Excuses, Excuses, Excuses – “I’m Not Ready”

In a previous posts I’ve talked about some excuses that I hear when people try to explain to me why they just can’t seem to diet and lose weight. There are a myriad of them, and I used them all at one time or another. Here’s one excuse that I hear very frequently – not only as a reason to not get started but as a reason peole quit before they reach their goals. And when I say “people” I’m including myself, because this is something I said over and over again!

It is:

I’m just not ready.

Like I said, I used this one myself for years, so I can come at this excuse from both sides.  From the side of having lost 150 pounds and kept it off, and the side of weighing 300 pounds and telling friends, “I’m just not ready to commit to a weight loss program.”  When people tell me this now, this is what I think: What are you not ready for:

High blood pressure? 

Bigger sized clothes? 


Difficulty with your joints? 


When we use the excuse, “I’m not ready,” what are we really saving?  We are saying “I’d rather deal with all the problems being overweight brings, than try one more time to get my weight under control.” 

That’s what I said.  I’d rather not fit into the seat belt or develop a potentially serious health issue than try to get healthy.  This excuse really doesn’t make any sense does it?  After all, who would willingly choose the unfortunate consequences of obesity over the benefits of healthy living?  When you see it written like that, it may give you pause.  Has your doctor ever cautioned you about what lies ahead if your weight doesn’t improve?  Mine did, and I didn’t listen very well.  He told me that I was heading down a slippery slope that was going to be harder and harder to climb up if I kept letting my weight creep up.

He was right.  It was a lot harder to lose 150 pounds than to lose the 50 I needed to at that point in time.  I didn’t listen to him then, but rather continued to gain and gain.  If you are midway through your journey right now, don’t be tempted to give up and tell yourself “I’m not ready to finish,” and let it go at that.  Tell yourself, “I’ll never be READY, so I may as well continue/start right now.”  That’s what I finally did.  I realized there was no perfect month to start.  There was no perfect day to get started, and there was no magic to a certain program.  I started, and I didn’t completely stop until I reached my goal weight.  It’s not about how long it takes, but the fact that you continue to try that’s important.

Have you ever felt “not ready” to get started? Do you ever feel that way along your journey?  How do you keep on track?  Diane

36 thoughts on “Excuses, Excuses, Excuses – “I’m Not Ready”

  1. Rachel says:

    I keep making excuses for not exercising. I’ve got the eating healthy thing down fairly well but I’ve not begun exercise. I hate it and the pounds are coming off fairly easy without it. I’m not sure when I’ll stop making excuses!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Goals for the Week ~ Rachel =-.

  2. Michelle@Sugarwand says:

    Oh yeah…cause I looked at it as this daunting task whereby I had to be so strict with myself and I didn’t want to be. I also didn’t want to give up bingeing because then I would have to face the emotional emptiness that I had. I suppose the thing that has recently hit me is that I deserve to be the person that I want to be. Eat a piece of cake and enjoy it, push back if I need to, workout cause it makes me feel good and also know that deep down I deserve to be the best that I can. It’s not easy, because the unknown..getting to where we have always dreamed of being is almost too much for some people. That use to be me.

  3. Diane says:

    I have never been one to put off till whenever what you could have done two weeks ago, but there have been times that certain moves were simply not possible because other things had to be addressed first.In our case we had to get m son’s Autism enough under “control” before anything as big and complex to him as a weight loss regimen. I learned about the protocol ( essential fatty acid supplements) and the next day determined we had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Six months later he was “present” enough to address the texture issues and so forth that got him (and us in turn) into such a bad state.Then it became a case of “just do it” and worry about the problems as they come up in the journey.
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..The Behinder I got 🙂 =-.

  4. Jody - Fit at 52 says:

    So many excuse Diane.. I think many just do NOT want to put in the hard work it takes to do this life long journey and/or they just don’t want to give up the food.. or at least cut back!

    I have heard many stories of doc visits telling people that they have to change their habits to live yet they don’t….

