The Excuses That Prevented Weight Loss Success for YEARS! The Lie’s and New Strategies to Finally Change

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When I think back at how I spent 4 decades obsessed with losing weight, and never actually losing weight, it honestly makes me sad! How is it that we can want something so bad, but when faced with a choice to eat something off plan or stick to your goals, it’s so easy to choose immediate gratification!

I’m not sure what I was looking for in my Google drive, but I stumbled upon a spreadsheet I created in 2017 about the excuses I noticed for not sticking to my diet. This was before I started this weight loss blog!

It was shocking to me to read, because I still find myself using these same excuses to this day! In fact, I recently wrote a brand new blog post that has almost the same excuses! Read that post here about discovering your own lies and excuses for not sticking to your diet. This step is vital to learning WHY you indulge in food at the expense of your goals.

The difference is, now I am able to have better boundaries than I did 5 years ago, but it’s still a struggle. (read my weight loss story here)

In fact, I am about to start a 12 week mini cut, because I feel like my eating is starting to slip into the careless zone. While I want to lose 5lbs right now, it’s less about the weight and more about hating the feeling of being out of control with food.

Anyway, here’s the spreadsheet I found! It must have been a journal type document, as it looks like I’m writing the excuses I heard myself saying in real time. Either way, it was SO enlightening!

The Excuses I discovered preventing me from sticking to my diet and seeing weight loss success

