My Excuses for Overeating and Not Exercising

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It’s important I know and address all the excuses I have for overeating and not exercising because excuses have always stood in my way.  They are how I justify not being healthy.  If I can work through the excuses, I can find answers and solutions and motivation to move past my excuses.

I figure we all have our excuses, so…

What's Your Excuse? |

Some of my excuses are unique to me and some are struggles a lot of moms have.  Time to lay it all on the line.

EXCUSE #1 – My child’s death

One excuse that is very unique to me centers around my daughter’s death.  I have been unable to lose any significant amount of weight since her death 5 years ago.  Why?  Because somewhere in the back of my head I equate losing weight with deprivation and I want to want for nothing.  I have been deprived of my child’s growing up years and that is quite enough.  Because of this mentality, I have managed to convince myself that my lack of motivation is not a lack of self-control, but rather a matter of self-preservation.

However, my child dying is not a good reason not to take care of my health.  In my quest not to be deprived, I became someone who let gluttony rule me.  And gluttony will always leave you wanting.

EXCUSE #2 – I don’t have time.

This is one of those excuses that is quite easily justified.  I have 7 children in my home.  Plus, I homeschool.  The nooks and crannies of my day are filled to the brim…or so it would seem.  Yet, I find time to blog and check Facebook.  I find time to sit and read sections of a book or magazine that interest me, and I find time to go grab a soda at the gas station down the road.

I tell myself those things don’t take very long, but that’s pretty lame.  You can exercise in 10 minute snippets throughout the day.  It is better than no exercise.  And why not choose an exercise like T-Tapp that all the children can do with me and call it Physical Education?  Additionally, you can premake healthy snacks or have easy foods on hand that don’t compromise your health or your time.

The truth of the matter is, I don’t exercise because it isn’t a priority.  Internet time, my new book, and that gas station soda are more important to me.  I have to stop using the excuse of no time and decide to make exercise and eating right a priority.

EXCUSE #3 – Too many littles

I live in a land of perpetual toddlers and newborns.  Isn’t exercise impossible when you have lots of littles?  You can’t head to the gym on a whim.  You live your life in between their naps and nursing sessions.  I’ll just wait until they are older or until I hit menopause and the babies stop coming.  Until then, I’ll just be a slobby unhealthy mess.

This was probably my #1 excuse for not exercising.  That is, until my friend Angie, another mom of many, started sharing her determination to be a fit mom and my friend Jamie, also a mom of many, dropped over 100 pounds and started running.  Their excitement was contagious and I realized if they could do it with a lot of littles, I could too.  (You can follow Angie’s journey at her blog One Motivated Mama.)

Once again, being fit had to become a priority in my life.  I have to be fit BECAUSE I have lots of littles, not in spite of all my littles.  They are not an excuse for being unhealthy, and how dare I lay the blame on them.

EXCUSE #4 – My husband isn’t on board.

For years I blamed my husband, who was a foot taller than me and 100 pounds heavier than me, for my weight gain.  He was playing college football or running miles upon miles in the military, but I, in my sedentary state, was matching his food consumption calorie for calorie.  My lack of self control was his fault.  Hmmm….

Now, I must admit, when my husband, who isn’t as physcially active as he once was, is more cognizant of his food choices, I follow suit, but I can’t use him as a crutch.  (By the way, Ty has lost 24 pounds simply by tracking his food and exercise in My Fitness Pal!)

Sometimes this excuse has been more of a pity party where I tell myself that Ty gets to exercise any time he wants, and he doesn’t have a whole crew of kiddos to feed and homeschool.  He has that precious time I don’t seem to have.  Oh wait…I debunked that myth already.  And frankly, he has a whole office of staff to supervise and a workload that could stress anyone.  He has as much time as I do.  The difference is he made being fit a priority, and we’ve already established that I did not.

EXCUSE #5 – I don’t have the money.

No money for a gym membership or healthy food isn’t an excuse I can allow either.  I can do free YouTube workouts (I’ve been adding some to my Weight Loss and Fitness Pinterest Board as I find ones I want to try) and I can rework the grocery budget so I can add in more healthy foods.  Or I can simply eat less of what I’m already making.  I may have to close my ears to all the latest, greatest costly exercise and weight loss programs, or save up for the ones I really feel could benefit me, but in this country and era, money should never be an excuse for not being healthy.  There are ways to be healthy on a budget.  I just have to make them a…yes, you guessed it…priority!

