Weight loss is one area of our lives where reasons and excuses often collide.
A reason for doing something or not doing something can easily morph into an excuse. Let’s look at the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of both terms.
Reason: A statement offered in explanation or justification.
Excuse: To make apology for or to try to remove blame from.
I am sure you see this all the time in your life when talking to coworkers, friends, and probably even family members. I know I often use excuses as reasons for not getting something accomplished or when I try to explain why I failed at a project or goal.
Kids use excuses, adults use excuses, and if my dog could talk, she would probably use excuses too. Because let’s face it, there is no reason for her to have chewed on the chair leg when her bone was laying right next to her.
Here are some reasons you may give someone if they ask you what problems you are facing with your weight loss journey:
My program does not seem to be working.
My weight loss plan is too hard to follow.
I cannot find time to exercise.
The scale is not moving as fast as I want.
The scale is not moving at all.
My family is not supportive.
I think I am sabotaging myself.
I live with a food pusher.
Healthy food is too expensive.
Exercise makes me tired.
I don’t know how to cook.
There are many seemingly valid “reasons” you could give for your lack of weight loss progress. Believe me, I used all of these listed above and more. I always had a reason at the ready if a friend actually cared enough to ask me how things were going. Sometimes I said them with a straight face and other times I hemmed and hawed about my lack of progress knowing full well that I was making excuses and not giving valid reasons for yet another diet failure.
In the world of weight loss, reasons often collide with excuses and the result isn’t often pretty. My reasons that were really excuses did nothing to help me move forward on my journey and did everything toward moving me away from my goals and objectives I repeated the excuses to myself so often that I began to believe them.
For example, because I repeatedly said that I did not have time to exercise, and over time, I really began to believe that I did not have time. Well, guess what? When I finally got serious about my weight loss and identified that reason as nothing more than an excuse, I did have the time to exercise even though I had three small children aged six, three, and 4 months at the time.
One thing that was very different during my last weight loss attempt was that I correctly identified excuses for what they were. Most times they were not a justifiable reason for my lack of progress, but rather just a simple, old-fashioned excuse. By identifying those excuses as such, I then worked hard to overcome the excuse in order to keep moving forward.
You may be asking yourself if there are ever valid reasons for lack of progress in weight loss. Well, of course there are. Your job is to separate the reasons from the excuses and overcome them one by one. Additionally, even if you have a valid reason for having problems with losing weight, there are usually ways around those valid reasons as well. It sometimes takes creativity to fix the problem, but you can usually find a way if you really want to. You have to want it and be willing to work for it.
Have you ever found yourself making excuses and passing them off as reasons like I did? How do you recommend others identify and overcome this tendency? Diane
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