Monday, February 25, 2013

excuses are like armpits--everyone has them and they stink

it happens more often than we care to admit:  you're strong out of the gate, hitting the gym every day, you're eating clean, going for a run instead of lounging on the couch, in an effort to both look and feel your best.  enter dinner with friends.  family vacations.  a night in with ben & jerry.  more ben & jerry.  suddenly, you've fallen off the wagon, or at least hanging dangerously over the side.

you shouldn't have to choose between having fun and staying fit.  just don't make excuses.  i've heard them all before, and even used to use some of them, but i'm putting a stop to them right freaking now!

the excuse:  "i never have time to work out."
the solution:  if you penciled in your workouts the way you do work meetings and dinners with friends, you'd poke a hole in your own excuse.  still, you can make up for missed sweat sessions by tracking your steps.  a study found that people who wore a pedometer clocked 1,000 more steps (about half a mile) per day than those who didn't tally their footfalls.  taking the stairs or going for a walk on your lunch break doesn't take the place of hitting the gym, but it can pinch-hit on the days when you have to break an exercise date with yourself.  what's more, tracking your daily totals will motivate you to move at least that much the next day.  strap on a pedometer or download the itreadmill app for your iphone.

the excuse:  "i can't get motivated in the morning."
the solution:  morning workouts are a necessary evil for those who work late or want any kind of social life.  it's also the best way to guarantee you'll get your exercise in before life's daily chaos zaps your willpower.  the trick is to mentally commit to just one set of your weight circuit or 15 minutes of your run.  once you're out the door and moving, you'll almost always bang out the whole thing!

the excuse:  "i'm too hungry and tired to exercise after a long day at work."
the solution: sustain your energy all day by eating a lunch that is rich in lean protein and complex carbohydrates.  these nutrients keep glucose levels steady and energy up.  try drinking caffeine about 45 minutes before you plan to workout.  caffeine blocks adenosine receptors, which can make you feel drowsy, and research shows it also ups your exercise endurance.  that's why so many "pre" workout supplements contain caffeine.  without fail, i'm downing 8-10 ounces of water, mixed with a pre-workout to help keep my energy levels up while training.

social situations as adults still leave us prey to peer pressure.  don't give in when people try to guilt you into sloughing it at the gym in order to still have a social life.  the work environment and social scenes we partake in will be full of people saying, "you work so hard that you can afford to eat _____."  know what i say?  "if i believed those excuses, i'd be back to an unhealthy body fat percentage and wearing size 14/16 pants again."  just as i don't want you making excuses for why you can't get healthy, i also don't want you to make excuses as to why you can't make unhealthy choices.

be honest with your peers.  when offered something that you know you really shouldn't be eating, tell them that you don't eat that.  i used to say "i can't" until someone said that i had a choice and that this healthy eating isn't being forced on me.  you know what, she was right.  it is a choice.  that's why i "don't" eat foods like that.

you'll never regret making the healthier choice or giving an honest answer about your lifestyle.  you'll probably regret, however, eating something, drinking something, or ditching the gym.  don't retrogress.  keep moving forward.  no excuses!

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

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