Deep down, we all really want to be healthy, don't we? I mean ... if you don't there might be something psychological going on that I'm not going to dig in to.
When we aren't doing something about that desire ... we're making excuses. May I invite you to take a little walk with me through some of my excuses that are now shattered? Sometimes it feels like excuses are freeing you from doing the work that it takes to be a healthier version of you ... but in reality excuses are chains holding you back from achieving something.
Last summer, after Victoria turned one year old and I had mentally released myself from being a nursing mom (she wasn't done yet, but I wasn't going to try to continue if she was ready to stop) ... I realized one of my "most valid" excuses - being a nursing mom - was now gone.
At first, instead of doing something about my fitness ... I just decided well, this is me now. I'm in my late thirties, I've had two children, and I'm plus-sized. I shop at Lane Bryant. They have awesome bras (and they really do, I haven't absolutely nothing against Lane Bryant and appreciate their love of fashion for women of all sizes and shapes!).
I half-heartedly worked out "if I had time." I did something easy where I wouldn't sweat too much (guess what, I still did sweat). I half-heartedly counted points. I didn't even attempt to balance my diet, I just tried not to eat more than my allowed points in a day. But if I went over, I let it go and REALLY went over.
Then I had my annual checkup. My triglycerides were up. Not dangerously. But they had never ever been elevated in my life.
Nope nope nope nope nope! I woke up. I realized I was going to have to do something. I've shared before about how I found 21 Day Fix and Beachbody. No more excuses. I'm still busting excuses every day, but here are some of those first ones I had to break through to free myself to become a better steward of this one body for this one trip on this earth God gave me.
1. I don't have time. Um, make time. Get up earlier (the exercise will make up for the lost sleep I promise). Get off Facebook/Amazon/the Internet/texting ... Especially with 30 (or even 22!) minute workouts available! It's an excuse. It is relatively easy to adjust your schedule, or perhaps get it organized for the first time since college, and make 30 minutes to get yourself moving. If it is meal prep that scares you ... take those container lists to the grocery store and just make sure your home is fully stocked. It is pretty easy to make a meal using the containers. Still need a green and a red at the end of the day? Eat a cup of carrots with some spiced Greek yogurt! I've never done the big meal prep a lot of "Fixers" do because I don't like to be locked in to what I'm going to eat. Call me a rebel.
2. Loose skin. Ya know, the loose skin hasn't been as bad as I expected. I've never liked to show my belly, but when I get to my goal I will show y'all my belly in all its white, baby-stretched glory. My breasts are actually still the same cup size ... but my band size keeps shrinking. Oh darn. Remember Lane Bryant? Nothing there even fits me anymore. I took myself off their list. Now ... I've never lost a massive amount of weight a quick way, and I imagine the skin is more of an issue in those cases. But when you are losing the healthiest way, by working it off, your body will surprise you. God designed us to be adjustable, after all.
3. What will people think? If they love your before, they are going to love your after too. I actually worried that my dear husband, who found me sexy 28 pounds ago, might not like me as well as a thinner Amanda. Not true! And I'm more confident ... which never goes out of style. I would dare say anyone who has something negative to say about getting in better shape probably is dealing with some kind of guilt or jealousy. Cut them some slack. Show a little extra mercy. Maybe don't rub it in ... though when you make big changes like this people can't help but notice.
4. I don't like to sweat. Yeah me either. But I'd rather sweat during a workout and feel accomplished afterwards than sweat all day just because I'm overweight. And frankly my dear, if you live near me ... this is Texas ... we ALL gonna sweat come summer.
5. I don't like to diet. Then don't! This is a LIFESTYLE. I focus on what I can have and why it is important. If I don't like Swiss chard I'm not going to eat it. I'll find a veggie I do like, or a way to make it that is more palatable. Sometimes I put two greens of spinach or kale in my Shakeology because I just don't feel like gnawing on a bunch of veggies that day. So I drown them in chocolate superfood. Done. I still indulge sometimes, I just don't let it derail me. I indulge in something tasty. I don't keep eating just to keep eating. The zombie apocalypse has not arrived - there will be other deserts. Sometimes a bite is enough. Step away from the Blue Bell. If you aren't enjoying it but just devouring it, it might not be worth it. It is worth delicious ... nothing is worth guilt, sugar crash, and self-pity. Or the way it affects your workout the next day. Trust me, after you eat clean for a while, you will notice a change in your performance after a cheat.
What are some of your pet excuses? I'd love to know. Let's work on breaking those chains so you can be free too. Make a way ... not an excuse.