For as long as I can remember, my three favorite excuses for not exercising and not eating healthy were

1)      “My knee hurts” or “My back hurts.”  (PAIN)

2)      “I can’t afford to join a gym or eat healthy foods.” (MONEY)

3)      “I don’t have time.” (TIME)

Not until I was ready to set all excuses aside and just DO IT, was I able to overcome them. 

PAIN

The first excuse took me three doctors and a little over a year- physical therapy, surgery, and more physical therapy- to overcome.  I was determined to NOT live with knee pain, even though two doctors said it was because of my weight.  I knew that I had injured my knee and I refused to take cortisone shots and “just deal with it.”  The third doctor, after listening to the physical therapist saying that no matter what I did, my knee was not getting better and something must be wrong, finally discovered the issue.  The pain was a result of my quadriceps (muscles in the top of your leg or thigh muscles) detaching from my patella (knee cap) when I slipped outside on some wet leaves in 2005.  The solution was surgery in 2006 to reattach the muscles.  Once I my knee rehab was complete, except for the occasional “I over used it” situation, I have no pain and no problems. 

As for the back pain, it was pretty much weight related.  Never understood that until I started losing weight and noticed that, as my belly was deflating, my lower back hurt less and less.  One day, while walking around the mall, something that would have definitely caused lower back pain before, I noticed that I had no pain.  No pain at all…weird!  But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense that gravity pulling down on my heavy belly was causing my lower back undue strain and pain.  Lose the fat and lose the pain!  Brilliant! 

MONEY

My second excuse was overcome by lacing up my tennis shoes and walking out of my front door.  I am blessed to have a HUGE (305 house) neighborhood with wonderful sidewalks.  However, since I have begun my walking, I have walked wherever I am- sidewalks or no sidewalks.  If I am at my parents’ house, where there are no sidewalks, I walk in the street.  If I am at a hotel, I walk around the block that the hotel is on or down the street and back. 

I also discovered what the big piece of fitness equipment that had been simply taking up space in my house was actually for!  A friend had loaned me her stationary bike in 2005 to help rehab my knee before my surgery and I have had it ever since.  I never used it for the intended purpose, but when I was not able to walk outside, due to weather or time or… whatever, I discovered that I could hop on my bike and pedal away while keeping an eye on my son and watching a little TV.

Additionally, through Synergize Weight Loss Plateau Busters (WLPB), I was able to use the workouts that Zach Marcy, CPT and his team developed, in my own living room anytime of the day, whenever I was able to make the time.  This program, at a current total cost of $21.99, is a STEAL!  It includes a Nutritional Program and dozens of recipes, developed by nutritionist Tracie Hittman, that is very easy to follow, as well as workout videos and a physical fitness schedule that is very easy to fit into your everyday life.   You also get 5 recorded conference calls and a one-on-one coaching session with Zach.  This program focuses on setting goals and achieving those goals.  It also gets your metabolism activated and in the weight loss mode.

Here is the testimonial that I wrote for the program:

“When I was approached about participating in Synergize Weight Loss Plateau Busters, I had lost 97 pounds on my own and had been at a plateau in my weight loss for about a month. After signing up for the program, I downloaded the nutrition guide and program user’s manual and reviewed the website and instructional videos. In the first few days after I began following the gluten-free nutrition program, I lost 5 pounds. In the following weeks, I completed the WLPB workouts and the interval cardio workouts as directed. I also participated in the conference calls and received a large amount of information from the nutritionist and trainers. At the end of the month, I had lost a total of 13 pounds, 8.5 inches, and 3% of my body fat. The combination of the nutrition program and workout regime kicked my body off of the plateau and back into losing mode. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone looking to bust through a weight loss plateau and transform their body!”

I am still using the gluten-free nutritional program and all of the very valuable information that I learned from that program, including the workouts and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). 

