Why the No Excuses Mentality Doesn’t Work For Everyone

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I have a confession: I used to have the “no excuses” mentality. I worked in corporate fitness for 15+ years in several different companies, all of which provided onsite fitness facilities to their employees that made it that much more convenient to exercise.

My coworkers and I would often talk about how we were surprised that every employee wasn’t there working out every single day. We’d say, “it’s right here! It doesn’t get much easier!”

How I adopted the “no excuses” mentality

I grew up playing sports where that “go hard or go home” mindset is all around. “Give it all you’ve got and then give some more.” Then I started working in the fitness industry where that’s still around. That same mentality that you’re lazy or not committed if you’re not in the gym everyday, no matter what. I thought that it was as simple as, if you want it bad enough, you make it happen…

What changed my mind

Aaaand, then I had a baby and left my corporate fitness job.

And I got it.

For the first time in a long time, I didn’t have a gym full of equipment at my finger tips. I didn’t have the luxury of time where I could just hop on my bike at the drop of the hat and go for a ride. For the first time in a long time, working out wasn’t a part of my job.

And now I understood what it was like for exercise to be a choice that you have to make.

I now get what it’s like to want to exercise, to really enjoy working out, to have fitness goals, and also have legit excuses- or really just life- that may keep you from prioritizing fitness above all else.

Related Post: Postpartum Strength Training: Considerations for Returning To Exercise

It doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing!

That all-or-nothing, no excuses mentality can actually keep you from the ultimate goal of creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

For those that wake up at the ass-crack of dawn every single day to work out before everyone else is awake, more power to you! I’ve tried it…and I just can’t do it, I like sleeping too much, ha.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t make fitness a priority. And it doesn’t mean that I’m “lazy” or “undisciplined” because I don’t put fitness first every single day.

Instead, I have to prioritize the things that I find most important, and put aside some things that aren’t as important in order to fit exercise in in a way that helps me progress towards my goals, and also makes me feel good!

There’s legit reasons to skip workouts…and then there’s excuses

Let’s not forget that there are excuses just for the sake of excuses…like, you really don’t feel like working out, so you tell yourself that you’re too tired, or you’ve got too many other things to do.

I think you do have to check yourself when this happens, especially if there’s more days of excuses than there are days of exercise. Then it’s time to be real and ask yourself: is this a legit reason to skip exercise today, or is it just a story I’m telling myself?

But ALSO… give yourself a break! That no excuses mentality assumes that you have the great privilege of putting your fitness first. When in reality it can be really hard- especially for parents- to put their fitness above everything else.

And that takes us back to prioritizing what’s important, and ditching (or at least setting aside) the things that aren’t as much of a priority so that you can still get the benefits of physical activity, and even achieve your health and fitness goals.

For me, exercise is absolutely a priority for me both for my own personal fitness goals, but also because it’s something I really like doing, and it’s my number one form of self-care/stress relief/”me time”. However, I’m not willing to wake up at 4am and sacrifice sleep every single day in order to it.

So I plan my schedule to work out three mornings a week before my husband goes to work, and then two evenings a week I try to do a walk in between dinner and putting my little guy to bed.

But if it doesn’t happen, I don’t stress about it. Because I know that if I have a couple of “off” days, or even a week (or two!), my progress isn’t ruined. I’d rather listen to my body and give it what it needs, than push it too hard just to keep on a schedule… what does that prove?

And that’s what I want for you! Let’s let go of the idea that it has to be all or nothing to be “worth it”. Figure out what works for you to be consistent, happy, and helps your reach your goals…and do that!

Want some more help planning your workout schedule in a way that’s realistic and works for your busy mom life? Grab The Complete Fitness Planner and start building healthier habits with small daily steps towards your goals.

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