Published on May 20, 2017
(c) kikkerdirk fotosearch.com/k25616840
There are many excuses that clients use to try and convince themselves that their weight gain is not their fault, that a bad eating day is not their fault, that a weight stall is not their fault, that they’re not losing weight fast enough is not their fault, that boredom with what they’re eating is not their fault, basically . . . that they are victims instead of leaders of their own destiny. I’ve previously written about the “I Don’t Know” excuse of weight loss. Another big excuse is “It’s not working for me.”
First, let’s get real about what an excuse is . . . and there’s a difference between a Reason and an Excuse.
A reason is a qualified cause or explanation and, perhaps, a real justification for why something happened.
Excuses allow you to remain in an uncomfortable conversation with yourself and others, to dodge accountability, and are an attempt to cast yourself in a better light. Excuses are made because you simply don’t want to take responsibility for your shortcomings.
In fact, behind every excuse is the real reason: You don’t want to try. You don’t want to do.
It’s like a married couple who goes to couples’ counseling. One day, especially as their therapy sessions are about to touch on difficult issues, perhaps the crux of the matters between them, one partner gets up and says, “She/he’s the problem. It’s not me. It’s her/him. I’m done.” . . . and walks out. They do this because they don’t want to get to the root of the problem; or they know the root of the problem and don’t want to reckon with it; or they’re ashamed or embarrassed to admit it; or they don’t care enough to work it out; or they don’t want to make changes necessary to get the relationship back on track.
When we attempt to achieve something (start a business, earn a degree, cultivate a personal relationship, save for a dream vacation, aspire to a promotion at work, for examples) and stumble or have failures along the way, it’s not unnatural to engage in negative self-talk (I can’t do this. Why do I keep failing? I’m not cut out for this. Why can other people do this and not me?)
Similarly, when you start to falter or struggle in your weight loss journey, when you start believing that ‘this’ is as far as you can go, it leads you to focus on your weaknesses, on regrets at not having been successful in your attempts thus far, on negative self-talk about how inadequate and incapable you are when it comes to making the changes necessary to achieve a goal, especially when you’ve tried over and over again. As such, to counter this self-focus you start redirecting blame elsewhere . . . and often, a client will attempt to redirect blame on to me. Ahh . . . but, alas . . . I’m no easy mark. That crap doesn’t stick to me. My office is a “no bullshit” zone.
When a client says, “It’s not working . . .” — trying to suggest that eating normal, regular, everyday foods from the food groups, with portion control, with learning how to plan ahead and pack meals and snacks throughout the day, is the reason they’re not losing weight — what they’re really saying is, “It’s not me, it’s you.”
In fact, dear clients, it’s never me . . . it’s always you!
When you start making excuses, start asking yourself these questions instead:
“It’s” not working means you’re not working . . . and that means you lack self-belief, motivation, creativity, patience, perspective and persistence. Those are all the qualities you need if you truly want to eventually make things work, if you truly want to get slim and stay slim. In fact, those qualities are absolutely essential for everything of value that you want to create or achieve in life.
Instead of accepting excuses, start accepting the reasons.