Your weight is ultimately the result of decisions you make. However, the reality of today’s world is full of contradictions. Our bodies are suffering from starvation as well as an excess of food. We are starving because even though there is an excess of food, it’s not nutritious. We eat artificially grown food, we ingest a profusion of processed foods and combined with our negative emotions and stress, all serve to modify our metabolism, deteriorate our body and mind, and increase obesity, fatigue, stress, and disease. Where diet is concerned, there are so many different types of diets that we no longer know which one to believe.
The good news is that we can do something about it. There is a different approach to health and ultimately weight loss. But, first I would like to impress on the fact that our weight is – above all – in our hands. No weight loss plan will work until we shift our awareness and make changes in our habits. We need to know our metabolic constitution. Then no matter our constitution, we have to learn to question ourselves, to free ourselves from our negative attitudes or excuses we use and to take responsibility for our own weight.
Here are the top 7 excuses or negative attitudes I hear over and over again – and how you can shift them so that you can enjoy better health, which ultimately leads to a healthier weight.
7 Excuses For Being Overweight
1. I Don’t Have Time
Everyone has 24 hours in a day. How is it then that some people are able to accomplish so much whilst others chase the clock? What is it that takes time? Going to the grocery store? Cooking? Working out? Let me ask you this: How much time do you spend watching TV? Surfing the net? Texting? Doing things for others that they can do by themselves?
There are ways to integrate family and others into healthy eating which means weight loss for you. Get your kids to plan and cook, and yes, even clean up with you. Watch your favorite TV show while working out. Call your friend when going for a brisk walk. Integrate your tasks with exercise and cooking and you will be surprised at how much time you will save.
2. I Don’t Have The Money To Eat Well
Eating well is an investment in your health. If you choose not to invest in your health; do you have time to take time-off from work when you need to stay home because you are sick or when you need treatments or surgery? Do you have the money for co-payments for doctor’s visits, prescription costs and the lost family time you never get back? We all need to eat. With some planning, you can even save money on food because you are not buying empty calories.
But let’s face it, a healthy lifestyle is an investment, because if you don’t have your health, how can you maintain your job, hobbies, and social activities? How can you play with your grandchildren, hike with friends, and feel confident when going out? This is what I hear daily from those that desperately want to lose weight. What kind of commitment are you willing to make for your health? Because if being overweight means you are too sick to enjoy anything, it won’t matter what house you live in, what car you drive, or what clothes you wear. Can you really afford not to invest in your health?
3. I Don’t Have The Motivation
There may well be a reason for a lack of motivation. In the western world, we tend to treat symptoms. We have become so hyper-specialized that we tend to forget we are treating people and not just their symptoms. Although medicine has progressed a lot in the last 50 years, we have forgotten some basic natural rules, like the importance of food on our general state of health.
It is because of food that our cells are renewed and thus provides the energy for us to feel motivated. If our food contains pizzas, sodas, and processed foods laden with chemicals, then it’s no wonder we feel unmotivated. Lack of motivation is a symptom, it’s your body’s way of saying, “Hey, I’m trying really hard here, but I am just overloaded with the lack of nutrition you are giving me.” Western nutrition is now beginning to understand the link between body and mind, food, and emotions. I encourage you to start with making just one healthy choice daily. Ayurveda recommends slowness, take your time and you will find that ‘many drops will finally make an ocean’.
4. My Family Or Partner Keeps Unhealthy Foods In The House
This excuse brings up perhaps the most important lesson ayurveda has to teach us and that is our health is up to us. Every day of our lives, every hour of every day, we can, and do choose either health or illness. Maybe you do not have control of those cookies that show up in the pantry after your husband has gone grocery shopping. But you do, however, have the choice over whether you eat those cookies. When we choose wisely, we are rewarded with health and happiness. When we persistently chose unwisely – then nature, in her wisdom, eventually sets us straight. She makes us sick and gives us a chance to rest and rethink our choices.
