On my last 50 Million Pound Challenge post, I got called out in the comments by a friend who has known me for years. Shout out to E-Fresh for always keeping it real! Like everyone else, I hate admitting when someone is right, but le sigh…it’s true.

Whenever I try to lose weight, I lock down on my dietary intake. I’d rather eat only a certain food item, or starve myself, than work up a sweat.

I need to exercise.

According to Dr. Ian, I should be getting in an hour every day. To say I fall short of that is understatement of the year. And I’ve got every excuse in the book why I can’t work out. But not anymore — I’m tackling them head on! Here are my top three excuses, and reasons why they are no longer valid.

1 — “I’m not an athletic person.” Seriously, my tennis lessons tutor told me this when I was a teenager. And those words have stuck with me ever since. When I feel defeated trying a new exercise, or realize that I’m physically unable to do something, they float back into my mind. And while maybe it’s true that I wasn’t destined to be Serena Williams — I am capable, and with diligence and sweat, someday I might feel athletic.

The point is, something an old man said over fifteen years ago shouldn’t be an excuse for me not to exert myself. I’m limiting myself, and I’m the person who believes that people can achieve anything if they put their mind to it. Why?

2 — “I don’t have the time.” Isn’t that what we all say? Whether you’ve got a stressful job or are an at-home mom, there’s always something ELSE to do besides exercise. There’s always something more pressing to attend to. I realize the “no time” excuse meant that I was making time for everything else besides my health, my body, my emotions, myself.

My new goal is to make time for myself every day, and I realize that I’m most likely to do this as soon as I get out of bed. Wake up, work out for a half hour, take a shower, start my day. Otherwise, I wind up finding ways to fill up my time with sedentary activities. If you recognize the times in your day where you’re wasting time, and you get in maybe 15 minutes in the morning, 15 in the evening… that’s better than doing nothing and being angry at yourself for not exercising later.

3 — “UGH I hate working out!” OK, this isn’t an excuse so much as an honest statement. I’m not quite yet in that “yay! I love exercise!” zone. I may never quite get there, either.

Yeah, yeah, yeah — I have read so many articles and blog posts where people swear they love working out every day. That is so not me. BUT I realize that I NEED to work out every day, or at least three days a week. The 50 Million Pound Challenge recommends a range of activities, from walking, aerobics, and using the elliptical trainer, to more fun methods like bike riding, swimming, playing basketball, and yay! Dancing! I can get down with that, and if done right it can be quite a calorie burner.

I’m too young to get winded on the stairs. I’m too intelligent to continue on this path, where I’m putting my health and well being on the backburner. And I deserve better than I’m giving myself right now. So, no more excuses. Time to face up to them, fight them, and get fit in the process.

What are your “I can’t work out because” excuses? And how will you defeat them?

