How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2


How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

Last week we talked about some of the top excuses we make for sticking to a healthy lifestyle. You can read that full article HERE. As a recap of last week, I wanted to remind everyone reading this that excuse is a word I don’t like to use. It has a negative connotation that the person making an excuse is lazy or unmotivated. Instead, I prefer to talk about excuses using my clinical term in psychology, “barriers.” How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

Every human young and old, from all walks of life and interests, does a subconscious benefit vs. barrier analysis before doing anything. It can look like this.

  • “I am hungry, and this food is readily available to eat, so I will eat it.”
    • The high benefit of reducing hunger and low barrier that the food is right there, ready to go.
  • “I think I would like to go to college, but I don’t know how to pay for it.”
    • Low perceived benefit and very high-cost barrier.
  • “I really want to get married and have a family one day, but I am afraid of dating due to my past trauma with relationships.”
    • The high benefit of a desire for their future and high barrier due to fear.
  • “I could doodle or fidget right now for no reason, but I don’t want to.”
    • Low benefit because there is no need or desire, low barrier because it is a very easy thing to do and no one is keeping you from fidgeting.

Does this make sense? For every choice we make, our brains run it through a subconscious benefits and barriers analysis. So do most living things. For example, my dog always wants treats and knows he has a low barrier to getting a treat if he just sits and shakes his paw. However, if his benefit to getting his treat is greater than his barrier of entry, then he won’t pursue the treat, or he might beg for a lower barrier, like going back to “sit” to ask for the treat if his new trick is too hard. How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

It is the same thing with us humans. Except, we have the power of our consciousness to think in more complex patterns and delayed gratification. (Did you know that delayed gratification is a sign of intelligence and indicates that the person is overall happier?) Humans have the ability to problem-solve and navigate long-term solutions to create what we are trying to accomplish.

Think about the scenario of the high benefit and high barrier of dating. If this person wants to overcome that barrier, they can make choices to make it smaller and smaller until the benefit finally outweighs it! Things like therapy, going on group dates to get comfortable, practicing self-care, learning about boundaries, etc. How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

The rest of this article will be a follow-up to last week’s article as we go over 4 more barriers (excuses) to a healthy lifestyle and their solutions.

Think you are too old/young

Many people think they can’t change their habits because they are not at the right age to start. Sometimes young people think they don’t need to worry about these habits until they are older and more established. Sometimes older people think it is too late for them to change. How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

Here’s the thing. No matter what you do today, tomorrow will still come. Are you 40 years old and still overweight? Will it take you 5 years to lose it all? Maybe the thought of not reaching your goal until you are 45 is daunting. Think about this though, in 5 years, you will still be 5 years older, having achieved your goal or not! (See Figure 1) You are never too old to start living a healthier life!

Figure 1

Young people sometimes think that these are issues that can wait for tomorrow. If this is you, I encourage you to read our last blog article and consider your time management. Your health might not be a critical concern right now, but if you ignore it, then you could have massive consequences in the years to come. Start with small positive changes when you can, and it will, help minimize the impending health crisis. (See Figure 2) Your future self will thank you for the changes you make today.

Even if you are 80 years old and just wanting to start taking care of yourself for the first time, we congratulate you! More than likely, you might have better tools and resources at your disposal at an older age than you did when you were young. We see older people at our clinic all the time! How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

Figure 2

You think it is too expensive

Remember earlier when we talked about delayed gratification being an indication of intelligence? This is where that strategy can come into play!

We might think of all the initial expenses we see when starting a healthy lifestyle. We see our grocery bill is higher. We now have to pay for a gym membership, vitamins and supplements, and any extra expenses from providers or other professionals that help us with our health. We think about all these expenses we are incurring and we begin to miss how quick and easy it was to order our food to go or pick it up from the drive-through.

What we don’t see is the long-term costs. We don’t see a lower medical bill, less money on physical therapy or pain management as we age, fewer medications we have to take, and less overall spending on eating out. So let’s break this down further.

