Excuses vs. reasons

Anyone else hear the P!nk song, “Just give me a reason” with that title? 

How’s your morning going? I am moving slooooowly after last night’s Zumba class. We had SO much fun -Sasha and I hadn’t seen each other since we’d both been out of town- and it was amazing to have some blog readers dancing with us, too! Thanks to Kim, Sarah and Lori for coming to class πŸ™‚ We have an extra special one planned for next week. Team-teaching last night was the perfect way to start off this week’s very full fitness schedule.

Monday, I took it super easy with my workout and Tuesday, I just did a couple of strength moves here at home using the kettlebell and the pull-up bar.

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Something I’ve been thinking about this week: motivation, excuses and reasons.

I pretty much never have to motivate myself to take or teach a group fitness class. I almost always want to do it, which is good because it’s part of my job πŸ˜‰ Sure, there are some days where I’m tired and need to “fake it til I make it,” but for the most part, I’m really fortunate I get to do something I love so much. For some of my own workouts and classes, it usually requires some extra planning and motivation.

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Here are some of the excuses I’ve had myself, and those I most often hear when training clients:

I don’t have time. My thoughts: yes, my days are very full, but if I still have time to mess around on Facebook for a half hour, I have time to get in a workout or training run. I think the big thing here is being effective with the time you do have. Take a mental note of the moments you spend wasting time throughout the day, and when you do make it to the gym, make it count. Have a plan and get out of these as quickly as possible.

I don’t really feel like it. For this one, the classic “get dressed and drive to your workout spot” will usually do the trick. Usually after a short warmup, I’m ready to rock and roll. A playlist refresher helps with this one, too!

-I’m too tired or sore. These are often “reasons” and not excuses. About 6 weeks after I had Livi and I really wanted to get back into a workout routine, I was often way too tired to get in a quality sweat sesh. I picked sleep instead and am so, so glad I did. If your body is exhausted chances are that you won’t get in a good workout anyway. Also, when you’re sleep-deprived, your body will hold onto fat. So if you’re trying to push through total exhaustion, you may not see results from your work, anyway. Sleep wins! As far as the soreness goes, sometimes it feels really good to work through the soreness, and it may help it feel better. If it’s the debilitating kind of soreness, like when you have to fall onto the toilet or it’s painful to sneeze, you’ll benefit from the rest. Remember that results occur during rest and pushing too hard too often is a recipe for injury. 

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What’s your #1 reason you’ll skip your workout? How do you motivate yourself on the tougher days?

I think that having a plan in place is a huge motivator. If you need help with one, check out the September calendar and this post on setting up a workout plan.

Hope you have a great day! See ya later on the Fashion page.



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  1. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance on September 18, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Not having time and being too tired are my top excuses! I force myself to get up earlier to have the time. If I’m tired, I try working out and if I perk up I keep going but if I’m just exhausted, I call it quits for the day. Great post!

    • Captain Competition on September 18, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      Mine isn’t exactly being tired but not wanting to exhausted on game days. I play ice hockey twice a week and understand being too tired. I sometimes find myself not wanting to exercise on game days and using the games as an excuse.

  2. Lisa on September 18, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I think the number one excuse I use it that I’m tired or too stressed.
    I don’t really have too hard of a time motivating myself, especially if I plan out my workouts and that I teach pilates too – but sometimes I just really feel exhausted.
    Often times it’s just that I haven’t slept enough though.

  3. Cindy on September 18, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Wow! This post came just in time! I’m having such a hard time these days (mornings) motivating myself to get out of bed and go to the gym. I’ve been feeling discouraged recently because I haven’t been seeing any progress with strength training, but I know I just need to persevere!

  4. Christine@ Apple of My Eye on September 18, 2013 at 11:09 am

    My number one reason is definitely “I don’t feel like it!” or that I’ll workout at night or in the afternoon (something that hardly ever ends up happening!)

  5. kate marrin on September 18, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Number one excuse: TIME. Can I get an amen moms out there? But I set the alarm (even) earlier and just do it. (most days that is, lol)
    Number motivator: a new playlist. I won’t tell you what I spend on iTunes, but it’s totally worth it!

  6. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on September 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I haven’t skipped a workout in quite a while, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t wanted to! I have to remind myself what I am training for and the importance my health and goals are to myself and my family! I always remind myself “How bad do you want this!?” And even though the first couple steps or starting the workout is hard, I always feel awesome when it’s completed!

  7. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on September 18, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Great post! I always have a hard time knowing if me not wanting to workout is a legit reason or just an excuse. I think your points on exhaustion/tiredness are so true.