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Cynthia says:
February 26, 2009, 8:37 pm
Have you ever tried hot yoga? I've never been 'athletic' either - I've always been the artsy type, but I had the same realization as you - If I'm thirty and winded going up one flight of stairs, something is wrong... Anyway, a friend convinced me to try hot yoga, and it's the first time that I've ever tried an exercise program that I really enjoyed. I absolutely love it. I still struggle with going everyday, but it's much less difficult when you know that you'll enjoy it when you get there! Good luck!
Los Angelista says:
February 26, 2009, 8:45 pm
After two year of pretty consistent exercise, my biggest excuse for not working out is "It won't hurt me if I take a day off". One day can turn into two or three pretty quickly, and I can't take days off because I run road races. If I don't train, I have bad runs and don't finish well. The other thing is that even though my body has toned up and I've maintained a 20 pound weight loss for three years, I still don't feel like I'm as thin as I want to be and people are always surprised to find out how much I exercise because they think I should be thinner. So, sometimes that's discouraging and actually gets me thinking, "What difference does it make if I work out or not!" The thing is, if I don't work out, I blow up like a whale, so I keep at it. You keep at it too, Afrobella! You can do it!
sandra says:
February 26, 2009, 9:59 pm
I'm telling you Dancing is where it's at. Dance at home, take lessons with your beau, go to clubs and boogie down. It's fun; work up a sweat and have fun.
Sumatra77 says:
February 26, 2009, 10:57 pm
Bella, the key is to find something you absolutely love. I love kickboxing and go to a class at least once a week. I'm considering Zumba as well. I've taken one class and it was mad fun. I'm sure they have tons of classes in Miami before your move to Chicago. Walking is great as well. I'm currently attempting a run/walk program because while I don't "enjoy" running, I LOVE how I feel afterwards. Good luck!
naturalhair58 says:
February 26, 2009, 11:45 pm
I love ZUMBA! It is so much fun. If you love to dance, it's the exercise you should start. I turned 50 last year and decided I wanted to be healthier. I lost 30 pounds, stopped relaxing my hair and I go to the gym 5 times a week- Spinning, free weights, elliptical machine and ZUMBA twice a week. You can also order ZUMDA DVDs. Just start!!!!
LBell says:
February 26, 2009, 11:46 pm
Yes, you have to find something you love to do...but also accept that working out is like taking medicine: It may not taste good, but it's good for you, and eventually you'll get used to it. I love hot yoga but just because you're sweating doesn't mean you're getting in a cardio workout. Yoga in general is great for flexibility but it should be PART of a broader exercise regimen that includes cardio and strength training. I also have been away from the gym for about a week. My excuse has been "I want to write in the mornings." If I wait until evening to work out I usually don't work out so...I'm going to have to make this work somehow. Good luck!
Natural_Oasis says:
February 27, 2009, 2:50 am
@ naturalhair58, I must agree...Zumba is the best. I have been attneding the class since January. I use to go to the gym and do my thing on the elliptical machine but after watching all of the other ladies come out of different classes with the look of pure join and determination on their face I decided to give it a try. I not only tried the Zumba class but I also tried Yoga, Stretch resistance and a number of other classes. On some days I even talked myself into completing 2 classes. If you need a group to motivate you then a class maybe the way to go! By me attending the class I quickly noticed that it was a family atmosphere within the class and everyone pretty much were familiar whith each other due to the class. I strongly urge this method or dancing to music videos is always a good one. By spending 30 minutes dancing to some of these "off the wall" songs that come equipped with dances I I think you will find that you not only will increase your heart rate but get a great laugh as well! Good luck!
nyc/caribbean ragazza says:
February 27, 2009, 4:33 am
I hear you. It's easy to find excuses. I work out in the morning before my day gets away from me. I don't do anything special at this point. I just walk to the park and in the park with my iPod jamming. There are a few killer hills and once I'm done I feel much better. Depending on my financial situation I'm going to try to get back into tennis this spring.
warrior11209 says:
February 27, 2009, 9:22 am
I absolutely agree that y ou have to find something that you like to do or else you willnot continue with it - right now I am into running,step aerobics and weight training for my bones. My biggest excuse is time - I pay for my aerobics classes in a 3month block - not only is it cheaper but then I will surely attend class because I am frugal(read: cheap as heck with a dollar). Also I slip in exercise during the day - today I brought my exercise clothes to work so that I can do a 45 minute run during lunch. Zumba sounds like fun!!
AnnellaBella says:
February 27, 2009, 11:54 am
Wii Fit! Honestly, I have to fight my kids for the Wii, but the Wii Fit is so much fun. The strength training and yoga classes are brilliant! Also, I hate cardio, but super hula hoop and step class are tons of fun! The running is my least fave, but it gets a lot of use in my house--I set the kids on several rounds of the "Island lap" to tire them out for early bedtime. What? They love it! LOL!
Creative1k says:
February 27, 2009, 1:07 pm
Well Bella, I have to admit that I too, didn't like exercising, but now that I've gotten into a routine. I find that if I stop or fall off, then I start to feel really sluggish, so it's definitely working and the benefits are good. I would say find something that you really like doing and excel at that!!! Praying for you, cause I know it's not easy, but it can be done. C1k
Brandi says:
February 27, 2009, 1:44 pm
Working out in the morning is the only way I can guarantee that I'll do it. I either use a tape, exercise tv on demand or from the internet. I have to change it up otherwise I get sooooo bored! My sister loves classes at the gym and my best friend is addicted to Zumba. Just don't be afraid to try new things. I never thought I'd enjoy lifting weights but nothing feels better than sweating and feeling your muscles when you're done. My biggest motivation is realizing that at 29, I deserve better and will not bring this nonesense into my 30's. Good luck.
BK says:
February 27, 2009, 2:16 pm
I have no excuse.. My job is to encourage my students to come to class LOL.. Before then I was in denial.. I always thought because I ran track for years that I would be fine.. and that I was in good shape.. At 29 I experienced a mild heart attack.. that was enough to get me back into some form of activity and then a few years later I became a certified group instructor and a certified jazzercise instructor.. now I'm working on becoming a certified personal trainer.. Bella.. take the first step.. go for a walk :) especially when you move to Chi-town.. you can use that as an excuse to explore and get to know your new surroundings.. by walking.. it's a start.
pam says:
February 27, 2009, 8:50 pm
Bella, I agree with all of them. I go to the gym monday thru friday 6am to 7am. Take my youngest to school and off to work I go. 6am is the only time I have for myself, so I enjoy it. My Ipod stays loaded with music and battery charged. Im a gym junky. If I dont go there is hell to pay for everyone :) Good Luck Bella, and embrace exercise. Your tennis teacher was a jerk!!
PerfectLocks says:
March 1, 2009, 9:59 am
I find that I have to really plan ahead if I am going to be successful at working out. If I go to bed at night with a plan, then I will most likely wake up and follow through. If I go to bed thinking "I will try to find some time tomorrow to exercise" -- it simply won't happen! Like previous posters said, first thing in the morning is the best time to fit it in. You feel great the whole rest of the day. And I find that if I work out in the morning I also watch what I eat a little closer -- a double whammy to my waistline!
charlese says:
March 2, 2009, 9:59 am
Dance Dance Dance! Dancing burns lots of calories and is actually fun! Take a social dance class (like swing dancing) with your sweetie (or without--partners are usually not necessary). You'll be surprised at how fast the weight will come off.
rebecca says:
September 17, 2010, 10:53 am
yoga is really good,and calming.so is just going for a walk on a daily basis to increase stamina,swimming and ballroom dan ethnic dances are good. indian dance{india not native american} is very good b/c its higher pace and fun.belly dance promotes positive self esteem.


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