Just 11 short months ago I was a completely different person. All it took for me to find the change that I really needed was for me to face the truth–I was where I was mostly because of my simple excuses.
Oh! I did not call it that. Nope! I called it my “reasons” for being where I was and not where I really wanted to be. You see, I was over 100 pounds overweight. Boy, did I have my “reasons” for being there…
1. No time.
2. Too much going on.
3. Didn’t feel good.
4. Too much to do each day.
5. Didn’t want to put so much effort into losing weight only to gain it back.
6. Didn’t know where to begin.
7. It hurt.
8. Bombed already so this won’t matter…
9. I am recovering from an injury so I can’t do anything.
10. HAROLD…or MY MOM…or MY KIDS…or MY SCHEDULE…
ON AND ON!
I thought that I had a “hall pass” that let me “get out” of exercise. Well, I actually thought I had a “pass” that got me out of dieting, changing my diet, exercising, or anything that could have burnt that 100 pounds off.
I was a busy, CHRISTIAN wife and mother!
I was GODLY!
I had MORE IMPORTANT things to do!
On and on!
I seriously thought it was “dying” to my flesh to put others before myself. I was in an important season of my life and could not risk “worldly” thinking to steal even one moment.
First day with my trainer, she did not do what I expected. Actually, I expected to be drug outside to have to run 5 miles…UPHILL or something! HA!
Instead, she did what I was not expecting. She got into my thinking to see what had got me to the place where I was at that moment. Funny thing. There are more things that she dug out, but one was completely life-changing from that moment until now.
She said that I was not ANY different than those who were in the same position as I was in. I WAS different from those who were fit and healthy. But, I was NOT any different than those who were overweight, sick, tired all of the time, and overwhelmed. There were two camps–I had the same mindset as many, but definitely not the same mindset as those who were fit and healthy. Guess where I was. You have got it! I had a “fat” mindset!
So, the first thing that Rilly dug out of me and brought to the surface was what I called my “reasons” for being where I was. You know those reasons for not investing into my health. As she dug them out, we evaluated each of them. They were not “reasons” at all. They were just excuses, excuses that were keeping me from my resolutions, goals, and dreams.
Excuses will not help anyone to reach for their resolutions, goals, and dreams. Excuses only keep us in the enemy’s camp. Excuses keep us bound up in the enemy’s chains. Excuses keep us in the bondage. Excuses are our greatest obstacles. We have to look at our excuses through the lens of reality.
1. I have the same 24 hours a day that everyone else has. The real question is about PRIORITY–what is my priority? If I really want to be fit and healthy, it will become a priority. It will be on my schedule. It will be a daily commitment. It will become a lifestyle. If not, truth is, I will have a million excuses for not making it happen. EXCUSES, not reasons.
2. I will always have a lot going on–that is how I am wired. BUT! I am not called to do everything. God has blessed me with exactly the amount of time, money, energy that I need to do what is really most important–the thing(s) that God has called me to do. To do other things might be good, but it is not the best. Every choice has a cost. If I do tons of things and yet miss the very things that God has called me to do, I am really disobedient. Disobedience has a very big price to pay. No excuse! I must do the most important.
3. How on earth can I ever feel my best if I don’t take good care of myself? I will always feel bad if I do not eat wisely or rest or get up and get moving. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to make big, big changes. But, waiting around until you “feel like it” is NOT going to happen. I was feeling bad because I was not taking care of myself. Just a few changes have completely took back my life! Nope! Not feeling good is NOT a good excuse!
4. I highly suspect that I will always have more things to do than hours to do it. Yet, it is funny how I make time for the things that I really want to do. I always have. The first few months of working out were really tough this year. It was a battle to get to the gym. Well, it was even a battle to get OUTSIDE to walk around my neighborhood. It was not about the things on my to-do list. It was about whether I was truly WANTING to reach for this goal or not. Is that honest or what? There is no excuse for not fitting it in. If I want to do something, it will happen at any cost, but if I am not really dedicated, it will fall to the wayside. Facing this really cut out the excuses. Getting fit and healthy moved to the top of my daily to-do list. I have known for years that this is the only way to develop a good, solid habit. It is the only way to do something that you want as part of your lifestyle. You MUST intentionally put it on the top of your things to do for the day until it becomes a part of your life. Now, healthy eating and working out are a part of my life. Effortless. It happens now. Well, now that there are no excuses allowed!
5. Oh! How many times have I lost weight only to gain it back. Or, how many times did I start a program just to fade back into my “old ways” and gain more than ever? This was a legitimate concern, but still an excuse that kept me from “getting going” so many times. This frustrated me time and time again. It also was right in the back of my mind scaring me any time that I would plateau or have a bad week. However, present this excuse can be, it is still an excuse. Truth is, God was calling me to a new lifestyle, to new disciplines, and most of all, to trust Him in this area of my life. He was about to change my life so it would never be the same again. Letting Him loose meant that I never have to ever, ever go back where I was again. So, nope! I will not gain the weight back again. I will not let my body get so depleted and down again. Nope! I will not go back to that lifestyle again. It was just a big excuse that kept me from moving forward. No excuses anymore!
