“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” — Benjamin Franklin
Exercising consistently, eating balanced and healthy meals, getting high-quality sleep, and managing stress was a breeze as a 21-year-old kid.
Fast forward a decade later, exercising consistently isn’t as simple due to growing a company. I’m sometimes too tired from the day to cook a healthy and nutrient-rich meal. And I’m either too anxious about life or too excited about life to get quality sleep.
These are all logical and rational reasons why I would fall short of my nutrition, training, and sleep goals. After all, if I told someone that I’m busy working (or “hustling” as the people call it), too tired to cook, and on an emotional roller coaster—the person would likely nod and say “me too”.
And we would feel better about the situation.
And that’s the problem.
It’s way too easy to justify our behaviors. Months down the line, we end up wondering “what the hell happened” to our health?
This was me. Whereas most people binge eat when stressed, I actually stop eating and lose weight (and some muscle, unfortunately).
Well damn, sign me up for this is what you may be thinking. But not so fast, rapidly losing weight (and muscle) or gaining excess weight are both detrimental to our metabolism, mood, hormones, and most importantly—our self-esteem.
As I had to learn though, “YOU MUST WAGE WAR WITH YOUR EXCUSES, EGO, & JUSTIFICATIONS” daily.
Here’s the raw truth…We have enough time, resources, and ability to make it happen.
However, before we go any further, I didn't craft this article to berate you, guilt you into eating more broccoli, or pressure you into more lunges.
Instead, I crafted this article to remind you that health & fitness is tough for all of us—even the “fitness professionals”.
With Instagram and other social platforms, it's easy to fall into the illusion that everyone has their shit together and are “crushing life”. But that isn't reality at all. Myself, top performers I coach, and fellow fitness peers know that it's a daily battle to maintain healthy habits with a demanding lifestyle.
It’s easy to slide into rationale reasons for not doing behaviors we know benefit us in the long term.
With that said, it's time to wage war with your excuses starting with these four sneaky ones.
Sneaky excuse #1: “I don’t think it’s that bad…I’m doing alright”
The downside of being well-read and semi-intelligent (most of the time) is that I can easily manipulate my reasoning to justify my actions.
How about this?
What do stubborn people, addicts, and self-sabotagers have in common?
They're full of denial and delusion.
One day, you want to change your body, your life, and your mental approach toward life. As soon as you feel a little bit of resistance, discomfort, awkwardness, or insecurity—it’s all hands off deck. You tell yourself, “maybe I was just overreacting—it’s not that bad”.
Lies…lies…and more lies. Wage war against this!
The topic of point wouldn’t have been brought up if you at some level didn’t think there was a need for improvement or some dissatisfaction with yourself.
Admit there’s room for improvement and move forward. It's okay to admit the need for improvement.
Sneaky excuse #2: “I don’t know enough yet, I need some more time to “plan”
I gotcha, I used this excuse a lot. I remember using this excuse in Portugal when I was at a cafe with a friend and I saw this beautiful girl who was “magnetizing”. I wanted to talk to her. I was thinking of some lines to say in my broken Portuguese.
After enough time of mentally wasting away, I told myself “I’m going to be here for 5 more weeks, I’ll talk to her next time I’m here. Or, I’ll talk to the next girl who strikes my interest because I’ll have a plan.”
Oh dear—this actually made total sense to me at the time. And when you procrastinate on your health because you don’t know everything nor how it will pan out, it sounds logical.
But just like me in this case, the reality of the situation is telling another story.
You can buy more fitness books. Listen to more podcast. Search the depths of the internet for more biohacks. Or, you can just do something—anything really. Planning, planning,…and more planning is procrastination in disguise.
You’ll never feel 100% ready about anything you’re going after. The unknown doesn’t vanish, you just learn to accept it as it is.
You don’t need another fitness book. You don’t need to precisely get your macros right. You don’t need to listen to another podcast—unless it’s mine in the near future;).
Focus on moving more often, eating foods that weren’t made in a chemistry lab, sleeping more, and prioritizing key relationships.
You learn by doing, not by spectating and philosophizing.
Sneaky excuse #3: “I don’t know what to eat and I’m too busy to cook daily”
I told myself this at one point in time and it led me to eat a big breakfast and then maybe a handful of proteins bars throughout the day. And not surprisingly, I had crazy digestive discomfort and poor energy.
Before even attempting to solve the nutritional riddle, the first priority is to formulate a “nutritional playbook’.
Solving your dietary situation starts by exposing yourself to reality.
For example, if you don't know how to cook, either learn to cook some basic things or use a meal delivery service to alleviate this situation.
Next, if you’re crazy busy, use meal delivery to help or batch your meals by preparing them in advance. When batching your meals, include an even dose of carbs, proteins, and fats. Perhaps breakfast is your power shake and lunch and dinner will be two meals that are simple, tasty, and efficient.
On a weekly basis, I have 3-4 meals and snacks I rely on. If I’m feeling fancy, then I'll extend outside my playbook.
Sneaky excuse #4: “I’m going to start focusing on my health more, but not this week…I’ll start fresh on Monday”
“After this weekend, I’m going to get after it”.
“I would start this week, but I have too many things to do”.
“This week is almost over; I’ll tighten up my diet starting on Monday”.
What is it with people associating Monday as a default day to kickstart new initiatives.
If I had a kid (which I don’t) and I wanted to start being a better parent, I wouldn't say “I’m going to start prioritizing and being there for my kid, but not this week…I’ll start on Monday”
If you’re an entrepreneur and wanted to grow your business and make more of an impact, you wouldn't say “I’m going to start prioritizing and growing my business to make more money & create a bigger impact, but not this week…I’ll start fresh on Monday.”
If you wait until tomorrow or the next week, you most likely get pleasure (small hits of dopamine) out of making commitments and planning. If you want something, and it’s within your power—you’ll start as soon as possible.
It’s not important that you execute gracefully at first—it’s important that you take action. Taking action is the precursor to momentum which is the precursor to a body that looks and performs well.
As Apollo Creed told Rocky, “there is no tomorrow…there is no tomorrow” (play this before your next training session). Act with aggression and have an unapologetic bias toward action.