3 Common Excuses For Not Getting In Shape and How To Ditch Them: Part 3

August 26, 2016

Part 3 of 3

I recall a dinner with business associates several years ago, when I was much younger, at which I talked for probably 30 minutes without breathing. I’d love to say that I was waxing poetic about something that had the rest of the table completely captivated. Yea, not really. I was spewing about football, not even everyday football fan football. No, like formations and strategies and whether or not the two point conversion belongs in the game. My associates were bored to tears and, thank God, someone changed the subject the very moment I paused to order another glass of wine.

There were many lessons I learned from that evening, the most important of which is: you may be obsessed with things that other people aren’t interested in and it’s a good idea to pay attention to that when you’re in a social setting. I am very guilty of being obsessed with football. I am also guilty of being obsessed with health and fitness. Typically, when you think of someone who’s obsessed with health and fitness, you imagine that person who eats perfectly clean all the time, probably over-trains, and maintains a pretty sweet spray tan year round. I’m not that dude. What I am, however, is the dude who loves to train and is insatiable when it comes to information on health and fitness. I want as much as I can get, as often as I can get it. I also recognize that most of the world is not as interested in training as often as I do or in consuming all of the information that I consume.

So, where am I going with this? Well, I have had many people say to me over the years, “I’d like to be in good shape. But, I don’t want my life to revolve around diet and exercise.” Funny thing is, what they’re actually saying is, “I feel like my life would have to revolve around diet and exercise in order for me to be in good shape.”

Excuse: I’m not in good shape because I don’t want to be obsessed with diet and exercise.

While that doesn’t seem that far-fetched on the surface, let’s be real…it is a ridiculous statement. You can be in good shape without being obsessed. Look, there’s no question that you’ll have to do a few things that you might not want to do or don’t enjoy. But, it ain’t gonna happen while you’re on your couch watching reruns of Full House and stuffing your face with Crunchy Cheddar Jalepeno Flavored Snacks (although I will admit that Bob Saget is pretty damn funny as a stand up comic and those Jalepeno Cheetos are silly good).

Solution: Make several small changes in your life that will snowball into big changes in your physique.

There are some folks that need an entire overhaul. However, the truth is that most people walking in the door of my studio don’t need more than a few tweaks in order to get in shape. While I am speaking more to the latter, these tips will certainly be helpful to the former as well.

Make simple substitutions in your diet.

There are numerous websites and books devoted to this topic, containing millions of ideas on healthy substitutions. Try these simple swaps:

