The 15 Best ''But'' Busters


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/8/2013 12:00 PM   :  110 comments   :  90,022 Views

From time to time, we've all let our excuses get the best of us. Willpower can only last so long, and sometimes, the craziness of this thing called LIFE simply wins against our desires to eat right or exercise. If you're reading this, maybe you've let an excuse or two get in the way of your healthy lifestyle goals recently. If you're ready for your goals and dreams to take priority and win against even your toughest excuses, look no further.
I've heard every excuse for not making health a priority. In fact, I've used many of them myself over the years! But more often than not, I talk back to my excuses—and win.
The next time a "but" gets in the way of your goals, change your thoughts to one of these NEW phrases to regain control and stay on track.
I want to exercise, BUT I can't afford a gym membership.
I want to exercise, SO I'll come up with a list of free and low-cost workout options like:
I want to run, BUT it's too [cold, rainy, hot, snowy, windy] outside.
I want to run, SO I'll plan my runs around the days and times with the best weather, and invest in a few pieces of running gear that make running more comfortable. If all else fails, I'll come up with an alternative workout I can do indoors, whether running on the treadmill or something else.
I want to work out, BUT I have [bad knees, a bad back, an injury, chronic pain].
I want to work out, SO I'll make an appointment with my doctor and/or physical therapist to find out exactly what I can do safely and without pain.
I know I should exercise, BUT I don't know how to get started.
I know I should exercise, SO I'll do everything in my power to educate myself on what to do and how to get started, beginning with:
  • Reading articles in SparkPeople's Fitness Resource Center
  • Asking questions on SparkPeople's Fitness & Exercise Message Boards
  • Joining a fitness challenge at
  • Signing up for SparkPeople's Exercise of the Day email
I want to get fit, BUT I just hate exercise!
I want to get fit, SO I will accept that my goal involves exercising. I will do my best to keep trying new workout ideas until I find something that I do enjoy!
I do want to work out, BUT I am just too busy.
I do want to work out, SO I will make it a priority while cutting back on other things that aren't as important to me. I will find 10-minute chunks of time that I can dedicate to exercise each day.
I want to exercise, BUT I don't have anyone to watch the kids.
I want to exercise, SO I will find ways to include my kids in my efforts to work my workouts around times that they are napping, at school, occupied and entertained.

I want to eat healthier, BUT it's too complicated.
I want to eat healthier, SO I will start with one small step at a time, such as:
I want to eat healthier, BUT I can't afford it.
I want to eat healthier, SO I will purchase foods that fit within my budget and help my reach my goals, even if it's only a few things in my cart. I'll also actively research ways to save money on healthy foods and reallocate money I used to spend on junk foods toward healthier items.
I want to eat better, BUT I hate to cook.
I want to eat better, SO I'll find ways to do that that involve little to no cooking, including:
I want to eat healthier, BUT I hate vegetables.
I want to eat healthier, SO I will focus on eating more of the healthy foods I DO like, and keep trying vegetables in new ways until I find preparation techniques I do like.
I want to eat better, BUT my family won't eat healthier foods.
I want to eat better, SO I'll get my family on board by including them in finding and planning meals that meet everyone's goals.
I want to cook more, BUT I just don't have time.
I want to cook more, SO I will cut back in other areas (like TV watching) that don't serve my goal, and collect quick-cooking recipes that I can make with limited time.
I want to lose weight, BUT it's so overwhelming.
I want to lose weight, SO I'll take it one step at a time instead of overwhelming myself by changing every habit at once. I will also stop beating myself up for not doing everything perfectly all the time, and start celebrating the good choices I do make each day.

I want to lose weight, BUT I don't have support from anyone in my life.
I want to lose weight, SO I will remember that I'm doing it for ME and not for others. I will tell at least one person about my goals whom I can trust, and if I can't find support from friends and family, I will become active in SparkPeople's Community to make friends and get support from people who have similar goals!
Next time a "but" tries to get in the way of your goals, turn it around like the examples above and you won't let your excuses win!
Which "but" buster is your favorite? How have you busted one of your own excuses recently?

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  • 110
    Loved this article. I think my BUT would be
    'I want to get fit but hate exercise', changed to,
    "I want to get fit SO I WILL ACCEPT that my goal involves exercise'.
    That's a great one for me. Enough with denial, time to embrace a goal and defeat my worst enemy...myself. - 10/23/2015   5:02:57 PM
  • 109
    Great! Great! Great!! Thanks for this article, it really helps me and I loved the idea of 'positive affirmations' turning those 'BUTs' into 'SOs'. Saved for future reference! - 3/4/2015   10:05:41 AM
    This is a great article! Thanks so has helped turned my negativity into positive "can do".......... - 11/10/2014   9:11:06 AM
  • 107
    Great article, very helpful!

