As a Pilates instructor, I ask my clients how they are feeling at the start of every workout. It’s a good safety practice as a fitness professional to gauge your clients’ mindset and body before they move. And I also ask, “what have you done with your body this week?”
I love that question. It’s open ended and nonjudgmental. My clients often respond with their accomplishments or EXCUSES for missing the mark on their weekly health goals. And I’m totally okay with either response. I want to hear success stories, but I also want to hear those EXCUSES, recognize them and condone them. EXCUSES are real and should be honored.
In the fitness industry, we’ve been shaming our clients into better shape with the line “No EXCUSES”. No EXCUSES for poor eating, skipping workouts or poor performance. Frankly that’s a load of BS that creates unfair associations between healthy habits and guilt.
If you take away the stigma, EXCUSES are just reasons why we aren’t doing a certain activity.
For any given goal, we all have reasons to and reasons not to execute. Some of those reasons are more valid than others.
Me? I’m a clean eater, regular exerciser and to-do list queen. But hell yes, I have EXCUSES.
I try to fit in a few 5k jogs each week. But last week, my son was home sick. I had a real excuse. My cardio can wait so my preschooler can stay at home recovering.
I too get busy and order fast food for dinner sometimes.
Occasionally I -gasp- fall asleep wearing my contacts, without brushing my teeth.
I’m happy to own my EXCUSES. It doesn’t mean I’m not shooting for the stars. I am. But life is about balance and the choices we make. So I try to look at my motivations and EXCUSES without the stigma so I can decide what to fit into my day.
Sometimes it’s more important to get a project done at work or go on a date with your partner than have a perfect record at the gym. Your fitness won’t suffer that much if you skip a leg day.
Like I said, I had EXCUSES to skip all my workouts last week. Oh well.
But today I had no reasons to skip my run. It was a beautiful fall day. I had time. And I wanted to model -erhm- try out my new fancy-pants compression ToeSox. So I went for a run, kicked some leaves, and enjoyed me-time in nature. It felt good. And the socks are super cute, right?
The next time you’re thinking of an obligation or item on your agenda, I encourage you to take a step back. Without judgement, think about your motivations and EXCUSES. What’s best for today? I’ll think you’ll be happier if you’ve considered why you’re pushing yourself, instead of being driven by guilt.