Excuses, excuses…



Like many people who follow the Slimming World plan, I am a member of several on-line groups and pages to do with healthy eating, exercise, and Slimming World itself. These are all clearly-labelled groups and everyone who is a member of them knows what they’re about, so it drives me nuts when I see people making excuses left right and centre…

I followed Slimming World and lost weight, but then I gave up because I had too many commitments, and put all the weight back on.

Bullshit! You can have a life filled with commitments and it doesn’t stop you from following a healthy eating plan. I am a busy Mum of two exuberant little boys and, granted, I am not currently working (I’m a stay-at-home-Mum till my youngest goes to nursery), but I am involved in many different projects and groups, from the Board of School Governors to performing at a local war re-enactment group – my time is both limited and precious. People are always commenting that they are amazed I manage to squeeze so much into my time. I am an incredibly busy person – but being busy doesn’t stop you from eating healthily! The only thing that is stopping you from eating healthily is YOU, so give yourself a good talking to and follow a sensible eating plan. It does not take extra time. Fair enough, you might not be able to stay to a group, but that doesn’t mean you can’t follow the plan and be an on-line member. You get my drift?

I can’t go to the gym because everyone will stare and laugh at me.

imagesNonsense! People who go to the gym have one thing on their mind, and one thing only – their own fitness routine. They are so busy concentrating on their cardio or their weights v. reps, that they couldn’t care less what anyone else is doing or how they look doing it. From personal experience as a fat girl going to a gym, I can testify that any good gym instructor is there to help you get where you want to be, to help you develop a plan that will benefit you and to help you step things up when t starts feeling easier. Nobody is going to point and laugh. At most, someone will apologise that they almost went on a weights machine before you when it’s your turn. Occasionally you might even get some water cooler chatter when you go to refill your bottle, but it’ll be along the lines of, “Christ, I just busted a gut on my cardio!” or “I f*cking hate legs day!” Trust me – if you go to the gym, you’ll not be made to feel like the fattest elephant in the room who shouldn’t be there – you’ll be joining the ranks of people who are there to do their bodies good, and nothing more. If anything, you’ll get their respect for putting in the effort!

I can’t exercise – a gym membership is far too expensive! / I don’t enjoy exercise

Yes, gym membership can be expensive – I gave mine up for that very reason – but you don’t have to go to a gym to be active! Walk shorter distances instead of getting in the car. Use the stairs instead of the escalators or lift. Buy a cheap, second-hand bike and a helmet, then build up extras like lights and reflective gear etc, and cycle to work or wherever you want to go. I picked one up for £35 and it’s the single best personal purchase I have ever made. I love it so much, I actually look for excuses to get on it and go for a ride whenever I can! Unless you have a serious illness or injury that prevents/prohibits you from getting any exercise at all, you have no excuse. You don’t even need to invest in hand weights – you can use cans of beans or bottles of water for resistance. And you don’t need to buy the latest exercise craze DVD – there are plenty of workouts on YouTube that you can access for free.

Find something you enjoy doing – even if it’s just walking round a shopping mall with your friends, doing a spot of window shopping, you’re being active! Or maybe you could go paint balling, or play laser tag, go horse riding or canoeing – whatever takes your fancy! When you enjoy doing something, it doesn’t feel like a chore or an imposition on your time. Get a dog (or borrow one from the neighbours) and take it for a long walk. It doesn’t have to be an hour on the treadmill – it can be anything at all. And even if you’re shuffling at the pace of an asthmatic tortoise, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch!

I can’t give up my favourite foods / alcohol – my life would be miserable!

Any healthy eating plan that keeps you from occasionally enjoying your favourite treats isn’t going to be sustainable long-term. That’s the beauty of Slimming World – absolutely nothing is off-limits. If you love chocolate (and believe me, I adore chocolate), there’s no reason you can’t have some. Just don’t go breaking into the Cadbury’s factory and eating your body weight in the stuff! If you like a few glasses of wine with dinner, go ahead and have them – that’s what your syns allowance is for! And if you like to go on weekend benders, well, save your syns for the week and have a blow-out!

excusesI had a total blow out – I broke into the Cadbury’s factory and ate my body weight in chocolate last night, so I’m just going to continue pigging out because I might as well have some fun, right?