EXCUSE #6 – It doesn’t really matter.

A few years ago, I gave up.  I told myself I didn’t care anymore.  In fact, I even managed to convince myself that God wanted me to overindulge in food.  Last year, before my miscarriages, I was doing a free online program called Setting Captives Free that opened my eyes and heart to what Scripture really says about being healthy.

I am a glutton.  I must admit that.  I am not the temple I should be not because of how much I weigh or how little I exercise, but because my heart is not where it should be.

You see, I’ve been talking about priorities all throughout this post, but the real truth of the matter is my #1 priority has to be Christ.  I have to be filling up on Him and running this race for Him.  My body isn’t a temple for me to show off how thin I am or how strong I am or how awesome of a mom of many I can be.  Being fit can’t be about me.  It has to be about something bigger than me because someday the exterior temple will crumble and what I’ll be left with is what was behind it all along.

I have to do this because I am aiming for holiness and self-control, a life that honors the Lord as above all.  A life that declares my #1 Priority is my Savior, my Christ.

Fit Mom of Many |

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44 Comments on My Excuses for Overeating and Not Exercising

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44 thoughts on “My Excuses for Overeating and Not Exercising

  1. I read this and I feel guilty, and can relate to some of the points (excuses) you have listed here. But I think my biggest problem is self motivation, I can motivate others, but why not myself?

    • I had to work at getting to the root of some of my excuses. I tend to sabotage myself…I had to really work through finding the why behind the things I do (and don’t do). Finally realizing WHY has helped me to start overcoming the results.

  2. These excuses would apply to anything that would rule over us, as we are to be in control of every aspect of our lives, but I have found this one particularly sticky as we have to eat to live! I can tell you I have ran many years like 5-6 miles a day and I started to notice I could even GAIN weight doing this, as your body will get used to what ever you do and adapt (unfortunately) so you have to do more than just exercise~you must control what goes into your mouth too. If you have never ran distances like this, it takes quite a bit of energy I would be so perplexed as to how could I still be gaining? FAT & SUGAR is ladened is so many of the foods we eat, some even purported to be “healthy” which is not true. Upon further study & changing of eating habits, I am now full & do not crave or binge eat like I used to eat~~and have lost weight w/out trying taking those things out of my diet. You can cook without oil & learn to cook a different way. Our library had the books or would order them! Forks Over Knives documentary & their website has all the cookbooks or Amazon has them cheap! My LDL was 79 my HDL 147 which maybe at this age those aren’t your worries but as you get older, those things will be a concern! For those of you raising many children, this is important info! Just see what you think of it!! (This is a scientist & a dr…not some special interest group!) The 10 leading causes of death in the US in 2007 are DIET related or due to pour nutrition…but will Dr.s tell you this, no they want the $$!

  3. Thanks for being brutally honest …. I am on this same journey and have been having some heart to hearts with the Lord these last few days asking Him to help me be honest with myself about some of these same things!

    I know God will give us both the strength to do what’s honoring to Him :)

  4. Thank you for taking the time to outline your excuses, as most of them are very much my own! For me, I have to deal with the fact that it’s my choices which has led to my unhealthy nature. I also think that while I DO want to please the Lord and take care of this temple, I also want to turn back the clock and look as I did when I was 20… and when I realize that isn’t going to happen (nor should it be my priority), I sigh the “what’s the use?” sigh and head for the cookies. Thank you for inviting us to tackle this battle with you! :)

    • I talked to Jamie and she would love to be interviewed. I can’t say when I’ll have the interview up on the blog, but I wanted to let you know that I will definitely do this! :)

  5. I really like using the Biggest loser videos with Bob Harper in them ( I don’t like Jillian as much though they work well too). I like them because there are people in the video who have and still losing weight, they’re all contestants from the show. I like how, for the most part, the woman are dressed modestly (they;re still losing weight) so my husband can do it with me and I don’t care if my son is watching. The DVD I do most are for people getting off that couch and the intensity goes up from there. He’s very encouraging in his words. This is the one I’ve used the most ( I have a few others that are really good too)

  6. over the past few years I have tried EVERYTHING to loose weight and they worked… for a few months or weeks and then I would gain it back and then some. In January of last year I was up to my highest un-pregnant weight… 193 and really trying to loose it-and then, of course, I got pregnant and felt like I couldn’t exercise.

