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No More Excuses: It’s Time to Make a Change

Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team

You live a busy life. At different phases, your life may feel busier than others. When this happens, it can be exceptionally easy to put the things you feel you can control on the backburner, while attending to more pressing matters. Oftentimes, this means moving your self-care to the backburner. 

Whether it’s byway the lifestyle behaviors you choose to have or those you opt to get to “when things calm down,” letting your health come secondary (or even lower on the list of priorities) is not the answer. Reason being? You will not be able to attend to anything if you are not well—mentally, emotionally and physically.

Before you find yourself too far from the version of you that truly feels most like yourself, consider this your reset—your invitation to drop any excuse you have for not making a change so your health is (and your are) a priority.

How to Change Your Body

Raincoat Boots

Have you gained weight as you’ve aged? Or do you feel weaker than you did in your youth? Growing older does not need to translate into growing wider, more tired and less strong. What growing older does require is understanding wellness is a moving target and changes as you do.

Changing how your body feels and looks, requires understanding that you must become the force behind the change you want to see. If you want to lose weight, what needs to change? Do you need to wake up earlier to squeeze in a walk through your neighborhood before the family wakes up? Will omitting dessert most days of the week help reduce the number of calories you eat? What is it that needs to change…that you want to change…that you feel you can change, now? 

First step: Meet yourself where you are now, not where you were 20 years ago. Wellness goals change as you do. Instead of having the mindset of “I’m going to run 5 miles each day like I used to when I was 25!” go ahead and give yourself some grace. “I’m going to get myself up and moving for 20 minutes after dinner” is not only more realistic, it’s more achievable and sustainable so you can eventually push yourself further past that point.

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Empower Your Change

It’s true, you may have a long list of things you think you “should” do. Forget about thinking in terms of what you should do and and begin leaning into what you want to do. Do you want to be able to keep up with your kids when playing tag? What will get you there? The answer is what you want to do- not what you need or should do. It’s what you want to do so you can have the stamina to be active with your children.

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Step Toward Change

Once you identify what you want to change and why, be realistic on the way you will get there. For example, hitting the gym every morning before work may not mesh with how your energy naturally flows over the course of the day. If working out at least three days a week at the end of the day when the kiddos are asleep is more in line with how your days unfold, do it. Being active when you’re most inclined to maintain it is the answer.

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If your change is centered around food, be realistic and kind to yourself in the same manner. In lieu of swearing off your favorite indulgent food (e.g.: no one is taking hot chocolate from your hands!), understand how to interact with it. Does allotting room in your overall meal plan for your favorite food’s excess calories make the most sense? Or will bringing its serving size and frequency down a little do the trick?

Over time, you may find the healthier you feel, the less often you crave indulgent foods. Consider this your sweet spot (pun intended). This may indicate the point you’ve started to manage your blood sugar in your favor with the exercise, sleep routine and foods you chose. More rest, movement and nourishment tend to translate into less food cravings.

How to Change Your Mind


Although focusing on a healthy body is an incredible place to start when making change for a healthier you, and is often the emphasis for many, don’t forget what makes you who you are. 

Think back to learning the beauty of others as a child: It didn’t matter if the packaging was pretty if the person inside was not. Same holds true for yourself.

An unhealthy mind and mismanaged emotions can make or break your path to a happier, healthier you. If you’re not feeling like yourself, like you’re treading water all the time and overwhelmed, what you’re feeling is being in a state of stress. Functioning in a sustained fight, flight, freeze or fawn state over an extended period of time will make you sick.1

If you sense your mental and emotional health needs a reboot, consider checking out the following articles from our team to pin-point where to begin:

Change Makers

Rice Cooking Methods

On the course of any journey, you do not need to travel alone. In fact, you may recognize you are better asking others for the tools to get to where you want to go. Whether it is a registered dietitian, personal trainer or mental health counselor, seek assistance from experts. We’re trained to help you feel empowered so you can ultimately live the life you think you deserve.

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Dietitian Services

Our registered dietitian team offers nutrition education for FREE through various platforms. If reading nutrition from a reputable source at your own pace is more to your liking, be sure to check out our articles on topics ranging from eating for brain health to meeting daily whole grain goals. To participate in an interactive workshop, virtual store tour and cook-along, learn more about our virtual nutrition events that rotate monthly. For pressing nutrition questions like how to shop for the best yogurt or which foods to weave into a heart-healthy meal plan, sign up for a 15-minute Discovery Session with one of our consulting dietitians. To ask your question any time of day, contact us directly on our website or email at bewell@bigy.com.

Note: be well™ with Big Y® Dietitian Services cover general nutrition education versus medical nutrition therapy. For one-on-one counseling that will dig deeper into your medical history and needs, our team can guide you to registered dietitians specializing in counseling in your region. Just ask!

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Finding a Personal Trainer

Searching for a gym home can take time. Finding one staffed with properly trained personal trainers may take even longer. Learn more about different certifications for personal trainers and tips for shopping for a fitness center in our “Ready to Get Back at It? Tips for Choosing the Right Gym” article.

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Working with a Therapist

Meeting with a mental health counselor can be the difference between suffering for years with conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety, and thriving. Learn more about the different kinds of mental health practitioners available, and the kind of counseling they provide, in our “Mental Health Awareness” article.

1  Van der Kolk, B. A. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. Viking.

Published 7/31/2023