Being overweight seemed to have some advantages. I didn’t have the desire to buy a lot of clothes, so I used the excuse that we couldn’t afford new clothes for me as a reason for looking so incredibly dowdy. I felt uncomfortable in some social situations, so I learned to invent excuses to get out of parties and outings. I learned that right or wrong, a lot of people judge others on their appearance. Thus I realized that people didn’t expect a lot from me. I think a lot of them thought I was lazy and stupid, so they didn’t ask for my help. But just in case they did ask, I always had the “I’m too tired” excuse sticking in my back pocket when people wanted me to do something that required physical activity.
I also used a lot of excuses when it came to weight loss.
- I couldn’t diet in February because it was Valentine’s Day.
- July wouldn’t work either since it was fourth of July.
- Anytime after mid-August was completely out since a lot of family birthdays took place then.
- And you might as well “x” off November and December because of that was too hard a time to diet through.
So basically, no matter what time of year it was, it was the wrong time to try and lose weight and get fit. If I didn’t blame the calendar for not beginning a weight loss program, then I would find another target. I couldn’t start Weight Watchers again because we couldn’t afford it. And since we couldn’t afford to join Weight Watchers right then, I couldn’t just try on my own either. I never acknowledged that the money I was spending on fast food meals and chocolate would have easily paid for a very long-term membership at Weight Watchers.
It was just one excuse after the other.
Even though I did try over and over to lose weight, I spent more time making excuses for why I couldn’t lose weight than I did focusing on my eating. With each and every lame excuse that came out of my mouth, even I knew what I was doing. I was putting off for another day what needed to be done right then. The more weight I gained, the harder it became to lose it. I often think if I had just gotten serious about my weight after I gained the first 30 pounds it would have been so much easier to lose that relatively small amount, but I didn’t. I just watched the scale inch up, then leap up, until I was dangerously overweight. I recall with such clarity the first time I saw the big clunky weight on the doctor’s scale move over to signal I had achieved another milestone in my life. I had topped 250 pounds. I remember the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, “I’ll never lose it,” I thought. And for a long time I didn’t. I used every excuse that came to mind, from the calendar to finances and everything in between.
Finally, one day, the excuses had to stop. They stopped when I came to a point in my life that I knew I had to make a change, and I was ready. After all, the pages on the calendar keep turning in the same order year after year. Why did I let the time of year stop me from getting serious about my weight loss? In 1997 I didn’t let anything stop me. I worked through the physical issues of cutting back on the amount of food I ate. I worked through the emotional issues I was struggling with. I prayed for strength and courage, because it took courage to say “no” to food I loved. And with persistence and hard work it paid off. I stopped making excuses for why “now” wasn’t a good time to get fit and get serious about weight loss.
What’s been your favorite “I can’t get started” excuse? Or do you have a tip for people who are having trouble getting going? Diane