How to Stop Making Excuses to Work Out (Reader Question)
This question came to me today and I wanted to make sure I shared it, along with my response, here because I thought it could be beneficial to anyone who is currently facing the same problem. It deals with how to stay motivated and stop making excuses to work out when you formerly had the zeal and zest to do so.
It’s a very common problem people face, especially after they’ve lost a lot of weight and the weight loss has slowed or they’ve hit a plateau. You see that awesome bandage dress, and you want to wear it. You’ve been working hard, and it was netting you results, but now it seems you are getting diminishing returns for some reason. Thankfully, the answers to this phenomenon are not that complicated or difficult to turning things around – in fact there are pretty simple and effective solutions.
I’ll tackle the question in two parts – the first part will deal with how to stop making excuses when it comes to working out and the second part on how to quit backsliding on your diet/exercise regimen specifically after you’ve lost a lot of weight but still have more to go.
Here’s the question and my answer follows.
Ok. I’ve lost 127 lbs. I hurt my knee pretty bad and needed surgery. I am fully recovered but I’m having suck a hard time with being motivated this time around and I don’t know why. I loved working out before and looked forward to it. Now I find myself making excuses not to. My surgery was 15 months ago. I gained 4 lbs right after surgery because I couldnt move much. I have not gained anything else, just the 4. I also find myself eating stuff I know I shouldn’t because I’m no longer trying to maintain my weight I’m trying to lose some weight. Do you have any advice?
MY ANSWER – Part I:
Hi, congrats on your weight loss! I can totally understand what you are describing and my recommendation when motivation to work out starts to lull is to simply switch things up.
The same workouts day in and day out can get boring, and it is totally common to start to dread doing anything that we deem boring and make up excuses as to why you can’t, so you have to rekindle that fire that you once had that.
I think the spark we get when we look forward to a workout comes from the novelty of doing something new, and even moreso when you are looking forward to trying something that sounds fun to you.
I should point out that whatever you try doesn’t have to specifically be a workout or fitness program. For example, I’ve rediscovered my passion for handball recently – I hadn’t played since high school – and find myself playing for 2 hrs a session on saturdays and sundays with my partner.
If I knew I had to put in the same amount of time on a treadmill for the fifth and sixth time a week, I’d probably look for a good reason to skip it too. But when I’m playing handball, the time goes by in a flash because I’m having fun, engaged, and am pretty competitive. It’s also easy for me to get dressed and drive to the park even though I’ve worked out 3 to 4 times already for the week because I’m looking forward to the game.
I burn a ton of calories from running all over the court, retrieving the ball and constantly moving around for 2 hours, get my cardio in, etc. – all the things we seek to get from working out to lose/maintain our weight.
So, I say all of that to say it’s time to seek out something that you can be excited about and it definitely helps if you have someone to do it with you since the social aspect usually makes physical activity a lot more bearable.
Sports are a good option if you are competitive, but if not, then totally find a new type of workout class that you find interesting (if you like dancing maybe try zumba, bollywood fitness class or the buti workout … if you are adventurous check out aerial yoga or a trampoline workout … if you identify with more artsy people – hoop dancing, etc.)
Next, I’ll tackle the specific issue of backsliding into old eating habits and lack of exercise after you’ve lost a good amount of weight but still have some more to go.
If you do take this advice and experience success or you’ve gone through something similar and was able to turn things around by employing these tactics (or any others), please feel free to share your experience below.