*If you are interested in the program, please let me know and include in the Comments Section of the order form that you were referred by me (Kristy Bell Olds). *

As for the cost of healthy food, fresh produce and healthier foods really are not more expensive than processed boxed foods.  If you pay attention to the portion sizes, the fresh and healthier choices will provide as many meals, if not more than the unhealthier ones.  Additionally, for low income or no income families, there is a food stamp program in the state of Georgia and a WIC program that both provide money or vouchers to purchase healthy foods.  If you think you are unable to purchase healthy foods for your family, apply for these programs and, if you qualify, you can get assistance for as long as you need it.  For those of us who do not qualify for those programs, but still have limited funds for groceries, I suggest watching the ads and shopping around at two or three grocery stores to get the best deals.  I normally shop at 3 different stores every week in order to purchase the best groceries at the best prices.

We have also discovered that by cutting out all of the fast food and bringing our lunches to work, we have actually been able to afford all of the healthy, fresh foods and reallocate some of the savings to other bills. 

TIME

Now that I have managed to lose 181lbs, have a full time job, am a wife and mother to a 2 ½ yr old, write a blog, and am working on a BIG project, I get asked, “How do you find the time to fit it all in?”  The answer is, “I make time.”  I have set goals that I want to accomplish, both short term and long term.  In order to accomplish those goals, I have had to find and make time to work on them. 

One of the first things that had to be cut out of my schedule was watching TV.   I record the shows that I really want to watch and watch them when I have extra time or while I am riding my bike.  (I also save time with this method because I can fast forward through the commercials!)

Another time saver is cooking big meals on the weekend and dividing the leftovers up in small portion-sized containers to use for the rest of the week for lunches or dinners.  Big pots of pasta, chili, quinoa, veggies, fruit salad, etc are great for dividing up and eating throughout the week.  I will also cook 4-6 chicken breasts at the same time and divide them up in bags or containers for use throughout the week. 

On nights when I get home from work and do not feel like cooking a big meal or do not have any prepared meals in the refrigerator, I will throw some fresh vegetables into a Ziplock Steam-in-bag and cook them in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, add a meat or protein of some type, and then I have a meal.  I also keep baby spinach, spring mix salad, and Perdue Short Cuts Chicken Breast strips in the refrigerator for quick salads.  I use a red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil as my dressing… YUM!

I have also discovered that, since I was laid-off from my previous job in June 2010, I have not needed an alarm clock.  My body is programmed to wake me up around 5:25 a.m. every morning and sometimes on the weekend it is closer to 6:30 a.m.  During the week, I get up, eat breakfast, and get ready for work and then use the extra time before I have to leave for work to write a blog or answer emails or write bills, etc.  On the weekends when I wake up around 6:00 a.m., I go ahead get dressed and go for a walk and/or run as soon as the sun comes up.  That way my walk for the day will be done and I will be home, usually, before my son wakes up, allowing my husband to get a few more hours of sleep.  The early morning hours are perfect for me to collect my thoughts and accomplish a few things before my family gets up.  That way I am better able to focus the rest of the day on them. 

I also work on my projects and blogs in my head during my walks and on paper or on my phone during my lunch hour at work.  When I finally decide to watch the TV shows that I have recorded, I will usually be riding my bike, washing clothes, cooking, or cleaning the house.  I am rarely ever just sitting down.  Usually I can be found working on two or three tasks at the same time.  Using every available moment for thought and action has provided a lot of time for me to accomplish my goals.

The moral of the story is this:

You, too, can banish the excuses, rid yourself of the pain, find discounts and ways to shift your resources, and make time to accomplish your goals.  It takes determination and dedication, but the reward is SO WORTH IT!!!

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One Response to Banish Your Excuses!

  1. Kristy says:

    By the way, it took me from 7:45 a.m. this morning until 5:10 p.m. to finish writing this. Most was written this morning after my walk and before my son woke up. Some more was written while my son was watching Little Einsteins and finally, when he laid down for a nap, I was able to finish it. You have to set a goal (write this blog today) and make time to get it accomplished (in between all of the other necessities in life)! If I can do it, so can YOU!

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