is still a struggle, even though I don't mind the elliptical and lifting. Again, though, when I don't do enough and my net calories are too high - just get back to it the next day.

Great post!

KETOGENICGURL wrote 84 months ago:
I get totally pissed at the dumb excuses I hear… does take work and ongoing effort to turn down the addiction of sugar/brown fried foods.

Many imagine a pill or solution to save the day will happen in time for them. Spending a day in a diabetic ward cleaning rotting feet might cure a few.

But I also agree with Dr. Lustig ( Fat Chance book) we are marinating in sugar sold 24/7 by OUT OF CONTROL MegaFoodCorp conglomerates which keep food cheap by adding soy/HFCS/dyes/fillers to make food attractive.

we aren't going to vote for $$$ food. so they get away with the dumbing down of our society via poor nutrition for the next 3 generations. soon it will not matter.

I wonder what we'd be like if fast foods didn't exist? would sugar be a black market drug?

I never believed in food 'deserts' until I actually was in one…a store with a few limp looking veggies, browning lettuce, wilted apples..nothing but canned I imagine this in the inner city of every large American town…no wonder McD's has influence.
MrsMizart wrote 84 months ago:
You been reading my mind?! ;-}

Thanks to this, and the wonderful support from all on here and in RL, most days now I ditch the excuses and turn then into reasons to do things rather than reasons not to do things :-)
GWehsling wrote 84 months ago:
I have a step father like this - he made excuses all his life and doctors kept telling him to ease off the cigs and booze. A few years ago, he lost both his legs to diabetes. You'd think after the first one, he'd wise up, but now that he is a dependent in a wheelchair he still has excuses - "I'll probably only last a few more years, might as well drink/smoke it up." He's not even 70 yet and needs help with everything (and I mean everything). I came to the conclusion that he's okay with no legs because it gives him an excuse to sit down all day and keep on consuming. It would be sad if it wasn't such good motivation for me.
sunpeach20 wrote 84 months ago:
It's was funny! NoW I can be more creative with MY excuses, if I want to!:)) (you covered everything)
Deafening_Silence wrote 83 months ago:
I almost spit out my water about the dolphin. Ha. Ironic!

Main excuse I see is the one I see on some t-shirts.

Eat Healthy
Die anyways.

Can live a lot longer life if you do the 2!
aprilshowers0417 wrote 83 months ago:
thank you I will now start the exercise video. be back in an hour
silverthreads1 wrote 76 months ago:
Wow! Guess you have listed a few of my excuses! Now, I have no excuses to fall back on. Great blog. We all can find a way to excuse ourselves can't we?

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