5 health lies we tell ourselves
5 common lies that are bad for your health
We’ve all done it haven’t we? We’ve all made some spectacular excuses why we can’t start a fitness regime today because we’re too tired, or we won’t go to the gym tonight because we haven’t got time. It’s often easier to tell ourselves a tiny fib about our physical and mental state of mind, rather than address the truth about our health and fitness. However if you are dishonest about your physical state and abilities, you run the risk of failing to be as fit and healthy as you could and storing up potential problems in the future. To avoid that, here then are a few reminders of the type of things we shouldn’t be telling ourselves!
“I’ll go to the gym tomorrow”
Well as the old adage so articulately tells us, tomorrow never comes. It’s so easy to put off going to the gym for a fitness class or going for a run, especially when the weather is cold and it’s warm and cosy indoors. Yes of course all you want to do is put on your pyjamas after work and watch a TV movie with some popcorn, but remember, you won’t thank yourself come the summer when your swimming costume/trunks are a little too snug. So man/woman up and get out there in the wind, rain and snow. A 30 minute run is just that, half an hour out of your day and when it’s done you will feel great!
“I can’t do it”
Even when people do manage to get out of the door and head to the gym or the park, the next obstacle they put in the way is the common refrain; “I can’t do it”. We are so good at convincing ourselves that we can’t do something, often before we’ve even tried it, because we like to see ourselves as deficient in some way. This is definitely a sentiment that a lot of runners will identify with, especially those who’ve had that conversation in their heads when they argue compellingly they have to stop running. “I feel sick,”, “I’ve got a stitch,” or “my ankle hurts” are typical excuses a runner will have heard in their head a zillion times. The same is true of any type of exercise. If you’re doing it properly it may well hurt a bit, but it won’t last for long and it is totally worth it. A positive mental attitude will go an awfully long way in any fitness regime. Tell yourself you can do it and that it’s good for, because you can and it is!
I’m not overweight – I’m big boned......
This is a clever way of ignoring a health issue that’s often right in front of you. Men and women regularly underestimate their weight and even if the telltale signs are inescapable like when their clothes are tighter, they convince themselves that there is another reason. “I’ve always been big boned,” or “it’s in the genes” are common excuses. It’s true that a BMI can’t tell the full weight picture because it can’t estimate how much of your weight is fat and how much is muscle. Technically if your BMI is over 30 you are obese, although there are thousands of sportsmen and women who would have a BMI of over 30 but carry their body weight in muscle not fat.
The reality is though that it’s important to be honest about your weight. There are very few people who can just eat what they want and not gain a few pounds/kilos. Carrying excess weight will have major health implications later in life, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and various cancers to name but a few. It is essential to be candid about it. You know how you look and feel and you know when you’re kidding yourself. Be honest and set some realistic boundaries and targets with your weight. You’ll look better and feel happier.
It’s okay – a crash diet will sort that out...
Even when the truth does hit home and people accept that that they are overweight, an unhealthy attitude to food and healthy eating can sometime creep in with the belief that a crash diet will fix everything. People like to think they can suddenly drop a stone or two without any problem simply by starting a fad diet. The trouble is although some diets do indeed offer quick results and a short term solution they are often not a long term fix. Indeed many people who try them end up being even more overweight when they return to their regular eating habits afterwards. The only way to long term health and fitness is via a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise.
I don’t drink too much
Alcohol consumption is another of those issues where people regularly underestimate the size of the problem. Because any potential liver damage is unseen for a long time, people tend to regard it as out of sight, out of mind. However alcohol abuse over a sustained period can have catastrophic health implications including obesity, liver damage, heart problems and cancer. Knowing the recommended daily and weekly unit intake for men and women is a step in the right direction for anyone who feels they might be drinking too much. The best way to establish if your alcohol intake is excessive is to keep a diary for a week or two and see how much you consume. You may be surprised and not in a good way.
Want to dispel some more health lies? Here are 10 health myths busted