I have been fat and I have been thin. I have been a thin person getting fat and a fat person getting thin. I’m lucky that I have been given the gift of insight and pretty much can recognize when I am bs’ing myself. I didn’t always have this, and when I didn’t I often felt like a victim. Do you know what I mean? It’s when I whine and cry that I gain weight for no reason, when actually, I am sneaking 3 pieces of Halloween candy a day, or when I slather butter on my vegetables and complain that I only eat green beans and am not losing. When we rationalize, we tell ourselves stories about why we don’t need to change our behavior, which makes us feel better, but it doesn’t get us the results we want, which makes us feel worse. At the end of the day, it’s up to you. You can be content, short term, with the lie, or you can tell yourself the truth and start to see real change. Here are some of the top rationalizations that I have seen, heard and used:
Rationalization; “Walking is enough exercise for me”
If you are not raising your heart rate, you are not going to see results. I don’t care what Oprah says, or any other TV doctor. Walking is not as good as jogging. If you can’t do high impact, or you are not in shape, you may need to start with walking but if you are going to walk, get a heart rate monitor and make sure you are walking fast enough to raise your heart rate. If you are not breaking a sweat then sorry, you are not exercising, you are entertaining yourself.
Rationalization: “Sugar is better than fat” OR “Birthday cake doesn’t count”
Sugar is poison. So yes, you can have a little bit and not die, but don’t delude yourself. Okay, maybe you are an emotional eater and you don’t like calling certain food bad but sorry, sugar is bad for you. Sugar does not metabolize well in your body and it makes you fat. It makes you fat if it’s your birthday, or if you had a bad day or if you ate really well all day and deserve a treat. The best thing you can do with sugar if you need to eat it, is at least make sure you eat some protein with it.
Rationalization: “I only eat healthy food”
Portions matter. If you eat enough calories you will gain weight. A 10 oz piece of chicken is probably too much chicken. If you don’t have a digital scale, get one and just record your portions for a week. You don’t even have to change anything, just become aware of what you are eating so you can tell a true story. Conversely, if you eat 100 teeny tiny portions all day, it adds up as well.
Rationalization: “I don’t remember eating it”
It still counts if you eat it when you’re drunk. A gigantic piece of pizza or hot dog eaten outside the bar at closing time has just as many calories even if you don’t remember it.
Rationalization: “I worked out today”
Workouts never outweigh crappy eating. We’ve been through this before, but if you have a great workout, then a doughnut, you probably replaced your calories and then some. Don’t even get me started on cheeseburgers with fries!
Rationalization: “It’s just water”
If it’s been there for a week, it’s probably not water. If you have a ‘cheat day’ the next day you will likely be up five pounds. Salt can drastically effect the scale and it’s easy to excuse an upward blip as ‘water’. Don’t live and die by the scale, but if those 2-3 pounds are still there after a week, it’s not water, baby. You might just need to change something!