We’ve all heard the old saying about opinions, what they’re like, and how everyone has one. Usually this is mentioned when people encounter a difference of their own opinion and don’t want to face the reality that it may be wrong. I’ve been guilty of saying it myself when I hung out with Denial and Justification.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve thought about it, ever since other people’s opinions, experiences, and ideas are really the things that helped me the most. With these opinions, experiences, and ideas, I took what I needed and left the rest. I found that bits and pieces of information were helpful in finding what worked for me.
My journey has also crossed paths with the real bad guy of the whole lifestyle change/weight loss problem. This guy is so bad, he can stop us in our tracks before we even take the first step. I’d like to introduce you to an old friend of mine, Mr. Excuses. He seems harmless enough when we are children and we need the forgiveness and approval of our parents because we are too young to know about unconditional love. We are too young to own up to our actions and face the consequences because Mr. Excuses often brings with him fear. We fear the unknown so we make excuses for not only our actions, but our lack of actions.
The biggest excuse I get from people when they ask me what I do is “Oh, I could never go without doughnuts, pasta, biscuits, candy bar, mashed potatoes”. I’m going to stop right there, because I’m sure you can think of many other things people say they can’t live without, the list is endless. This kind of an excuse is just silly. How many people do you know personally who have died from not eating doughnuts? Seriously, if one utters this excuse you know right away that there is no hope. After the conversation, they are going to hit the nearest doughnut shop and not think of you again until the next chance meeting when you’re looking even better and they still can’t live without doughnuts. Smile, nod, and move on.
The second biggest excuse I encounter is not silly. “It costs too much to eat whole foods”. They have a point, but does it really cost too much, or is it just fear of the unknown?
On the outside, eating whole foods does appear to be costly. I paid $12.90 for a 10 pound Boston Butt, on sale. In the grocer’s freezer section a tub of processed barbecue is around $6.00. On the outside buying it cooked looks like it costs less until you look at the weight of that tub. One pound, one meal, 4 servings. While I paid twice as much for that pork dinner at the time, it was 10 pounds, not one pound. After cooking, even with losing a couple pounds of water weight we still had six pounds left over. Six more dinners in the freezer, already paid for with that one time investment. It was like buy one get 6 free.
Eating whole foods does not have to be more expensive when it comes to poultry either. Several times a year turkeys go on sale. I like to buy the big ones, a twenty pounder makes not only for several meals, but also 6-8 quarts of bone broth, a weeks worth of cat food, and bird turkey bacon*. At .69 cents a pound you are looking at a close to $14.00 investment for that first meal, but think of the 4 – 5+ free meals you’ve got left over for the freezer.
Produce can also look expensive. One word, Aldi’s. If there is one in your area, they have the best produce prices, if not, shop around. The best tip I ever got about produce is “buy it in season”, it’s cheaper, fresher, and just tastes better. If you’ve tried watermelon in April, you know what I’m talking about. Another place to save money on your produce is to go to the Farmer’s Market if you are lucky enough to have one in your area, if not, try googling to find one you’d be willing to drive to.
The one excuse I’ve never come across is “I’m going to have to buy new clothes if I lose weight”. I don’t know why people don’t use this one, it’s a good one, and it’s pretty true. Going from size 24 to 10 (yeah, the scale went up this week, but I’m not a 12 anymore…) means you will have to buy new clothes. Clothes aren’t cheap, and if you go down 7 sizes in 2 years it can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. I’m waiting patiently for this excuse so I can direct them to their nearest Goodwill or Thrift Shop.
In this day and age, it’s easy to make a number of excuses every day. Lack of time, lack of money, lack of energy. The one thing we shouldn’t excuse is action in regards to our health. Our health and well being should be the most important thing in our lives. Coulda, shoulda, woulda, will not get us there. Take a little time to look in the mirror, analyze what you are doing and how it’s working? If you aren’t where you want to be, try something different, don’t make excuses for trading in your chips and soda for chicken and salad, face the fear that it may cost a little more up front, but isn’t your health worth it?
*I leave you today with bird turkey bacon. It is nothing like real bacon, but it is better than the “turkey bacon” at the grocery, and it’s not really processed unless you count the few hours at 325°, and then me slicing it and tossing it on the griddle.