For just over the last month or so I have been working with a body building coach to prepare me for my first-ever competition in early September. My workouts are 6-days a week, my nutrition is 7-days a week, and there is no room for cheating, slip ups, or excuses. Period.
People constantly tell me how amazing they think it is that I am taking on such an endeavor. They praise me for being an inspiration which is most always followed by a statement like “I’m not in good enough shape” or “I could never do that” or “I don’t have the time.” Well, I am here to tell you that all of your excuses regarding why you cannot do something are bullshit. That’s right, I just totally shit-talked you. It is time to get a handle on your relationship with your physical-self. Stop making excuses for yourself to rationalize your own lack of want and/or desire.
Now, I’m not saying to go out and hit your first body building show—I am not saying that at all. What I am saying is that marathon you’ve been meaning to train for, that cardio yoga class you’ve been working up the courage to attend, that Crossfit box that everyone loves but you’re too scared to even walk through the door…I am saying the time is NOW. Sign up for something to train for, register for a class, drop in at a new studio. Stop making excuses why you cannot and should not, and tell yourself that you can and you will.
Here are some real-life applications from my personal experience to help motivate and in turn inspire you to make some new and lasting changes in your life.
Bullshit Excuse #1: “I’m not in good enough shape”
No one is born ‘in-shape’. Ok, scratch that. Some people are more inclined to be more naturally cardiovascularly fit or muscular than others; but no one is born shredded, able to run an ultra marathon, and prepared for a floor routine with the USA gymnastics team in Rio. Every single thing in this world worth having requires hard work, grit, and determination. And I mean everything, not just fitness related stuff.
It all starts with committing to yourself and under no circumstance giving up or quitting. To bring this to real life, as I mentioned earlier I started training for my first body building show. Not close to being in the best shape I have been in, not knowing a soul in the industry, and unaware of the work I would need to put in; I committed to something so huge to grow myself. In just one short month, you can see my progress.
After all, as Lao Tzu said “The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” One foot in front of the other. We all start somewhere and it’s most certainly not where we want to be–so why keep putting it off? You’re worth it, so start striving for greatness.
Bullshit Excuse #2: “I could never do that”
Negative self-talk is about as effective as trying to solve an algebra problem by chewing gum. If you want something, and I mean anything you could ever possibly want to achieve, you’ve gotta get that mind right. Not believing in yourself is defeating and damning—do not allow it to be your downfall.
For me it’s simple, when I am in a workout I look in the mirror to see the sweat pouring down my face. I think to myself, “Hell yea, badass!” It starts there. Then I keep moving and when it gets hard I repeat to myself over and over and over and over again in my head “I can do this, I can do this, I can do this. I am strong. I am making progress. I can do this.” When you are hustling your butt off for something you want so deeply, you cannot allow the word ‘never’ to pollute your mind. You certainly can do whatever you want, you just need to make the choice to want it.
Bullshit Excuse #3: “I don’t have the time”
We all have the same 24 hours in each day. What you do with it is what separates you from everyone else. Whether you work full time, have children, or are simply overwhelmed by life and its responsibilities; congratulations. You are just like everyone else. We all have lives, people that love us, need us, and demand our attention. We all also have interests that we pursue, or waste countless hours on social media scrolling, refreshing our feed, then scrolling some more, to open Instagram and repeat the same god-awful process (GUILTYYYYYY). We all have lives. But how often are we using our time effectively? I know, as an adult having someone call you out on not using your time wisely totally sucks BUT, are you maximizing every single day to its utmost potential? Chances are you are not because you don’t want it bad enough. Here’s a story to help hit home for ya.
Buddha was wondering through the forest. He was carrying a very heavy sack when he happened to come across another traveler in the woods. Tired from carrying the sack the Buddha (unbeknownst to the traveler) asked if the traveler would help him. The traveler responded by telling Buddha that sadly he could not, as his own journey was very long and his own belongings were heavy. Finally, Buddha opened the sack to reveal its contents to be filled with gold. Interestingly enough, the traveler could now find the strength to help the Buddha.
I love this story for its simplicity reveals mankind’s truest nature of being self-serving. We are more inclined to help someone, get involved in something, or take action when the end result will somehow benefit us. Well, when it comes to yourself it all should benefit you. Make the time for yourself because you deserve it. Get up before the kids and go for a run in the brisk morning air, hit your yoga mat, or have breakfast alone relishing in the stillness of the day that is yet to come. Stay up late reading your favorite smutty romance novel for no other reason other than you like it and want to, go for an evening walk after dinner, or lift some weight in the garage. Stop telling yourself that you do not have the time to things, you do, you just need to make the time by making time with yourself a priority.