  8. Alisha @ Alisha's Appetite on September 18, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Whenever I think about if I am too tired or too sore to workout I make sure to reevaluate if I am really tired/sore. 9 times out of 10 it was just an excuse to not go. If I’m THAT tired/sore- I will not even have to think twice about it.

  9. Colleen on September 18, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I love that Pink song, especially since my one year old son will sing the “Uh Oh’s” along with the song, and points to my ipod saying “uh oh! uh oh!” when he wants to hear it! πŸ™‚

  10. Salima on September 18, 2013 at 11:38 am

    As a mom, I think my main excuse is that I would rather be spending time with my son than working out. I work full time during the day and go to bootcamp sessions two evenings a week. On the non-bootcamp days, I run at the park in the evenings for at least 3 more days throughout the week. I feel a little guilty because it does take time away from my family, but I think they understand that mommy has to do this now in order to get back into shape and to feel healthy/good about myself. That’s my motivation!

  11. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on September 18, 2013 at 11:42 am

    I have been working lately to not make excuses. If I have time to watch Bravo I have time to workout. I will have to make way less excuses now that I have your workout DVD. I did it last night so I could review it today and it was so much fun!! I was drenched in sweat afterwards, you and Sasha don’t mess around!

  12. Claire on September 18, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I like this post! My number one excuse is that I really don’t need to workout, or I just sort of shy away from thinking about going after I’ve said that I am going to go all day. Another top excuse is that if I didn’t go in the morning, it’s not going to happen. I TOTALLY have the time either in the morning or after work, so these excuses are pretty silly πŸ™‚

  13. Kristen on September 18, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I really think it’s all about habit. I have been working out regularly since I was 18—and before that I was always an active kid–so it’s just part of my day to get my workout in. I am an elementary teacher with an hour long commute to and from work, I have meetings/obligations after school most nights, and am in the process of getting my Masters…you get it, I’m busy. However, I still find the time to get my workout in because it helps me deal with the insanity, and like I said, it’s habit:) I take one rest day a week, and I might take a second rest day only if I feel like I’m getting sick or I have multiple late night obligations (i.e. parent conferences).

  14. RachelG on September 18, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Being on day 1 of my lady time right now I’d say this is my #1 excuse/reason. I’m not sure which one it is though because while yes, it can be incredibly painful and uncomfortable, there have been some times when I’ve been able to push through it and do weights or go to a yoga class (doing the latter tonight). That almost makes me feel even more guilty when I just can’t get anything in during the cycle.

    It’s something all us ladies go through, so should we be able to just brush it aside, shut up, and workout? Or is it a legit reason to take time away from a workout?

    Clearly this is something I’ve thought about a LOT…mostly while I’m crying over a sappy movie with cookies in one hand and a bottle of Midol in the other. πŸ˜‰

    • Mila on September 19, 2013 at 7:53 am

      I totally understand! I’m someone who gets the I-can’t-stand-up-straight and my stomach looks like it’s 6-months-along bloated on my period.

      Whenever I read that “exercise will ease cramps” I think person writing the article a, hasn’t hit puberty yet, b, has had their ovaries removed, or c, just doesn’t get the type of severe cramping I’m prone to.

      Of course, if it feels good, do it, ya know? πŸ˜‰ do what works for you.

      But don’t feel bad if you *know* working out doesn’t ease things up (for me, it makes them worse). Bring on the midol and the heating pad!

      • RachelG on September 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm

        Lol, it’s probably a guy writing that junk. πŸ˜‰ So far this week I’ve only gone to one yoga class and one zumba class but this rest is absolutely what my body needs (that and the peanut butter cup my saint of a fiancΓ© brought home). All the best to you during your “times”, Mila! πŸ™‚

  15. Melissa @TryingtoHeal on September 18, 2013 at 11:56 am

    I literally will just throw myself out the door if I don’t feel like dong a workout. If I tell myself that I only have to go out ten minutes, then by the time I’m done with a run it’s already 20 min because I had to run the 10 min back! YAY!

  16. Megan (The Lyons' Share) on September 18, 2013 at 11:57 am

    I love that “Let’s Go!” pic!! Most frequent reason for me to skip a workout is lack of sleep – usually, working out gives me more energy, but if I’ve gotten <5 hours and am really dragging, I'll let myself skip it because I think my body needs the sleep more!

  17. Ashley @ Life and Fitness on September 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Since my leg is injured right now I’ve gotten off upper body workouts. I notice I’ve gotten lazier & want that extra energy back.

