I am willing to bet that you made a New Year’s Resolution, and I am willing to bet that resolution had something to do with your health. Maybe you had a specific number of pounds or inches to lose, a size you wanted to reach, a diet to change, or an exercise routine to begin. My question to you is: HOW FAR HAVE YOU GOTTEN?
If you’re like OldMe, not very far. The shine dulled on those resolutions by mid-February, when the days are short and dark and cold. There’s always an excuse as to why fitness goals simply do not fit into your current lifestyle. I know, because I used to cuddle those excuses like new puppies, and I made sure I showed them off the same way. So people would know I wasn’t weak and a quitter, just “unable.” (Picture me now, rolling my eyes and smirking at OldMe and her lazy ways.)
The number one excuse: “I don’t have the time.” Do you have the time to be sick? Do you have extra years of life you just don’t want to use? I didn’t think so. If you wait for the time to appear, it’s never going to happen. You MAKE the time, you don’t find it. I am a mother to four, one of whom is just over a year. I do not work outside the home, but honey, you better believe I WORK in it. My day does not stop until my head hits the pillow. Working out has become my sanity saver, so I make time for it Every. Single. Day. Whether it’s before everyone wakes up or after they’ve gone to bed; whether I find a stolen hour during Sesame Street or during naptime; whether I am running alone or walking behind a stroller, I MAKE THE TIME. My family is happier for it, because if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. And I am happier for it, because I have more energy to devote to everyone else, more patience to give them, and more love to give myself.
Then there’s the odd excuse of “I’m not fit enough to do a workout.” Um…okay…How do you suppose you will get fit enough to exercise? As far as I can tell, the only way to do so is to begin. Walk. Lift. Dance. Stretch. Build up. Not everyone needs an “extreme” routine, but everyone needs a routine. Fitness grows with you and your goals will too. I started running last summer and found it a major accomplishment to complete two miles at a 3:2 interval. Now, I’m a running goddess who considers two miles a warm up. A year ago, a marathon seemed like too much and I wasn’t remotely interested. Now, I get butterflies in running shoes every time I contemplate May 20 (the date of my first marathon). People change, fitness changes them. Trust me on this one.
“Health food has no taste.” Then you’re not doing it right. Plain and simple. I drink chocolate deliciousness every morning for breakfast – gluten free, made-from-whole foods, low-glycemic-index chocolate deliciousness! Shakeology is the proof in the pudding – almost literally – that healthy does not equal tasteless. And there are sooooo many recipes for tangy, spicey, tastey, tastebud-thrilling foods that I refuse to even speak of this excuse any further (see my photo of whole wheat cranberry scones above? There’s your thousand words.) Next topic!
“It’s too expensive to buy healthy foods.” I actually agree, but that’s life. Plus, think of the cash saved on doctor’s visits, OTC meds, and pounds of junk food that won’t fill you up. No lie, I drink one shake at breakfast, and my normally bottomless pit is sated for a good two to three hours. I toss together a healthy snack, and I am satisfied again. When I was noshing on candy bars, donuts, and Weis dessert bowls, I would garner one of two results. I would either a) feel incredibly nauseous due to the overabundance of fats and sugars I had just inhaled or b) still be starving and thus inhale more fats and sugars until I felt so nauseous I had to stop. A pleasant side effect to cutting out (mostly – I still stray from time to time, but find I don’t enjoy it quite as much) the empty calories is that much of my daily irritation has been cut out as well. My blood sugar no longer crests and plummets seemingly at will. I don’t need caffiene to stave off headaches. Again, Mama is happier and that equals a happier M&M Clan.
Give me an excuse, and I will give you a reason it sucks. Today’s blog is about tough love, people. I don’t wanna hear why you can’t; I wanna hear why you WILL. Forget resolutions, forget life overhauls. Make small changes every day. You didn’t turn into a lounging mass of sugar in a day. I bet you’ve worked on it every day for years. My own formation into starchy inactivity was a gradual but steady decline, just as my climb back to fitness has been. Now, I’m firmly entrenched. This gal ain’t goin’ back. Been there, done that. Hated it.
What got me motivated? I was tired of being tired. I was exhausted with negative self-image. I was so over wasting energy envying every fit person passing by. I could either continue down a path that was all wrong for me, or I could stop making pitiful excuses and choose a new direction. I warned you: I am a born-again fitness enthusiast and I will be annoyingly chipper about it. You can either be annoyed or become annoying. (Psssst! It’s a lot more fun on this side!)