t's just too hot to get outside.
I'm too tired.
Beer just tastes so good in the summer.
I don't have time.
When it stops raining.
When it gets warmer.
After my vacation.
It doesn't make a difference anyway.
This is your gentle reminder that all you have - is NOW. No matter what (totally viable-sounding!) excuses we can make for putting our healthy steps on hold, the most important thing we can do is grasp the importance of the present.
I am as guilty as anyone of thinking that if I don't go for something ALL THE WAY, then I may as well not even put in the effort. But here's the thing: A 20-minute workout is better than a zero-minute workout. A Perrier is better than a Diet Coke. Going to bed 15 minutes earlier won't ruin your productive day.
In the 20 minutes you were on Facebook this morning, you could have walked around your block.
Have you ever found yourself saying something similar to the above excuses? Here are some ways to kick them in the teeth:
It's just too hot to get outside. Oh, man. It has been HOT lately! That's the thing about summer. It's hot! You know what else happens in the summer? The days get longer. In fact, the current sunrise at around 5:45 a.m. is quite lovely, and the air feels amazing. Try waking up earlier. Get outside, listen to the birds, run, walk, or attend an early-morning yoga or boot camp. (I happen to know of a particularly awesome program.) Bonus: The rest of the day is still ahead of you!
I'm too tired. Go to bed earlier. Try it. Start with 15 minutes. Studies have shown that lack of sleep affects weight gain. If you are getting the ideal 7-8 hours of sleep per night, try foregoing the afternoon soda/coffee/chemical-laden shaky shot and trying a natural energy drink like Arbonne's Energy Fizz Sticks, which contain B vitamins and green tea. If your mind has a hard time winding down at the end of the day, forgo the TV and try some meditation, instead.
Beer/ice cream just tastes so good in the summer. I hear you! I really do. However, these items are just so darn full of so many unnecessary unhealthy calories that you really can't justify their addition to your intake every day. If you don't already, start tracking your daily food intake on an app such as My Fitness Pal. 250 calories for a single summer ale? Pass the iced tea.
I don't have time. Do you have the time for your dentist appointment? For your oil change? Schedule exercise like you would any important appointment. Put it in your calendar. Put on or pack your workout clothes. Imagine having to call in to cancel because you "just don't feel like it." Bonus: I can guarantee you will never regret going to this appointment.
When it stops raining. Don't be a wimp. Just kidding. I get it. Dust off that home workout DVD you've been meaning to try! Visit your Pinterest board of at-home workouts and actually do one! Start with a 20 minute workout. You don't have to go crazy.
When it gets warmer. Warm yoga, anyone?
After my vacation. Errrhhhh. That's my "fail" buzzer. You can ABSOLUTELY have an active and healthy vacation. Again, you don't have to hit the hotel gym every morning for an hour (unless you want to). Make simple, healthy choices like taking a hike, renting a bicycle, walking instead of taking public transit, and eating fresh and avoiding alcohol. A vacation does not have to equal a lazy, calorie-laden, free-for-all.
It doesn't make a difference anyway. Yes it does. Yes. It. Does. Start now. Because you can.
Emily Nielsen, CPT, is the owner of Fit for Motherhood, LLC, mother of 2 little girls, and an optimist by nature.
All posts © Emily Nielsen