THE LIES AND EXCUSESTHE SUMMARYTHE NEW THOUGHTS
FATIGUE! This was my problem on Sunday . I’m not one to take naps, but middle of the day, it was a warm afternoon, I sat to watch a movie with the family, and noticed myself craving food to keep me awake. I went for pretzels. Ate them mindlesslyI’m tired or bored and food gives me energyA brisk walk or music gives me energy
BOREDOM! Although I consider myself an extremely busy person, any down time feels like it HAS to be filled with something to “do”. So, I eat.I’m tired or bored and food gives me energyA brisk walk or music gives me energy
Two more granola bars to top off my failure of a day.I already screwed up.Dedication happens in moments, not in days
One more day isn’t going to matter. I’m already 10 lbs higher than I was this summer…Tomorrow I can rededicateDedication happens in moments, not in days
I’m using the “slow progress” method instead now. NOW, I’m just going to slowly lose the weight, so I can still eat whatever I want,just make sure it’s a LITTLE less than before.tomorrow I can rededicateDedication happens in moments, not in days
I feel guilty for being lazy. So, I decide to start tomorrow with becoming more productive. But what am I DOING when I decide to be more productive?>>?> What does that even look like?tomorrow I can rededicateDedication happens in moments, not in days
THE HONEYMOON- I LOVE the honeymoon period of any new thing I want to try. It’s almost like I intentionally screw up, so I can “start over clean” and fresh! The first day is always the best day, and I crave that experience. The problem is, it’s usually a lie! I use it as an excuse to not eat well, and the next day, isn’t the first day, it’s more cheating.tomorrow I can rededicateDedication happens in moments, not in days
I can’t eat “this way” for the REST OF MY LIFE.. Or I need a break from healthy eating. This is a lie! There are healthy foods I’d be happy eating for the rest of my life, and there is no reason to take a break from healthy eating. Our body doesn’t need a BREAK from healthy food!tomorrow I can rededicateDedication happens in moments, not in days
If I’m alone and no one is watching, I feel the need to get away with something.tomorrow I can rededicateDedication happens in moments, not in days
I decide-It’s OK to eat flour and sugar. Calories are the only thing that matter.This food won’t matter. I’ve eaten it before and still lost weight.Every single morsel of food takes me toward my goals or away from them. No in between.
Because I clearly screwed up anyway, I got home and finished off some pumpkin bread. Telling myself…I need to clear this out of the house! Once it’s gone, I’ll be fine.Clear it out now so I’m not tempted laterFood is just food. It ha no power
This sweet bread is here and now! Once it’s gone, it won’t be a temptation any longer. Just finish it off to remove the temptation.Clear it out now so I’m not tempted laterfood is just food. It ha no power
Food is available (like easy to grab, in the cupboard, staring at me to eat it!)Clear it out now so I’m not tempted laterfood is just food. It ha no power
Food tastes good (who doesn’t eat something because it tastes good? I don’t have to be hungry to eat a rice krispy treat!)clear it out now so I’m not tempted laterfood is just food. It ha no power
I need a hobby to distract myself from wanting to eat when I get home from work.. but I don’t know what that would be!Avoiding workI like being uncomfortable, challenged, productive, and feeling all the feelings. My life is elevated when I choose work over food.
I don’t want to “work”. I worked all day. I want to relax. Food helps me relax.Avoiding workI like being uncomfortable, challenged, productive, and feeling all the feelings. My life is elevated when I choose work over food.
I want to do hard things like clean my house, do service, or even really do anything. I want to be lazy.Avoiding workI like being uncomfortable, challenged, productive, and feeling all the feelings. My life is elevated when I choose work over food.
I feel like I only have two options. Pleasure or work. The only pleasure I know is food. If I’m it eating, I feel like I should be working.Avoiding workI like being uncomfortable, challenged, productive, and feeling all the feelings. My life is elevated when I choose work over food.
I’m bored (probably my biggest downfall. I have plenty to do- working, being a mom, etc. but when there is downtime, it seems I think that should be filled with stuffing my face.food helps me relaxI like being uncomfortable, challenged, productive, and feeling all the feelings. My life is elevated when I choose work over food.
I’m procrastinating. I’m REALLY good at this one. That was the hardest thing about working from home. When I have a project for work, or just have a bathroom to clean, I will often tell myself- I should eat first, then I’ll do that thing.Avoiding workI like being uncomfortable, challenged, productive, and feeling all the feelings. My life is elevated when I choose work over food.
I’m mad. I’m not sure why I do this. But if someone does something to make me mad, I retreat into the pantry for spoonful of peanut butter! How does that even solve anything?Avoiding workI like being uncomfortable, challenged, productive, and feeling all the feelings. My life is elevated when I choose work over food.
PROCRASTINATION- Something that makes me overeat is having a task (usually a work task) that I’m avoiding. I usually record a video once a week, and it’s a lot of work, prep, and editing that has to go into it. The task really is overwhelming. In an effort to delay or postpone it, I generally start eating. Handful after handful of pretzels or granola bars until I can’t avoid it any longer. Yesterday, I did OK. My strategy is to try to bust out the thing I don’t want to do, before I start eating. That isn’t too tricky for me because I wake up so early that it doesn’t make sense to eat.Avoiding workI like being uncomfortable, challenged, productive, and feeling all the feelings. My life is elevated when I choose work over food.
This is the last thing I’m going to eat today- and I like to feel full, and not unsatisfied. If I’m unsatisfied, I’ll keep eating foreverI prefer being stuffedI prefer feeling light and comfortable in my clothes. I hate feeling stuffed and sick.
I have barely eaten anything today. You should have a granola bar for the car. I need it to sustain me for the rest of the night.I might starve laterI’m capable of fasting for 48 hours. I willl never starve. There is never a need to bring food on the go
I’m busy. Isn’t that interesting that I’m busy and I’m bored can both be reasons to eat! Wow, that’s something I’ve never really noticed!I might starve laterI’m capable of fasting for 48 hours. I willl never starve. There is never a need to bring food on the go
ANGER! I get angry that I can’t eat like “normal people”. I had one day where I ate more than I should have. It wasn’t even bad food. It wasn’t like I was eating CAKE or anything truly desirable, yet the scale was up the next day. That makes me angry, because I tell myself, it isn’t fair, it takes TOO much effort to be smart about food, and I just rather relax my standards, since it’s impossible to maintain.It’s not fair. I shouldn’t have to work so hard at this!I’m so lucky to have discovered how amazing, happy, productive, and confident I feel when I am in control of my food.
I DESERVE THIS – Wow that sounds so entitled!It’s not fair. I shouldn’t have to work so hard at this!I’m so lucky to have discovered how amazing, happy, productive, and confident I feel when I am in control of my food.
I tell myself, I’m weak for this foodI’m weakI’m strong. Food is just food. It has no power
I tell myself- Wade was just trying to be sweet. If I don’t eat what he brought, it would appear that I’m ungrateful.I can’t be rude or ungrateful.My appetite is mine. Food choices other people make, do not change my appetite.
MIMICKING- My husband has a bowl of some cereal that I think looks so delicious, so I go get some myself, and eat it all before I realize what I’ve done.If he/she eats it, I want to eat it too!My appetite is mine. Food choices other people make, do not change my appetite.
PROOF I’M NORMAL- I can be weird sometimes. I noticed that because I’m known as a “healthy eater” that I go out of my way to NOT appear neurotic about healthy eating. I eat cookies and candy in front of people even if I don’t want to, as a way to prove I’m not one of those fanatics about health. Why do I do that?Peer pressure. I dont want people to think i’m neuroticMy appetite is mine. Food choices other people make, do not change my appetite.
Deciding while I was eating it, the entire way to soccer that I needed to go to the grocery store and buy something indulgent. After all, I haven’t finished my strategy yet. I haven’t finished my goals. This weekend I’m going to go over board anyway, so why start now, only to backslide. Any progress I make today will be totally undone on Friday.My goals and strategy aren’t clear yet. I can’t start yet because of something happening in the futureMy goals Are CRYSTAL CLEAR! Intermittent fasting, eating from 2-2 on the hunger scale. Running every day. No sugar or flour 6 days a week. Plans for tomorrow, do not affect my choices today.
I don’t know what to do with my life. Perhaps it has nothing to do with looking lean,so why start depriving myself, when maybe I don’t want to work in the health space at all.I haven’t chosen a goal yet.My goals Are CRYSTAL CLEAR! Intermittent fasting, eating from 2-2 on the hunger scale. Running every day. No sugar or flour 6 days a week. Plans for tomorrow, do not affect my choices today.
I’m in find out stage with my goals. I don’t know what they are. I’ve got to figure them out before I commit to losing weight again.I haven’t chosen a goal yet.My goals Are CRYSTAL CLEAR! Intermittent fasting, eating from 2-2 on the hunger scale. Running every day. No sugar or flour 6 days a week. Plans for tomorrow, do not affect my choices today.
I need to spend $300 for Brooke’s weight loss program, so I have a clear path and direction to weight loss. I can’t start until I own that.I haven’t chosen a goal yet.My goals Are CRYSTAL CLEAR! Intermittent fasting, eating from 2-2 on the hunger scale. Running every day. No sugar or flour 6 days a week. Plans for tomorrow, do not affect my choices today.
I tell myself, this weekend I’m going to “mess up anyway” because it’s my birthday and I’m going to Time out for Women with my mom, and we are going to eat out like 5X.I can’t start yet because of something happening in the future.Plans for tomorrow, do not affect my choices today.
I’m alone… I want to “get away with something”. No one will see me indulge. Hide and eat the Graham crackers with whipped cream!!I want to enjoy my alone time.No one cares what you eat except you. I Enjoy being alone by reading or watching tv

