Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lets talk about excuses.....

I was recently approached by someone in my personal life who was interested in learning just how, exactly, I lost almost 90 pounds and what I thought might help them. (This person shall remain nameless). So, I started to carefully think about the beginning stages of my weight loss. For example: When I made the decision to finally do the work. What foods I started to eat. What foods and drinks I stopped eating. Different exercises I've tried, generally, what worked and what didn't work for me. So when I started to speak these thoughts to this person, they were constantly interjecting and saying, "Oh I tried that, it doesn't work". Or they would say, "Oh no! You can't eat that Julie! Its sooo bad for you!" etc. etc. etc. I could go on with examples of what this person was saying, but whats the point? I'm sure many of you out there know people in your own lives who are like this. It got so bad that I just stopped talking and pretty much stopped trying to help throughout the conversation.

First of all, lets address the obvious: Why would you come to someone, asking for advice or thoughts on something that you know they know A LOT about, yet you refuse to be open minded and take anything they have to say on the topic into consideration? That just doesn't make sense to me. When I don't know something about a certain topic or issue or whatever, but I know someone who IS well educated in that topic/issue, I will seek them out, ask a lot of questions, then shut up and listen to their answers. Obviously THEY know more than I, and I can really learn from them. I simply do not understand people who do not have this mentality. Suffice to say: "When you don't know, JUST ASK! But be ready to accept the answer."

Secondly, lets address the not-so-obvious: This person was engaging in a form of excuse-making. There's nothing I cannot stand more than a person who says: " I've tried every diet there is and nothing works for me." Although I do not advocate any of the fad diets, I have to say that in my opinion, the previous statement is complete bologna in my book. If you're reading this and you're thinking, "Well, I've said that in the past. I think its true. Diets just don't work for me." Then ask yourself this: Did you really commit to the diet plan? And by 'commit' I mean for more than just a month. If you want to be successful with any kind of weight loss, you have to find a program that works for you and YOU have to DO THE WORK and really commit to it for at least 6 months if you want to see some real results. Now, when I talk about 'committing to the diet' this is not to imply that there can be absolutely no slip-ups. Of course when you try any kind of new diet, you're going to screw up. Why? Because its a new way of eating, a new way of cooking, a new way of fueling your body. There's no way you can start up a new dietary plan and be 100% perfect right off the bat. You have to experience a little trial and error before you get the hang of things. The problem is, many people simply give up in this trial and error period of a new dietary plan. This is where that statement of- "I've tried everything! Diets just don't work for me..."- comes from! And THIS is what I'm talking about. If you simply stop when you screw up a bit, or give up when things get a little challenging, then OF COURSE the diet is not going to work.

I've said it before, but I feel it bares repeating: I never had any success with my weight loss until I STOPPED making excuses for my poor eating habits and my food addiction. I had to stop myself and be honest. I had to be real with myself and say, "Julie. Why did you eat that entire pack of oreos? You did NOT "need" them. They are not beneficial to your body. You screwed up! Stop doing this."

Now, lets take it a step further. You also have to start addressing why these certain foods have such an effect on you. Really sit back and ask yourself, 'why is it that I cannot control myself around chocolate?' You might find the answer to be surprising. For me, I found that I was allowing these unhealthy foods to rule my thoughts. Essentially, I was giving the food power over me. When I realized this, I then became more aware of these types of thought patterns with many other foods that often made me feel "powerless". When you take the power away from that food, then the food becomes less appealing. You start to see all food for what it truly is: Fuel.

So, I know I've gone off on a bit of a tangent here, but the main point of all this is: Stop making excuses for yourself. Hold yourself accountable. LISTEN when you ask others for help. If you don't do these things then your journey to becoming healthy, active and fit (for life) will be much more difficult than it needs to be.
Consider the following:
"The day you take complete responsibility for yourself, the day you stop making any excuses, that's the day you start your way to the top." - Anonymous.


  1. Great blog, Julie! You are absolutely right about this. When a person makes excuses like that, it is because they are in denial about their problem. I spent many years thinking that my body was defective because it spontaneously gained weight (my mother convinced me that I hardly ate). But then one day I realized how much food I eat and how lazy I was, and around that time I realized that the only way I would succeed is if I would start being completely honest with myself and stop excusing myself. The same way that you teach a child to grow up and become independent is the same tough love a person needs to give themselves. I know that I experience that "excuses" phase all to often. It's only when I really sit down with myself and try to view myself from an outside perspective that I can see how damaging my "kindness" to myself really is. A mother who always lets her children have everything they want is doing them far more harm than good... so why do we fall into the trap of doing that for ourselves? Anyway, great blog as always Julie. In case I haven't mentioned it a million times recently, I so admire your consistency, dedication and "no excuses" attitude.

    - Nancy (DearFat130)

  2. JULIE!!

    I think you blogged about something similar to this awhile ago. People I think have a hard time owning up to their own shortcomings, and when presented with someone who has succeeded in something that they failed at, they grasp for excuses. People don't feel comfortable saying "I screwed up". I'm not sure why. It seems like I've always been comfortable admitting to my screwups! Which I know has frustrated some of my bosses over the years.

    But whether or not people are willing to admit to others about their failings, they need to at least admit it to themselves. Otherwise there's no way they will succeed with weight loss or with many other things. It seems like the biggest obstacle to weight loss is our own mind and outlook. Once that gets set straight the weight loss becomes just some type of routine that we can do and almost not think about.

  3. WOW Julie, it's funny that posted this, because I've been exercising outside, and I've been peeling like crazy. That lame excuse was my reason for not wanting to work out. And then I got into a whole thought process of why I keep making excuses for myself.