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Queen of Your Own Life

The Powerful Negative Force of Excuses | The Battle for You

By Cindy Ratzlaff

I was up very early yesterday morning, all ready to begin my mental and emotional Spring cleaning.  I’m banishing the excess weight that tugs at my energy, leaves me feeling “less than” and gives me excuses to avoid being the woman I am meant to be.  I’ve decided that I need to take small steps toward change, literally.  So I’m going to wear a pedometer and walk 10,000 steps a day.  I’m also following a moderate, lower carbohydrate food plan but I know that the exercise is key, and I’ve always struggled with consistency in the past.  That was my plan, but here’s how my day really went.


First, I search for the pedometer and can’t find it.  The voices in my head say, “Oh well, I guess you can’t start today.” But I’ve already committed to the Queen community and to my best friend that I’ll start today, so I keep looking.  Aha, I find it.  But the batteries are dead.  I’d have to take a shower, get dressed and drive to the store to get new ones.  So the voices in my head say, “Maybe this isn’t such a good idea.” But again, I’ve made a commitment. So I keep looking and find a new pedometer, one I gave my husband two years ago that hasn’t even been taken out of the package–the vaccum packed hard plastic kind that requires an engineering degree to open. I work up a sweat just freeing the pedometer from the package, but finally, I’m ready to ready the fine print instructions and set it up.  But I’ve misplaced my reading glasses.  Those voices in my head are now screaming. I get it set up and go to the basement to walk on my treadmill. I flip the power switch and nothing.  It’s broken (probably from lack of use).

Now I’m exhausted so I check my e-mail, Facebook, and website messages.  Suddenly it’s two hours later.  The voices in my head say, “You’ll never get to 10,000 steps today. It’s noon and you haven’t done a thing.”


I call Kathy to tell her I can’t start today and she reminds me that laughing at the voices quiets them. She asks me what else I need to do today and we make a plan.  I’ll go to the grocery store to stock up on the healthy food I need for my meal plan and just see how many steps that takes before I give up on this day. So I drive to the store and shop.  I unload the groceries (and a couple of nice plants that caught my eye), and now the dog needs to go out.  So out comes the leash and off we go. Now he’s old and has a torn ACL so we don’t go far, but at least I’m outside.

Then back to my home office to catch up on a webinar recording I wanted to hear.  I decide to march while I listen.  I do 5 minutes or so of marching, and when I’m tired I look at the number on the pedometer and it’s nearly 7,000 steps.  Now I’m feeling as though my goal for today really can be accomplished, so I throw another load of laundry in the wash, pop the veggies and roast into the oven on low and grab my coat and take a sunset walk.

I did it! And, it’s all because I told you all that I would and I didn’t let the annoying frustrations of my day stop me. Excuses are lurking around every corner and for today, I will not give in.  Today’s excuses were silly ones and some days the excuses will be more serious. Thank you for standing witness as I try to conquer this old habit and regain better health.  I appreciate being held responsible.

How can I help you? What habit or thought pattern do you want to banish? Let’s name them so we can kick them to the curb.

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16 Responses to “The Powerful Negative Force of Excuses | The Battle for You”

  1. Divaeva says:

    *high fives* You go girl! 🙂

  2. Neiser says:

    I need to banish all the negative chatter/thoughts in my head. I have a chronic illness which is currently flaring. I also have a new team of doctors which is very stressful. I was in the White Coat Resort (hospital) two weeks ago. I need to learn how to navigate these flares and the doctor stress without giving in to the negative chatter in my head. Prednisone doesn’t help matters.

  3. cindy says:

    And to you, too Queen Eva! Thank you for the encouragement.

  4. cindy says:

    Chronic pain can cloud everything and make it very difficult to care for yourself. Do you have someone close to you who can be your “health advocate?” That friend’s job would be to be with you during doctor visits to act as a second set of ears to hear what they say and recommend so you can make your decisions away from the stressful environment of the doctors office. If not, even taking notes and giving yourself permission to “think about it” might help. No matter what the cause, that negative self talk is always ready to take us down. We use laughter to banish it. We’ve even read that forced laughter can help. How about saying this to yourself each day, “HA! I laugh at this illness,” or “Keep on moving. This is not your home.” We’re cheering for you and today we’ll laugh at disease, in your honor. You are so much stronger, wiser and more capable than ever before and every day is your victory. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us.

  5. Candy says:

    Boy, I needed to hear this today. After working around the house all weekend, sitting down and having my muffin top burst over the top of my jeans, reality gave me a big hug around the middle!!! Thank you for the reminder that the phrase “there’s always tomorrow” is sometimes NOT a good thing. I wonder how long I can keep “Let’s get physical, physical. I wanna get physical…” in my head? Good luck Queen Cindy….You have inspired me today!!!!

  6. Alison Veres says:

    New to this site. Feel right at home here. Huzzah for small victories! (and victories of all sizes.) As far as I’m concerned, perseverance is right up there with patience as a virtue. And so I praise you, virtuous queen. You are mighty, indeed. And your 10,000 steps are most righteous!

  7. Kyle says:

    Congratulations on not listening to those Mongols.

    I have a lot I want to change and banish from my life! Oh, where to start. 🙂

    Exercising each day is now a goal. Whether it is 10 minutes, 20 minutes – taking the dogs for a walk, I will do it.

    The largest Mongol I want to banish is procrastination. It is so easy to put things off to tomorrow. Working from home as a virtual assistant tends to feed into that Mongol. So, today, I commit to eating at least one Frogish Mongol each day. Today will be cleaning my office.

    Thank you for the great blog and the Queen-ness!

  8. cindy says:

    We love it Queen Kyle! We’d love to see pictures of that clean office. Feel free to post them to our Facebook page ~ you’ll inspire others!

  9. cindy says:

    Thank you so much for the support Queen Alison (and for being here). We like the idea of small victories.

  10. cindy says:

    We like the idea of a soundtrack for our day, Queen Cindy! Can we borrow yours?

  11. So very proud of you! You can do this!!!

  12. @Neiser I have suffered from Fibromyalgia for years and understand how very hard it can be to motivate yourself when you hurt and are exhausted…but have found that getting out, doing one step at a time has worked for me. At first that was really all I could do, now I walk 2-3 miles most days and some up to 8! Cheering you on fellow Queen!! As requested by Cindy and Kathy my blog I wrote the day they started this challenge. http://ruby-rubymusings.blogspot.com/2011/04/so-sayeth-me.html

  13. cindy says:

    Bravo to you Queen Stephanie!

  14. Neiser says:

    Thank you all. I am fortunate as my husband attends all the important doc visits. I think that this stay at the White Coat Resort and high dose prednisone clouded my attitude. I can usually find the humor in the absurdity of it all. I think my new affirmation for the month will be that “I laugh at this illness”.

  15. Now I’m exhausted so I check my e-mail, Facebook, and website messages. Suddenly it’s two hours later. The voices in my head say, “You’ll never get to 10,000 steps today. It’s noon and you haven’t done a thing.”

    Boy, does that sound like my morning. I’ve just gotten my noon alarm (for prayer/meditation) and I haven’t done any of the tasks I set for myself this morning. Oy.

    But as you point out, I can keep trying today.

    Anne B.

  16. cindy says:

    What a great idea Queen Anne. We’re going to start setting an alarm to remind ourselves to take a moment for quiet reflection.

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