Tuesday, February 23, 2010

DAY 198 Taxes Trump Toons & No Excuses Mentality

Hi there, Journal & Friends,

Well drat! I don't get to play with Toon Tuesday this week... I am knee deep in tax preparation. 

That reminds me of reading a good post recently by Chris, at A Deliberate Life (HERE). She talked about doing what is necessary. What I WANT to do is play with my art... what is NECESSARY is to to work on the taxes.

Our weight loss journey is like that too... I'll let you read Chris's post on the subject... she said it well.
Bottomline: If we want to succeed on this difficult journey, we have to ditch our excuses, grow up and do what is necessary. Consistently. Period.

By the way, the first time an online friend called me on my excuses, I worked up quite a huff! I was irritated, defensive, and downright prickly. Yet my reaction told me she was hitting a sore spot. So I finally laid down my pride, and really took a look at myself. I got honest. And yes, I was chock-full of excuses. 

I hadn't done it on purpose. I didn't think I had excuses. I had "reasons". After all, I thought, you don't understand my situation... my health... my age... my injuries... my finances... my upbringing... my lack of support at home... my my my my. Need I go on with examples???

She busted through my greatest hindrance with the truth. My greatest hindrance? My own thinking. I had constructed all of these "reasons" to explain away my failure to DO what I kept saying I wanted to do. She "dared" incur my wrath. She told the truth, whether or not it would be appreciated. And it was NOT, at first.

Now, I am very thankful to my friend, B, who lit a verbal stick of dynamite under my big pile of excuses, and blew it all to smithereens. It took awhile to work through them all, but when I started to look at my life with new eyes, with self-honestly and awareness, I could see what SHE saw: excuses.

And then it took awhile to change my approach. I adopted a SOLUTION oriented approach. I decided that excuses were no longer going to have the power to stop me... but they were simply challenges to be SOLVED. This has helped tremendously, just looking at it in a different perspective, with the intention of NOT allowing a thing to stop me.

When you encounter an excuse, ask yourself:  So, what am I going to do about it? And make a plan to eliminate the excuse. 

Need examples (from my own life)?? Some Excuse Busters??

Excuse: But I'm in a wheelchair...or knees bad...or other part injured, so "can't" exercise.
Solution: Nonsense. Do chair-dancing, exercise in a pool, move the UNinjured parts. Do SOMETHING. Move. Consistently. Make it non-negotiable. Period.

Excuse: But I don't have any support at home... he/she/they resists my efforts.
Solution: So? You still have control over what and how much goes into your own mouth. Sure it's better to get it out of the house. But if you can't for whatever reason, then bring in stuff you CAN eat, and make this a high priority. Then get yourself online and hook up with like-minded, tough, success oriented people. 

Excuse: But I don't have time.
Solution: We all have the same 24 hours in each day. Some have more on their plate than others, true. But if you want to succeed at this, you MUST put in the time. That's the trade-off. You must. Or admit that it's not a high enough priority right now, and that you are not ready. But either way, be honest with yourself.

Excuse: But I can't afford to eat right. Eating "healthy" is more expensive.
Solution: Baloney. No, I don't mean EAT baloney... I mean that is an excuse. You may not be able to afford all the fancy schmancy stuff, but if you stop buying the pre-packaged junk and convenience foods, and eat moderately and wisely, and make the effort to search online for economic healthy recipes, you CAN do this.

Excuse: But I am older... my metabolism is so slow... I have medical problems that make it hard to lose weight.
Solution: It is never too late to turn it around! So...your metabolism is slower, and you are a decrepit old fogey, huh?? So??? All that means is that it might take a little longer, and you might have to try harder! You might have to learn (gasp... the P word) patience!!

I know this all sounds so tough and hard. But what did easy and soft get me?? It got me 460 pounds. I had to get past wanting a "softer, easier way", as they say in AA. I had to become willing to DO WHATEVER IT TOOK.

Doing whatever it takes is not always easy. And some days doubt creeps in. And impatience. And frustration. And weariness. But those are temporary storms of the mind... for then the sun comes out again, and the journey continues.