    - 7/27/2014   12:33:56 PM
  • 106
    My biggest issue is I want to do this, but my SO doesn't seem to understand that if I am taking time out to cook healthier, exercise 4 times a week, and do meal planning. I don't have as much time to clean the house and he should help out more. There are only so many hours in the day. - 4/4/2014   8:15:18 AM
  • THOMPSON7802
    i always get lazy in winter time ,if hit my goal i will work out 3day week for 30 mintues thank you .i find out not good keep lose weights and gain back. so have keep weight off for my goal is 40 pound - 4/2/2014   7:26:36 PM
  • 104
    The batch cooking has really helped me out alot. I also love the crockpot and soups, so now and then I get 2 crockpots going with a variety of beans, veggies, and sometimes different meats. This was how we learned to enjoy beans. This is a great time saver and I'm so thankful when I just don't want to cook, I can pull one out of the freezer and un-thaw.

    I also have a goal of min 10 minutes exercise daily. On the days I just don't want to exercise, or I find every excuse, I do something for at least 10 minutes, just move in some manner, nothing formal, and I normally keep going. - 4/1/2014   6:59:50 AM
  • 103
    Being lazy and fast is super easy for me, losing weight... not so much but I am trying my butt off, literally. These little tips will really help with not being lazy and fat anymore!! - 12/9/2013   3:02:23 AM
  • 102
    Add this to my favorites,, people always have their excuses I push thru them like fog and come out on top of my own race!! Have an amazing day everyone!! (no excuses!!) ;-) - 12/5/2013   11:28:50 AM
  • 101
    My favorite excuse is "But I've already done my cardio, and that's the hard part. I don't really need to do strength training today." I use this one on myself at least once a week. Groan!! I need to change this to "I've already done my cardio, so I'm going to reward my efforts with 10 minutes of resistance training." - 7/2/2013   8:49:32 AM
  • 100
    Interesting. - 6/9/2013   1:29:25 AM
    Freezer cooking makes your entire life easier, if you can bear to not be spontaneous. - 5/20/2013   8:02:10 PM
    To MissLauraQ72, and everyone else in her shoes (like me), I have found that taking the first 10 minutes of my lunch break at work to go for a fast-paced walk is an amazing help. It gets rid of a lot of stress and helps me feel better.

