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No this isn’t a name of the latest craze going around the gym.  It is something we all fall prey to at one time or another.  We make excuses for not exercising.

So what kind of excuses have you made?  Here are some:

  • it’s too boring
  • it’s too hard
  • I’m too tired
  • I don’t know how to do that type of exercise
  • takes too much time
  • the weather isn’t right to (walk/run)

Getting the body moving is obviously healthy (and this doesn’t mean having to spend hours at the gym either) but what other benefits are there?  Here are some that our members came up with:

  • it can help to lower your blood pressure and/or cholesterol
  • can lessen the amount of medication you may need to take for some conditions (but don’t substitute exercise for meds without checking with your doctor first)
  • can help to lower stress
  • can help elevate your mood (especially good if you are prone to depression)
  • can get more done in a day if you are up early and get the exercise out-of-the-way
  • gives you more energy
  • it can be a social activity and can help you make friends (dog walking, group exercise classes, etc.)
  • vent to a friend while walking (good for your mental and physical health)

So we know it’s good for us and we know the excuses we come up with but what can we do to keep “excusersize” out of our lives?

Members suggested the following:

  • be creative – one lady does squats while drying her hair!
  • break activities into small chunks – makes doing exercise more manageable
  • start small – you don’t have to run a marathon – walk before you learn to run
  • sneak it in whenever you can – you don’t have to set aside a formal time to do it, just find 10 mins here or there and MOVE
  • check your expectations – don’t set them too high so that you fail make them realistic
  • starting out slow and build gradually
  • challenge yourself when you get stuck on a plateau – ramp it up just a little to get over that hump
  • have a Plan B in case Plan A doesn’t work (can’t run because of the weather – do your exercise inside on a Wii Fit or something)
  • remember it doesn’t have to be so regimented – not always the same time every day – mix it up a little
  • go at your own pace – don’t worry about others around you they also started at a slower pace when they were beginning
  • park at the further end of the parking lot
  • take the steps instead of the elevator
  • Most importantly if you don’t exercise when you  had planned to – let it go, forgive yourself and MOVE on.   Just get out the next day and move.

Our leader, Pat, asked by show of hands who liked exercise and who didn’t.  I’ll admit I’m definitely in the “don’t like” category.  But I’ve learned that I need it.  I can’t maintain a healthy life and enjoy the things I want to do without it.  All the time I wasn’t exercising I was paying for it.   It is hard for me to get up at 4:50 every morning and go to the gym but I love the benefits.  I feel better than I have in years, I have more energy, I love the feeling after a good workout (endorphins), I look better too!  So every time I go to excusersize I try to remember how much I love the benefits of exercise even if I don’t like doing the exercise itself.


Before and After

Last Saturday our meeting was suppose to cover the topic of STRESS.  I certainly could relate to that last weekend and wish I had gone to the meeting but I didn’t.  If anyone reading this attended the meeting I’d love to know what tips/tricks our members brought up in the meeting.  Please feel free to comment and let me know.

I had a very full day last Saturday.  First there was 1.5 hours at the gym (including sauna), then at 12 noon I had to be at our Miller Branch to help take the computers down in preparation for our gala fundraising event – Evening in the Stacks: Masquerade!  After that I had to come back home (work in Howard County, live in Baltimore County) and hit the grocery store.  That meant I had to prep my list, look at recipes and figure out what other items I needed…once home it was time to put away all my little gems.  Next I had to fix dinner for the boys and then get ready for Stacks (I was working the event).  I didn’t get home until 12:30 and I had been up since 5am, needless to say I was tired.

Other than missing my meeting (something had to give that day and even though I missed it I was glad I did as it gave me a little breathing room in my hectic day) I feel I pretty much stayed on track with things and didn’t let the stress of the day get to me.  I made sure I had my protein shake before hitting the gym, came home and had a yogurt and then before going to the store I had a salad with cheese, lunch meat and no-fat dressing.  While unpacking the groceries I had a Weight Watchers snack for only 3 points.  My biggest challenge was going to be the event as there is always yummy, tempting food a plenty.

Once there I allowed myself only 2 glasses of Prosecco (4 oz. = 3 pts) and I headed to the veggie bar.  Had plenty of raw veggies, a little bit of spinach dip (with no bread) and only 2 small pieces of cheese.  I kept away from the Cesar salad and pasta bar (although it did look good) and headed over to the carving station where they had roast beef and turkey.  I did help myself to a 1/3 cup of mashed asiago cheese potatoes (they were too good to pass up).  I ended the night with water and a couple of yummy cookies and a whoopie pie.  I totaled my points the next day and found that I had only had to use about 4 of my weekly points.  After all the activity points (1.5 hrs at the gym, 1.5 hrs logging computers around, 4 hrs walking the event in 4″ heels) I earned that day I felt I had done really well!

All of this made me reflect on what a difference a year makes.  Last year when I attended Evening in the Stacks I was not at my most healthiest but this year I’m much better all thanks to Weight Watchers, the members and most importantly my great leader, Pat!

Evening in the Stacks 2011 (or before WW) Evening in the Stacks 2012 (or after WW)

Asking Never Hurt Anyone

I overheard one member talking to another about her dinner out at Bonefish Grill (one of my favorite places).   Not only was her experience eye-opening for me but it came with good advice for any restaurant you eat in.

She decided not to use her points on carbs but got what she thought (and me too because I had it the last time I was there) was a healthy alternative – steamed vegetables.  Thankfully she mentioned to her server that she was on Weight Watchers.  The server said “Oh, I’ll tell them not to put the butter on the vegetables then!”  I guess I’m naive because I never would have thought that steamed vegetables came any other way but just steamed.

This got me to thinking.  Many restaurants are listing healthy alternatives on their menus.  Some even mark them with a symbol so you know which ones to choose.  But no matter what it is a good practice to get into – ASK!  Ask them if they can put salad dressing on the side, ask them if the steamed vegetables come with butter or some kind of flavoring or sauce on them (and if you don’t want it ask them to not prepare it that way), ask if you can have a salad or vegetable instead of a starch/carb at no extra cost.

It is your body, your wallet – don’t hesitate to ask.  If they don’t comply then vote with your wallet and go elsewhere.

I learned from her to not trust the menu and the words or symbols on it to be my guide.  I need to take control of my journey and asking is just one way I can do that.