Excuses and More Excuses

Do you have any idea how many calls I take on my radio program having to do with being overweight and out of condition?  Some people make unfortunate choices in a romantic partner because they believe that being fat makes them  less attractive to a more preferable partner.  Parents call with complaints their obese and sedentary children are being “razzed” in school.  Many women have told me they don’t have sex with their husbands because they hate the way their bodies look!  And others have weight-related medical problems, like adult-onset diabetes, bad knees and low energy.

Ultimately, it all comes down to something that is fixable if there’s an effort made to routinely exercise and moderate one’s food intake.

Nonetheless, the callers generally dismiss this rather straightforward solution with “issues” of depression, low self-esteem, problems from childhood, difficult schedules, etc., all to explain or excuse not exercising or controlling their eating habits.

It’s true eating (the first activity we experience upon birth) is a source of solace and pleasure.  However, as mature adults, we have to satisfy those human needs in healthier ways than letting our bodies be punished into obesity, poor balance, or bad conditioning, all which diminish the quality of life and life’s intimacies.

According to Bloomberg Business Week, only 5% of American adults do some type of vigorous physical activity on any given day.  Most of the respondents to their survey reported such sedentary activities as eating and drinking (96%), watching TV/movies (80%) or only very light activities such as washing, dressing, grooming (79%) or driving a car/motorcycle (71%).

Worse still, the most reported “moderate activity” was food and drink preparation!  38% of the women and 13% of the men listed that one as a physical activity.

These facts demonstrate that, generally, being out of condition is largely a voluntary condition for which people then complain about a lack of motivation. The reason many people join exercise and diet groups is they are held accountable as a motivation. Being part of a group which all has the same goal (e.g., weight loss, muscle toning) puts you in a competitive atmosphere as well as a supportive one.  Going for walks with others, working out with friends, getting involved in a healthy cooking group and other similar examples all contribute to accountability.

Motivation is not a miracle, and it’s not something you should count on before you do what is right, good, and healthy for yourself and others.  Discipline ultimately comes from wanting to be proud of yourself and by learning about your level of courage and character.