    A funny thing: for a long time I kept getting telephone calls from a friend every single morning and she'd talk for almost 1 1/2 hours! She was having a lot of trouble, so I couldn't stop her and didn't have the nerve to hang up. So, instead of my morning run, I walked around and around my livingroom coffee table. I couldn't believe that it did almost the same amount of work on my body as my normal morning run. I almost came to miss it when I finally managed to make her stop. - 5/15/2013   5:22:24 PM
  • 97
    If and when we find it important enough we always find a way.
    learning to find yourselves important enough is the way to put the buts on hold.
    - 5/15/2013   7:07:00 AM
    Need to show my colleagues this and ask them, for the umpteenth time, how often they have uttered these to me!!! - 5/15/2013   3:27:55 AM
  • 95
    This is certainly keeping it real! Very effective excuse busters! - 5/14/2013   10:48:03 PM
  • 94
    This is certainly keeping it real! Very effective excuse busters! - 5/14/2013   10:47:55 PM
  • 93
    I recently started going on walks. The first time a few days ago I couldn't find my other good tennis shoe. So instead of just crawling into bed like I wanted to, I put on a pair of not great shoes and just DID it. I got blisters on my heels like I expected, but I DID it! and it felt great :) - 5/14/2013   10:30:08 PM
  • BSLMKH1954
    Great way to remind us that there is no "but" only "I will". - 5/14/2013   9:25:33 PM
  • 91
    Spoken just like a person without kids and having to juggle your life, yourwork, their lives (times how many kids you have) along with the work of house/wife. When you have to sacrifice exercise (which I love) to take your kid to their sports/music/school function - you let me know - K? - 5/14/2013   6:54:51 PM
  • 90
    The painful truth:)) - 5/14/2013   1:54:23 PM
  • 89
    Thanks Nicole. This is useful redirection of negative thinking. What hit home for me is that I want to eat healthier AND I hate to cook.
    I'll check out the 15 minute recipe thing. - 5/14/2013   11:43:36 AM
    Great blog! - 5/14/2013   7:01:28 AM
    Great blog!
    I like the fact that it gives alternatives to things that seem insurmountable.
    - 5/14/2013   6:15:57 AM
  • 86
    LOL !
    I was expecting a blog about "butt exercises"
    EXCELLENT blog ! - 5/14/2013   3:17:33 AM
  • 85
    This is the BEST blog I've read in a long time. I love that you provided real solutions to turning around your thinking -- form looking for ways out to looking for ways IN. Thank you for showing us a better way to think! - 5/11/2013   1:29:15 PM
    Love the article. I have made a number of the excuses. Going to work on getting my 'But' buster working. - 5/10/2013   9:18:13 AM
  • 83
    This is GREAT! I have soooo many "buts" it's not even funny! I am going to eliminate my "but" immediately!!! - 5/9/2013   7:12:55 PM
  • 82
    Glad I read this one today. I was just thinking that today is my run day and "I don't know if I will have time today", but...........I have a goal to reach and am going to push my way forward. Thanks!!!!! - 5/9/2013   1:16:07 PM
  • IN102WIN
    "But" I love these!!! Great tips! - 5/9/2013   9:20:08 AM
  • 80
    Just what I needed to read today. I have had to stop my regular walks due to knee pain and back pain. I think I will call the doctor's office today to find out what can be done about it. Does anyone know the best cardio exercises (calorie burning) for those of us with chronic knee pain and/or lower back pain? - 5/9/2013   8:55:44 AM
  • 79
    This is just what I needed today! Thanks. - 5/9/2013   8:32:51 AM
  • 78
    Yup. It's all a matter of choices, not reasons. - 5/9/2013   6:02:34 AM
    My biggest but was usually the "too cold, rainy, windy" one. However, last August I rescued a Lab mix who LOVES to walk!. So...we walk, every day- even when it's below freezing, or windy, or if it's raining we go after it stops. This past Sunday it rained all day so we couldn't go, and she pouted all afternoon! - 5/9/2013   4:32:15 AM
  • 76
    Love the Blog and excuses for not committing to become healthy and fit. You have to put yourself first because it is your health. - 5/9/2013   1:22:08 AM
  • 75
    Love the Blog and excuses for not committing to become healthy and fit. You have to put yourself first because it is your health. - 5/9/2013   1:22:07 AM
  • 74
    This was really great blog. I sooo need to work on many of these "but's". Thank you! - 5/8/2013   7:26:27 PM
    Absolutely powerful, powerful, POWER-FULL! Thanks so much, Coach Nicole :) This is going to my Favorites too. - 5/8/2013   5:45:07 PM
  • 72
    I read this because I didn't want to work-out today. I am now going to pout about it on the way home and then work-out. Finding motivation this week has been really tough. I am happy I read this article because it would have been really easy to just be lazy tonight. Thank you for the article! - 5/8/2013   3:51:30 PM
  • 71
    I want to lose weight, but I'm afraid I will have to change who I am...that's my biggest "but" and constant battle. - 5/8/2013   3:31:15 PM
  • 70
    Yep, this is perfect. I have used many of these in the past! - 5/8/2013   1:56:48 PM
  • 69
    Awesome.. and to the point.... i have used so many of these excuses in the past... no more buts... - 5/8/2013   12:58:24 PM
  • 68
    They ALL are relevant to me at sometime in my life, right now I am very motivated and will try things to keep me there, instead of buts... The ones that fit me most today are: I hate to Cook and Eat more vegetables, healthy ones. - 4/24/2013   10:24:40 AM
  • 67
    I really needed this message from Spark Coach today! I have not been well for quirte a while now, and decided I would NOT exercise today (and didn't yesterday, either). But after reading this and some of the comments, I am urged to push myself to do SOMEthing today...even if to stand on my body-vibration-machine and get the blood flowing. I like this comment from CHRISSYM30, who felt the way I do: "The point is, any "but" can be turned into a "so". - 4/10/2013   9:55:33 AM
  • 66
    I want to eat healthier - but 'it's too complicated'. I go just one step at a time. It's quite a juggling act for me to actually balance out the RIGHT AMOUNT of Carb/ Fat / Protein and CALS at the end of the day....and EXHAUSTING sometimes. So, a PERFECT day for me is looking at my nutrition summaries and seeing I made ALL MY NUTRITION QUOTAS. THAT is a great feeling. - 2/12/2013   11:08:32 AM
  • 65
    This is a very good motivator--love it - 2/4/2013   6:06:18 PM
    Love this article! It really helps to see how you can turn a negative around into a postive. No excuses!! - 1/23/2013   1:36:16 PM
  • 63
    I think I have used every one of these. Love the trading of so for but - 11/1/2012   8:31:24 AM
  • 62
    Great article. My "but" is usually, "I want to work out, but I have a headache." I actually had one today, but I went right ahead with my workout. Took something before workout and by the end of my workout I was already feeling a bit better. I heard that exercise actually releases chemicals that will help with headaches but not sure if that's true or not. The point is, any "but" can be turned into a "so". - 10/26/2012   8:05:55 PM
  • 61
    Fantastic ideas for curing the "BUTs"! - 10/12/2012   11:05:03 AM

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