My Lame Excuse List

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

42 thoughts on “My Lame Excuse List

  1. vickie says:

    Decade, year, month, day, hour

    it is easy to let each one pass on to the next. Sort of like when we were children and it took forever for Christmas to roll around, only in reverse. As adults, the years go quickly.

    And I am always amazed at how much time we all spend worrying about things rather than doing them. If we spent half our fretting time in action, a lot of our problems would be solved.
    .-= vickie´s last blog ..FEAR – the base of it all =-.

  2. Laura says:

    I think that all depends on what you want and how you want to achieve it. Life is not always easy and we have to say no to these “I can’t start” excuse.

    After a lesion in a foot that lasted half a year, I have spend two years. In the first one and a half, I exercised only a little, because I was afraid that the lesion returned. This was my excuse. But I decided to exercise. And I did it for 6 months… until last week, when the pain came back… only that this time was the other foot.

    I stopped working out, but this is not an excuse. I’m counting the days to the visit to doctor, and the first thing I will ask him is what sports can I do and if there is som gym I can do to avoid the lesion.

    This could have been a great excuse again, but I’m decided that this time this won’t be.

  3. Joanna Sutter says:

    I love it when people say they’ll start working out on Monday or start their diets on Monday. Today is your Monday…just do it! Taking control of your body is so empowering I’d hate for anyone to miss another day without that feeling!
    .-= Joanna Sutter´s last blog ..Putting Cup Back in Cupcake =-.

  4. Lance says:

    “It’s too cold outside” (to put off running)
    “I have too much work to do” (to put off exercise in general)

    I try not to let these overtake me too often…but they still do on occasion. I love the message here, that the excuses are only just holding us back from being the best “us” we can be.
    .-= Lance´s last blog ..Be Remarkable! =-.

  5. Yum Yucky says:

    Well…my excuse-ing is a little different. Like I can’t quit being on the Internet that sucks up all the time I could be exercising. Like right now in fact. (But you know I have to check you out every morning, Diane.)

    Now let me stop being semi-lame and say “NO” to the Internet for 30 mintues so I can stretch. Today is stretching day. Ahhh….
    .-= Yum Yucky´s last blog .."Tasting!" Special K Fruit Crisps =-.

  6. Mia says:

    I was constantly on a diet, for years! No excuse for me!

    For years I tried to loose the 50 pounds that had erupted on me! But I was doing it ALL WRONG! Like…Well I’m starting a diet tomorrow so I had better eat everything that I’m giving up, tonight! Or, I’m starting on Monday so I had better enjoy this weekend. Also, I did the wrong kind of diets drastically cutting my calories so that after about 3 days I couldn’t function because I was soooo hungry. This would then set off a monstrous binge! So despite dieting for many many years, I was FAT!!

    My epiphany came a few months after regaining 25 pounds over Christmas Break. I spent months loosing those pounds and I gained it all back in 4 weeks! That did it! No more dieting. Diets didn’t work. I started making those small changes that led to a healthy lifestyle that resulted in a 50 pound weight loss!

    So I didn’t have excuses but I also didn’t have the right knowledge and attitude to loose weight right.

    Mia

  7. Susan says:

    I don’t think I made excuses about my weight when it was 197 I was just numb about it. What made me finally want to change was looking at my wedding pictures and being embrassed by how fat I looked in them.Those pictures finally snapped me out of my denial that I was Fat and somthing had to change and it did I joined a gym, got a trainer for a while and changed my eating for good.

  8. South Beach Steve says:

    I haven’t had the “I can’t get started because” excuse, but I have had the, “oh, it is just one day off the plan” excuse. On your thought though, we live in a society that empowers the excuses. What I mean is that those we are around are all-too-often saying, “Come on Diane, it is only one meal, it isn’t going to kill you.” Never realizing that it is.
    .-= South Beach Steve´s last blog ..Perfect 10 Update Number Two =-.

  9. WaistingTime says:

    I’m like you. It was always something on the calendar. Why start today when I am at an event next week and won’t be able to control what is served? And I also looked back, countless times, and berated myself… If only I’d started then I’d weigh less now!

