4 Excuses To Avoid Healthy Eating And Exercise – Which One Do You Use?

As I mentioned in my Contact page, I write articles for the article marketing site, Ezine articles. Below is one of the articles I wrote for the site a couple of months back. As African people, we probably have the worst diets I have ever seen outside of the SAD (Standard American/Standard Aussie Diet) which in truth can’t be beat in terms of the amount of stuff that goes into the mouth vs how little of it is actually food. I am on a campaign to improve the way we eat and the way we live so this one is for those of you who have millions of excuses not to get your butt in shape. To find the original article click here.

Look at the size of that whopper

In this day and age, it is taken as a Universal truth that we need to eat healthier and exercise in order to increase the quality and quantity of our lives. This means eating regular servings of fresh vegetables, fruits, nut, grains, seeds and any natural food mixed in with regularly moving and challenging ones body. So why is it that so many people end up eating so much junk and live such sedentary lifestyles? One major reason: excuses. Below are some of the common excuses used to justify living life at a much lower level in this important area and rebuttals for every excuse.

1) Life is Short. I want to live now!

Well then first of all, congratulations for making your life shorter. This life has so many wonderful things to be experienced, seen, heard, touched, smelt and felt. If the only way you can find to experience happiness is ingesting the poison that is junk food, isn’t that a sad indication of just how empty your life is? Perhaps, try nourishing your body a bit more so that you have more energy to go out there and live, really live.

2) I Don’t Want to Live that Long Anyway

Whenever some people come up against the obvious argument that moving and feeding your temple prolongs your life, they immediately rebut with:

I don’t want to live that long anyway. Why would I want to live till I’m 90 just to have rickety bones/ bad posture/ be a burden…..etc etc etc

Here’s the deal. Eating healthier not increases the quantity but also QUALITY of your life. If you want to avoid having the rickety bones, bad posture, huge hospital bills NOW, let me suggest that you put down the junk and get yourself to the local farmers market. To see the extremes of what can happen if you don’t nourish yourself, watch the movie La Vie En Rose and let that be a lesson to you.

3) I Just Can’t Quit/ The Food Tastes too Good

That’s why psychology and the science of persuasion was invented: to allow you to have greater control over your body and mind. For most of you, this is an untested hypothesis. You have not tried EVERYTHING YOU KNOW OF to change the way you think and feel about certain foods. There are a plethora of therapies, groups, blogs, books and resources that you can use to change the way you look at food.

In addition to that, you can substitute most of the junk in your life with much healthier alternatives.

4) It’s Just Too Hard

Guess what, so is everything of value in this world. If something is of value in this life, it can only be achieved by hard work. You perform the hardest task of all: you go to work 40 hours a week (probably more) just so that you can have enough money to live. Surely if you can make that much sacrifice to have monetary resources, you can use these resources to nourish your temple. Why gain all the money in the world if you’re carrying it in an obese, unhealthy body?

Something to think about.

My name is Mwangi, and I am an African immigrant who has lived in Australia for six years. You can read my story for free by clicking here
My website, the Displaced African, is dedicated to the happiness and peace of mind of African immigrants. You can learn more about maximizing the immigrant experience on the site.
In addition to that, the site also has current commentary on the important issues of the day, such as with the article, the Empty Symbol that is Barrack Obama

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  • By Kelly, June 16, 2008 @ 4:48 pm

    Isn’t it funny how people want to dictate how long they will live? One doesn’t imagine that they could actually live to be 100 years and be trapped in an obese, diabetic body. Worse still, the obesity and diabetes catch up by 50 years.

    I’m a witness to the fact that once you drop the junk, you never feel like eating it any more. The way it worked with me is that I didn’t really pressure myself to stop (like reciting a mantra or anything), I just reach out for a healthy option each time I’m hungry. In less than 2 months, the body adjusts to not having high calorie fatty foods.

    Good post (though I had read the ezine article anyways).