Wrong! So you had a blow out session and ate every chocolate biscuit in the house, including the ones you don’t even like all that much. So what? Don’t wait till next week, or even till tomorrow – get back on track right away. You know you’re doing yourself nothing but damage, so put that last packet of crisps back in the cupboard, step away from the multi-pack of Chunky Kit-Kats, and get back on track. NOW! Not tomorrow, not your next meal, NOW! Now that the fat-fest is over, plan your next meal, and make it a healthy one. Don’t just say to yourself, “Oh, I have to eat nothing but salad and drink nothing but water to make up for it!” because that’ counter-productive. Fair enough, don’t have any more syns for the day, and maybe knock a few off your totals for the next few days, but don’t deny yourself all pleasures as punishment for your transgression. Everyone falls off the wagon every now and then for whatever reason, but it’s not how often you fall that matters – it’s how often you get up, and how soon!

I had a massive blow-out, so I don’t want to go and weigh in this week because I know I will have gained.

How old are you? Seriously, are you, like five or something? No? Then grow up! So you fell off the wagon. So what? Everyone does at some point. So you’re going to have a weight gain? Again, I say, so what? Big boo-hoo! Maybe you won’t like what the scales will tell you, but put on your big girl panties and suck it up! Take it in the chin, draw a line under it, and move on. Don’t avoid your weigh in because you feel embarrassed – I guarantee you won’t be the only one in the class with a gain, and if you leave it another week, chances are you’ll give yourself license to stay off the wagon instead of getting back on track. Go in, stand on the scales, take note of the damage you did, and then make a plan to do better for yourself next week.

And if you’ve been lucky enough not to gain after going on your bender, don’t crow about it and don’t take it as license to go on another bender, because that shit will catch up with you.

I can’t go on a diet, because I need to have a gluten free / dairy free / vegetarian / vegan / kosher / halal diet.

I’m pleased to tell you, that Slimming World has got it all covered. You can eat all of the above and lose weight. It’s a sensible healthy eating plan that anyone can do, no matter what their dietary requirements. Join up and have a look at their website, because they have hundreds of recipes to cover every eventuality. I promise, you will always be able to eat something delicious and lose weight.

I don’t want to do a fad diet / I only ever lose weight when I do plans that involve shakes or meal replacements.

41jCHuIkmYL._SY355_Please be reassured that Slimming World cannot, in any way, shape or form, be considered a fad diet. It allows you to eat real food in realistic portion sizes (any amount you need to feel satisfied!). You can and will lose weight without having to resort to meal replacement shakes, and if you follow the maintenance plan, you will not pile on the pounds after getting to your goal weight, because you won’t be going from a liquid diet to real food – you’ll be eating real food all along!

I can’t cook / I don’t have time to cook proper meals – I’m far too busy!

Again, I call bullshit! If you’re really pushed for time or cooking ability, Slimming World actually do a range of ready-meals that are pretty decent and are ready very quickly. However, you can cook from scratch without spending forever in the kitchen. Invest in a slow cooker (you can pick up a basic model for around £10), then you can just throw stuff into the pot in the morning, leave it switched on, and your dinner is ready for you when you get home in the evening – all for just a few minutes work. Or you can do batch cooking on a day when you have time spare, and pop all the individual portions in the freezer to defrost and eat at a future date. Or you can make a couple of extra portions of every meal you cook, and freeze those extra portions. Like I said earlier, I am an incredibly busy person, but I don’t let that stop me making nutritious home cooked meals. I cook when I have time, and I defrost stuff I cooked before when I don’t have time.

Those are just the excuses I have seen recently and have recalled off the top of my head. I’m sure there are more, but I can promise you, that no matter what your excuse, there is an answer to combat it. What it all boils down to in the end is…

How badly do you want to lose weight?

If you really want to, you can do it. You just need to stop making excuses and get on with it. I’m not perfect – most days there’s nothing I’d like more than to laze about on the sofa with a book, or do some crafting, or just surf the internet – there’s always something else I could do to fill my time and I could always stuff my face with chocolate while I do it. Most days, however, I’d much rather get active and do my relaxing later on, and I’d rather eat healthily and enjoy a few small treats, and a larger treat every once in a while.

Don’t get me wrong – the urge to dive head first into a vat of chocolate is always strong and always there, and I suspect it always will be, but I’m learning to ask myself, “Which do I want more? An entire box of chocolates (followed by guilt) and weight gain? Or a couple of chocolates and maybe a piece of fruit, and a weight loss?”

Nine times out of ten, I can talk myself out of the chocolate mountain. After all, there will always be chocolate for another day. I don’t have to eat it all now!

So, after reading all that, I just have one more question:

What’s your excuse?




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