Friday, August 23, 2013

Are you making excuses?

I have heard A LOT of excuses this week!!

The new semester at college begins tomorrow with online classes and Monday for on-campus classes. The college has been bustling this week with students trying to get registered for classes, pay tuition, and buy books. We have had a lot of procrastinators walk through the door this week trying to get everything in place, but unfortunately many classes are already closed and those who have yet to apply for their Financial Aid have walked away frustrated and disappointed. Although a few students have good “reason” for waiting so long, most of them simply have “excuses”.  To me, there is a difference between the two. I believe that a “reason” is usually valid and a result of an unavoidable situation, whereas an “excuse” is often a way to avoid blame or being at-fault.  In my life, I’ve had many reasons for doing things, but more often, I’ve given an excuse in attempt to justify my behavior.  You may have experienced this as well.


This caused me to think about my weight gain and loss. I can come up with many REASONS why I was fat….heredity, genetics, medication side effects, and learned behavior as a child etc. I can’t do anything about heredity and genetics, and before the age of reason, I didn’t know any better.   I know what “caused” it as well: Eating more calories than I burned. That is simple science.   BUT…I could come up with a whole list of EXCUSES to justify my behavior….namely, laziness, fear, loneliness, depression, loss, lack of motivation, etc…  The list is endless. Likewise, I can come up with a number of excuses why I never tried to lose weight or put it off in the past. “I don’t care what I look like!” “I’m grieving”  “People just gain it back anyway” “I’ve got too much to lose” “I can’t /hate exercise” “Diets cost too much money and they don’t work anyway!” “If people don’t like me like this, too bad” “It’s too hard to lose weight” “I’ll never stick with it anyway, why even try?” “I’ll just wait until after the holidays” “I’ll start AFTER…this or that event”.   How many of these EXCUSES have you used?


I’ve also used a number of excuses why I overate, “cheated” or quit a weight-loss plan in the past; It’s the holidays….It’s my birthday….someone’s treating me to dinner…I’ve been doing so well, I DESERVE a treat….I’ve been good all week, what’s a splurge going to hurt….I’ll get back on track on Monday….I’ve exercised hard so I can have this or that...I don’t feel well/I’m sick/I’m sad/I’m stressed. There are a lot of others as well.  Have you been there, said that?  What other EXCUSES have you used?

These past 2 weeks I’ve been eating more than I should, not anything off plan or excessively high in calories, but greater quantities of things that are allowed….fruit, protein bars, fiber bars, etc. I’ve also been eating when I know that I am not physically hungry, but perhaps just tired, stressed, or bored. I’ve made the excuses…”I’m doing all this physical work, I need more fuel” “All this fresh fruit is in season for such a short time, I better enjoy it now” “I deserve to “lighten up the regime a bit, after 2 ½ years of strict adherence” “My metabolism has changed”…etc.  Although I’ve not yet gone off plan and treated myself to a cheeseburger and fries or some other treat, I’ve come to realize what a slippery slope it is.  SO this week, I have had to “get back to the basics” and quit making excuses to eat when I’m not truly hungry and to limit my protein bars and other treats, as well as make a more sincere effort to exercise and physical activity. So far, so good, but as we all know, IT’s NOT EASY! It’s much easier just to make excuses, just like the students who have entered my office this week. BUT…like them, the consequences of our excuses and actions aren’t not usually good. Today, I challenge you to “GIVE UP THE EXCUSES” and make a sincere effort. It is not easy, by any means, But TRUST ME…IT IS SO WORTH IT!!!   Together, with the support of each other and by the Grace of God, WE CAN, and will CHANGE OUR LIVES!