    This December, after regaining weight yet again when I really, really thought I had this licked, I decided that I couldn’t wait for the calendar any more. I rededicated a few days before New Year’s instead of waiting. So far, so good:)
    .-= WaistingTime´s last blog ..All My Eggs in One Basket =-.

  10. TLEstrogen says:

    My favorite excuse was always “I’ll wait till New Year’s Day so I can eat what I want over the holidays.” Funny that when I finally got going this time, I started right before the holidays and ate sensibly (for the most part) all the way through it.
    .-= TLEstrogen´s last blog ..High Fructose Corn Syrup: Owned! =-.

  11. Diane says:

    Both times that I started have been in “wrong ” times- the first was on February 7 and the recent one was Dec 2. Both times my journey was not begun with a lot of forethought, but one of those absolutely devastating moments that make you sit up and say “THIS CHANGES NOW”. I never thought about upcoming parties, holidays ,excuses or anything beyond the fact that life could not continue on this way for even a second longer, and with the next breath the journey had begun.Before those moments I never even gave weight loss a consideration.
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..When squash attack =-.

  12. Anonymous Fat Girl says:

    I can completely relate the excuses because of the holidays. I always had that too. October is out – Halloween candy. November & December is out due to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then January I would maybe *try* since it was the thing to “do” but I would fail. Then February we had Valentine’s Day candy and the excuses continued.

    I’m so glad I started my journey again in earnest the beginning of November this time. It was my way of telling myself, “You CAN do this. You can get healthy through the holidays. There is NOTHING that will stop you. You have NO MORE excuses.”
    .-= Anonymous Fat Girl´s last blog ..Fat ass to gym rat, week 10, video 7 =-.

  13. erin says:

    Ah, excuses. I was great at those. No time, no money for a gym membership, no energy (duh-I wasn’t exercising!). All of those things were excuses. And the plan to start on Monday? Did that SO many times. This time, I told myself enough was enough. I was sick of being fat, sick of talking about being fat, and I was going to change!
    .-= erin´s last blog ..Friday Five: Books to Read =-.

  14. Barbara says:

    My tip for getting started is too fool yourself that you aren’t going to make big changes. I made small changes and goals first and worked up from there. As time progressed, I made new habits and the changes were larger but I could handle it.

  15. Marcelle says:

    I can relate to this post…I felt so different from the slim me to the fat me, I acted different, I dressed differently, I felt different inside.
    Am pleased I had the fat experience as I have so much more compassion for overweight people and now know how they feel – they like me pretend to be happy with the way they look – now I know that is not true..they want to be slimmer they just dont know how.
    .-= Marcelle´s last blog ..Is It Friday Already? =-.

  16. Sunny says:

    Yeah, this time, I accepted, early on, that the excuses/scapegoating had to stop. Which I explained here:

    http://www.thesunnylife.com/2009/06/exceptions-excuse-scapegoat.html

    It’s all about ponying up to the plate, and accepting responsibility for our own health. No one can force us to do it; I think, like an alcoholic, we each have to reach our own breaking point before we can really do the hard work necessary to commit to this for life. 🙂
    .-= Sunny´s last blog ..Feeding your real needs =-.

  17. 'Drea says:

    I had the opposite issue. I didn’t make excuses. In fact, I thought I was sexy. 😉 So, there was no need to start with a weight loss routine.

    There was a point when I stopped feeling sexy and I hit the pavement to start walking for, at least, an hour for 5-6 days a week…
    .-= ‘Drea´s last blog ..Take The Time To Squeeze It =-.

  18. Shelley B says:

    I was the queen of excuses, which makes it all the more funny that when I decided to stop the madness and lose the weight, it was about a week before my son’s high school graduation (with family coming in from out of state), followed by my birthday, my husband’s birthday, our wedding anniversary…and YES, I still managed to stay on plan. I guess when you’re really ready, nothing will get in your way.
    .-= Shelley B´s last blog ..Souper Winner and Randomness… =-.

