By: Dr. Kim Feinstein, Red Mountain Weight Loss® Clinical Psychologist & Weight Loss Specialist
There is no shortage of excuses for unhealthy eating and lifestyle choices. In my many years as a Clinician, I believe I have heard them all. However, if your ultimate goal is long-term success with weight loss and a healthier lifestyle, it is time to take personal responsibility for your actions and OWN IT! doing so, you will empower yourself, be more in control, and avoid depending on others to help you. Owning it is your first step on the path to permanent weight loss.
Now is the time to own it!
If you want to make lasting lifestyle changes, you need to take ownership for your current behavior. No matter what excuses you made in the past or continue to make, or what has been a previous obstacle, you still have the power right now to make healthier lifestyle choices. If you want to lose weight and keep it off long term, you must accept and take ownership that what you have been doing in the past is not effective, so you must take responsibility and make a permanent change.
Whatever is holding you back from being your best self, we encourage to face it head on. Below are some of the most common excuses which we hear and some insight on how to change your mindset about them:
Often times, people say things like “after I hit a certain age, I just started gaining weight – and I didn’t change anything about my diet!” The problem with this mentality is that individuals struggling with menopause need to realize that since their body is changing, they need to change too. Instead of mourning the loss of a once-faster metabolism and continuing to live a lifestyle which will inevitably lead to poor health, it is important to make the adaptations necessary to accommodate for your newly functioning body.
“I’m too busy”
There is no such thing as “not having enough time.” In fact, with the right tools and prioritization strategy, anyone can successfully meal prep, work out and more. Whether it’s making small changes like walking while sending e-mails instead of sitting at your desk or packing your lunch instead of eating out, little lifestyle alterations can make a big difference.
“Being overweight is in my genes”
While this may be true, a family history of obesity does not mean that you cannot overcome it. It’s easy to make excuses and blame our own poor lifestyle habits on genetics or other people, but in reality, it’s the individual that chooses their own path. Stop using phrases like “If only…” (Ex. If only I was born with a fast metabolism). There’s no use in dwelling on what you don’t have. Instead, focus on what you do have and what you can do to reach your goals.
“My family doesn’t like to eat healthy”
“Yes, but…” excuses, like “Yes, I want to eat healthy, but my kids don’t like vegetables” keep the individual away from taking personal responsibility. Even though an action is recognizably wrong, some choose to blame others around them instead of tacking the problem at its core – themselves. Just because other people don’t want to follow your lead does not mean that you shouldn’t still work towards personal betterment! There’s no reason to shy away from your goals just because not everyone else is as inclined to work towards self-improvement too.
“I have too many social functions and activities”
The truth is that most of us like to celebrate and be social, and we celebrate everything from birthdays and holidays to Taco Tuesday, Margarita Monday and Sunday Funday. It is important to choose the occasions where you may splurge a little bit but remember that every celebration is not a “hall pass” to indulge and blow your healthy eating plan. It is possible to still enjoy holidays and celebrations without over-indulging. Learn to plan for healthy food options and say “no” to calorie bombs like birthday cake.
Since your thoughts and words shape your behavior, remember to be mindful of negative thinking habits and stop them when they come about. Taking ownership is key to finding real, viable solutions to the problems you may be struggling with.