5. I Just Feel Lazy
Yes, of course, you do! But let’s backtrack just a little. Good digestion is vital for health, it nourishes the body and eating proper food for your metabolic type will make a big difference in your well-being. To obtain this, it is necessary to understand your digestion, in order to eat the food which is good for your digestive fire (metabolism). Our digestive fire or metabolism – when working efficiently – leaves us feeling enthusiastic, positive, and ready to go through life with zest and vigor. If our digestive fire or metabolism is not balanced, we will feel unmotivated, depressed, anxious, fearful, and just plain lazy.
A balanced digestive fire is, therefore, vital for having a healthy weight. An impaired digestive fire is one of the main causes of weight gain and it looks like this: Weak digestion -> Poor absorption -> accumulation of toxins -> imbalance -> obesity -> disease. This is the main reason we cleanse during the spring that lightens us up after the heaviness of winter. If you have been filling your body with everything except what it needs to work properly and feel fatigued and lazy, ayurveda offers ways you can cleanse the body of digestive toxins. However, it’s better to prevent digestive toxins from forming in the first place. Symptoms such as a white coating on the tongue or feeling unmotivated and lazy are all signs of digestive toxins. Feeling lazy is a symptom, it’s not a problem.
6. I’ve To Take Care Of Everyone Else. There’s Nothing Left Over For Me
I asked a client once why she had taken up smoking. She told me it was so she could sit on the deck late at night after everyone had gone to bed and just sit in peace. She felt it was the only time where she was not taking care of others. Why is it that we feel self-care is selfish? We are so busy taking care of others that we are often last on the agenda. So here is a thought….how about shifting your attitude to one that says “I must take care of myself before I can take care of anyone else”. I am writing this article as I am waiting for my next flight at Delhi airport and I am reminded of my last flight where I was instructed to put on my own mask before assisting others in the case of cabin pressure loss.
We can use this analogy for ourselves and realize that we need to take care of ourselves first – because only then can we take good care of others. My clients who are mothers often make this excuse, and I can relate, I was once there too. I felt guilty at times when I took time away from my son or significant others in my life for me. It seemed so selfish. However, let me suggest that if you are a parent; you cannot give your children a better gift than to show them through your actions that health is a number 1 priority. What better legacy to install in your loved ones – that health is so important, that you are willing to commit to it each day.
7. I’m Too Tired At The End Of The Day
Our days are filled with doing everything quickly, aren’t they? From the time we wake up, to the time we fall into bed exhausted; we are switched to “go” mode. I encourage you to just slow down. Let me ask you some questions: When was the last time you read a novel? The last time you had a long lazy conversation with a friend? When was the last time you just laid on the couch to think? Not to cross off your to-do list, but just creatively think? Our body is a part of nature, and when it runs perfectly as it was designed to run, it can be perfectly healthy. It is constantly trying to be perfectly healthy all the time, using its innate self-healing and self-regulating systems as it strives for a perfect homeostatic balance. But we repeatedly interfere!
Health is our natural state and being overweight is unnatural for our bodies. Every day we are exposed to viruses, bacteria, allergens, and carcinogens and yet our immune system has the intelligence and skill to deal with all those invaders and keep us healthy. However, when stress, inadequate nutrition, or just fatigue weakens our immune system, those same invaders produce disease. That is why most people who are overweight carry certain lifestyle diseases too. The body’s immune system is weakened.
Help your body refer back to its blueprint to maintain proper balance and you can do that most by just slowing down. I challenge you gently to take just 30 minutes a day for you. I know it will be hard; take this time to sit, think, and maybe take a walk. Lay on the floor with your feet elevated. But, use this time for you – not to catch up on chores but for you. Just this simple act will make a difference to how tired you feel at the end of the day. Try it – I promise you – it will work!
If you find yourself using any of these excuses, then I want you to recognize, these negative emotions or excuses are part of the problem and not the problem in themselves. Just start making changes slowly. Watch what you eat, when you eat, ask yourself if you are truly hungry. Then, slowly make a change – maybe this week it will one change to overcome an excuse and then maybe next week you will add another change and then before you know it – you have taken responsibility and control of your weight.