  18. Ashley on September 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    If Ive been working out for 10-15 minutes and I really, really still want to go home, I take that as a sign that my body is over it that day and I need a break. Usually after 10 minutes Im super into it so if I just can’t get to that place I throw in the towel.

  19. Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food on September 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    I was seriously thinking about this exact same stuff on my way to the gym this morning (in the pitch black, so I understand how hard it is to get motivated!). If I’m really sick or just completely exhausted I’ll skip my workout. I build in 2 rest days a week to account for the days that I’m worn out and need the extra sleep. I just try to ask myself if I’m skipping over an excuse or a legitimate reason.

    • Hannah @ Sprints and Scones on September 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      +1 on this! I build 2 rest days in and fully enjoy them. Then I feel more motivated on my workout days. I think listening to your body is important… Sometimes we need rest and sleep and that is okay! Other times we just need to do it πŸ™‚

      • Fitnessista on September 18, 2013 at 5:56 pm

        i think it’s important to distinguish between tiredness and laziness. i can definitely tell when i’m REALLY tired, or just feeling kind lazy

  20. Taylor @ Single-tracked Mind on September 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    I generally have very few problems self-motivating, but I workout in the 5am-hour, and sometimes I’m plain too tired to get out of bed due to poor or not enough sleep. I’ll usually sleep in and work out and lunch in those cases.

  21. Jackie on September 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I skip usually because I know it’ll be hard. It’s a terrible excuse!

  22. Erin @ The Almond Eater on September 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I would say having a workout plan is a huuuuuge motivator for me, and I usually have to plan it out at least 12 hours in advance so I can get excited for my workout. Otherwise, I will spend too much time at the gym thinking about what I want to do instead of just doing it.

  23. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs on September 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I just try to be honest with myself and make sure that if I’m saying I’m “too sore” or “too tired” that it’s really the truth — sometimes thore are true reasons, and sometimes they’re excuses. Knowing the difference is so important!

  24. Karissa on September 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Definitely being tired or feeling like there’s not enough time!! It USED to be that I just honestly didn’t enjoy it- took me years to find workouts that I didn’t feel FORCED to do, but that I actually enjoy (at least usually)- so now, I honestly look forward to it! However, there are definitely some days when I’m just so tired- and a few where I just wanna be a slug!

  25. Anna @ Fitness Γ  la Anna on September 18, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    I tend to get a bit caught-up with other things like hanging out with friends, cooking, errands, tv shows…and then ‘run out of time’ for exercise. I regret it every time I do this! I have started scheduling in time in my weekly agenda for exercise to keep me accountable and I have found this super helpful πŸ™‚

  26. Emily @ Emily Rocks the Road on September 18, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    I played the excuse reel this morning and ended up skipping my workout. Now I’ll have to fit it in tonight among the usual evening distractions and chaos, which I hate. Fortunately my hubby is my biggest workout cheerleader/butt-kicker, so I know I can count on him to help me make sure it gets done πŸ™‚

    I have the hardest time working around the “I’m tired.” I’m ALWAYS tired, usually because I will either eat crappy during the day or stay up too late on Pinterest or some equally time-wasting website. When I’m tired because of my poor choices I suck it up and get my butt out there. But if I’m tired to the point where I’m starting to get sick I’ll taper it back with a gentle reprimand to myself to make better choices!

  27. Amber on September 18, 2013 at 1:57 pm


    I work full-time (and then some. Very high-stress office job), have a 14-month old daughter, and an often traveling husband (about 4-5 days out of the week, I feel like a single working mom).

    Before I had Baylie, I used to live for long runs in the evening, and weekend mornings. Now, I don’t know where to find the time or the energy. Lately, I’ve been squeezing a very quick gym sesh into my lunchbreak at work, when I have a break (thanks to your quick workout routines!!). But I miss my runs SO MUCH!

    • Fitnessista on September 18, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      i feel ya on that. as a mom, it’s so important to take care of yourself by resting, but also by getting in the things you enjoy! keep up the amazing work <3 xo

  28. s on September 18, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    my excuse is also that i’m too tired (and frankly, not that motivated). but i’m trying to change my diet and make more time by eliminating distractions (facebook, etc) so i can have some time to think and get in a good workout. wearing my workout clothes helps – then all i have to do is get out the door!

  29. Ashlee@HisnHers on September 18, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    I like to schedule my workouts for the week so I KNOW I can fit them in. If I know I have plans at night, I will run on my lunch break. If I know I’m busy at work, I’ll plan an easy dinner and run at night instead. Planning helps so much!

