Avoiding the Rationalization Trap


One common factor that I find that many individuals deal with regarding healthy eating and weight loss is rationalizing. When an individual rationalizes his/her poor habits can lead to poor results and/or subsequent feelings of frustration and failure. I was like many others that engaged in this type of thinking. It was not helpful for me at all. The one thing that I recognized in myself early on in this process is that I had to stop making excuses and reasons for why I engaged in a certain behavior (i.e. eating junk food vs. healthy option) or why I did not engage in a behavior that would benefit me (exercise vs. watching television). There are so many reasons that I could list but I’ll just share a few so you can get the idea and see if you are engaging in this same behavior as well. I would say things like:

  1. I can’t eat healthy because my kids won’t want to eat what I make.
  2. It is too hard.
  3. My spouse/partner doesn’t want to eat healthy.
  4. I don’t like eating healthy.
  5. My body won’t do that anymore.
  6. I’m lazy.

Rationalizing is a form of self-sabotage. Whenever we state that something cannot be done, it will never be done. It is as simple as that. If you want your life to change, you have to be willing to eliminate the excuses and reasons why you can’t do something and explore ways that you can make it happen. I do recognize that there are some factors that are out of an individuals’ control. I am not talking about those factors. However, if you are making excuses and you have the ability to change the factors that are contributing to your lack of results, then the change needs to occur, on an incremental level.

Of course we know that change does not occur overnight. Yet, what can change overnight making a conscious decision that your life will be different from this point forward. That you will no longer allow others or situational circumstances keep you from reaching your goals. When I made a decision that my life was going to be different, that I was going to make fundamental changes in my eating and fitness habits I was primed for the next step of moving forward and making that declaration a reality through careful planning and assessment.

Did I think it was going to be easy? Of course not. I knew that challenges would be faced, however, I also knew that my life needed to change in a positive way and that by achieving my weight loss goals that I would be setting myself up for a confidence boost that would filter into other areas of my life.

What excuses or reasons do you continually repeat (either out loud or in your head) that sabotage your healthy eating and fitness goals? What positive affirmations can you replace those with?



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