  • By Mwangi, June 16, 2008 @ 4:55 pm

    @Kelly: You know I don’t think a lot of folks even think that far….how many times have we watched specials on TV where someone is all of a sudden told by a doctor that if they keep eating the way they do they’ll die soon and they act like its a surprise.
    On a funnier note, I’ll never forget there was this UK show where they were doing tests to establish people’s “health ages”. There was this obese guy on the show and first thing they tell him is that he has the health of a very old man and doesn’t have very long to live if he keeps going as he is…..he was shook up but not too bad.
    He was told that his cholesterol was putting him at risk of heart attack, again, shook up but not too bad.
    Then the man was shown a picture of his sperm. He was so obese that they actually had problems swimming. He broke down like a little baby….I have never forgotten that moment, I laughed for a long time after.
    At the moment I am consuming way too much starch and dairy so I hope my story is like yours when I try to go for extended periods without the stuff…Seinlife seemed like she had a pretty good time with her food trial to, so watch this space, I’ll post up as I go through my journey with the stuff.

    Check out the Ezine articles section in about a week or so, I will collaborate with a freelance writer should be and add 10 articles to the Ezine articles rotation.

  • By gal africana, June 16, 2008 @ 5:03 pm

    Novo nordisk (Danish biotek co. that produces insulin) has been projecting that majority of its diabetes treatment earnings will be coming from the third world, especially African countries, in a couple of years. (I refuse to work for them!) It’s saaaaad. Having been there this Christmas, I can understand their optimism at this prospect, (although they might just get disappointed as folks don’t have income to spend on meds)…the food choice is atrocious. There’s no healthy fast food culture…most drink too much soda and eat too many processed carbohydrates…that and there’s a lot of malnutrition in rural areas.

    I think in Europe, where healthy eating is advocated and a well known concept, the problem is due to the fact that the industry is geared towards sale of processed food. Just looking at supermarkets and analyzing how much space is allocated to fresh and healthy foods compared to canned and other processed foods…hmmm…

  • By Kelly, June 16, 2008 @ 5:15 pm

    :) They touched where it mattered huh!

    Healthy starch isn’t too bad especially if you’re the kind that exercise / move around a bit.
    I read an interesting article this morning by Harvard Business Review. Apparently one thinks clearer and is more creative when exercising, so the next gen board rooms should have treadmills…

  • By Mwangi, June 16, 2008 @ 5:43 pm

    @gal africana: That’s scary. What annoys me prematurely is I foresee that Africans will be obstinate about their consumption of junk even though diabetes go up and they’ll blame it on the devil and do nothing to resolve the way they eat and live.
    You would think that the lack of cognitive dissonance and information overload that exists when it comes to healthy food choices i.e. as many green vegetables as possible, a lot of fruit, grains and nuts which can all be picked up from a small subsection of the supermarket would make it easier to eat healthy but instead we still spend a helluva lot of time perusing through the supermarket aisles choosing between poison A and poison B.

  • By Caustic Blonde, June 16, 2008 @ 5:45 pm

    1) Life is Short. I want to live now!

    2) I Don’t Want to Live that Long Anyway

    ^—I have never heard the first two items used as excuses, but the last two:

    3) I Just Can’t Quit/ The Food Tastes too Good
    4) It’s Just Too Hard

    ^—–I hear these two all too often. A lot of people ask me how I maintain my weight and I always tell them that I am very picky about what I eat and I work out at least five days a week. I try to discourage them from going on diets, but that they need a whole lifestyle change. I think the whole “diet” fads in combination with unhealthy fast foods are what keeps Westerners overweight. If you want to maintain your weight you have to be committed to a change in your lifestyle for the rest of your life, not just for the time it takes to lose the weight. I could do an whole article on some of the crazy weight lose fads that some of my friends have tried and miserably failed. The weirdest one was putting some kind of magnetic device behind your ear, um, how is this supposed to help you lose weight? She did not lose weight and she spent a hundred and twenty five dollars on this worthless contraption. Another excuse I have read that a lot of people make is that healthy food is too expensive, but what amuses me is that they are more than willing to shell out countless dollars for crazy contraptions like the one mentioned above. It all boils down to whether the person is serious about maintaining a healthy lifestyle or not and if they want it is quite simple, eat healthy and exercise regularly.

  • By Mwangi, June 16, 2008 @ 5:53 pm

    @Kelly: I still want to see how my life will be without starch. I don’t like the fact that I am physiologically addicted to something that is not the optimal thing for me to eat. I definitely agree with that one. Whenever I need to get something done and can’t seem to reach a breakthrough, a quick run around the track definitely hits the spot. I am willing to bet a lot of work places already work like that, like some divisions of Google perhaps?