    Baby was born in October and I lost ALL the baby weight and more with in a few weeks. But I was nursing so I told myself “go ahead and eat it you need the calories.” so I started gaining again.

    Hubby and I watched Hungry for Change on Netflix and we realized that anytime we put processed food into our bodies we might as well be snorting coke, or shooting up heroine. It is poisonous. THAT was the kick I needed to change. We resolved to eat food as close to the way God created it as possible. We feel like it is partly like tithing to do so. we need to be as strong as possible (especially these days as Christians). So if this costs more money and time then God will bless us for it, just like He blesses you for tithing. I have decided that if I eat this way yet not loose a single ounce I will still be happy.

    • This is so right on! I have been a junk food junkie my whole life, and realized two years ago that FOOD is the best medicine, and lots of it! I can eat as much real butter, raw milk, nuts, salads, smoothies, yogurt, grass fed meats, vegetables and fruits, and yummy fermented foods as I want and I absolutely cannot gain weight. It’s only when I eat processed foods, hydrogenated unnatural oils, refined grains and SUGAR that it starts stacking up. I have read a lot of books about it over these two years and I’m convinced that almost all diseases begin in the gut of the body, and following a diet that is closest to what they ate in the Bible will give us vibrant health and lifelong wellness. Just read the Maker’s Diet. It’s a real eye-opener, and so is the GAPS diet, in which many people have reversed their children’s autism. I’m now doing a Bible study on what is mentioned as ‘good’ and what is mentioned as not desirable in the Bible, which is essentially what the Maker’s Diet is.

      God has called us to shepherd our children and that includes how to take care of their body for longevity and so they can have ministries that aren’t impaired by poor health every step of the way! It’s amazing what we don’t know that we don’t know about health in our society. And God has it all spelled out for us…

  7. Amy,

    Thanks for stepping out and writing your new series! I know it isn’t easy to deal with! Hoping to get in shape myself and it isn’t easy with homeschooling, 6 kids, working full-time and no $$. I use all your excuses too :)


  8. I appreciate your honesty and transparency. You’ve given voice to so many of the truths that we fail to admit, even to ourselves. When we bring these excuses out into the light, I think it helps release their power over us. Well done!

  9. I’ve struggled with this, too, and I like that you use the word “fit” because taking off my pregnancy weights hasn’t been a big struggle, but I haven’t really done any conscious exercise since the summer before I became pregnant with my first child. I was up to running over 9 miles at a time then while training for a half marathon. Since then (2009), I don’t think I’ve run a mile straight. In fact, I don’t think I’ve run more than just chasing the kiddos around. :s I think it really struck me when I walked with my mom from her their new house to the old and back (which was my twice-a-day daily walk to high school) and felt my legs being sore a few hours later. I was carrying a somewhat-heavy box, but still. Rather pathetic, I thought. I need to make sure I have the strength, flexibility, and cardio health to play well with my little ones. I’ve been making similar excuses, but I’m hoping that my commitment to do Walk Kansas with my family this year will help me get out walking consistently – and will be fun for the kids as a park is about a 15-minute walk away. :) It’s a start for me, anyway. Also, #5 is a motivator for me, rather than an excuse, when it comes to weight. I don’t want to have to spend money on different-sized clothes or on things I know are “bad” and expensive (pop, candy bars, etc.). If I do buy them and they’re at home, I’ll eat/drink them, but my frugality helps me from “splurging” on them due to the expense, and then I don’t have to worry about the temptation at home either. (Though I don’t follow that ALL the time, it works frequently.)

  10. Amy–I love your transparency. Your honesty. You love of the Lord, and how you use you own life experience to convict us (as we need to do so, because God commands us to hold one another accountable).

