Going From Excuses to Action
A friend of mine has had a lifelong battle with weight. It this sounds familiar to you, read on. This could change your life.
She talked about her weight, berated herself about it, engaged in a few token weight loss practices, occasionally went on a diet or started to exercise (and quit shortly thereafter), and nothing ever changed for the better. Her weight yo-yo'ed constantly, and along with it, her moods and attitudes.
The diet industry is FAT: a whopping $20 billion dollars, 100 million dieters… and not a whole heck of a lot of results. So where does it break down? What is the reason people don't act on the intuitive knowledge of how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight? It's more than a sedentary lifestyle, the SAD (Standard American Diet of high fat, low veggies, high sugar and processed food) or overconsumption of food.
The real culprit is that it's easier to rationalize than it is to take action.
If someone were to ask my friend why she hadn’t lost the weight she’s been b*%$@ing about for over 30 years, you would hear a long list of reasons why she could not take the actions to do something about it. Each reason came off sounding perfectly reasonable. She WANTED to lose weight, and yet she spent more energy coming up with excuses instead of taking action.
You may have heard, or even used, these and similar excuses: I just have too much going on to start working out. My knee is acting up so I can’t start exercising now - I have to go see the orthopedist first. I want to wait until the kids don’t need me so much - we’re always running around and I don’t have time for me. A gym membership? No, that’s not in the budget right now. I’m too tired from working two jobs. I tried that diet and it didn’t work. How do you even cook THAT?? What if my family hates vegetables?
Then there is the defensive excuse: People should love me for who I am. (We do!)
And the worst one, the most dis-empowering one of all... It’s genetic. It runs in the family. My whole family is overweight!
Why we justify instead of do
We justify not taking actions that would help us get where we want to be, because we want to feel okay about avoiding them. My friend talked about getting a bike and “riding her butt off.” She talked about taking dance class. She talked about going cold turkey on sugar. But she never did, and offered up many reasons why not, so she could spare herself the embarrassment or shame of not following through.
Making any kind of change comes with some initial discomfort. We have to change up our routines. We have to get up and do something... and if we’re already stretched with work and family commitments, where is that extra time and energy going to come from? (See, a justification right there…)
The last thing we want to do, when we’re in the throes of day-to-day living, is take on another project, especially one that’s going to require effort. And yet, we feel tremendous guilt for not doing what it takes to get the results we want because we know that these actions are the only way the desired results will come…
And so, we generate as many justifications as we can, so we feel better.
The resistance we feel toward action can have a number of interrelated sources:
Fear: fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of the discomfort associated with change. It could be painful to start working out. I'm not a great cook! Healthy food could taste bad and my family might not like it.
Confusion: information overload leads to analysis paralysis. Where do I start????? I don’t know how to cook from scratch. Should I get a personal trainer?
Complacency: it’s quite simply easier to do nothing. There’s already a reward in the brain that’s associated with current behaviors (“just one more brownie… I’ll start my diet tomorrow…”) and giving up that reward is, well, unappealing to say the least. And so, the changes we desire, are less important and less motivating than the status quo.
What are the consequences of these rationalizations and excuses?
We settle for what is. We abandon the desire to change, and give up our power to make change. “It’s the way it is and I can’t do anything about it.”
We live a life of frustration and escapism. Having a drink (or a pint of ice cream) at the end of the day and losing ourselves in mindless TV dramas and sitcoms makes our problems go away for a little while, but the next morning we wake up to the same problem, the same frustrations, and we have to make more excuses.
We can choose door #3: create the mindset of positive change. Create the mindset of success. Create the mindset of self-empowerment and a go-for-it attitude... and in so doing, create the natural outcome of a desire to take action.
That’s what my friend did.
She changed her mind. Literally.
She used MindPT to reprogram her beliefs so that the changes she desired became far more important, motivating, achievable and rewarding than the status quo. When she flipped that switch in her mind, it became easy, fun and natural for her to take the actions she needed to take to drop the weight. They became non-negotiable parts of her life. She developed into a true foodie and became passionate about whole food cooking ("easy" according to her!). She got a dog and "walked her butt off." The whole process became FUN, and she loved to share her discoveries, experiences and milestones with friends.
She gave up the “poor me, it’s genetic and there’s nothing I can do about it” excuse. She took control (after all, she confided to me recently, overeating is not genetic…)
She gave up the “I don’t have time” excuse. She made the time by jettisoning some “obligations” (she was positively radiant about that!)
She gave up the “I don’t know how” excuse and did a trade for cleaning services and dog walking with a local personal trainer/nutritionist.
She created the desire and success mindset first, and then her actions naturally followed.
She went from a size 16 to a size 6 and I’ve never seen her happier, healthier or more full of life!
If you create success IN YOUR MIND first… if that “new reality” becomes such a compelling vision that it leads to a burning desire to do what it takes to make it real… then you’ll do it. Naturally. Joyfully. Willingly. Confidently. SUCCESSFULLY.
And that’s all it takes to go from excuses to action.
You can do it. Just 3 minutes a day using MindPT will inspire, motivate, empower and energize you to be happy doing what you know you want to do but couldn’t get yourself to do...
Click below to join the MindPT Subscription Membership where you get your choice of two MindPT sessions targeted at YOUR challenge areas or areas of interest, each month (for the price of ONE!). You CAN lose the weight. You CAN change your lifestyle. And, it CAN be fun, easy and super rewarding!