Walking Guide

The 15 Best ''But'' Busters

By , SparkPeople Blogger
From time to time, we've all let our excuses get the best of us. Willpower can only last so long, and sometimes, the craziness of this thing called LIFE simply wins against our desires to eat right or exercise. If you're reading this, maybe you've let an excuse or two get in the way of your healthy lifestyle goals recently. If you're ready for your goals and dreams to take priority and win against even your toughest excuses, look no further.
I've heard every excuse for not making health a priority. In fact, I've used many of them myself over the years! But more often than not, I talk back to my excuses—and win.
The next time a "but" gets in the way of your goals, change your thoughts to one of these NEW phrases to regain control and stay on track.
I want to exercise, BUT I can't afford a gym membership.
I want to exercise, SO I'll come up with a list of free and low-cost workout options like:
I want to run, BUT it's too [cold, rainy, hot, snowy, windy] outside.
I want to run, SO I'll plan my runs around the days and times with the best weather, and invest in a few pieces of running gear that make running more comfortable. If all else fails, I'll come up with an alternative workout I can do indoors, whether running on the treadmill or something else.
I want to work out, BUT I have [bad knees, a bad back, an injury, chronic pain].
I want to work out, SO I'll make an appointment with my doctor and/or physical therapist to find out exactly what I can do safely and without pain.
I know I should exercise, BUT I don't know how to get started.
I know I should exercise, SO I'll do everything in my power to educate myself on what to do and how to get started, beginning with:
  • Reading articles in SparkPeople's Fitness Resource Center
  • Asking questions on SparkPeople's Fitness & Exercise Message Boards
  • Joining a fitness challenge at SparkPeople.com
  • Signing up for SparkPeople's Exercise of the Day email
I want to get fit, BUT I just hate exercise!
I want to get fit, SO I will accept that my goal involves exercising. I will do my best to keep trying new workout ideas until I find something that I do enjoy!
I do want to work out, BUT I am just too busy.
I do want to work out, SO I will make it a priority while cutting back on other things that aren't as important to me. I will find 10-minute chunks of time that I can dedicate to exercise each day.
I want to exercise, BUT I don't have anyone to watch the kids.
I want to exercise, SO I will find ways to include my kids in my efforts to work my workouts around times that they are napping, at school, occupied and entertained.

I want to eat healthier, BUT it's too complicated.
I want to eat healthier, SO I will start with one small step at a time, such as:
I want to eat healthier, BUT I can't afford it.
I want to eat healthier, SO I will purchase foods that fit within my budget and help my reach my goals, even if it's only a few things in my cart. I'll also actively research ways to save money on healthy foods and reallocate money I used to spend on junk foods toward healthier items.
I want to eat better, BUT I hate to cook.
I want to eat better, SO I'll find ways to do that that involve little to no cooking, including:
I want to eat healthier, BUT I hate vegetables.
I want to eat healthier, SO I will focus on eating more of the healthy foods I DO like, and keep trying vegetables in new ways until I find preparation techniques I do like.
I want to eat better, BUT my family won't eat healthier foods.
I want to eat better, SO I'll get my family on board by including them in finding and planning meals that meet everyone's goals.
I want to cook more, BUT I just don't have time.
I want to cook more, SO I will cut back in other areas (like TV watching) that don't serve my goal, and collect quick-cooking recipes that I can make with limited time.
I want to lose weight, BUT it's so overwhelming.
I want to lose weight, SO I'll take it one step at a time instead of overwhelming myself by changing every habit at once. I will also stop beating myself up for not doing everything perfectly all the time, and start celebrating the good choices I do make each day.

I want to lose weight, BUT I don't have support from anyone in my life.
I want to lose weight, SO I will remember that I'm doing it for ME and not for others. I will tell at least one person about my goals whom I can trust, and if I can't find support from friends and family, I will become active in SparkPeople's Community to make friends and get support from people who have similar goals!
Next time a "but" tries to get in the way of your goals, turn it around like the examples above and you won't let your excuses win!
Which "but" buster is your favorite? How have you busted one of your own excuses recently?

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TWEETYKC00 4/14/2018
Good ideas! Report
GREAT article! Report
AMBER461 2/15/2018
Thanks for sharing Report
DJ4HEALTH 1/21/2018
Thanks Report
NASFKAB 12/4/2017
very useful post way to overcome excuses GREAT Report
JVANAM 11/28/2017
Action is the real measure of intelligence.
- Napoleon Hill Report
Love this! Report
DEE107 11/27/2017
different from what I thought it would be Report
BOOKNUT52 11/21/2017
lol I thought the article would be about "butt" busters!
This is great to remember during the days that we want to talk ourselves out of things because of "x" or the weather! Report
I follow the Beck diet solution it's Awesome! Check the Spark Team!! Report
I would add researching slow-cooker meals for when you are tight on time. Report
Great excuse busters! Thank you. Report
My mom in law says I always have an excuse. I am doing my best to not be an Eeyore! This is a wonderful article replacing but with so! love it. thank you Spark Report
Great article really helpful Report
My favorite but, I don't want to make dinner, ecspecially on lazy/tired days.
I have overcome this by 2 things, 1-making my weekly dinner menu, so the guess work is gone. And trying to make most of my dinner from the crockpot-- I am most motivated in the AM.

2--On days when I feel high energy I make a double or triple batch of something for dinner. Then freeze the rest into 2 more dinners. Lasagna is my favorite, because I can pull it out, and have 2 dinners, or dinner and a lunch. Report
My favorite but, I don't want to make dinner, ecspecialky on lazy/tired days.
I have overcome this by 2 things, 1-making my weekly dinner menu, so the guess work is gone. And trying to make most of my dinner from the crockpot-- I am most motivated in the AM.