    I say JUST DO IT! Start today even if it is the tiniest of baby steps & keep taking those baby steps, with patience & consistency. There is never one right or wrong time… THE TIME IS NOW & TODAY. If you say tomorrow or Monday.. your life will be forever tomorrow or Monday.
    .-= Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog ..What Should I Do with the Rest of My Life? GIVEAWAY! =-.

  5. Jonathan says:

    Interesting subject.I’d rephrase it slightly – not “Are you ready?” but “Are you ready to do whatever it takes?”

    I think especially when you’re midway through there’s a huge temptation to give up. You’re tired of the self deprivation, the exercising (if you do that side of it), resentful of the diet’s impact on your social life. It’s so much easier just to give in and give up.

    The most important thing I find to combat those feelings is to look at the big picture. What’s a few months of pain compared to the gift you are giving yourself in terms of self worth? It’s a gift that can last a lifetime. And if you’ve wanted to do this for years or even decades, then you owe it to yourself to keep it going. Etc etc.
    .-= Jonathan´s last blog ..Update =-.

  6. Mia says:

    I have never used “I’m not ready!” I have been dieting since I was 10 years old. Either I was on a diet or pigging out before a diet!! Despite all the dieting I gain 50 pounds from the age of 16 to 19! I obviously wasn’t doing it right!! And I look back at all that effort and cringe! Today, though I watch what I eat I don’t diet anymore….well, I sort of do in my Maintenance Mode. Most importantly, I exercise almost daily.

    Today, if I was 50 pounds overweight, I won’t focus so much on “dieting” but rather daily exercise (starting easy at first but pushing myself to more strenuous workouts). And then slowly develop better eating habits over time. Fuel the machine!

  7. JourneyBeyondSurvival says:

    Totally. I’ve been there. Mostly I was too wrapped up in legitimate crisis.

    I hope to have a foolproof plan for when those things strike again. Because they will. I just haven’t found it yet.
    .-= JourneyBeyondSurvival´s last blog ..Plugged Up =-.

  8. Dr. J says:

    I had a friend who continued to try to lose weight, but always gave up. He gave me the idea to write my “first” diet book. It would be like those blank journaling books, except on the first page it would say, “When you really want to get fit get the real how to lose weight book!” One day he said to me, “I’ve realized that I just wasn’t ready before, you have to want to!” He was and now he succeeded!
    .-= Dr. J´s last blog ..Lab Notes: Like Salt or Sweets, the Human Tongue Can “Taste” Fat; Overprotective Parents May Slow Kids’ Brain Growth =-.

  9. Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman says:

    Yes, unfortunately. When my knees first got bad I said, “I can’t get to the gym regularly; work is more important.” Well, a lot of good that did me. I’m still dealing with knee pain years later. I wish I had just stopped focusing so much on work and put going to the gym first.
    .-= Tracey @ I’m Not Superhuman´s last blog ..In Which I Get Grumpy =-.

  10. Waisting Time says:

    I think that sometimes, in my years of yo-yo dieting, I was not mentally ready. I just did not have the motivation and mindset to stick to healthy eating. But sometimes I was very motivated. I am not sure what was different, but am glad that I became ready again and am well on my way to ending my yo-yo cycle.

  11. 'Drea says:

    For me, when I was in denial, I was in deep denial and nothing anyone said moved me. I took little strolls in the park but that was about it. When the light bulb finally went off, I started exercising for at least an hour and started keeping track of what I eat. Now? There’s no off button — even on days when I feel fatigued.

    Can you tell? I’m an extremist which is nothing to brag about but just a fact…
    .-= ‘Drea´s last blog ..No Magic Carpet Ride =-.

  12. Leah says:

    Yes, I’ve often felt “not ready”…mainly because I was so scared of failing AGAIN.

    I keep on track by reading your blog everyday, Diane. Many days I find exactly what I need to hear. Thank you for this ministry you have kept going day after day.
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..Perfect 10 Final Update =-.

