There are many reasons goals go unfulfilled. It’s true that sometimes life happens. But can we owe our failure to make traction with our goals solely on this fact? Or are other factors – namely YOU – the reason behind why your goals are unfinished, deterred or abandoned? When things don’t go our way, excuses have a way of creeping up to explain away the situation. But upon closer investigation, these excuses are actually neatly packaged lies that we tell ourselves. Are you guilty of lying to yourself? Then it’s time to get real.
Lie #1: “I don’t have to lose weight! I’m already thin.”
Reality Check: Being thin doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthy. The concept of being ‘skinny fat’ is more than just a buzz word, according to research by Britain’s Medical Research Council. People who rely on diet to maintain their weight rather than exercising are likely to have major deposits of internal fat.
Ensure that you are eating clean meals that include complex carbs, lean protein and healthy fats to promote muscle gains. Make a greater effort to include strength-training exercises for all of your major muscle groups at least 2 to 3 times per week and include moderate cardio.
Lie #2: “I have no energy, working out will just make me more tired.”
Reality Check: Studies show that light aerobic exercise, such as walking, can help people who have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) feel more energetic and less tired. Assuming that your problem is not medical-related, take an honest look at how much sleep you actually get per night and whether you are overtraining.
Heading to the gym may be the remedy you need to cure your lack of energy, as noted by personal trainer and nutritionist Lyzabeth Lopez, who observed that her clients who “work out regularly, eat healthily and incorporate rest and recovery boost their energy levels.” So if you’re avoiding physical activity because you feel too tired, your remedy may actually be found at the gym.
Lie #3: “I’m too old to work out.”
Reality Check: Although you can’t turn back the hands of time, using your age as an excuse does not exempt you from physical activity. As you get older, working out becomes even more important to prolong deterioration of flexibility, stability and strength. If you find yourself thinking that your age should hold you back, think of Fauja Singh, 100, who in October 2011, was the oldest person – and the first centenarian – to ever complete a marathon. If he could accomplish that feat, prioritizing 30 minutes of activity should not be a problem.
Lie #4: “I’m too busy to work out. I can’t find the time in my schedule.”
Reality Check: If you reflect upon how you spent the 1,440 minutes that make up your day, can you honestly say that you lack time? Try this: for seven days do a time audit on yourself. Write down every activity that you do and how long you spent on it. If you are as busy as you believe, did you manage to avoid distractions like TV and social media? If not, how busy are you really?
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Physiology showed that less can be more. McMaster University scientists compared short-term high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to moderate exercise to uncover that it is as effective for improving muscle as lengthy sessions of the same activity. Try 20 one-minute sprints on a treadmill with about 30-60 seconds of rest in between, three times a week.
Lie #5: “I’m bored with my workout.”
Reality Check: If you don’t enjoy working out at a gym, switch things up and go outside. Hate the treadmill? Try spinning or an aerobics class instead. The key is to find something that interests you. You will not put your best effort forward if you feel forced to do something that you don’t enjoy.
Click on ‘next’ below for the other five lies we tell ourselves …