2--On days when I feel high energy I make a double or triple bath of something for dinner. Then freeze the rest into 2 more dinners. Lasagna is my favorite, because I can pull it out, and have 2 dinners, or dinner and a lunch. Report
good article....thanks Report
Love these. The not having time was always my excuse when I worked so......I started finding 10 min chunks of time for walks and that worked! Report
Excellent article! Report
Love this article, thank you! I've probably used every one of these BUT excuses at one point or another...... Report
"But I want it to happen overnite!" changed to "I will strive for and be excited about reaching a mini-goal -- and in time find that those mini-goals have added up to great results!" Report
I hate to exercise. That's my #1 excuse. My DH has started to work out with me and that has been a real help. For those who can't afford gym memberships, may I suggest Planet Fitness. Mine runs a Black Friday membership for $99 with no add-on fees. That's $8.25 a month, about the price of one fast food meal. Report
My dog and I love to walk, but it's just been SO hot and humid this summer! So we wait until it's almost dark (we live in a safe neighborhood) and we just walk a shorter time. I make up the difference by doing more cardio inside. When I started about 4-5 years ago (already in my mid-50's), I started slowly, using videos for older adults (Jane Fonda made a whole series).. Now, I have muscles...and no joint pain anywhere. The stronger the muscles around the joints, the less pain, and the more you can do... Report
Great ideas! and it stops the "yes, but..." cycle. Report
Had plans to walk in the park but felt sprinkles of rain. Unsure if sprinkles would turn into downpour so "walked " the mall. Was able get 3+ miles . Not my best time because I did a bit of window shopping . Be willing to use Plan B . Report
Great blog and tips. The "SO" instead of "BUT" is going on my motivation board! Report
Loved this article. I think my BUT would be
'I want to get fit but hate exercise', changed to,
"I want to get fit SO I WILL ACCEPT that my goal involves exercise'.
That's a great one for me. Enough with denial, time to embrace a goal and defeat my worst enemy...myself. Report
Great! Great! Great!! Thanks for this article, it really helps me and I loved the idea of 'positive affirmations' turning those 'BUTs' into 'SOs'. Saved for future reference! Report
This is a great article! Thanks so much......it has helped turned my negativity into positive "can do".......... Report
Great article, very helpful!

My biggest issue is I want to do this, but my SO doesn't seem to understand that if I am taking time out to cook healthier, exercise 4 times a week, and do meal planning. I don't have as much time to clean the house and he should help out more. There are only so many hours in the day. Report
i always get lazy in winter time ,if hit my goal i will work out 3day week for 30 mintues thank you .i find out not good keep lose weights and gain back. so have keep weight off for my goal is 40 pound Report
The batch cooking has really helped me out alot. I also love the crockpot and soups, so now and then I get 2 crockpots going with a variety of beans, veggies, and sometimes different meats. This was how we learned to enjoy beans. This is a great time saver and I'm so thankful when I just don't want to cook, I can pull one out of the freezer and un-thaw.

I also have a goal of min 10 minutes exercise daily. On the days I just don't want to exercise, or I find every excuse, I do something for at least 10 minutes, just move in some manner, nothing formal, and I normally keep going. Report
Being lazy and fast is super easy for me, losing weight... not so much but I am trying my butt off, literally. These little tips will really help with not being lazy and fat anymore!! Report
Add this to my favorites,, people always have their excuses I push thru them like fog and come out on top of my own race!! Have an amazing day everyone!! (no excuses!!) ;-) Report
My favorite excuse is "But I've already done my cardio, and that's the hard part. I don't really need to do strength training today." I use this one on myself at least once a week. Groan!! I need to change this to "I've already done my cardio, so I'm going to reward my efforts with 10 minutes of resistance training." Report
Interesting. Report
Freezer cooking makes your entire life easier, if you can bear to not be spontaneous. Report
To MissLauraQ72, and everyone else in her shoes (like me), I have found that taking the first 10 minutes of my lunch break at work to go for a fast-paced walk is an amazing help. It gets rid of a lot of stress and helps me feel better.

A funny thing: for a long time I kept getting telephone calls from a friend every single morning and she'd talk for almost 1 1/2 hours! She was having a lot of trouble, so I couldn't stop her and didn't have the nerve to hang up. So, instead of my morning run, I walked around and around my livingroom coffee table. I couldn't believe that it did almost the same amount of work on my body as my normal morning run. I almost came to miss it when I finally managed to make her stop. Report
If and when we find it important enough we always find a way.
learning to find yourselves important enough is the way to put the buts on hold.
Need to show my colleagues this and ask them, for the umpteenth time, how often they have uttered these to me!!! Report
This is certainly keeping it real! Very effective excuse busters! Report
This is certainly keeping it real! Very effective excuse busters! Report
I recently started going on walks. The first time a few days ago I couldn't find my other good tennis shoe. So instead of just crawling into bed like I wanted to, I put on a pair of not great shoes and just DID it. I got blisters on my heels like I expected, but I DID it! and it felt great :) Report
Great way to remind us that there is no "but" only "I will". Report
Spoken just like a person without kids and having to juggle your life, yourwork, their lives (times how many kids you have) along with the work of house/wife. When you have to sacrifice exercise (which I love) to take your kid to their sports/music/school function - you let me know - K? Report
The painful truth:)) Report
Thanks Nicole. This is useful redirection of negative thinking. What hit home for me is that I want to eat healthier AND I hate to cook.
I'll check out the 15 minute recipe thing. Report
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