  13. Angelia says:

    Oh yes! I find myself waiting for the right time, the right day. “Monday I’ll start eating right, that way it’s the first of the week and it’s easier to keep track.” Like that makes any sense at all! I’ve used “when I get paid, I’m going to buy new jogging shoes and then I’ll start eating right and excersizing.”
    .-= Angelia´s last blog ..Death of an Icon =-.

  14. suzanne says:

    I admit i do that too! This week i was ready to throw healthy eating out the window because monday, tuesday and wednesday i’m going to a first aid course. It was the timing that was bad as the course is 4-8:30 all three days! I normally eat dinner around 5:30 and didn’t want to wait until i got home so i figured i’d just eat the pizza that was being provided all three days!
    But then i thought no i can do this. I have planned my day so that i eat just before i go and it’s healthy and more than enough to keep me from eating the pizza! Two days down tonight is the last one and then victory is mine :)It’s so much easier to stay on the path than to jump off and have to get back on.
    .-= suzanne´s last blog ..Another day another walk 🙂 =-.

  15. Sunny says:

    Since I waited until my late 50’s to get serious…obviously. It wasn’t until I was starting to get all kinds of real, life-threatening (even) medical issues, that I got down to business. Sometimes one has to get near rock-bottom before we ‘get it.’ Sadly.
    .-= Sunny´s last blog ..Another Quickie! =-.

  16. kwithme says:

    I have said it before but now I am really hearing it from my mom. She is having the busiest most frustrating year working. She is retiring in June and keeps saying she will start then. Well, I keep pushing her to start now. Maybe not full out if that is too hard but START. Eat more veggies, exercise any time you can. When we get together we avoid the bad for you treats that we usually indulge in. It is kind of like changing to CF lightbulbs, find the healthy changes that you can manage and do those.

    For me, this time, I ate healthy foods until satisfied for 6 months and lost 2 lbs. THEN I addressed the amounts and have lost 25 lbs since Oct. So, the change was gradual and not too scary.

  17. Nancy B. Kennedy says:

    I love to hear it when a person finally decides they ARE ready. You can hear it in their voice, that NOW is the time and there’s no going back. There is no hesitation, no wistfulness for past behaviors. Setbacks, sure, but they’ve set their path. It is so exciting to encounter this readiness!
    .-= Nancy B. Kennedy´s last blog ..Me in the Soup, Chicken that is =-.

  18. MySensei says:

    I found myself making similar excuses when ever I try to start back up with exercising. I’m not ready until the weekend passes, or I’m not ready until our company leaves or when the rain stops…anything to prolong starting and to this day I am unsure why! But I guess once you get into the mind set that you want a change, you want to exercise again, you just do it and stick to it…

  19. Hope @ Hope's Journey says:

    I made a lot of excuses because I didn’t actually think I was as big as I was. I look back now, and I’m like “What was I thinking?” and really, I was just living in denial.

    Plus, I thought that living a healthy lifestyle means that you can NEVER have any food that you want. How wrong was I? Haha…

    Hope you’re doing well!


  20. empower me photo guy says:

    The power of the mind is so important in helping you achieve your goals and what you say here is so true, you can put off your success with these types of excuses. But if you can harness the power of your mind and really visualize your success it can really empower you to make those changes that are needed! Let the vision empower you!

  21. Pam says:

    It took me over a year to get started on this current journey, even though I was teetering at nearly 400 pounds. I have never been so happy that I finally quit making excuses and started, even if I am currently spinning my wheels.
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..Reester Bunnies Are Evil =-.

  22. Gina Fit by 41 Maybe 42 says:

    When I got that feeling of not being ready, it used to surprise me, “What’s wrong with me? I was all fired up the past couple of weeks.”

    I began to see a pattern; my flame flickered out when hormones fluctuated and my cycle was starting. (Ugh! Hormones, can’t live with them, can’t live without them).

