As a personal trainer my job is to teach people how to balance exercise, food and life. However, I have another job — chief excuse combater. I spend a good deal of time overcoming objections to living a healthy and fit life.

A Real Excuse
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photo by Pattista

I’ve heard every excuse there is for not exercising or eating well. Recently, I decided to ask my Facebook pals to give me the excuses they hear the most often.  Here are the top excuses they hear from their friends (and my reasons why they don’t stand up).

  1. I don’t have time. Really? How much time did you spend in front of the TV last night? How many naps last week? How many hours fighting illness last year? This is the number one excuse I hear and it is also the lamest. If you make something a priority you will find the time. I recently read an article about a woman with 5 kids (one with special needs) who has a full time job and is a student. And she’s training for a triathlon.  Don’t tell me you don’t have time.
  2. It’s too expensive. How much money do you spend eating out each week? How much money do you spend on junk food? Tally it up and you will find plenty of money to spend on whole foods and some basic exercise equipment. Exercise does not require a gym. A stability ball, a couple of dumbbells and your own body will go a long way. Think of the expense in the long term too. Obesity costs you more in medical costs, clothing, and gas. Studies also show obese people get paid less.  It’s too expensive not being healthy and fit.
  3. I need to lose some weight before I start exercising.  This one always surprises me.  Exercise is crucial to losing fat, which is really the weight we want to lose.  Starvation diets help you lose weight – muscle, water and a little fat.  To lose one pound a week, you must create a deficit of 3500 calories a week or 500 calories a day. If you increase your activity level and burn an additional 250 calories per day then you just need to reduce your intake by 250 calories a day.  That’s a change most people can make without feeling deprived or starved.
  4. I was born this way; I’ll be fat no matter what I do.  But have you ever really tried? Have you ever given exercise and clean eating a real chance? Not a day or a week, but months to see how your body adapts and feels? I am not talking about fad diets, but real sustainable life changes. Genetics can certainly add a challenge but they are only a small part of the equation. Results come from doing the work.
  5. We all have to die sometime. Yes, this is true. I have not figured out how to live forever nor am I sure I would want to. I do want to make the most of the time I have. I want to have the energy and health to live each day to the fullest. Obesity limits how you can live that life. It takes away your ability to do basic things like walk up stairs or ride an amusement park ride with your grandkids.  It’s hard to travel the world when you can’t walk or you’re tied to an oxygen tank. This excuse, to me, is based out of fear of what life could be.

If you’ve been putting off starting the journey to health and fitness for one of the reasons above, consider yourself warned. They don’t hold water and I won’t accept them from you or anyone else.

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