  19. Hope @ Hope's Journey says:

    “The more weight I gained, the harder it became to lose it.” I was the exact same way. When I was growing up, we never had a bathroom scale, but I remember that my Grandma always had one, so I would weigh myself when I went over to her house. I distinctly remember the last time I weighed myself until I was about 20 years old. I was 15, and I weighed 240, after that, I decided to stop weighing myself, because hey, if I don’t know the number than it doesn’t matter. I didn’t care about losing weight because I was gaining. Sorry for the tangent, but I can so relate to that statement.

    Moving along, as I said kind of above, my favorite excuse was “why bother?” and my tip to people who are having trouble now is this: Just DO it, and DON’T give up. 🙂

    Have a great weekend, and great post!

    Hope

  20. Stacy says:

    For me it is pictures that make me start on the weight loss. You can’t make excuses when you see clear as day what you look like. This time I was with my cousins and my sister. It was a happy moment, but also an eye opener. All of us were in need of being healthier and losing weight. It makes me sad that this weight thing is such a struggle for so many people. My family has its fair share of obesity. I know that if I don’t watch the weight gain now, that I have a future with Diabetes and Heart Disease. I gain weight first around my waist, which a risk factor for heart disease. I try to keep that in my mind when on this journey.
    .-= Stacy´s last blog ..Haircut =-.

  21. Gelareh @ Orange Truffle says:

    my list:
    – I will start on Monday
    – I haven’t been to this resturant in a long time and I really love their “x” dish
    – I am paying for half of that bottle of wine so I should my half.
    – But I love Cheesecake.. I will be good tomorrow.

  22. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    Diane, such a real post as usual!!!! I was never as heavy as some I read about on the blogs but I felt that way in my mind. That was my excuse.. what my mind was telling me. Again, I was young when I lots the weight so my motivations were stupid things like getting a boyfriend & having people like me… well that one works for adults too!

    As I got older & still needed to change things, it was a mind game because the self-esteem is so low & yes, people treat you differently.

    I think a piece of advice to get going… you really do not have all the time in the world. You are playing with your life & health. Do you have kids, a husband? Do you want to be around for them? Do you want your children to grow up with the same issues as you & follow in your footsteps? Do this not only for them but for you! You are worth it!
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..Workout Shoes,Apparel,Gear Help; Giveaway Winners; Hair =-.

  23. The Chubby Girl Diaries says:

    Awesome post! :o)

    I always had a trunk full of excuses. First, I wanted to start my diets on Monday. No other day of the week would work for me. It had to be “at the beginning of the week” or no dice.

    Second, I would always think ahead about all of the “stuff I would be missing out on” and when I say stuff, I mean eating. This would usually include holidays, weddings, any family event, my anniversary, birthdays, you name it.

    Piece of advice: Start today. Don’t start tomorrow. If you count on “starting tomorrow” because you want to have one last rendezvous with food then take it from me; you will be “starting tomorrow” for awhile. Until you wake up and realize that you may not have anymore tomorrows left. Start today and take it all one day at a time.
    .-= The Chubby Girl Diaries´s last blog ..The date night challenge =-.

  24. Erin says:

    I’m working on this right now because of my injury. I can’t go to the gym because I can’t do any cardio. And then I think, I CAN go to the gym EVEN IF I can’t do any cardio. There are plenty of other things I can do at the gym than cardio!!!!
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Weigh-In THURSDAY =-.

  25. Alissa says:

    I hear so many people make the excuse that they’ll start Monday or after some Holiday or event. You’re so right. We have to embrace the moment and begin making healthy choices right away.
    .-= Alissa´s last blog ..Just an Update =-.

  26. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    For quite a while, I was waiting for life to be “normal” or “easy” to start doing something about my health. I didn’t realize that working on improving my health would actually make life a bit better when life was very difficult. Taking care of myself was actually something I had some control over (when there was so much I couldn’t control at the time). Ultimately, realizing that my health and weight was up to me was a powerful realization and a big motivator.

