Many of us want things or want to achieve things, but we want them the easy way. We often look for shortcuts; and when we don’t find them, we give up on what we want. And yes, I too was guilty of this. But this past December, I really took the time to think about my lifestyle, my strengths and weaknesses, and the excuses I would come up with to justify my actions (or lack of action). At that point, I made a commitment to change. I realized that all the excuses I would tell myself were just not valid. And I am here to tell you that your excuses are not valid. No sugar-coating, just honest and to-the-point.
I have been approached by several people lately regarding my recent weight loss and change in eating habits/lifestyle. Many tell me that I look great and have gotten awesome results, but then they tell me that they could never achieve the same. So I ask, “Why?” The most common replies are: “I don’t have enough time” and “I don’t have enough money.” Does this sound like you or someone you know? I hear this so often that I decided to write about it.
So the excuses often go like this: “I don’t have enough time to work out and eat healthily”. That goes along with “I can’t afford to purchase a workout program or join a gym”. That’s followed by claiming that eating healthy costs too much. Well, one thing is for sure, it’s all in your mind and it’s all in your perception. If you think something is expensive, then it is. If you think something takes too much of your time, then it does. It is also how you prioritize things – only the “important” things in life are worth your time and money, right? So it’s time to label your health and fitness as “important”. If you really want to get in shape and start eating healthy, you will find a way because it’s important to you. Otherwise, you will just find an excuse. It is important to change your perception of what’s “expensive” and “time-consuming”. Only then will you start to commit to making the necessary changes to achieve your fitness goals, and stop making excuses.
Let’s talk about the “I don’t have time” excuse. We all have 24 hours but we need to use them wisely! Now working out and getting in shape does take up some part of your day, but not as much as you think it does! Most workout routines are about an hour, sometimes less. So if you have to get up an hour earlier, then do it. If you have to stay up an additional hour, then do it. If you have to take an hour out of your mid-day routine, then do it. You have to make this a lifestyle change. Now you may no longer be able to sit on the couch and watch TV for an hour, or sit in front of the computer surfing Facebook for an hour. But that’s OK, because wouldn’t you rather spend your time getting ripped than looking at someone else’s vacation pictures? Now when it comes to meal planning, I stay up an additional 30 minutes every night just to get my lunch bag ready for the next day. Some people I know set up their breakfast and lunch for the week ahead. The important thing is to plan ahead – that way you’re not stuck running for fast food or skipping meals. Think about your meals for the week and buy all the ingredients in one shopping trip. Pre-measure, pre-package, pre-cook, do what you have to do to save time during the week.
Now let’s talk about the “I can’t afford it” excuse. I couldn’t afford many of the things I use and eat now when I first started. Why? It was because I was still making my daily trips to Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, and the local deli. I continued to spend money on things I was supposed to be replacing. It took me a long time to figure out how to afford my whey protein and my recovery drink. You CAN afford it if you really want to. I can tell you that eating healthy doesn’t cost more than eating out if you plan and do it right. It all depends on what you are willing to give up achieving your goals!
So the point I am trying to make is that you can afford to get fit, and you can find the time if you really want to. You CAN find the time and money to reach your fitness goals! It may take some trial and error, but it is achievable. There are several fitness plans that come as cheap as $30. Yes…someone already took the time to develop a good workout routine and nutrition plan for us. The results are all up to us.
In the beginning, I couldn’t find the time to work out, and I couldn’t see a way to afford my food long term. I took the time to think about this really hard. I knew I wanted to change. I knew I wanted to feel energized. I knew I wanted to have kids someday and share my energy with them. I had a chance to accomplish something I had always wanted and to be in the BEST shape of my life. And I took that chance and never looked back. I made changes and sacrifices because what I was doing before did not work for me. It was time to listen to and surround myself with more knowledgeable people. And I decided I would do what I had to do to succeed. But the journey continues and I am still learning and changing, getting healthy and fit at the same time.
Making a lifestyle change isn’t as hard as it seems. After you make a few adjustments to your daily schedule and spending, it will all start to take form. I often see people who are not satisfied with how they look or feel, but they don’t do anything about it. They just sit there and complain. Don’t be one of those people! Change! My coach has kids and a full-time job and he gets it done. My friend got started recently. He’s got three young children, a wife, and a full-time job. He works all day and then comes home to take care of the kids since his wife works at night. He ends up working out at 11 pm sometimes, goes to bed, and wakes up in the morning to do it all over again! Yes, he FINDS the time. And if he can, so can every one of us.