6. Now, this was a biggie. I admit it! But, do you know what it took? Just the first step! LITERALLY! It has been amazing! As I look back, I didn’t even know what I was doing, but I still did the right thing. Neat, huh? Yep, I started walking. Actually, it was all I could do at first. Each walk, I challenged myself to take it up a level. Now, I look back and I am amazed at how different I am 11 months later. Just last week, I ran 2 full miles plus finished the rest of my workout. It was just one step at a time. I didn’t have to know everything. In fact, I don’t even know everything NOW. It is a life-journey–one step at a time. All it takes is getting past the excuses and getting going. Who could have figured?
7. Well, now, this one is almost funny! Yes, you will have aches and pains as you workout and tear down those muscles, but what you have less and less of are the aches and pains that never seem to go away because of excess weight. I cannot believe how much better I feel. Every so often, I will remember times like last Christmas as I cooked our holiday meal. My feet hurt tremendously. My back was giving out within 30 minutes. I ached all over for days. That was a way of life last year. This year, the few aches and pains are so small in comparison–actually there is a big difference in tearing down a muscle working out and those old aches and pains. Working out doesn’t always feel good at the time, but I always leave it feeling better! It is very obvious that this one was just another silly excuse!
8.This one is a biggie for me! How easy is it to just put off until later starting or starting again. Or, how many times do I think about that one “slip-up” and justify just ONE MORE today–after all, I have already missed the workout, ate too much, etc? UGH! You probably get the picture. Reality is–it is choice by choice that we move away from health and fitness. It is also choice by choice that we get fit and healthy. Each pound consists of many choices. It is too easy to quit trying. The first step for me usually comes from the overwhelm and guilt of slipping up with just one choice. The mindset of success says, “Move on!” “This is a NEW beginning!” “THIS choice counts.”Bombing once or ten times is not an excuse. We can always have a new beginning–even this moment right now!
9. Now, I DO confess that my back injury was a major setback years ago. It has taken two years to get functioning and another year (this year) to really strengthen it. Just two weeks ago, I broke one of my toes. It was just two days after I met one major goal–I ran two miles (YES! Ran TWO MILES without stopping or slowing my pace!). This was a major accomplishment. And, it was followed by a major setback–I broke my toe!! OH! Toes are tiny, but powerful! The biggest pain wasn’t even in the throbbing, excrutiating pain going from my toe to my head. It was from the thought that I was injured while I was making strides. A fear had come to pass–what would I do? Well, I propped it up, changed my workout schedule for two weeks, and let God loose to heal me. The great news is that most people require 3-4 weeks, sometimes more, to heal a broken toe–my toe is better after two weeks! HOOT! Working out has trained my body to recover faster than ever. I will take that! Truth is, my back injury was bad, but what if I had dared to push myself a bit more? What if I had hired a trainer sooner–one who is trained to work around injuries, strengthen you to overcome the injury, and rehabilitate you? I would be at my goal by now. Now, I know that injuries are very serious, but I also see athletes and soldiers who overcome injuries. Reality was that my “injuries,” although serious, were just big excuses keeping me from reaching for my resolutions, goals, and dreams.
10. Now, on this one, I do confess that I want more than anything to be a good wife, daughter, mother, friend, business owner, minister, homemaker, etc. I want to be excellent. But, reality is that I am not my very best when I don’t feel optimal. I am not my very best when I do not have the physical strength that God wants to give me. Truth is, I have a tendency to look for a “reason” to NOT sweat or workout hard. Actually, it is interesting how I have a tendency I was not even aware of. I have a tendency to hide behind my “concern” and “commitment” for my family when I do not really WANT to do something. I also have that same tendency when I don’t want to deal with something. OUCH! That is a hard one to admit. However, getting fit and healthy has demanded that I deal with my demons and get them out of my life so they can no longer torment me and rule over me. I have had to face that taking care of Harold and the kids is not a good excuse. My day is truly open for ME to decide what is done with each and every minute. I can waste exponentially more time on things that do not matter. Nothing means more to my husband and children than to see me healthy in spirit, soul, and body. It is selfish for me to want to take care of them so I can stroke my ego and not let them take care of me back. Also, in taking better care of myself, I actually have more energy and that results in more getting done each day. It doesn’t add up in the natural mind–but, that is just how everything God leads us to do ends up–it doesn’t add up in the natural mind, IT JUST WORKS! I could have stayed where I was–declaring my excuses and getting sicker and sicker until I became another health statistic or I could stop using everyone and everything as an excuse and move toward accomplishing my resolutions, goals, and dreams. Well, this was the year to go for my dreams! NO MORE EXCUSES!
Yes, I have many, many other excuses where these come from. They were all the same–just another package, just another excuse. There is really NO reason to not let the Lord lead out of bondage. There is NO reason to stay in the mire. There is NO reason to not get moving.
Excuses will not help anyone to reach for their resolutions, goals, and dreams. Excuses only keep us in the enemy’s camp. Excuses keep us in the bondage. Excuses are our greatest obstacles.
I am moving toward my resolutions one choice at a time. Will you join me? Is today the day to face those “reasons” and really call them what they are–EXCUSES?
Sweet friends, I want to see all of us stepping up to the call. We just cannot do that with any hindrance that keeps us from running the race. So, have you been like me and allowed all of the “reasons” to hold you back from getting back in the race? Let’s join together and run this race. Can you see the mark? Let’s press toward it together!
Any comments? Thoughts? Join the conversation….