Lies We Tell Ourselves About Exercise and Eating

girl-eating-dessertLies we tell ourselves about exercise and eating:

Aww, it doesn’t matter. What’s it gonna hurt to skip a workout? I’m full but this dessert looks so good.

I’m too tired. I’m too busy. I’m homeschooling. I have all these kids.

I’ll make up for it tomorrow. I’ll get back on track next week. I’ll start on the first of the month.

Sound familiar?

Now before we go any further, of course there are legitimate reasons for skipping a workout or eating dessert. There are real health issues, weddings and crazy schedules beyond our control. We get hungry and it’s good to eat. But we know that’s not what we’re talking about here.

We’re talking about average days and generally busy people. And if I hadn’t told myself these very things and given these exact excuses, I wouldn’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to calling us on our stuff.

Let’s tell ourselves the truth:  the problem is that we don’t tell ourselves the truth.

We tell ourselves “Aww, it doesn’t matter” and “What’s it gonna hurt?” The truth is that what we’re living today is the result of the small choices we’ve made up to this point. So yes, those little things do matter.

Someone said “an excuse is a well-planned lie.” Ouch. Most of the time, the excuse is something that could be overcome (and IS being overcome by someone else in our situation).

And about those thoughts such as “I’ll get back on track next week.” We’re actually giving ourselves permission to procrastinate and “be as bad as we wanna be” in the meantime.

Don’t get me wrong, skipping workouts and eating too much aren’t “bad.” That way of thinking is what gave exercise and dieting a bad name. Punishing ourselves with thoughts that we are bad or sinful when we don’t follow the “fitness rules” can lead to the urge to rebel. We want to have fun or take a break from the dreadful self-discipline of exercise and eating in moderation.

What’s wrong with this picture?

In reality, moving our bodies and eating within hunger and fullness end up being more fun in the long run. We feel great and like how we look, besides getting to buy smaller clothes.

The “fun” of sitting on the couch and eating way beyond hunger satisfaction ends up taking us where we didn’t want to go.

In a way, we have it backwards.

And to a great extent, it is within our power to change that by choosing how we think about the situation.

What if, instead of giving in to “I’m too tired,” we focused on how much more energy we’ll have if we exercise? What if, when we think “What’s it gonna hurt?” we answer with “Yes, it will hurt me. I choose to take care of myself.”

And what if, when tempted to put it off till next week, we tell ourselves “Thank you for sharing. Now lace up your shoes and push play.”

It’s all in how we choose to think. We don’t have to go with the flow of the thoughts that pop into our heads.

The next time you catch yourself in a thought pattern that lies about exercise or your eating choices, stop and reset. You can even say out loud, “Stop!” or “Reset!” and go on to replace the thoughts with truth.

They say that honesty is the best policy. Be honest with yourself and focus on how great you’ll look and feel when you pull up your socks and push play!

Did this help your perspective? Please tell us what you think!


  1. Anonymous says:

    “Most of the time, the excuse is something that could be overcome (and IS being overcome by someone else in our situation).”

    Wow. That is a great thought. Thanks.

  2. Jane Ballenger says:

    Thank you so much for telling it like it is! I’ve struggled with motivation this winter. I have been consistent but it hasn’t been a joyful journey. Thank you for the reminder to “reset” my mind set my mind set.

    I’m going to remind myself to be kind and good to myself today!

    Love ya,

  3. LeeAnn Barton says:

    Thanks so much for the encouragement Charlette. I agree with Anonymous the statement about overcoming–that someone else is not excuse-ing themselves is mighty powerful. May I use it in a column someday? God Bless!

  4. Thank you for taking time to write down the lies I tell myself so I can see them for what they are.

  5. Having just finished my basic+ for the day, I can hear Teresa say, “ready, reset…” I will have to use that for myself on those days that I want to wimp out and just go get my coffee or snuggle back down in the warm blankets. Thanks, Charlotte. 😀

  6. Denise Baligad says:

    Love it!! Thank you for speaking the truth about these things~they help tremendously and give great encouragement Charlotte! 🙂

  7. Charlotte Siems says:

    Hey, I was talking to myself, too! LeeAnn, feel free to use that!

  8. TheSwietOne says:

    Wow!!! thank you so much 🙂 I NEED to print and memorize this, really. Charlotte – you’re sooo cool, thanks for your example to us all:) God bless you.

  9. Charlotte Siems says:

    Wow, thank you so much! 🙂

  10. The truth is that what we’re living today is the result of the small choices we’ve made up to this point. So yes, those little things do matter.

    thanks so much for writing this Charlotte.

  11. Charlotte Siems says:

    Kind of helps to look at it that way every once in a while, huh? We all need these reminders!

  12. Hello, fellow brewer. You are so impressive and your story so inspirational. Your ‘about’ page is one of Melissa’s before and after posts right there! 😉 And twelve children… I can’t even imagine it (I have two). You all look so happy in your photo! And you definitely do not look like 52. You look like the sister of your daughters!

  13. Charlotte Siems says:

    Ha! At first I thought “brewer?” but then I got it! 🙂 Thanks so much for your kind words, and thanks for stopping by!

  14. Doni Hallabrin says:

    Thanks for the loving spoon full of medicine!

  15. Charlotte Siems says:

    We all need it, don’t we? Thanks, Doni!

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