No excuses!…. Say what?!
“No excuses!” is what I often hear in the fitness world. There are even fit mommas who like to shout this mantra from the rooftops these days. The no excuse slogans come in many forms:
“Be sore today or sorry tomorrow.”
“Making excuses burns zero calories.”
“Your health is important, find a way, not an excuse.”
“It’s only cold if you are standing still.”
The list goes on and on.
Okay, I get it… the whining about being too cold or having stayed up too late the night before partying is lame. But when it comes to real life, let’s face it, there are many obstacles that get in the way of us working out or eating healthy. Some of our excuses are poor reasons (like how warm your blanket is in the morning of a cold winter day- yes, I admit, I’ve been there, but not a good excuse). And some “excuses” for not working out are in fact really good reasons to take a break or fall short of perfection *gasp* (we will get to these reasons later).
There aren’t many really good reasons as to why we can’t make baby steps towards better health each day (moving a little more each day and eating less processed food when we can). But let’s face it, we all live very different lives. For example, there may be a mom who writes a blog or has a web site preaching about how you are never too busy to be fit- but let’s be honest- being fit is her job. If I was paid to look awesome (my dream job by the way), I would look pretty stinkin’ awesome. I would have a trainer, and I would be gorgeous and I would be a mom too but my job would be staying ripped by spending each day in the gym and eating perfect and that’s just what I’d do. Now here comes the average person- your job is not being fit, your job is either somewhere you go for 40 (give or take) hours of your week, or maybe you are a mom at home with your kids, or maybe you do both! Regardless, you are working working working and it’s not towards having an awesome body or being a dietitian for you and your entire family. Being healthy should be A priority in one’s life but it isn’t the ONLY priority. So if I am comparing myself to others who look like they just walked off the pages of Women’s Health magazine I’m going to be let down and even more excuses are going to follow. Whoever said “Comparison is the thief of joy.” was dead on. We have to stop comparing and be happy with the healthiest me we can be. (I know that sounded quite sloganish-don’t think that’s a real word but you know…)
Here is a photo of me (I’m on the left-check out my awesome “I’m strong face”), my sister in law and soon to be sister in law after running a 5K. This is probably when I felt the best in my entire teen and adult life combined. I had been lifting hard for a while and trained for the 5K so I felt strong and fast. I had a 6 pack and arms that made me happy to wear sleeveless.
Now fast forward to the end of this summer and I will give you my excuses:
One week I felt God called me to drop what I was doing at the gym, go home, spend time with family and more time with Him so I took a week off.
One week I went on vacation and took the entire week off working out (much needed), but tried to eat as “clean” as possible while traveling.
Some days I skipped a workout so I could help a friend when they need it (watch a friend’s kids when they didn’t have childcare that day), or I went on an extra play date because it was SO nice out and my kids deserve more fresh air.
And here I am after a Summer of “excuses”, but I am so happy I had them because when I look back on my life I won’t say “Gee, I wish I spent 6 days in the gym that week rather than enjoying a vacation in Saint Louis with my family.” or “I wish I didn’t have that quiet time with God. Now my arms don’t look quite as awesome.” No, I will be thankful for the memories I made and the time I had with family, friends, and my God. I do miss my 6 pack on days when I wake up with a 4 pack at best and a “food baby” at night. Who wouldn’t right? But I believe I should put the important things in life above any kind gym obsession I may acquire. And to be honest I am quite happy and comfortable in the body I have at the moment.
Yep, I totally took a lame selfie with my DSL (awkward). Obviously I haven’t let myself go… but you can see the difference from before.
I also made an “I’m strong face” photo for a good comparison (thief of joy right?)…. also awkward… just looks like I’m uncomfortable because I need to poop.
Now, I am not saying “I have kids, and work at home so I’m too busy, let’s go get McDonalds for dinner every night and sit on the couch watching tv while we eat it.” I wouldn’t have this blog if that’s how I felt. I value fitness and clean eating in my life. But I struggle daily to make sure it’s not number one in my life. Anything I put before my God is an idol. And anything I put before my family isn’t so great either. So if I am not able to get my quiet times with God in, but I can fit in gym time, I know I am headed for some bumpy roads ahead. Or if I am snapping at my kids to hurry up in the morning because we have to make it to the gym in time for their childcare slot (we have to call ahead and schedule childcare at my gym) or while I try to make my healthy dinner from scratch at night, then I may need to re check my mom attitude (although I know we all snap at times). And if I am too tired to greet my hubby with a smile when he comes home from work because I am spreading myself too thin and I am beyond stressed, then something has to give. This doesn’t necessarily mean drop the workouts and pick up the processed food. This means finding a balance of what works for you and your family and sometimes there are some pretty good excuses to skip a workout on occasion… here are some of mine…