Day 15: Stop Making Lame Excuses | 30-Day Weight Loss-athon

Wow – it’s Day 15 of the of the 30-Day Weight Loss-athon. Can you believe we’re halfway through?

All tasks in the 30-Day Weight Loss-athon are adapted from the 52 Weight Loss Missions program.

Read the steps first, then take 10 minutes to think about them and take action. Ready?

What You Need:

  • A problem-solving mindset.

Step 1

By now you’ve been working away on your 30×3 exercise program from Day 5. And over the past two days you’ve removed any practical obstacles and got yourself properly equipped.

I’m hoping that you’ve stuck with it pretty consistently.

But sooner or later, you’re going to start coming up with excuses – totally lame reasons why you can’t do it today. You’ll feel tired, it will be raining, your left toe will hurt.

But don’t get too creative with your excuses, because today I’m going to head you off at the pass.

First, let’s learn the shocking truth about exercise. Once you know it, you can’t un-know it – and it will help you win the workout war.

The shocking truth about exercise, as any regular exerciser will tell you (seriously, just ask them!) is that the absolute hardest part of exercise is the conversations you have in your head.

That’s right – not running out of breath, not soreness, not even Lycra. (But Lycra is probably a close second.)

The true challenge is in shutting up your resistant mind long enough to put on your workout clothes and get out the door. This is where the battle is lost or won.

To win the battle then, our first step is to realize that the challenge is more mental than physical, and to switch from being an exercise excuse maker to becoming an exercise problem solver.

Step 2

Next, let’s make a list of your usual exercise excuses – the things you tell yourself that let you get away with skipping out on your exercise commitment.

Once you’ve made your list, it’s helpful to repeat each excuse aloud in a nasal, whiny voice.

Step 3

Now we need to apply that problem-solving mindset to these excuses.

Look at each excuse on your list and consider how you can perform some Jedi mind tricks so that this excuse no longer works.

For example:

Excuse: I’m too tired when I get home from work.

  • Don’t sit down – it will be too hard to get up again.
  • Have your workout clothes waiting at the door. Put them on straight away and off you go before the voice in your head starts up.

Excuse: I’m not motivated – I’m waiting for motivation to hit me.

  • The only thing that’s going to hit you is the sudden realization that your life is passing you by. Motivation is a bonus, for now you’ll have to start without it.
  • Tap into the particular motivation you identified on Day 1.

Excuse: The weather sucks.

  • Too hot? Go for a swim. Too rainy? Pop on an exercise video or use your stationary bike or grab your wet weather gear and head out anyway.
  • There are also indoor sports like racquetball if you enjoy some competition.

Excuse: Exercise feels uncomfortable.

  • So does being overweight and unhappy. Two evils. Working out is the lesser, by far.

Bonus Step For 52 Weight Loss Missions Members

Revisit Mission 17: Overcome Exercise Excuses for suggested ways to overcome 15 common exercise excuses.

Check in!

And you’re done!

Be sure to leave your comment below to check in and stay accountable. If you’re reading this by email or in a reader then please click here to leave your comment.

See you tomorrow!

Michele Connolly

Michele Connolly helps people move from procrastination to action. She believes that taking action on your priorities makes you a happier person. Michele is the founder of Get Organized Wizard and creator of tools for business, home, and personal organization. Her programs are used by tens of thousands of people worldwide.

  • 5:30 came waaaayyy too early this morning, but I punched the alarm clock off and put on the walking clothes I had laid out the night befor (!) and headed out the door. The rewards were great! Sunshine, flowers, other walkers/joggers, cute dogs & and 30 minutes of good exercise…powere walking.

  • I found a workout buddy (hooray for me!) and she is going to push me. We made a plan and I actually heard a little voice in my head say “I don’t think I can do this…..I’m going to be embarrassed, I’m too fat, It’s going to be too hard!”. But I pushed it out and thought “This is exciting! I can totally do this!” Thanks for the inspiration!

