Have you used any of these excuses to avoid physical activity? “I don’t have time.” “It’s too hot.” I’m too out of shape.” “I’m too old.” “I’m too fat.” “Other people will laugh at me.” “I can’t afford a gym.” “I don’t like gyms.” “I’ll mess up my hair.” “I don’t like sweating.” “I’m too tired.” I’ll be in more pain.” “I’ll start tomorrow.” “I need to finish my family stuff before I do anything just for me.” “I know what to do, I just don’t feel like it.”
Sometime after getting my masters degree in recreation administration, personal training certification, group exercise certification, continuing to play tennis, and completing my research on barriers and benefits of physical activity for older African Americans and older Latinos—I came to several realizations.
First, I was making excuses and lots of them. It’s hard to hold up that mirror and examine yourself. That painful, examination forced me to ask, and answer, hard questions. Letting existing research, my own research, and personal experience guide me, I found my weight loss path from 175 to 145 pounds from December 2015 to June 2016. Now, over age 40, I wake up with less pain.
My highest weight was 190 pounds, pre-baby weight was 135 pounds, and consumptions habits (nutrition/food and beverage intake) played a critical role in shedding the pounds. Those are topics for other columns and we’ll get to them. Your homework, however, from this week’s column is to hold that mirror up to your unhealthy habits, call them by name, and begin to conquer them one by one. It will take honesty, time, focus, energy, and long-term commitment.
To the “I know what to do, I just don’t feel like it” crowd, it’s possible that you may never feel like it. Do it anyway. The less you move that body, the harder it is for that body to move. Do you want to live your later years independently or in a nursing home? Get your doctor’s approval before you start any new physical activity program, but within your doctor’s guidelines, get that body moving.
(Jeneea’s passion is enabling people to reach the best version of themselves. Her toolbox includes empathy for understanding your needs, encouragement to help achieve your goals and coaching to incrementally show you how to change your life for the better.)