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Evaluating Reasons vs. Excuses

Here is a definition of “REASONS”: a cause, explanation, or justification for an action or event.

Here is a definition of “EXCUSES”:  a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.

Bringing these two concepts to the weight control arena, there is sort of a fine line between proclamations people will make when it comes to explaining why weight gain occurred the previous week as opposed to weight loss.  During my weekly meetings with patients, I will hear a number of statements such as:

  • I traveled this week and had to eat my meals in airports or off of highway exits
  • I had a very stressful week at the office
  • I hung out with my partying friends over the weekend
  • I am bored of eating eggs and other proteins
  • I was so busy this week I often forgot to take my weight loss medication

Many other bullet points can be added to this list of reasons/excuses as to why the week was not a successful in shedding weight.



I do believe it is important to self-evaluate as to whether the challenges that you feel are true reasons OR are they justifications for actions that are faulty (i.e. excuses).  As an example, if someone has a foot fracture and cannot do any aerobic exercise that is clearly a reason.  However, if a person states that he/she could not exercise because there was “no time” but that person spent over 3 hours that week on their social media feeds, the “no time” was an excuse and not a reason.  Another example:  The person that blames “travel” on the lack of weight loss, yet came off the highway and ate at McDonalds as opposed to doing some planning and finding potential weight-friendly restaurants on their route is providing an excuse, and not a reason.

Please take a step back and self-evaluate whether the factors that lead to your gaining of weight are true reasons or are they excuses.  True reasons are sort of fixed and cannot be changed.  Excuses however, can be navigated around and place you back on the weight-losing path.

No Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond or Frank Sinatra today: Here is Hoobastank singing “The Reason”.

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