It is not always easy, but it is worth it. 

 From Dr Phil's book: "Have the willingness and courage to throw off your past, go after your weight-control goals, and pursue a life that is defined as healthy and fit."

My verse for today: "Behold, you desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart."

My quote for today: "If you really want to do this, you will find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse."


karen@fitnessjourney said...

Not everyone is as open-minded as you. I know that I am guilty of making excuses from time to time too. The good news is that the friend who cared about you enough to call you on your excuses got through to you. (Sometimes I think I lose followers because I am a no-excuses zone! LOL!)

Shelli Belly said...

OUCH! :-)

I love this post especially the statement "storms of the mind." That hit home today. I had a "white knuckle" day yesterday. I presisted! And I now must continue to stay the course until the clouds clear. That means keep my berings and stay the course. The strom will pass and I will be that much stonger.

No Excuses!

Leslie said...

GREAT POST! Really good, Loretta. I think I have insight into myself and my bullsh*t, but when I was reading your examples - the one about being in a wheelchair (or on crutches, in my case) really grabbed me around the neck. Yeah - so what. There are plenty of things I can still do, and definitely I can stop using my knees as a reason to soothe myself with food. Because it doesn't soothe, it makes everything worse. Thanks for a little kick in the a$$ I needed!

Beth said...

When my husband starts to say, "I didn't have the time to get that done," he stops and corrects himself, saying, "I didn't TAKE the time to get that done." It's all a matter of priorities.

antgirl said...

Prioritizing, attitudes ... excuses. This is an interesting topic. I still have days when it seems hard. Luckily, they are infrequent. If you dub them as 'temporary', I find it helps. Also, I tell myself things like: what would happen if you quit brushing & flossing your teeth. We do a lot of things everyday we may not necessarily enjoy, but are necessary. As you say.

As women, we are taught to think of ourselves last. But, look where not taking care of ourselves gets us?

PJ Geek said...

Very wise. It made me think about how when I was in "gaining" periods of my life , meaning binging and no exercise and very depressed. I look back to those times when I was in my 20's and 30's and early 40's with regret. Now I'm making better choices, don't want to miss a minute or waste time anymore. Whatever excuses I used to have no longer outweigh the rewards of living that I do have. I don't even know what those excuses were anymore.

Anonymous said...

Uh-hmmm. Loretta. dear....

You just stepped on some of my most favorite excusees. Now what shall I do?

Oh. Wait. Maybe I could suck it up and lose weight! hahahaha

Love ya, girlfriend!


P.S. I pulled in a favor and got my bloodwork for celiac done today. (And I LOATHE cashing in favors to spend on myself--I usually use that to benefit others. It's a social worker thing.)

The dermatologist will look at, and hopefully, biopsy my rash Monday.

That means I can quit eating gluten after Saturday instead of having to eat it until 3/18. :) How 'bout THAT for kicking an excuse to the curb? :D

Christine said...

those are the worst kinds...those rational arguments said in love.
Makes you want to slap someone.
great post loretta, and not just because you happened to mention me....lol.

Dayne Gingrich said...

Great post... love every single post. YOU SPEAK MY LANGUAGE :-)

Come over and tell me whatcha think about my latest post: Creating New Habits vs. Changing Habits. Discipline is also a huge part of this post.

I wrote a longish comment, also... you may want to read that too. This is a subject I love talking about, because, as with excuses... bad habits make it impossible to move forward.


Patsy said...

Great post! There is a HUGE difference between reasons and excuses... :o) Good luck with the tax... Over here, online tax returns needed to be in by 31st January, so that's out of the way for this year, thank goodness... Craig owes me big time for doing his! ;o)

Dayne Gingrich said...

Thank you for your comments on my blog. I replied.

I hope you come back over, read, and tell me whatcha think. The readers love when they get a chance to see others' opinions. A healthy "back and forth" is always good for everyone.


Sean Anderson said...


This post is the truth. You speak it my friend! Self-honesty is critical to our success. Without it---this will not work.

I get chills when I imagine where you're headed and the voice you bring. You're an amazing writer and artist!

Thank you and my best,

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