Food, Health, Life

Why I’m Not Healthy: Excuses for Poor Health Choices

I have written about health and fitness before.  I have discussed priorities and why I believe we should be living healthy lives for the glory of God.  However, I have gotten some responses from those who are looking for excuses as to why they are not healthy.  There are numerous reasons, but most of the reasons we choose to be unhealthy are found below:

Laziness/Lack of discipline/Lack of self-control – “Way too much work”

I’ll be honest.  During college, I saw the inside of my student gym twice in the course of my three years at school.  I wanted to be fit, but I sure didn’t want to put the energy in to getting there.  I chose the easy way.

I thought that I could choose to be healthy, but in my laziness, I did not want to make the commitment necessary to do that. I had healthy options before me daily, but I chose the unhealthy because it tasted good.

Unfortunately, with life, there are hard decisions to make.  Any time you draw the line and declare something worth the energy it takes to claim it, there are sacrifices that will need to be made.  Not making them means simply that you don’t want it bad enough.

For example, Adam and I are preparing for a 4-mile race.  Adam is wanting to rank close to the fastest runner there is in the race, so he’s running 4-miles and increasing his pace.  For me, it’s taken months to get to running 7 miles, and now I’m actually at a point where I could probably run 8.  When we discussed my running only 4 miles to increase my speed and place better, I was pretty against it.  I have thought about trying to do it, but I’m not sure I’m willing to sacrifice my length for speed.

Being healthy is just like this.  In order to eat healthy and live healthy, we have to be willing to give up other things.  In the area of food, eating junk food like Cheez-Its, chips, pretzels, pizza, tons of pasta, greasy French fries, and other fried foods have been my sacrifices.

At first, making those sacrifices is hard, and we think we want those items we’ve left behind more than we actually do.  As time progresses, and as we grow more and more impassioned by the desire to live healthily and feed our bodies naturally, those items are less and less appealing.

Cost – “I don’t have the money.”  

I have most-definitely been at the place where I’ve chosen the dollar menu for lunch and the deal in the interest of saving a few dollars.  Even just recently, I was out running errands, and I noticed the Arby’s sign offering “2 sandwiches for only…”  I can’t remember the sign, because that was as far as I would allow myself to look.  As I’ve made the choice to live healthily, I’ve been thankful to find that a healthy lifestyle saves money on a greater scale than the few dollars I would save from a less-healthy option.

Think about it:
Lunch for one week:

head of lettuce –  $1.50                                       Wendy’s Dollar Menu:
cucumber – approx. $.80                                   (350 cal) Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe: .99
sharp cheddar cheese $2.19/8-ounces                       (230 cal) Value Fries .99
spinach – $1.99                                                    (0 cal) DIET Value Soda: .99
low-fat Ranch dressing – $3.99                                       OR
La Tortilla low-carb tortilla -$4.79                      (Approx. 130 cal) Value Soda: .99
Water – brought from home- $0.00
Total:    $15.26                                                        Total: $16.04
Total per meal (5 days) = $3.05                          Total per meal (5 days) = $3.21

(Total calories per meal: 287)                          (Total calories per meal: 610-740)

As you can see, the price difference is not that much.  In fact, the healthier option is actually cheaper!  However, the amount of nutrients offered in each is world’s apart.  Of course there are innumerable other veggies that you can add to your healthy lunch that might add a dollar or so…

Think you can’t pull of that additional $$?
What if you gave up one splurge item?  What about that Starbucks? Could you make coffee at home?  What about that diet coke you pick up on the way?  It’s make the financial and physical difference.

Time – “I just don’t have time to be healthy.”

I used this one in college too.  I was working a job (in the last semester, two), involved in church and Bible studies, taking 15-18 credits in my field of writing, and attempting to have a life.  I literally went from event to event from 8 am to 6pm, went back to my dorm and crashed for a bit, and often had to leave for some other meeting/event/study group, etc.  I often didn’t even start homework ‘til 8:30-9pm.  Saying I didn’t have time seemed like a great excuse.

Now, however, I’m even busier than ever, but living a healthy lifestyle that involves exercise (about 4.5 to 5.5 hours a week) and healthy eating in fact does not require any more time than I already dedicate to so many other things.
How much television do you watch?
How many hours this week were you on Facebook? Pinterest?
We really dedicate our time to that which care most about.

It’s Too Late – “It’s not working”

I definitely have felt the frustration of “it’s not working.”  I’ve stepped on the scale to find the numbers stagnant, I’ve looked in the mirror and not seen a difference, I’ve still wrestled with overall health in my body.  Please note.  It takes time to change your body, to heal your body, and to make the lifelong changes that need to happen.   If you’re trying to lose weight, realize that sometimes the scale number is not changing but the measuring tape number is.  Often, the body does not drop pounds, but the body will adjust in size because the muscles are more compact in size than the fat it replaced.

So, don’t be discouraged!  Take before and after pictures, pay attention to how your clothes fit, and press on!  I promise it’s working!

Temporal – “Too much focus on the outside”

The greatest complaint I’ve had towards me and my health- and weight-related posts have been that it’s too much of a focus on the outside being.  I was actually told that it was more important to one of my readers to be the person she is without sacrificing that to be fit.  I think the error that comes with that statement is that in order to be fit, you must sacrifice yourself.

Are there sacrifices to make? Absolutely.  I sacrifice an hour of my life 5 days a week away from home and Adam to work out.  Adam does the same.  He goes running and sacrifices that time away from home and me in order to maintain the healthy body that he needs.  However, that is not a sacrifice of him, his character, his love, or anything else that anyone would like to claim it is.  He is in fact loving me more by offering me a fit body with a healthy lifestyle, and more importantly, he is investing in the body God has given him and bringing glory to Him by being a steward of what he’s been given.

Health Issues – “I’m the Exception”

For far too long, doctors have been treating symptoms and not the core issues of our health.  As a result, those with diabetes have been medicated without hope of ever finding health beyond that diagnosis, gastric bypass has been offered to curb a symptom of the issue and that has often been found to be unproductive, etc.

Although I do believe there are valid reasons that people are not healthy, and there are situations that are out of our control and leave a motivated person unhealthy despite their attempts to life in a manner that is life-giving, as a whole, I do not think that any diagnosis must hold you back from living a healthy lifestyle.

**Please do not start an exercise regimen without first consulting your doctor or stop taking prescribed medication due to my post.  Although based on scientific research, I am not a doctor and remain, therefore, unqualified to diagnose, prescribe, and/or counsel in that regard.**

2 thoughts on “Why I’m Not Healthy: Excuses for Poor Health Choices”

  1. I totally agree; being healthy takes a lot of sacrifices to get where you want to be. It’s no easy task, and that is why not everyone can pull it off successfully. Great post and I look forward to sharing more with you:)

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