  27. Leah says:

    Unfortunately, I’ve made plenty of excuses both in my past and just this past eight months of my weight loss journey.

    My main excuse used to be, “I have a slower metabolism.” I think it was true in part, but I know that the lack of exercise wasn’t helping any either.

    I have to many excuses to name, but something I’m working towards is to be an example and not an excuse.

    This post was close to home for me. Time to stop making excuses and just get it done.

    Thank you for your posts. 🙂
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..Weigh-In … Cautiously Excited =-.

  28. zaababy says:

    Oooooo this is fun! I have not thought about my excuses at all. I enjoyed my walk down memory lane, and rejoice that I am different now.
    1. I can’t start a diet now, (insert holiday here) is coming up!
    2. I walked around WalMart for over an hour. I deserve McD’s/Taco Bell/Sonic/candybar from the checkout lane!
    3. There is no way I can lose 200 pounds.
    4. It will take too long to lose 200 pounds.
    5. I want to be thin by (insert date here) but I’ll never lose 200 pounds in that time.
    6. I can’t lose weight. Others can, but they have something ‘special’, some ‘secret’ that I haven’t discovered.
    7. I don’t want to diet, I love food!!!!!!
    8. I hate fish and cauliflower and asparagus and turkey bacon and if I go on a diet I’ll have to eat foods I hate and never get to eat another hamburger or brownie or (insert delicious food here) and I just can’t do it. I have no self control.
    9. And the last 10 years or so my excuse for not losing weight was I genuinely didn’t think I had the consistency and determination to succeed. I thought losing weight was filled with deprivation and loss, agony and heartbreak, days filled with struggle after struggle as I tried to say no to ‘bad’ foods. If you’re a smoker, as I used to be oh so long ago, and you even THINK about quitting you immediately want another cigarette. The thought of never ever having another cigarette for the rest of your life is insanity. When I, as a 356 pound woman, would think of the agony of a diet that I would fail like all the others, I immediately pushed it out of my mind and continued eating what I wanted when I wanted however much of it I wanted. I am so thankful that I am not like that anymore. The day I decided to lose weight was the best day of my life. My life is so different now from then!
    Love your blog Diane. Excellent post as always!!!

  29. Gigi says:

    I think my biggest excuse was I couldn’t (wouldn’t) get started because I was just too far gone to turn things around. At some point I realized that time is not a renewable resource and I had to stop wasting it by always promising myself I’d get to the weight loss thing “sometime soon”.
    .-= Gigi´s last blog ..Catching Up =-.

  30. Susan says:

    I was a “tomorrow” person. Every day I would tell myself the next day would be different, and it never was. I didn’t start being successful at weight loss until I started seeing it as a “right now” decision. In fact, I made my decision at 11pm on a Friday night. No waiting till the tomorrow or Monday, and I’ve been making instant decisions ever since 🙂
    .-= Susan´s last blog ..Winner Winner Chicken Dinner =-.

  31. Hilary says:

    I would have to say that many of my excuses revolve around the fact that I often get hyper-critical about things. So if I wasn’t going to be able to do an exercise well, or for what I considered a “long enough” amount of time, for example, I might just not do it at all. I have become a little gentler on myself with some of these criteria, which has helped me to be much more consistent with getting some kind of fitness activity in most days of the week lately.
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..Night and Day (With Progress Picture) =-.

  32. Quix says:

    I always blamed my circumstances. The industry I work in is not known for fostering healthy people/employees (video games). My (then boyfriend, now hubby) wasn’t into fitness AT ALL. I had weak ankles. I worked a lot. Blah blah blah.

    My suggestion is to give it a month. Really commit to a sensible diet program that looks less like torture than the rest of them (aka – south beach/atkins/etc was NOT for me because I hated the good food/bad food thing, counting calories drives other people crazy but worked for me) and a little movement a few days a week. But really, it just takes doing, and starting, and seeing some results! After a month and 8 lbs gone, I was hooked and I didn’t stop…
    .-= Quix´s last blog ..Second Half Marathon Training: Week 9 =-.

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