“I don’t have the time.”
For most of us women, this is one of our all-time favorite cop outs. Ask me why I don’t work out and my answer is, “I’m too busy, I simply don’t have time.” Challenge me on the importance of cooking healthy meals rather than running through a fast food restaurant after a long night at gymnastics with Paris and my answer is, “I would love to but I don’t have time.” Remind me that I have a gorgeous and loving husband who needs my attention and a sense of connection and my answer is, “I don’t have the time or energy.”
Sound familiar? The truth is women don’t have time to exercise, cook healthy meals or spend time with their partners. Between working forty hours or more outside the home, the commute to and from work, after school activities, homework, never-ending cleaning and laundry as well as the rare attempt to cram in the chapter of a book or a mindless television show to shut off the brain…finding additional time is sort of like glimpsing a double rainbow- it’s magical yet rare.
If you’re sort of sighing with relief… in knowing that you are not alone, I would like to ask you a deeper question- “Is this how you really want to live?” You know that you have to stay healthy and that means getting regular exercise and eating properly…if you are in a relationship, you’re in it probably because you love the person you are with. The result of making excuses is only going to create more deep seeded guilt and anxiety over not doing what you know you need to do! I know it’s crazy, right?
I remember sitting in my kitchen and unbuttoning my Mrs. Me Jeans because my belly was hanging over them and it was uncomfortable. “It’s just a muffin top,” I thought- I have two kids! But then I didn’t just feel it but stood in front of a mirror and looked at it, yes my muffin top- Blueberry, peanut butter, chocolate or whatever it was…it was no longer just a muffin but a full blown entrée! How was this possible (I wondered) – overall, I eat healthily…or was I?
That day, I did something different. I decided to stop making excuses. Instead of hiding behind the famous, “I don’t have the time,” I realized that I had to make the time. The fact is, a flat stomach wasn’t a priority to me, but good health was. It dawned on me that at 44 I was collecting an extra 5 pounds or so a year and that by the time I was 50, those Mrs. Me jeans would long be gone and on someone more fit to wear them.
It was time to own up and take stock of my life, the things that mattered most to me- my health, my family, and my sanity. I literally removed the words, “I don’t have time” from my vocabulary. Instead I learned to say, “It’s not a priority.” At least this way I own it.
So I got serious about my health…reflecting back I now see that I was eating way too many carbs, skipping meals, living on lattes and getting exercise in every so often. Now, when I plan my weekly calendar, I make sure that fitness, meal planning, family fun and date night are all built in and color coded in my calendar. I’m treating the things I care about as the priorities they are. I feel more in control of my life because there’s no one to blame things on anymore. All I have to do is look in the mirror and take ownership.
It’s not easy being a woman in the 21st Century- in fact, it’s damn near impossible not to crawl up into fetal position and hide in a corner. The best antidote is to fight back- with fun, adventure, laughter and a commitment to stay focused on the priorities that matter most in your life. To give the time and attention to those things- that at the end of the day, really do matter most. Then and only then will you feel less anxious, more inspired and empowered as a woman, wife, mother, daughter and friend. While only four words, “I don’t have the time”- they hold tremendous power. I challenge you to take that power back starting today by eliminating them from your vocabulary.
Written by Traci Bild Founder of the Get Your Girl Back Movement- (www.GYGB.com)