  • ok, so is having one day a week off when you are really exhausted and hurt too much of an excuse? I have been good every other day but today I am feeling challenged. I have done my physio exercises today though and am still finding energy for the half hour treadmill. telling myself to start with just 10 minutes on those days seems to get me there and then I do more anyway. I guess I talked myself into it.

  • Yesterday it rained but I went for a walk before heading to the coffee shop for a tea, no sugar and a few hours of reading and writing. Today the weather is beautiful and heading out for another walk. I know I’ve overcome this battle before and I can do it again. Posting this makes me accountable to myself and my friends! Thanks for the motivation!

  • I have a confession. Those things that we are supposed to purge, well… I did but I purged them by eating them. They are no longer a threat and they won’t be coming back. 🙂

  • My excuse is always that I’m too tired…however, I weighed myself last night and have lost 2 lbs; hoping that will be an inspiration to me. Also, I am loving the My Fitness Pal app. Every time I’m about to eat, I check it for where I’m at, and it reminds me how many calories I have left and is a huge help in making choices. It tracks exercise, too.

  • My biggest excuse: I don’t have time. Granted, I have 5 children and I homeschool. Yes, I am busy. But no matter the lifestyle, we all make time for what we deem important. My “not having time” is really “exercise isn’t important right now”.

  • The weather here has been a bit sucky but tonight I’m going to find the old Sweatin’ With The Oldies I have stashed away some place for when walking isn’t an option. Thanks!

  • I got a laugh out of this title, because my (very legitimate and Dr. ordered) reason for not exercising is my knee injury….and it said “lame excuse”….I love corny jokes. hehe But this is good reading for when I am cleared to get back out there!

  • I need to get up early and just do it before I am awake enough for the excuse stage.

  • I’m thankful to be beyond the excuse stage–most days! Today I was quite tired, but I talked my son into walking with me, and I was so glad we went.

  • Today has been a very insightful day. I hadn’t been going to church for forever…No, I am not going to unload my spiritual or lack of it unto you. However, my life took a turn I was not ready for. But, chin up, I gave thanks for the opportunity to face another day with the people who love me, good health and good fortune. I observed Lent for the first time in several years (my way of showing gratitude) and celebrated Easter – yes, you guessed it…in Church. SO, second week I go to the new church, and the message was exactly what today’s task is…”Stop Making Excuses”.
    The sermon was pretty easy to understand….if you had to calculate the amount of hours we spend doing mindless things in a week (coughfacebook), how is it that we fail to dedicate a little time to ourselves?
    Many here are moms with very hectic schedules and rarely make “me-time”, but I feel if you cannot make the time to take care of yourself, how can you possibly be responsible for somebody else…I’m just thinking out loud here. I am not passing any judgment.
    15 days in this program and I feel better about myself in the longest time! The biggest challenge though is cutting down on the sugar…I quit smoking, cold turkey…but the sugar is killing me! baby steps, right?

  • I like to exercise in the morning but there are definitely those days when I convince myself that I need the extra sleep instead of the exercise when in reality I am just not motivated enough to get up and get it done! This was a good reminder when I wanted to give up on my 9 mile training run for my half marathon in two weeks earlier today! I quit making excuses and got out there!

  • Whenever a lame excuse hits I tell myself, ” it’s only 3 times a week, easy peasy!” My biggest motivation is I’ve already lost nearly 10lbs since the 1st and I want that flat stomach and slim thighs, my overall goals for doing this!!!

  • Today hasn’t been a good day for me, as I ended up hurting my back while was at the supermarket. Not even sure what I did. So I didn’t get any exercise in for the day. But I’ve been trying to watch what I eat, and continuing to drink more water, which I have actually been enjoying. And I bought myself a new drink bottle. I have been feeling motivated lately at least. Just today is my off day, and laying in bed hoping my back will be better tomorrow.