    When I read the part about your daughter–yes…I can relate too. Though I don’t over eat hardly ever over eat, I can see other areas of my life in which I am guilty of gluttony (being on the computer–nothing bad at all–homeschool related blog reading and such), and I blame the loss of our son…my grief. I NEEDED to heart this today. Thank you! I know that as a Christian, I need to spend more time with Him, and not on the things of this world. Getting to that point in life is challenging. Hugs, dear Amy!

  11. Losing weight after my twins has been a real struggle. I was a very FIT woman as the kind Kim described here. I was unable to run while pregnant, got very large and ruined my metabolism. It takes a long time to get back to that level. I plan EVERY day with the assumption that I will workout. Since doing this, I have been able to exercise 4-5 days a week.
    Now, what I am about to say is a little controversial — but our body does not belong to us, it belongs to our spouse. What kind of a message is this sending to our husbands if he’s making an effort to stay fit and we’re not? What kind of a blessing are we to our children if we can’t run and play with them? Are the above excuses we all use indicative of a deeper seated problem? An excuse to avoid intimacy, feelings of unworthiness, or even self-hatred? I think these are all valid questions to ask our ourselves. God bless and thank you as always for your honest and forthright posts.

    • Great thoughts, Amy! It is a hard journey for so many of us. So many women think and deal with things that come their way in life by running to food or in the least using it as a tool to get through the time/season they are in.

      Totally agreeing with the above comments about our body belonging to our husbands, but above all this was one of THE MOST convicting verses to me: 1 Cor 6:19-20 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.


      • Eating all real food now. March 1 we start the challenge of eating only real food for 10 days straight (100 days of real food blog). Getting ready to grind my own wheat and grow my own garden. This will be the key for my family and getting healthy. Hopefully for me weight loss will just be a result of this type of eating. I can so identify with all of the comments :)
        Specifically, replying to you Jamie because the verse that has been coming to mind and I have been going to over and over again is Romans 13:14 – Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and give no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires. This applies to so many things, but especially turning to food and SUGAR in my discontentment!

    • I agree totally with your thoughts. We have to really look deep into these excuses (and any others we have). I have realized some things that I have not yet shared here that finally clicked for me when I thought about WHY I was doing some of the things I was doing. Thanks for being bold. :)

  12. Thank you for this post. I needed to hear this! I definitely use excuses #2 and #3 way too often and I only have one baby (a toddler). I have several youtube videos, DVDs, and a treadmill to use when it’s cold / yucky outside but I fail to use them since I don’t prioritize my time.

  13. Amy,
    Can you tell me a little about the T-Tapp program? I’m having a hard time wading through the info on their website. Do you need the book or just the video? Is there more than one video? Is the video(s?) something to work out to or just to explain how to do the exercises and then you do them on your own?
    I feel like their website is just a bunch of testimonials of how great the program is, but I can’t find info on what the program actually is. BUT I keep reading moms like you saying it’s great.

  14. So how many kids qualifies as a “Mom of Many”? I’ve got a 3 yr old, 18mos, and 6mo pregnant, and preparing to move overseas after baby is born. I’m definitely feeling the sweets craving now in the 3rd trimester. I know life is only going to continue to get busy, esp. once I start homeschooling full-time. My husband already politely suggests I should exercise more as a pre-emptive good habit, whenever I start to complain about how my clothes fit or my energy level.

    • Many people do not realize how sugar is much like cocaine or heroine, you might say how silly, well read books like The Sugar Blues if you do not believe me…there is much data to prove it…look at labeling…high fructose corn syrup is in just about everything, WHY? it causes euphoria in the brain, causes over eating, so many reasons…highly processed, high in fat & sugar foods is killing America, check out how heart disease & cancers are way higher in here that in Asian countries, except where Western culture is now being sold over there! Diets consisting of plant based, little meat, whole grains, no dairy…the people live longer & have fewer instances of obesity & death due to these things, read The China study….