The Excuses and the New Thoughts Summarized

And then, on the second tab of the spreadsheet, I summarized the journaling above:

The ExcuseThe New Thoughts
I’m tired or bored and food gives me energyA brisk walk or music gives me energy
I already screwed up.Dedication happens in moments, not in days
Tomorrow I can rededicateDedication happens in moments, not in days
This food won’t matter. I’ve eaten it before and still lost weight.Every single morsel of food takes me toward my goals or away from them. No in between.
Clear it out now so I’m not tempted laterFood is just food. It ha no power
Avoiding workI like being uncomfortable, challenged, productive, and feeling all the feelings. My life is elevated when I choose work over food.
food helps me relaxI like being uncomfortable, challenged, productive, and feeling all the feelings. My life is elevated when I choose work over food.
I prefer being stuffedI prefer feeling light and comfortable in my clothes. I hate feeling stuffed and sick.
I might starve laterI’m capable of fasting for 48 hours. I willl never starve. There is never a need to bring food on the go
It’s not fair. I shouldn’t have to work so hard at this!I’m so lucky to have discovered how amazing, happy, productive, and confident I feel when I am in control of my food.
I’m weakI’m strong. Food is just food. It has no power
I can’t be rude or ungrateful.My appetite is mine. Food choices other people make, do not change my appetite.
If he/she eats it, I want to eat it too!My appetite is mine. Food choices other people make, do not change my appetite.
Peer pressure. I dont want people to think i’m neuroticMy appetite is mine. Food choices other people make, do not change my appetite.
My goals and strategy aren’t clear yet. I can’t start yet because of something happening in the futureMy goals Are CRYSTAL CLEAR! Intermittent fasting, eating from 2-2 on the hunger scale. Running every day. No sugar or flour 6 days a week. Plans for tomorrow, do not affect my choices today.
I can’t start yet because of something happening in the future.Plans for tomorrow, do not affect my choices today.

