This is one of the biggest myths in the world of weight loss…lack of time. It covers so many areas on the weight loss journey that I just had to share some that I have heard and probably used myself more than once. If we are honest with ourselves we have all said these at one time or another, and not just about weight loss. Time is the excuse for not doing all sorts of things.
Of course this blog is about weight loss and my journey in particular so I will stick to those issues. See if any of these sound familiar.
1. I don’t have time to exercise I used this one big time. I mean, I had to get off the couch, pack workout gear, drive all the way to the gym, find a parking space, and then workout, then drive all the way back home again. Can we be honest here? This is a huge lie, and by using this you are hurting not only yourself but those who care about you. Sometimes going out to the gym for a full workout can be difficult to schedule in, but that is just what you have to do – schedule it like any other appointment. I know that this will be a shock, but having a gym membership is NOT enough. You actually have to go. You cannot get more fit or more healthy by osmosis. Working out doesn’t mean it has to be 2 hours of pounding it out in the gym. Start with 15 minutes of walking. Do you have stairs at home, either house or apartment? Walk up and down the stairs. I have mentioned before one of my favourite workout methods is at home. I use my WII workout programs, and often follow them up with working out with some free weights or exercise bands. It all adds up. Each step, each workout brings you closer to that goal of losing weight and getting healthy and fitter, so time is no excuse here.
2. I don’t have time to eat healthy This is another big one I hear from people. The truth is, it is just easier to grab something from the fast food joints or neighbourhood coffee places. The problem is not time but laziness. How many people have said “I don’t have time for breakfast” and yet have time to pick up a coffee and a donut or “breakfast sandwich”? Take 1 or 2 eggs, beat them in a bowl with a splash of milk. Add salt and pepper or better some herbs and spices. Throw in a bit or grated or chopped cheese (no more than 1 ounce) and microwave for 2 or 3 minutes depending on your microwave. Voila a breakfast omelette. Need it to go? Wrap it in a SMALL whole wheat tortilla – and there is a breakfast sandwich with no fat or oil, and it hasn’t been sitting under a heat lamp. Do some prep ahead of time for healthy meals and snacks. Spend an hour or two on a Saturday afternoon and you could have meals for the week. There are tons of articles online about make ahead meals. One of my favourite cooking tools is my slow cooker. Even though I work from home most days, I can put together a healthy meal in 10 or 15 minutes and start the cooker. At dinner, we have a healthy meal. When it comes to snack, buy some small storage containers from the dollar store. When you shop, but some pre-cut vegetables like baby carrots and put some into the containers for a quick portion controlled snack to go. I also do that with nuts like walnuts that have all kinds of health benefits. I do it with dates which have become one of my favourite snacks. Eating healthy does not have to be a long complicated process, so time is no excuse here.
3. I don’t have time to track my food I used to use this one too but my real reason was that I sucked at journalling things like that. Then I started using My Fitness Pal to record my food intake. It even has a system you can set up to send you reminders to record your food. Mine is set that if I haven’t logged my food with 2 hours of my usual mealtime, it sends me a push notice just saying “You haven’t recorded your (breakfast, lunch or dinner) yet. Do you want to do that now?” One feature I like on My Fitness Pal is that when I am recording my food, there is a bar code reader. You scan the bar code and it tell you the serving size, calories and all the other health information. It also remembers it so you can enter it again if it is a certain food you eat a lot. They also have a huge data base of foods that make it easy to search. There are all kinds of apps that will help with tracking your food, so time is no excuse here.
We always seem to find time to do the things we want to do. We always seem to have time for our favourite TV show, or to spend hours watching movies or sports events on TV or even in person. We have to change our mindset about getting healthy. If it feels like a hassle and it’s no fun then of course you won’t make time to do it, no matter the benefits.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. It is how we use them that matters. If you think you don’t have time to exercise, eat healthy or record your food intake, what are you doing that is more important than getting healthy and losing weight?
You work? So do I. So do most people. You have family responsibilities? So do I and so do most people. You belong to a lot of clubs or business groups? Maybe something has to give to free up some time.
It does take some planning to make it all work, but you just have to ask How important is this to me?
Until next time, have a healthy and happy day.