    • The only reason I use the Fit Mom of Many is because that’s who I am and I’ve found that many large family moms have a similar mentality, but honestly, I had these issues LONG before I had a large family. So, come on in and join us! :)

  15. I think my main excuse is to do with cycles of pregnancy. It’s either that I can’t exercise because, 1) I just had a baby, and I have pelvic problems which take months to resolve following pregnancy, which I am not supposed to exercise with, or 2) I am pregnant and feeling too sick/exhausted/dizzy/bleeding a bit. I have 6 children, and the eldest is 8. My gaps between pregnancies started out as 10 months and have come down to 8 months for the last 3 babies. I am newly pregnant and have an 8-month-old, and STILL haven’t begun exercising, ever! I think it’s a vicious cycle with the fact that my body can’t “do” pregnancy very well if it is out of shape to start with, so I have issues which need physiotherapy (and very restricted exercise) for a while to resolve, but then I am pregnant again before I get far beyond that. I know I need to break the cycle! I am just not sure how. Even taking everyone out for a walk is overwhelming when I am exhausted and morning sick.

    • I agree with this! I am so sick in the beginning and in pain in the end. I was so determined to just do what I could do as soon as Creed was born and that’s what I did. I walked…a little. I have slowly worked up to a little more. Brainstorm something you CAN do…no matter how small! You can do this, Alice! :)

  16. Thank you SO much for being real! I needed this encouragement today. I relate to almost all that you said. Praise God for your honest heart. I have been deeply blessed.Thank you!

  17. Good for you, Amy! I look forward to reading about your progress!

    I have just finished losing my own baby weight that’s accumulated through three pregnancies (approximately 40 lbs.). The method that worked for me was simply cutting carbs (sugar, grains, beans, fruit, starchy vegetables), and I steadily lost all the weight – with no added exercise. Not that exercise is bad (we all need it!), but in my experience it’s primarily food changes that lead to weight loss.

    Good luck!!!!

  18. Excuse #1 – John and I were just talking about that. We’ve both put on more than 10 pounds in the last year and I had actually been taking it off before. I was working out and making good food choices. But it’s true, those choices involve a certain amount of self-deprivation and I don’t want to. *stamp my little foot* We can’t do anything about losing Jacob, but nobody’s going to stop me from eating that ice cream! Why isn’t that in any of the grief books?

    Great post! Making good choices makes us happy!

    • Yes…why isn’t that in the grief books? It took me a long time to figure out what I was doing and why. (HUGS) and here’s to getting back to the good choices!

  19. I am wrestling with these excuses, too. I’m trying to make being fit a priority but it just isn’t fun. Eating is what I do for fun. Exercise is the opposite of fun. I know I should enjoy all the other stuff, too… or more. I need a hobby… that isn’t eating.

  20. I just wanted to tell you that I believe you can have a chance to enjoy your lost loved one in the afterlife. Glad you joined the journey.

  21. Hmmmm looks like The Lord has the same topics on my heart as yours. Except, I am still making excuses that I can continue to eat the way I do as long as I exersize……..

  22. Dear Amy,

    Great post! And you are so brave because it is not easy to share something like this the way you did. Thanks for doing it. I’ve been struggling with the same problem for many years but your post really motivated me. Thank you so much and may God help us and other women overcome this problem.
    Many blessings

  23. Thank you for sharing your struggles. You have a ton of ‘good’ excuses. Don’t we all!
    May we all band together to get healthy for our kids. I just started “42 days to fit” last week and I already feel so much better. I have not lost not one pound but I feel better and at least that will keep me going.

  24. Once again, you’re challenging me — thank you, I do want to address the cost issue. About three years ago and for a few reasons, we made the change from average, conventional food to a largely organic diet. We also include free-range chicken and eggs, raw milk, and grass-fed beef. We moved from a largely canned and/or processed food diet to a fresh diet based on many Weston A. Price principles. With a little research and asking around, we’ve been able to find ranchers and farmers to fill some of our needs, and to keep our costs in check, we buy the majority of our organic produce through Bountiful Baskets — a buying group with benefits similar to a co-op, only without the higher costs and obligations. Organic produce for us is $25/box (which averages about $1.00-1.25/pound most weeks), and conventional produce is $15/basket. It’s been a great money saver for us. Also, buying fresh food in-season will lower costs. Lastly, consider “banana box” or closeout stores for those packaged/processed things you still need or want to buy. Big Lots is a national chain that offers groceries at a deep discount, but there are often small, local closeout stores with even better deals. At one local store, we buy in-date, brand-name gluten-free snacks and crackers for $0.59-0.79 per box when they’re $3.00-4.00 in the grocery store. With a little time and creativity, one really can make healthy food choices on a budget.