Excuses. We all make them. But some people seem to make them more than others. "I can't because..."
Actually, you can. You're just choosing not to. What are you afraid of? If it's failure, remember we all fail. Your character is determined by how you bounce back from your failure. If you don't show up because you might be the slowest - well, isn't that all the more reason to come?
1. It's too early
- No. It's not. You just don't want to get out of bed. Everyone loves sleep - we get that. Not only does working out early leave room for other priorities during the day, you'll be more focused when you get to the office. Plus, you are more likely to eat well throughout the day when you exercise early as you don't want to undo the work you put in. You have less distractions in the morning, and you will also jump-start your metabolism. So, just get up and get the workout out of the way. You'll be glad you did and you'll feel great too.
2. I don't have the willpower
- Don't aim to be perfect. No one is perfect. Studies show that people who demand perfection of themselves are more likely to slip-up and therefore, quit. Do your best. If you miss a workout, it's okay. If you eat the whole cake, it's okay. Just don't do it all the time. You can do this - start slow and build up. Don't aim for 2 hour workouts 7 days per week. If you're a new runner, don't try to run 40 miles your first week with 2 speed workouts. You'll probably get hurt, and you'll definitely burn out. Take it slow and build up. Do your research and ask questions. You'll learn along the way what works for you.
3. It's too late to start
- No, it isn't. Change is hard, but perpetual dissatisfaction is no walk in the park either. Start embracing the discomfort if you want to experience change. Change isn't easy, and you'll have to work to get results. But, isn't that better than constantly being dissatisfied with yourself?
4. I'll fail
- So what? Who hasn't failed at something? We've all been there and quite frankly, it's how we learn. Think of the positives and how you would encourage someone else to do what you are doing. Your journey won't be perfect - no one has a perfect life. So, don't expect perfection. Just do your best. If you don't make it, just get back up and try again. Need an example? Here you go: I know someone who lost 100 pounds through running/weights and eating healthy. This person slowly stopped exercising due to a demanding schedule. The person also stopped eating well and eventually gained all 100 pounds (plus some) back. The person was dissatisfied with their life, and remembered how great they felt when they were 100lbs lighter. They became frustrated and sad. But, they got back up and started again. Was that easy? Absolutely not. I have so much respect for this person - they're doing what they need to do despite the fact it hasn't been easy. You can do this.
5. My friend isn't coming, and I don't want to go without them
- You're a big kid and you can do things on your own. If you don't show up because your pal can't come, you're not going to get the results you want. In the meantime, others who are willing to put in the work are going to reap the benefits. Don't feel as though you have to run every run or do every workout with your buddy. We all have different fitness levels and sometimes you need to do what's best for you. If your pal runs 10:00 minute miles and you're slowing down every time to run with them, you will not get better. Remember, if you want to be a lion, you have to train with lions. This doesn't mean you need to stop training with this person - you can totally do a few workouts with them and a few on your own. If your friend cannot respect the fact that you want to get better and stronger on your own a few days per week, you need to reevaluate your training partner.
6. I never see results
- Are you sure you're not missing them? Perhaps you're expecting results too soon. One ab workout isn't going to give you a 6 pack in the same way that one speed workout isn't going to help you break 20:00 in the 5k. Also - take into account what you are doing. Are you strictly doing cardio? Throw in some strength training too. What you do makes a difference. The same applies for racing - if you train for a 5k and are disappointed with your half marathon results, you need to look at the work you put in. You likely worked on short speed as opposed to endurance and speed. This makes a difference. Do what is proper for your goals.
7. I'm the slowest/most out of shape person there
- Oh well. We all start somewhere. Maybe you're used to being the best at everything or you're still living in your high school glory days. Maybe you are brand new to exercise and you're scared. Either way, today is a new day. There is always going to be someone better, faster, and stronger than you. If the reason you don't want to show up and give 100% is because you're the weakest/slowest or because you're used to being the best, you are missing out. Set your pride aside, and put the work in. You may surprise yourself.
8. I'm too stressed and tired
- Exercise will help with this. At first, you may feel more tired, but you'll get used to it and in the long run, you'll feel better. After a long day at the office, hitting the punching bag or going for a long run can feel great. Maybe you've had a long week and a nice yoga class or bike ride on Saturday morning is just what you need. Maybe it's 4:30am and you're just dragging. I promise you that if you get out of bed and work out, you'll be glad you did. You'll be less stressed during the day, and you'll just be more focused. You'll probably eat better as well, which will help with your energy levels. Give it a shot.
9. I don't have time
- No one actually has time. You have to make time. Schedule your workouts. Join a group class or running group. Put it on your calendar. Then, don't cancel. Don't cancel on yourself, and don't cancel on your friends.
10. I feel guilty
- Don't feel guilty for taking care of yourself. If you cannot adequately care for yourself, how are you to care for your family and friends? Your mental and physical health should be a top priority. This will allow you to do your best for yourself and for those you love. Take the time to exercise and be healthy. Take a nice bubble bath and have some wine - just take care of you both physically and mentally. When you are able to adequately and happily care for others in your life, you'll feel great.
So, stop making excuses. We all have days when we need to rest, and that is okay. But, when that becomes everyday, it's time to reevaluate. If you're not showing up because your friend cannot come, it's time to become your own motivator. If you think you'll fail, it's time to realize that we all fail, and that you can bounce back. If you think you don't have time, schedule your workouts and you'll be amazed at how much better you feel. If you give up because you don't see results soon enough, give yourself time and evaluate the work you're doing.
You can do this. Whether you're struggling with speed work or you are new to exercise, it's time to get up and give it 100%. You'll learn something about yourself in the process - I promise.
See you in the morning.
Who Picks the Topics?
Each week, we notice different things. We try to incorporate the questions we are receiving or the training issues we are noticing into our post(s) for the week. If there is something you'd like us to cover, let us know!