It amazes me how many people I talk to tell me they can’t lose weight, can’t get fit, can’t get healthy.
Oh, they’re very good at coming up with excuses.
They don’t have time, can’t find the motivation, they travel too much, the workouts are too hard.
Or maybe they blame their weight issues on genetics, an undiagnosed thyroid condition, big bones.
Excuse after excuse.
The whining never stops. But it’s their loss.
Because no one can force you to be healthy.
It’s completely up to you. You have to choose it.
What are your priorities?
Some people really don’t care if they are in good shape or not. They’ve made a conscious decision that food X is more important to them than a strong, healthy, sexy body and a long life.
And that’s OK.
But if you do choose to eat that fifth slice of pizza, or that second bowl of ice cream, don’t tell me that you can’t lose weight.
Because if I ate five pieces of pizza in one sitting, day after day, and skipped out on my veggies, I’d be fat too.
You have to choose
A few years ago, when I first got interested in health and fitness, I watched as some of my personal trainer friends made the decision to compete in bodybuilding contests. I watched as they carefully designed a strict training regimen, and went on a diet so limited they basically ate the same, boring thing for months (think boiled chicken and steamed veggies in plastic containers).
I watched as their bodies became muscular and chiseled, as they brought out mounds of fake tanning spray getting ready for the big day.
I knew that if I wanted, I could compete as a female bodybuilder or work as a fitness model as well.
But I made the conscious decision not to.
It didn’t take me long to realize that dinner out with friends, good wine and a cookie here and there were more important to me than perfect six pack abs.
I chose the balanced lifestyle, not the extreme one.
You have to choose, too. Will you prioritize your health?
Most people in this world fail to understand that most of what they say they can’t do is a choice. Sure, there are extreme circumstances, but I’m not addressing these here.
For example, here are some common perceptions that people have regarding their situations, and the reality that debunks those perceptions:
Perception: “I’m not a natural athlete like you, so I can’t do your workouts.”
Reality: Before I decided to study for my personal training certification a few years ago, I couldn’t even do a single push up. Not one.
I told myself that push ups were too hard, that my arms were too spaghetti-like, that only guys had the arm strength to complete them. So I didn’t even try to do one.
I chose to be weak. To refuse to push myself.
Will you push yourself?
Perception: “I work a lot and have a family so I don’t have time to exercise or eat right.”
Reality: These workouts take between 12 and 16 minutes. Everyone has between 12 and 16 extra minutes a day.
If lack of time is your excuse, you’re kidding yourself. Watch 12 minutes less of that stupid reality TV show you love. Get up 12 minutes earlier. Cut 12 minutes out of your coffee break and get in a quick midday workout.
If you’re a procrastinator, the time isn’t going to exercise isn’t going to magically appear. You have to make time to work out.
If you can’t, you don’t want the outcome (being healthy, fit and strong) badly enough.
Perception: “I travel for work, so it’s impossible for me to eat healthy.”
Reality: It’s true that depending on where you go, there may be less healthy food options available to you. You can’t cook for yourself, and you may actually be required to go out to meals with colleagues if you’re on a work trip.
But that doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to eating unhealthy your entire trip.
When I travel, I definitely don’t find it as easy to eat as well as I do when I cook at home. But that doesn’t mean I let my health go to pieces.
Here’s how I keep myself in shape while traveling:
- I work out every single day.
- As soon as I arrive to my destination, I go to a grocery store and load up on healthy snacks like fruits, veggies and some sort of protein. If there’s a fridge at my destination, I’ll also buy some greek yogurt and coconut water.
- I eat a healthy breakfast like oatmeal with protein powder every morning.
- I bring a bag of protein powder with me and have a protein shake as a snack and after workouts.
- When I do dine out, I don’t go crazy. I get a salad plus whatever the healthiest thing at the restaurant is, and limit my portion sizes.
- I allow myself one to two reasonable sized indulgences a day, usually a latte, frozen yogurt, or a really good dessert (I don’t touch the bad ones).
- I take lots of walks. While everyone else gets cabs or shuttles, I choose to walk, even if it’s a couple of miles.
None of these methods are hard to do, but the combination will keep you healthy and fit even if you travel often.
It’s up to you
If you want to be out of shape, be out of shape. If you want to put yourself at risk for a crapload of diseases like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease with what you eat, do so.
But don’t act helpless.
Don’t say you can’t lose weight. That you can’t be healthy.
Because if you want something bad enough, if you really, truly want it… you’ll find a way to get it.
And that’s as true with your health as it is with anything else in life.
It’s your choice.
So what will you choose?