Excuses and Justifications


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  This  brilliant exercise is extremely useful if you are trying to implement long term change. Especially if that change is likely to be hard for you to implement. It is all about getting your excuses and justifications out in the open before you even get started. Once an excuse to say, order extra large pizza with double cheese is out in the open, it is impossible to use it to fool yourself into the idea that it is the right choice for you.

Write down a comprehensive list of the excuses, and justifications you use, or are likely to use to eat inappropriately. Once you have written the list down, you will hear yourself making the excuse, and it will be just that much harder to let yourself get away with it.

Here are a small sample of excuses that may come up for you. If you would like to send me some of those excuses to add to this list for the benefit of others, please do so.


bulletI ate no breakfast so I can have a big lunch
bulletI don't have time to ....
bulletWork is to busy for me to make time for .....
bulletI am too tired to ...
bullet.... helps me manage my stress
bulletIf I don't eat it all now, I will be hungry later
bulletIt is a waste to leave the rest - when there is so little left on the plate
bulletI was so good so, I can be a little bad now.
bulletI deserve a reward
bulletI have blown my it already, may as well go the whole way, I will start again tomorrow

Moral justifications

bulletRewards for doing well at something
bulletRewards for being "good" or working hard
bulletEating rubbish today with the promise to start again tomorrow - borrowing credit from tomorrow
bulletThe halo effect: This happens when we have something healthy, which makes it feel like the health factor has rubbed off on whatever else we eat. If I have a salad with my burger and chips, the burger and chips have no calories. If I have a diet drink, I can have double cheese on my pizza.

Tricky situations

Now write down a list of the tricky situations that you find yourself in, that make it hard to stick to your healthy lifestyle plans

bulletYou were going to go to gym in the morning, but your friends are encouraging you to have just one more drink and make a late night of it tonight
bulletEveryone is eating desert, even though you don't have space....
bulletThere is birthday cake, you don't want to be the only one to refuse...

Create an If Then plan for each of them.

Now that you have anticipated the areas where you are likely to fall down on your plan for a healthy lifestyle. Create an If Then plan. A decision made in advance on how to handle a tricky situation, means that you do not have to deal with it again when the brain is all tied up with temptation and other motivations.

Create an If Then plan for each of your major excuses and justifications, and tricky situations.  Write them down!