Positive Weight Loss Affirmations

Tab 3 in my spreadsheet must have been about “Positive affirmations!”

A get energy from hobbies, walking, and music
Dedication happens in moments, not in days
Every single morsel of food takes me toward my goals or away from them. No in between.
I like being challenged, uncomfortable productive, and feeling all the feelings. My life is elevated when I choose work over food.
I prefer feeling light and comfortable in my clothes. I hate feeling stuffed and sick.
I’m capable of fasting for 48 hours. I willl never starve. There is never a need to bring food on the go
I’m so lucky to have discovered how amazing, happy, productive, and confident I feel when I am in control of my food.
I’m strong. Food is just food. It has no power
My appetite is mine. Food choices other people make, do not change my appetite.
My goals Are CRYSTAL CLEAR! Intermittent fasting, eating from 2-2 on the hunger scale. Running every day. No sugar or flour 6 days a week.
Plans for tomorrow, do not affect my choices today.

I should clarify: While I rarely eat sugar, I do eat bread/flour and have still met my weight loss goals. Remember, this was 5 years ago.

The fourth tab on this spreadsheet said, “Weight Loss Strategy”

Eating from 2-2 on the hunger scale. (Note: I honestly do not remember what this was)
Not eating spontaneously or off of my planned meals for the day.
Not snacking (this really worked for me! read about no snacking to lose weight here)
Allowing the urge, and not giving in.
Visualizing the END!! The feeling. The confidence, and the drive.
Identifying the buffer/ excuse in EVERY circumstance
Identifying what I am trying to avoid.
Daily journaling to identify the excuses
no flour or sugar for 6 days per week. (Again, I actually don’t do this, and I still lost weight)

Hobbies and Passions instead of eating

And I really liked the final tab! It was about hobbies and passions. Sometimes we forget that we have hobbies and passions, OUTSIDE of food! This is a great reminder. We don’t need to spend all day grazing in the kitchen, but instead, we can live life pursuing new hobbies and learning new skills.

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how to stick to your diet and other weight loss tips

4 Comments

  1. Such great tips and advice! I love how you share your own experiences with us. It means more than you know. Are you able to share your spreadsheet? I’d love to make one similar for me and having yours as an example would be helpful!

  2. Hi Amy,

    You inspire more than I can express. Thank you for that. Anyway, I have a question about intermittent fasting. I am a teacher so I get up at 5:00 am to workout. I have read that I need to eat protein within a 1-2 hour window after working out but that will prevent me from fasting. Can I wait longer to eat after working out? I really am trying to lose weight and gain muscle tone.

    Many thanks!

    Wendy

    1. Hi Wendy!Thanks so much for reading my blog and reaching out! I really appreciate it!!
      The idea that you have to eat protein within 1-2 hours of a workout is starting to be disproven. The original idea was that your muscles were primed and ready to absorb more nutrients like protein after a workout.  However, the increase in absorption, although elevated, is actually negligible!  Our bodies, because they are the most amazing machines ever, is capable of receiving protein any time during the day and using it for muscle growth.Don’t let this idea stop you from you Intermittent fasting! I’d say the IF benefits outweigh that small window of post workout food!!
      Make sense?
      Thanks!Amy

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