  • By Kelly, June 16, 2008 @ 5:54 pm

    Yeah! Google Nairobi has an inbuilt gymn I think.

  • By Kelly, June 16, 2008 @ 5:56 pm

    Yeah! Google Nairobi has a gymn I think. That would be so good especially for some of us who barely have time to do anything else on weekdays other than office work.

    A contraption in your ear to help in weight loss… thats new!

  • By Mwangi, June 16, 2008 @ 5:56 pm

    @Caustic: I am surprised you have never heard the first, it’s the rebel’s excuse, they want to defy other people by poisoning themselves…go fig.
    The second one I heard from my mother when we were arguing about this stuff and I feel its one of those excuses that the folks who think they’re slick will jump to when they run out of excuses.
    Lol, a magnet behind the ear??!! Now that’s a first right there, that’s a first.
    I couldn’t agree more, health isn’t shedding weight, it’s a lifestyle and way of life that has to be repeated day after day after day. Definitely do a post on the fads, after hearing the magnet thing, I’m all ears.

  • By Mwangi, June 16, 2008 @ 5:59 pm

    @Kelly: Do a Google search for Google’s workplace (that sentence makes me smile) and check out how many gyms and cafes they have in that joint…..if I ever did anything to do with computer science, the first place I would camp outside to get work……Google. Wow, the fact that Google have brought that to Nairobi is very cool. Let’s hope we use them.
    You know I am amazed that so many of my peers have not only grown their beer guts, but have had them for a year or more now, and are acting like they are there to stay. That can’t be a good sign.

  • By Kelly, June 16, 2008 @ 6:07 pm

    Yeah, working in Google looks like fun. By the way, you would be suprised at how seriously people are taking their health in Nairobi, especially our generation. Few guys are grossly overweight and all.

    About the diabetes, I don’t think anyone blames it on the devil in this day and age. Even my own grandmother knows about it, actually she was talking weight loss the other day…lol… ok, but AIDS is still witchcraft.

  • By Mwangi, June 16, 2008 @ 6:39 pm

    @Kelly: You’re grandmother is talking about weightloss? Progress! :D Of course, AIDS is the result of the evil eye which befell me after an owl landed on my roof ;)

  • By Kelly, June 16, 2008 @ 8:55 pm

    Yeah, you travel shags and you realise how aware people are about their health. Town folk are the worst at this ignorance thing.

  • By Carol, June 16, 2008 @ 11:12 pm

    Oh, Africa’s in the future will be full of diabetes!!!!!!! ‘Damn whoever did this research of cr*p, go home and sleep, you have nothing to do!(Novo)!!!!!!!!!!
    But do people understand that not all diabetic cases are linked to poor dieting………..!!?
    Now that guy’s sperms having problems to swim!! (I did not watch it but the laugh I had……..oh no!) Is it that bad?lol
    Where I am in Europe, there is a direct link ,so far , between poverty and obesity!Where I come from the fatter someone is the richer the family was(man’s belly bigger….) .The paradox. But still the food we eat in africa, is mostly fresh, especially with the prices lately, people tend to ¨order” from the rurals, cultivated and sent ie corn, kales, cabbages,peas and beans, and many more.(Not forgetting milk!)
    African food is not that bad all together! Not a lot of junk, sugar and others! Though fast food stores seem to grow in the cities,I doubt if they will ever have a place in the rural (this refers mostly to Kenya)

  • By Mwangi, June 17, 2008 @ 5:25 am

    @Kelly: That link between wealth and bad health was found in China as well when they did the China Study. Anytime a new Westernized city comes up, give it a few decades and diabetes and cancer skyrocket…..like the Native Americans in the States apparently have a huge problem with diabetes because of eating Western diets.
    There is still quite a bit of junk in rural areas in the form of white flour, soda and sugar so even the cheapest options still have their share of junk in them but to a large extent people in the rural areas do eat “organic” because the food is right there outside their home.
    As far as I can tell, nine times out of ten, diabetes is as a result of what you put into your body. I haven’t conducted in depth research on this one though and am going on very limited information.
    As for the man with the lazy sperm, I hope that moment of pain helped him change his lifestyle for good…his sperms will thank him later ;)

  • By Fitness Info, March 14, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

    Just found your blog– nice post!

  • By Mwangi, March 14, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

    @Fitness: Glad you liked it :)

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