  • As a fibromyalgia sufferer, my biggest excuse is those “bad” days when I’m really fatigued and in pain. I have to remind myself that even on those days I can do gentle stretches and slow walking. Won’t get my heart rate up, but moving is actually better for me than sitting still – that’s hard to remember when I’m hurting – but I’m trying!

  • No more excuses! I have a one hour class on Saturday morning and Wednesday evening that I go to that my husband knows he needs to be home to watch the kids so I can go. Other than that, if I can’t make it to the gym, I can pop in an exercise video. If I feel too sore from the class the day before, yoga is a good way to stretch out. NO EXCUSES!

  • I am absolutely TERRIBLE when it comes to making excuses. I talk myself out of exercise all the time. and yet I really enjoy the classes at the gym when I get myself there. so great exercise and I am going to try a lot harder to motivate myself. no more excuses!

  • Feeling quite good. Making sure we all get out and go. It’s great. My little ones all will enjoy it as well. The checking in is good too. All helps the motivation.

  • I tend to use the I am too tired excuse. The days I waitress that is valid but the days I do my desk job I will not let myself use that excuse. Besides I do feel better after I exercise.

  • So, here’s what I’ve got… Too Tired? Go to bed at decent time and get up early! Not Motivated? Suck it up and do it anyway!
    (I really think I needed this kick in the pants).

  • This is definitely written for me! I’m determined to make life style changes & getting more exercise is my weakest point. Jedi mind tricks might be just what I need.

  • at the moment still really motivated, will definitely use this when it starts to wain……mmm might go for a second walk today, just watched souths lose need to work off the frustration.

  • I get really committed, and see no results, so I figure ‘what’s the use?’ This is hard one for me to get over, since I can be committed 100% for months and not lose a pound.

  • My biggest excuse is not enough time and too tired after work. I think I need to get up and do some in the morning first thing.

  • My reason for being slack this week in exercising is I came down with a bad cold which effected my asthma and made me feel horrible make up for it this week.

  • Interesting the crazy excuses I have been using seem so lame now.

  • Wow, too many excuses. How’s that for an excuse. Seriously, Gotta smack ’em down before they get too strong.

  • This is soooo true, I have no more excuses, you’ve covered them all!

  • I’m done and I have my list.. and my excuses answered.. will keep this page marked to refresh often.

  • WOW.. I loved every sentence.. and it made me think of other aspects in life that we put excuses for.. Thank you.

  • I will change “I hate exercise” to “I really enjoy exercising”. Sooner or later I will start to believe it. LOL

  • Here on the Gulf Coast it DOES get super hot… so I’m going to keep INSIDE DVD’s to do on hot days.

  • How did you know the conversation I was having in my brain today?!

  • So sorry I’m late to these this week, but good news is I have had NO EXCUSES for working out. I planned for the week(I am a special ed teacher with annual review for my students this week) and upped my workout in anticipation of working late yesterday and today. So I did take two days off, but I planned and made up for them. I am finding that planning in smaller chunks(like a week at a time) is working better than long term appointments with myself. Ten pounds down so far….GO ME!

  • I don’t leave time to have excuses, in my head I don’t really feel like, however when the time comes I just grab my baby my buggy and go and pick up my daughter from school by walk (no more bus) that is 4 journeys every single day. I do really hope they add up 🙂

  • Gotta admit I’m doing stretches at the moment not heart rate increasing exercise as I spent almost 3 hours on Saturday pulling kikuyu runners out of my new vege garden bed. I find that more effective than just digging them out. If you can imagine being in a half squat position while touching the ground in front of you that’s how I looked for most of that time. No wonder the thigh muscles are a bit tender at the moment! It was also a good pelvic floor exercise for those who know what I mean. However, the soreness will disappear in a couple of days and I’ll be back to where I was before. It’s a slight delay, not a total set-back.

