Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Excuses, Excuses, Opportunity to Stay Stuck

There are always a gazillion reasons to put off implementing changes that we KNOW will benefit us in the long run. The timing isn't right, it costs too much, we don't have time to learn something new, it is just a hassle, we're stressed and want life to be easy.

These can be accurate and very real, but they are also excuses that we can allow to sabotage our efforts to improve our lives.

I've been facing this regarding my old one (it is about 6 years old) is dying. Its speed has dropped to a crawl. Only some of my programs work--others are randomly disappearing. I can't turn it off because if I do it won't restart and then I have to restore it.

Seems like a lot of bother to stick with something that is supposed to be a tool to make my life easier. But I know it. I'm comfortable with it. New computers have a different operating system and I'll have to learn that. Plus, it costs a lot of money to buy a new computer. Not to mention the time to research what I need, and what I want, in a computer. In other words, getting a new computer means I will have to change, I will have to break out of my comfortable rut.

The final straw? I have to access the internet from someone else's computer because that functionality has been lost. So yesterday afternoon I went out and bought a new computer. After dragging my heels and limping along for a month now, I have a shiny new computer. Of course it is still in the box...but it is a start. It is a step in the direction. Next I'll take another step, then another.

We do the same thing about reaching weight loss goals...we make lots of excuses...because changing is HARD! Or at least we think it is.

Recognize any of these?

  • "I don't have time."
  • "It is too hot to cook healthy foods."
  • "I'm too tired."
  • "I'm feet back hurts...I can't breathe..." (insert any of a myriad of physical ailments, real or perceived.)
  • "I don't know how to exercise" (or cook healthy, or shop for healthy foods...)
  • "It is too hard, I'd have to prepare different foods for my family..."
  • "It is too expensive to eat healthy and to work out"
  • "I don't belong to a gym/ I can't afford to join a gym"
  • "We are just so busy right now, I'll make time when ___" (fill in the blank)
  • "I don't want to be seen in public exercising because I'm ashamed of my body"
  • "I'm too fat to go to the gym"
  • "We're going on vacation (or to my parents) and I want to enjoy myself"
  • "I'm so busy at work and I'm so stressed...I just want to unwind when I get home"
  • "Food is the way I relax, it is how I socialize"
  • "I have given up so much, there isn't anything else I can give up"
  • "Summer is time for picnics, barbecues and beer"
Even when our justifications are accurate (which most of the time they aren't--at least not 100%) they are really just excuses to keep us from moving forward.

This is why it is helpful to look at the changes we make to achieve weight loss as small steps, not radical changes. It is so much easier to take one small step at a time. We can make all sorts of complex plans and set goals to lose 10 pounds a month, but if it is too big then it is such a challenge it seems overwhelming...and it is just easier to push it off and push it off, until finally the final straw happens that forces a change. Maybe that straw is that your body no longer functions and you have a serious illness (like my computer.) It is so much easier to make the changes when you can afford to take small steps, rather than forced complete overhaul.

When we make small changes the results aren't as fast and sexy...we may not have the shiny new computer appear on our desk in a day or a week...but they are much more likely to stick.

Think of the small changes like learning the new computer system so that we ultimately have this slick machine. Contrast that with a crash-course or crash diet, you may get some immediate results, but if I rebuild my computer and give it a fresh "coat of paint" it is still the same old machine that will need to be replaced soon.

Your body is an incredible, powerful, machine...just like a computer, only better! Don't wait until your computer crashes to take care of it! Start with the small maintenance items that you can do NOW and you will keep that machine running smoothly for years to come.


Bonnie Gortler said...


Good morning. A pleasure to read your E mail with your latest blog post. Starting somewhere was the best thing that I did. I don't make excuses anymore I just do the action.

I still remember when we E mailed each other when I was away in Aruba and you helped me push a little harder and not make any excuses.

I have now lost 32 pounds, a big difference, all by taking a small steps and not waiting till it was too late. Thank you for sharing your articles!

My very best to you
~Create an excellent day!

Bonnie Gortler

Laurie Tossy said...


Congrats on your achievements! You are a great example of how taking small steps can make a big difference in our lives.

We all start in different places...the key is not where we start, just that we DO!

Thanks for sharing your success and inspiring others to achieve their own weight loss success!