We are all guilty of making excuses at some point, but this is the MAIN reason why so many people don’t reach their goals. You’ll say, “Oh my next meal will be something healthy” or “I’ll go to the gym when Pam is free because I don’t like to go alone.” And then eventually these things fall out of your to-do list. And before you know it days, or even weeks, will have gone by before you have that day of healthy meals you were planning or that workout session. Excuses are made not because you don’t want to be healthy, but because you believe it requires a lot of hard work. Well, NEWSFLASH it does! To a degree. YES, you have to put in effort and YES you have to plan, but the return on those investments is that YOU FEEL AMAZING! I’m not one for advocating aesthetics as being a main motivator to get into shape. Afterall, “bikini season” is only 3 months out of the year. Whereas healthy habits last a lifetime. While I totally understand wanting to look in tip-top shape for the summer months, a healthy lifestyle should always be the goal. You want to create a way of eating and moving your body that is sustainable and enjoyable FOR YOU! So if you hate that Zumba class or you cannot stand anymore Spinning then QUIT. You’ll have one less excuse why you can’t or don’t want to workout and by making an effort to try new classes/activities you will have an abundance of reasons TO go to the gym!
#2. LATE NIGHT EATING
I put this one on the list because I’m a late night eater and I know a lot of people my age (early 20s-30s) who enjoy the 12PM post-dinner snack. Before I delve any deeper into this, it is SO IMPORTANT for me to clarify that a calorie eaten at 7AM is the same as a calorie eaten at 2AM. It is a common belief that you gain weight from eating late at night because you’re not burning off the calories you just consumed before you go to sleep for the night. While I’m not going to get into this theory here, I WILL link some articles about it below this post so that if you’re interested (as I was) you can read up on it. But what I will say is that, from my own personal experience, if I am eating late at night I am NOT making myself a light salad with some balsamic dressing, oh no. If I’m eating after dinner (and it’s not dessert) I’m usually eating something like New Haven pizza and Insomnia cookies after :D…I find that the food I go for late at night bears very little nutritional value and it’s all to satiate my CRAVINGS because I’m up late. There are many ways to combat this and I am SO EXCITED to do another post about them. But for now, I’ll just say, eating dinner later might be the best option if you know you’re going to be up/out late. Have a bigger helping of green beans so that you don’t feast on pizza later in the night!
#3. NOT PLANNING WORKOUTS
I used to always fail to do this, and it really makes all the difference. It’s so important to go into the week KNOWING what you’re going to be doing. Not only does this give you a more balanced workout for the sake of your body but it also makes LIVING life so much easier as well. For example, if you know you want to get in some cardio but you don’t plan or schedule workouts ahead you could miss an amazing opportunity to go on that run with Pam on Monday when it’s 75 degrees, instead of having to walk in the rain on Friday because you put it off. There’s this saying that goes, “IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, THEN PLAN TO FAIL.” I’m not sure where it originated but it feels like something grandmothers and mothers alike have been saying to generations of their lineage. It is no wonder why, it is totally true. When I was in college I was obsessed with my planner and would write everything from what body part I was working out that day to how much time I had between my classes in the teeny tiny lines for each day. This helped me so much, and although I have new ways of planning and working out for that matter I still use a calendar and a pen and paper to guide me. You should be writing down exactly what you want to get done in the gym so that you are meeting your goals and holding yourself accountable. Don’t plan to fail…just PLAN!
#4. NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER
You know that moment when you’re out with your friends and you’ve just ordered another tequila shot and you’re feeling a bit woozy, so you start to think about what exactly you had to eat and drink that day. So you begin listing off your meals in your head and that coffee you had with breakfast, and that soda you snuck in at dinner, plus the two tequila shots you just downed…and WAIT. SOMETHING IS MISSING…oh yeah, a little life-sustaining fluid that hydrates your body called W A T E R. Yikes, that’s the worst feeling. Too many people are guilty of not drinking enough water and I’m one of them! Yesterday I had lunch with a friend who has made it her New Year’s resolution (remember those) to drink more water. Her water bottle started to light up red and she assured me not to be alarmed. HA, it was unnerving at first. Turns out it’s the latest technology in water bottles. It was something called a smart water bottle by the brand Hidrate and it lights up when you need to drink. You can see from an app on your phone how much water you have drank throughout the day. If you’re friends with someone else on the app who has the bottle you can also see how much water they’ve consumed as well. AND once you’ve reached your goal amount of water consumption (based on your height weight etc.) a round of “celebration lights” go off! I don’t think drinking water could get any more exciting than that people. Although it’s a hefty investment of $50 I think it’s worth it if you have this problem and it’s a lot more practical than carrying around a gallon of water. I’ve linked more information about it below for those of you who are interested.
Bingeing is NOT HEALTHY, on any level. This one covers ALL categories from food to Food Network. I especially want to focus on media consumption in this last health sabotaging habit because it doesn’t get discussed as a barrier to wellness as much as it should. I mean, haven’t you ever gotten home from work and just plopped down on your couch and started scrolling through Instagram…and all of the sudden it’s 11PM and you haven’t eaten dinner and you missed a new episode your favorite show, AND it’s almost time for bed. I’m not going to lie, I totally have. Less and less now that I monitor my media consumption closely. But I’ve totally been guilty of just falling into a social media blackhole and disappearing for hours. I also used to be really bad with binge watching ALL the classics on Netflix (you know, One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, etc.). I’m just grateful that The O.C. wasn’t on Netflix when I was in college, I probably would have never left my dorm. Thankfully, I have a very short attention span when it comes to TV nowadays and I’ve also come across some AMAZING (and not so amazing) apps that tell you how many hours a day you spend on your phone! Do your research with these apps because some are total duds, but the ones that aren’t can be exceedingly helpful for tracking your media consumption. I also have a rule about leaving my phone out of my bedroom at night (or across the room) so that I have some zen time before drifting off and my eyes are not mindlessly attached to my phone screen like a moth to a flame.
I hope all of these helped you figure out HOW you’re sabotaging your health in big and small ways. Later this week I am going to post ANOTHER entry giving more in depth solutions to these top 5 pitfalls. So, keep a lookout!
Here are additional articles about eating late at night:
Is Eating At Night Making You Gain Weight?
Here is the link to the Hidrate water bottle:
As always, thanks for reading!
Wishing you the best,