“I don’t have time.”
I eat pretty well most of the time, I plan my meals, meal prep once or twice a week and train 3-4 times a week on top of teaching my classes and my day job (I make myself sound better than I am here but I do do these things).
I’m not saying everyone should do this. I train because I enjoy it and I meal prep because I want to feel healthy and look a certain way.
I strongly believe everyone else should train and eat in a manner that provides the outcomes they want – whether that be to look a certain way, feel a certain way, gain or lose weight or just eat whatever the f@@k they want and enjoy it.
Often – as I sit with my tupperware box of food someone says to me – I wish I had the time to prepare food to bring in.
As I head to the gym after work people will remark I wish I had free time to go to the gym after work.
My normal response is.
- I set aside one or two hours on a Sunday to prepare all my meals for the week because I know I won’t have time to make meals in the week so perhaps they could do the same.
- I enjoy training so I make the time so if they did want to train they could probably do the same and find one or two windows a week.
The normal response to this is
- Oh but I don’t have time to spend two hours on cooking on a Sunday- I work all day and barely get any time to myself / with my family so I’m not wasting time on Sunday cooking.
- Oh but after work I’m tired / have to get home to the kids / go to the pub after work.
The implication here is almost a little (unintentionally) assumptive about me – that I do have two hours where I personally wouldn’t rather be out with friends on a Sunday or that I would have nothing else to do of an evening.
The fact is I have made a choice.
- I choose to eat homemade food because it’s cheaper and I feel better for it and know if I didn’t take food to work with me I would end up living off fast food and chocolate. I also know that as I’m out and about from about 6 am until around 10 pm most weekdays if I don’t meal prep on a Sunday I won’t want to when I get in at 10 pm so I’ll be reaching for the takeaways.
I am aware of my obstacles to healthy eating – I CHOOSE to overcome them and find solutions. That solution is finding some time in my week to prepare.
Would I rather not spend 2 hours on meal prep each week? Of course – but then if I don’t I know I can’t really complain about not having the food I want to eat during the week. I would need to eat whatever was served in the staff canteen and accept that has been my choice
2. I choose to go to the gym after work sometimes (most of the time it’s for work i.e. I’m teaching a class), not because I have nothing else to do, but because I value how I feel after training. If I have plans that evening or am teaching, I will train on my lunch break. In other words I fit my training sessions around my life and job(s). Again, this is a choice I could choose not to do this but I couldn’t truly blame this choice on my circumstances – it would be a case of me prioritising something else over training.
I go back to my point that I don’t think people who do not prioritise exercise or anything else are wrong. We should all decide how we can live our own happiest life and not be judged. To those who happily go about life eating cake and never setting foot in a gym fair enough – because they are happy (and this sounds quite good to be fair).
I’m talking about are those who repeatedly say they WANT to be fitter or thinner or eat better or anything else (insert any goal – fitness related or not here) but when it is suggested how they could achieve this there is a list of ‘Buts’. Reasons why they cannot take the actions that could help them towards their goal.
So when someone says to me I wish I could do what you do and eat that or go to the gym what they mean is I wish I could get the results without having to do the things that get the results – which is a different thing entirely.
“I don’t have time” translated into honesty is “I don’t really want to.”
I do these things because I’ve decided they are important to me. It doesn’t mean they are easy or I do not have obstacles and ‘buts’ I need to overcome but that I make a choice each day.
I’ve found it useful when making an excuse for not doing something to think about it in that context – because if you really want it you will work out a way of doing it. If you don’t that’s OK but just be honest with yourself and admit that- at least then you can get on with things you do give a real f@@k about.
A recent example for me – I kept saying I wanted to run another marathon- to do this I knew I’d need to make time in my day for weekly long runs. This was doable but would require sacrifice – I kept making excuses until eventually I said you know what, I value my Sunday morning lie in more than running another marathon so I’ve given up on that idea.
If we want to change we can – we can make small changes, mini sacrifices, find life hacks to get closer to that change. It’s generally easier to make excuses, which is why we so often do that.
Next time you think I don’t have the time maybe reconsider rephrasing that in your own mind to evaluate if that is really true or if you actually just aren’t as bothered about it after all- I don’t want to sound preachy, it’s just been a really useful tool for me I wanted to share.