    Now I just keep that in mind and not get too hard on myself. Instead of feeling I’m doomed, I just ride it out.
    .-= Gina Fit by 41 Maybe 42´s last blog ..Here a Doc, There a Doc, Everywhere a Doc Doc =-.

  23. Jen says:

    This post really has me thinking–still thinking about it! I think what it is saying to me is that — I will never be ready! I will always have an excuse at hand to NOT do it! There will always be more food to eat and abuse! So what do I want to do about it? Do I want to continue in the “I’m not ready” mode? Or do I want to embrace my life and act on what I say I really want –and live the life I want!

    Thanks for getting me thinking.
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..I Will Never Be Ready! =-.

  24. Julie from Cannes says:

    Hi Diane,
    Your post is so great. I’ve a lot of excuses right now such as : i’m moving to USA i’ve no time to watch my weight. i’ll do it later when my moove will be ready.
    But the fact is that as you say in your example you can have diabetes or can’t put your seat belt.
    But how about those like me who has “only” (well it’s too much) 40pounds to loose?? Your health is good (could be better) you’re overweight (not morbidy obesity) so you can find clothes, run 1 hour but doesn’t feel comfortable in your body. How to find THE goal and maintain it??? As soon as i loose 5 pounds i quit because i go out or have a party or a birthday (excuse excuse excuse!!!).
    Does anyone of you have the answer???

    Julie soon in Austin

    • Jonathan says:

      Hi Julie

      Well – the answer is – you’re just not ready yet!

      I have 50 pounds to lose, of which I have now lost about half. And from my perspective now I can say :

      – At 50 pounds none of my clothes fitted me. They might have fit if I had gone to a plus size store (the irony!), but of course it was a matter of pride to shop still in high street stores
      – I was obese, and hated it, but my friends and family were too kind to comment
      – Even though I could run, it was physically painful : believe me even losing these 25 pounds makes a helluva difference : I feel fitter and most importantly lighter on my feet(lol)

      So – lose weight so that you can enjoy your body and be the person you want to be …
      .-= Jonathan´s last blog ..Update =-.

  25. Julie from Cannes says:

    Nice read Jonathan. When will i be ready then?
    I know so much about food , bought so much food about Atkins, Dukan, Cohen (last 2 are french doctors), read blogs about it that i could be a nutritionist.
    I know a lot about healthy food, losing weight start in your mind first so why why why can’t it be a priority to me???? As you say too i know that if i loose a little bit of weight running or aerobic could be easier and “lighter” to me.

  26. Kay-on my own says:

    i was not ready for 5 yrs. or more. I am sure I gained an extra 20 pounds in that time frame. Now, when people ask me how I lost my weight over 90 pounds, ironically, I tell them it was the first time that I did not go on a diet. Rather I, little by little, changed my eating habit, and, of coarse, I exercise 5 days a week. i am happier than I have ever been. The exercise helps me deal with the stress of life. Better stress management equals, better eating habits.

  27. Tamara says:

    I actually have a variation in which I REALLY wasn’t ready. I was anorexic as a teenager, which blew up into binging when I was about 18 and dealing with the stressors of college applications and deteriorating health. Coming off of years of disordered eating, when the doctor told me I had to lose the 50 pounds I’d gained to reach my “ideal” weight again, I had to look him in the eye and say, “I’m not ready.”

    But just because I wasn’t ready to lose weight didn’t mean I was going to do /nothing/. First I had to get my binging under control. I concentrated for a while on simply maintaining and staying away from the loaves of bread with butter at 2am. Then I had to face all of the problems that had prompted me to starve the first time. If I hadn’t conquered my mental demons, another attempt at dieting might have swung me back to the obsessive extreme, and I would be caught in that dreaded yo-yo. After the first year of college, during which I lost a few pounds naturally from walking all over campus, I was finally in the state of mind that I knew I could try again without going overboard.

    This was probably a different kind of “not ready” than you had in mind, but it is a problem a lot of girls face these days.

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