Eating out (Typically high in carbs, fats, and ingredients) will harm your long-term health

  • The average cost of a fast food meal is $5
  • The average cost of a fast-casual meal is $12
  • The average cost of sit down restaurant is $30
  • Plus a 2-17% increase if you are using a meal delivery service
  • Plus 10-30% if you tip

Compare this to home-cooked meals, which can be made to any dietary needs and omit any harmful ingredients. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 the average couple in America spent just over $8,000 a year on food. This equals about $686 a month. Of that total cost, only 56% went to home-cooked meals. This means that couples are spending about $382 a month on groceries and $302 each month on eating out! Take note that these numbers will all be higher nowadays due to inflation. How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

Anyone I have ever done a personal food budget with is always shocked at the amount they spend eating out. They always insist that it is an error until we break the numbers down. Eating out is costing you more than just your health, it is costing you your money.

Figure 3

How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

If you eat out 2x a week, that is anywhere from $5-$30. Let’s say you do that each week for a year, that means you are spending $520-$4,680 a year on eating out! Not eating out could be the difference between you buying a car, going on vacation, or affording a house. How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

So next time you think your grocery bill looks expensive, think about how much more it costs you to eat out! Not only does eating healthy home-cooked meals save you money, it also is going to be better with the calories and macronutrients, and it really doesn’t take much more time depending on the recipe you make. Sometimes you can even make your meals at home quicker than it takes for you to go through a drive-through. How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

Too embarrassed to start

This is unfortunately true for many people. They feel ashamed to go to the gym or be seen trying to navigate their way in the unfamiliar territory of a healthy lifestyle. How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

This one is tricky to explain, but I guarantee you, any decent human seeing another human striving to make an effort to better themselves would be proud and protective of your progress. Strangers who see you trying will be rooting you on silently and cheering at the success they see unfolding. How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

My best advice to anyone who feels like they are too embarrassed to start is to start small. Use the dial method to scale your efforts. You can create a healthy lifestyle by cutting out soda pop, adding water, and going for a daily walk. When you are ready to kick it up a notch, you can work to cut back on eating out, increasing your lean protein, and adding veggies to your diet. If you ever feel embarrassed about your gym or kitchen skills, you can always take classes and work with a professional to bring your competency up! How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

You feel you are too stressed

I get it; it’s overwhelming to start a big lifestyle change. Many people even feel those changes will add more stress to their lives. Besides starting small, here’s another tip to overcome this barrier.

  1. Cut back on stressors where you can. How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2
  2. Learn how to have a positive mindset around the stressors you can’t control.
  3. Use the dial method to scale your efforts.
  4. Use positive association by pairing something you enjoy with one of the new habits you are trying to create.
    1. Watch a TV show while you do cardio.
    2. Listen to an audiobook or music while you cook.
    3. Reward yourself for doing resistance training that day by having a bubble bath.
  5. Talk to a professional to help you feel more confident and competent with the skill you are trying to add.
  6. Get help when and where you can.How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2
  7. Focus on time management and see what you can cut out to create more space to breathe. I recommend Stephen Covey’s bestselling book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. You can purchase this book yourself with this Amazon affiliate link: “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

It is helpful to only try to do it in stages. Let’s start by eliminating things first before we add new things into our lives. For example, figure 4 illustrates a woman who works to moderate her stress by cutting back on media consumption first—then adding in things like art and nature with the extra time she now has. How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2

Figure 4

To sum it up

  1. Everyone faces a series of benefits to a healthy lifestyle, as well as barriers. However the key to achieving a healthy lifestyle is to ensure that your benefits outweigh your barriers.
  2. You are never too old or young to start! The positive changes you make today will make a difference for you tomorrow.
  3. It is more cost-effective long term to manage your health. Buying groceries and preparing your meals at home is much more affordable than it is to eat out.
  4. There are a lot of ways for you to minimize the barrier of being too embarrassed to start. You can always talk to a professional if you need additional support.

Our clinic provides medical weight loss solutions making it easier than ever to overcome the barriers that have been holding you back from achieving success. Call us today to get started! 801-758-2130 How to Overcome Making Excuses Part 2