  • I’m always too tired in the morning and I have a reading program I do as well. I just don’t let myself eat breakfast until I do them! Cuz I know I won’t do both later in the day. BTW, I learned the other day that the best way to start a new habit is to reward yourself. I’m thinking that 3 Cadbury mini eggs @ 15 cal each is a good incentive to get me out to the workshop for 30 mins on the treadmill for the first 2/3 weeks til its a habit.

  • Had a good walk yesterday, but not yet today. It’s pretty windy out. Oops…that sounds like a lame excuse! Thanks, Michele, for helping me think more realistically. I don’t want to be a procrastinator or excuse-maker. It’s so easy to tell myself I’ll start that diet tomorrow, etc. But deep down I know NOW/TODAY is the time! I’ve heard: “The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here.” I think that’s a good outlook, while still striving to improve in all areas of life. Hope we all have a good next 15 days, and beyond! Hey, hubby just asked if I wanted to go on a walk with him. I said YES! 🙂

  • The excuses are over. I am going walking on Mocay am with or without my buddy. This is for me!

  • Hello to everyone: It’s very easy to have a list of excuses to not exercise. Some excuses are: I’ve had a long day and all I want to do is relax; I didn’t feel like doing the laundry–no clean exercise clothes–I’ll skip today; Gee, my walking buddy isn’t available today due to an appointment–I’ll take off too. Do any of these excuses sound familiar? “Tell your excuses to take a permanent hike.” Keep up the good work you made it through two weeks — hooray for you. Continue to post to stay accountable. Good Luck.

  • My most used excuse is I’m too tired or my joints are aching from my rheumatoid arthritis but at the end of the day they are just excuses, I know but sometimes it is just so hard to get past them. I have had a bad week last week which I have already confessed to on here, but tomorrow is a new day and a new week and I am going to give it my best shot. I have got rid of the easter chocolate (by eating it) so no more temptations there, I have re-read my motivators and I shall get stuck back into my cross trainer. There, I have recommitted, onward and upward from here.

  • This is a challenging one for me. My excuses start with injury or illness, and they seem to appear frequently. I worked through some big blisters, and yesterday the tendon at the side of my knee was aching all night from a walk. Trying to find alternatives but it’s getting challenging. My diet portion is working well. Is a simple yoga during injury or illness good enough? There’s no pool in our town so swimming isn’t an option. This is definitely one I will need to work on.

  • So far, I have really enjoyed my walks. I try to do them during the week so I can keep the weekends free for my husband. I FEEL so much better after them and I’m beginning to see some weigh loss. I have more energy now, which is great because I work with 2 yr. olds. (They really keep me on my toes all day!)Thank you for the encouragement. Your missions have been easy enough for me to do without a lot of stress about if I can accomplish them or not. Thanks again.

  • Love this post. Thanks! My brain does say all that and more. Today it said, ‘You have a fever and no voice. Take a break.’ But then I read an article about a woman with breast cancer who still did her horrendously hard workout class during chemo. Made me feel like a real wimp. You’re right though, being unhealthy and realizing life is zipping past feels worse than exercise. I’ll try to get dd to walk with me today.

  • Clearing away those excuses— and as for the whiny voice– NO WAY. That was a strict no no when my kids were young SO Momma better NOT even try that! Having fun wearing my pedometer just to see how many steps I take even before the exercise. Hubby’s got his too.

  • Because of my physical challenges I do 15to20 X 5 not 30 X 3. The key for me in taking two days off a week is that those two days aren’t in a row. I know myself well enough that if I take two days off in a row, I’m taking the week off. That’s just my truth.

    I take Fridays and Mondays because those are the days I’m usually exhausted. I also try to make sure that I get as close to 20 mins on Saturdays and Tuesdays.

  • I have been working out constintely for a year and a half now and I love it. 3 days a week I meet my husband at the gym and he gets in the car with the kids and takes them home and I workout for an hour. Then I run on Saturdays. It’s a scheduled date that I rarely let anything get in the way. It is my time for me and I love it!