  30. Jacquelyn @justjacq on September 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    My number one excuse is my bed is too comfy! I work out at 6am and sometimes the lure of my cozy sheets is too much to resist!

  31. Reenie on September 18, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Truth…. I’d rather sit down and drink a glass of wine!!! HA!!! πŸ˜€

    • Fitnessista on September 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      i hear ya!

  32. Katie on September 18, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Haha, “fall onto the toliet”! Love it πŸ™‚ We’ve all been there.

    I definitely get a lot of the “I don’t feel like it” days……..but I try and remember as long I’m as consistent, the easier it is! It’s so hard to miss a few days of exercise and feel like I’m starting from scratch.

  33. Julie on September 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I never schedule a day off but skip one spontaneously. For example, I skipped yesterday’s to go hang out with a friend after work.

  34. Laura on September 18, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    If I’m really not feeling it, I’ll do hatha yoga. I know it will make me feel better overall. But OMG Gina, I love your blog and “If it’s the debilitating kind of soreness, like when you have to fall onto the toilet” was hilarious and the PERFECT analogy. Been there! πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on September 18, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      haha glad i’m not the only one! i forgot i had written that and was going to make it something more proper, but i spaced it haha

  35. Liza on September 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    If I’m not feeling well. I have Lupus and some days I just feel like crap and know I can’t workout. It’s a fine line though because working out also helps me stay well and keeps the disease at bay.

  36. Meggie on September 18, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    This is a great post! I NEVER regret working out once I am in the process- its just the getting up and getting it started that’s tough. Time is my biggest excuse. Since having a child, I’m so tired at the end of the day all I want to do is rest after she goes to bed. My solution lately has been Shaun T’s new Focus T25 videos- only 25 minutes and its a great workout!

  37. Alissa on September 18, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    My top reason is that I am tired from either stay up to late or my husband getting home from the rare overnight shift & I just want to cuddle in bed with him for that hour. It’s never not been worth it πŸ™‚

  38. Jodie on September 18, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Hi Gina

    I pre ordered but have not received it yet. Just letting you know.

    • Fitnessista on September 18, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      i just texted sasha- yours is packed up and being sent out tomorrow with the rest of the preorders! xoxo

      • jodie on September 19, 2013 at 6:42 am


  39. Sarah on September 18, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Yeah zumba! It was so so much fun and a great workout. And love solibeat too!

    • Fitnessista on September 19, 2013 at 12:26 am

      :)!!! thanks again for coming out to dance with us. so happy you like the dvd, too! xoxo

  40. Charity Dawn on September 18, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    I skip my work outs for sleep!!!
    I work 5pm to 130 am monday to friday and get up with my son at 7-730 am. I try to go on the treadmill through his first nap however somedays I’m just to dang tired and nap while he does.

  41. Lucie on September 19, 2013 at 3:21 am

    I hardly ever skip my workouts because I make a plan that works well pretty much all the time (note: I don’t have kids > much easier). but sometimes I do when I feel my body is too tired and I overdid it. Also sometimes I replace a weight lifting session or a run with a Yoga class, because I feel that this is what my body needs right now.
    Best motivation – new workout clothes!!

    • Mila on September 19, 2013 at 7:56 am

      “Best motivation – new workout clothes!!”

      Yes!! seriously! that’s how I kick myself out of a workout rut! πŸ™‚

  42. Jas on September 19, 2013 at 4:43 am

    I live in London, UK, so most people don’t own cars and therefore walk or take public transport to their nearest gym. I find that walk in the rain/cold/dark the biggest turn off for getting to the gym. They way I get over it is by treating my walk as part of the workout – that counts right??

  43. Karen @ Runner Girl Eats on September 19, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Generally, I want to workout but sometimes the “I’m too tired” excuse comes up. Most of the time I have enough energy to bust through it so I take it one step at a time. Put on the clothes, go to the gym, do a quick warmup, usually I snap out of the funk and get into it. If not, I head home and take a nap πŸ™‚

  44. Amit on September 19, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Being too tired is the number-one reason for me to skip workout. Then I asked myself whether I am really tired or not. If the answer is yes I take rest otherwise I go for workout.

  45. Jessica on September 19, 2013 at 9:31 am

    The excuse I use is that I have the kids to deal with, and I’m not aggressive enough about asking for help so I can have alone time (workout time).

  46. Amanda on September 19, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I work third shift so when I’m tired….I really mean it. It’s tough when I have bouts of insomnia and I just can’t rally the mental energy to workout.

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