  • Swap out sour cream in favor of greek yogurt
    • I love Mexican food and I definitely love to cover my enchiladas or burritos with sour cream. Problem is, sour cream is high in fat and saturated fat and low in protein. Greek yogurt, on the other hand, is loaded with protein, lower in fat, and still provides that sour/tart flavor that we love. By swapping the two, you get 3 x less fat, while adding 3 x as much protein.
      • 2 tbsp sour cream (full fat) – 4.8 gms fat, 0.4 gms protein
      • 2 tbsp greek yogurt (full fat) – 1.8 gms fat, 1.2 gms protein
  • Cut down on regular soda
    • If you’re a soda freak, this is where you start. One 12 oz can of Coke contains 39 sugars…39 f’ing sugars… Here’s what you could also eat that would contain that much sugar: 4 Krispy Kreme glazed donuts, 2 Snickers bars, 1 full cup of Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Ice Cream, almost 9 Oreos. You get my point. The biggest problem with fully leaded soda is that we’re typically consuming it with a meal. So, you’re adding all that sugar to the other calories that you’re already eating. If you refuse to stop, at least try to cut down. Check out these alternatives:
      • Unsweetened Iced Green Tea: 0 sugars and packed with anti-oxidants (add Stevia to sweeten without adding sugar)
      • Fruit-infused water: Get a fruit-infused water bottle like this one, choose your fruit and enjoy a nice flavored soda water without all the sugar.
      • Club Soda w/ Lemon or Lime: Great summertime beverage that won’t move the scale.
      • Coffee, iced or otherwise: Get the pick-me-up that you normally get from your soda, plus a slew of other health benefits. Just make sure you don’t add a bunch of sugary syrups or packets to your java.
  • Trade 80/20 ground beef for ground bison
    • Bison does have a slightly different flavor. Personally, I prefer it and it’s far healthier. Check out these stats:
      • 4 oz 80/20 ground beef: 22.4 gms fat, 8.6 gms saturated fat, 19 gms protein
      • 4 oz ground bison: 11 gms fat, 4 gms saturated fat, 23 gms protein
    • Here in Colorado, it’s easy to find bison in just about any grocery store. While it’s a little more difficult in other areas of the US, do your research and find out where you can get some.
  • Throw out your instant oatmeal and grab steel-cut or old-fashioned oats
    • All oats are not created equal! Instant oatmeal is higher-processed and absorbs into the blood stream faster than steel-cut or old-fashioned oats, making it a higher glycemic food. Because your body has to work harder to digest the steel-cut or old fashioned oats, they have a lower glycemic index and will also keep you satiated longer. In addition to being higher glycemic, instant oatmeals are most widely distributed in some form of sugar-laden concoction that isn’t anywhere near as healthy as it looks (I am a total sucker for apple cinnamon). While plain instant oatmeal is certainly available, skip that and go straight for a full size container of steel-cut or old fashioned oats. Wilford Brimley would give his stamp of approval.
    • Want to dress up your oatmeal without adding a bunch of refined sugar? Here are a few ideas that incorporate healthier sugars and healthy fats (using 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats or 1/4 cup steel-cut oats):
      • Cherry Pecan
        • 1 oz. dried, unsweetened cherries
        • 1 oz. chopped pecans
        • 1 tsp real maple syrup
      • Almond Blueberry
        • 1 tbsp crunchy almond butter
        • 1/2 cup wild blueberries
        • 1 tsp honey or agave nectar
      • Apple Harvest
        • 1/4 cup chopped apples
        • 1 oz. dried, unsweetened cranberries
        • 1 tbsp organic can sugar
        • 1 oz. chopped walnuts
        • cinnamon to taste

Skip the gym and engage in recreational activities that you love.

If you’re one that loathes the gym, you aren’t alone! I hear this from a lot of people and they almost seem like they feel guilty when they say it. Why? Your healthy lifestyle can be built any which way you choose, including without a gym. The most important things are that you move and get your heart rate up. But, there’s nothing that says you have to be miserable while doing it. Do something that you enjoy and even soak up some vitamin D while you’re at it!

Examples of fun recreational stuff
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Skiing
  • Softball
  • Basketball
  • Hiking
  • Rock climbing
  • Swimming
  • Biking

Change your morning routine.

For many people, their weekday morning consists of a quick shower, followed by coffee to go and breakfast in the car. By the time the weekend rolls around, they’re so fried from the weekday grind that their weekend mornings are filled with self-indulgent lethargy. Your life is stressful enough. If this rushed morning routine sounds eerily similar to your own, you’re only proliferating those moments of stress. Let’s say you normally wake at 6:30 and have to be out by 7:30. Here’s a step-by-step on how to change your morning routine into something that actually works for you, not against you:

Sample morning routine
  • 5:45 AM – Wake and drink 8-12 oz of cold water
  • 6:00 AM – Outdoor walking or light jogging, listening to something that motivates or inspires you
  • 6:20 AM – Stretch, yoga, meditation/reflection
  • 6:30 AM – Cold shower to increase alertness and let you’re body know that it’s time to crush the day. You’ll also have a tendency not to linger…
  • 7 AM – Breakfast
  • 7:30 AM – Out the door

You get up 45 minutes earlier and actually spend some time doing something for you. The possibilities for that time are endless and you will completely change the tone of your day. If you want to take it a step further, Hal Elrod author of “The Miracle Morning” describes his 6 S.A.V.E.R.S for a better morning as:

S – Silence
A – Affirmations
V – Visualization
E – Exercise
R – Reading
S – Scribe

Grab the book on Amazon or listen to him explain these powerful tools via podcast.

No matter what you do, do something. You’re worth too much not to. Feel free to reach out to me via Facebook or email for more ideas on how to get moving in the right direction.


Photo Copyright: sifotography / 123RF Stock Photo