  • I’m the queen of excuses. 🙁 But I’m getting better at ignoring the whiny voice because I have learned that I really DO feel better once I get started and I’m proud of myself when I finish!

  • My excuses don’t normally prevent me from exercising. That part I enjoy. It’s the food I have an issue with. I’m putting my effort into planning ahead, so when I know I’ll be faced with a food challenge I have a backup plan. Some times it’s hard but I know when I make an excuse…it’s a lame one, and I need to find a work around.

  • Mondays are my biggest excuse day. I always feel too tired to do anything on Mondays. But my best friend and I signed up for a class and one of the days we workout will be Monday. So hopefully the thought of disappointing my friend and wasting the money I spent for the class will be enough to help me ignore the excuses.

  • “repear each excuse in a nasal, whiny voice” made me laugh! That’s really what are excuse are, aren’t they? Just me being whiny. And no matter what my excuse is, they all mean, “I don’t want to”. But I always feel better once I get outside. That’s the part I need to remember!

  • The weather is a big excuse for me but I have plenty of ways to get around it if I just do it. Motivation is also another excuse I use I will work on pushing through without motivation. But I’m loving the encouragement and the commitment I made here it is making me more motivated.

  • Mine is usually I’m too tired from work or school. So I scheduled my class less than half an hour after I get done with school. That way I have to go straight there and cannot get distracted by anything and I keep my clothes in the car so that I can’t go home and get comfy.

  • I’m always arguing with myself before getting out of bed to workout in the mornings. Yes, I do need more sleep; but I also know that I feel better and sleep better when I get my exercise. Some days I have a hard time remembering that, though!

  • Sometimes anxiety & depression make it difficult to silence those whiny voices in your head….I’ve managed twice a week so far & start the walking course on Tuesday. This is something I need to acknowledge and work on.

  • okay so my biggest excuses are “I just spent 1-2 hours cleaning, I don’t need to exercise today” or “I spent all day on my feet at work, I don’t need to exercise” I a still trying to figure out if these are valid excuses or just excuses, or maybe on these days I can shorten my exercise time?

  • so ive been wanting to join a gym near my house but has come up with so many lame excuses not to, so I will email the guy today and do it. I was partially holding off because I haven’t been feeling great but I don’t have that excuse anymore – not really.

  • Was walking early in the morning before the kids got up, but changing it up so I don’t get bored and we are going to the park to walk together or riding bikes while the weather is so nice!

  • I know my biggest challenge are the conversations within myself and those I have been working on! Thanks Michele, I have enjoyed the challenges so far and realize we are half way!

  • This hit every point I go through with excuses not to exercise. Putting on work-out clothes and heading out the door….is a battle won!!!!

  • I keep my list handy of the reasons I want to lose weight. That keeps me from making excuses.

  • Love this! I needed just this to force my feet into my sneakers and the key onto the treadmill:-)

  • No excuses. 2 mile walk with the puppies in the mud and water. We smell like wet dogs now, but it was worth it.

  • My excuses are injury & time – both can be remidied with a little motivation though.

  • I made a list of my usual excuses, and boy, can I be a whiner! However, I have my list of ways to change it!

  • Making excuses is harder than just doing it! I exercise on average 5 days a week, and if I don’t, my body complains!

  • I really have had way too many excuses, this week I walked in the rain. Why not? I wont melt.

  • I always lose this argument I have in my head. I need some serious help

  • Checking in

  • No excuses so far! But I´m sure one unexpected day something in my head is telling me the story that I can´t do my exercise, my walk and that I have to eat more cake instead of veggies. I hope this time I´m prepared enough to follow my new habits.

  • I can say a thousand of excuses but I have to face that exercise is one of the most important things that I need to improve my life. No more excuses!

  • Stopped playing at the computer and did my 30 min exercise.

  • You are SO RIGHT! I think this is my favorite lesson until now. I mean, each one has been great but this one has been an earthquake to my mind… you really know women like me! Thanks.