Getting Past Excuses and Denial Key to Embracing Exercise
I hear these words all the time: “I know that I should exercise, but…” This sentence is always finished with an excuse, and I think I’ve heard almost every excuse in the book. Honestly, I probably heard half of them from my own mouth, a fact I don’t like to admit.
If I actually listed all the excuses I came up with as to why I couldn’t exercise it would take at least a day to read them all. But I always felt as though my excuses were valid and made logical sense — or at least I had become amazingly good at convincing myself of that.
When I was morbidly obese, you could not have convinced me that I was making up excuses for why I couldn’t exercise. I truly believed that every explanation I offered to myself, my family, my friends and even my doctor were factual. The “Jodi-fact” I used most often was: “I never sit down all day while I take care of my three young children, and when I’m not taking care of them I am constantly cleaning house or tending to the yard work. I should be losing a few pounds every week and I’m not, so it’s obvious that exercise just doesn’t work!”
Excuses and Denial
Becoming an expert at giving excuses helped me to become something else: the queen of denial. Excuses and denial go hand in hand.
When I was continuously living in this state of denial, I did not allow myself to face the facts that physical inactivity can cause severe health issues, such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes, certain cancers and osteoporosis. I refused to believe all the health reports that I heard on television or radio or read in the newspaper linking a lack of exercise to obesity. I denied that any of these reports were true. In actuality, I didn’t want to believe them.
But once I hit that turning point in my life when I realized that a lack of exercise and obesity do cause severe health issues — and yes, even death — I quit living in denial. I also quit something else: giving excuses for not exercising.
Breaking Through Excuses
Since that point, my favorite motto when it comes to exercise has been, and will continue to be, No Excuses:
But what if it rains? I use an umbrella.
But what if it’s cold outside? I wear a coat, gloves and earmuffs.
But what if I’m tired? I go anyways, I always feel energetic once I get moving. And if I’m really tired, a glass of iced tea or cup of coffee before my scheduled walk works wonders.
But what if I don’t have a place to walk? I have walked in my neighborhood, at a local high school track, around a large soccer field, in a elementary school gymnasium, along the beach, along the edge of large parking lots, at the mall, at the park, in a playground and even walked in place in my home. When there is a will, there is a way — be creative!
But what if I don’t have time? I make time. What is more important than your health? The “things” in my life can wait… I take care of me first. This is where most people have difficulty accepting the truth. Yes, you can find time, it is possible, but only if you end the excuses.
But what if I don’t have a walking partner? I walk with a dog or try to walk with a friend via cell phone. People who do this say that they love it. Walk and talk — it’s doable!
But what if it’s too hot? I walk early morning or late evening. Yes, I may sweat a little, but a shower feels great after a brisk walk!
I ended my denial and my excuses, and I found solutions. And guess what? So can you!
Photo credit: lunae