Normally I am a pretty easy going person. I have my ideals and standards, but at the end of the day compassion typically trumps my need for things to get done the way I prefer. It's funny, because I often wonder if I simply just make excuses for myself and others that I disguise as compassion. Now that I think about it, lots of things have become a little more grey the older I get. Not much seems too black and white. For example- it used to be easy for me to say, "if you want to change, start moving". Now I realize, the in order for some people to change, they literally need someone or something to get them moving out of depression in order to initiate change. Of course, a depressed person still has to be willing to engage in the process of change once they get started, and that is where the excuses and continue to factor in.
Excuses are like belly buttons: everyone has one and they ain't worth nothin'. - Author Unknown
I have made excuses for more than I would like to admit in my life. Many of my regrets are for the excuses I made- even subconsciouly, rather than dealing with the situation or taking action in the moment. It would seem that none of us is exempt from excusing ourselves from time to time. Usually for good reasons.
The best definition I could find for an Excuse: An explanation offered to justify or obtain forgiveness.
So as far as I can tell, the difference between a legitimate explanation or reason vs. an excuse is that an explanation is an account of what happened without any attempt to avoid responsibility for ones actions. The person giving the explanation would preface and/or follow it up with something like, "what can I do to make it right?"
An excuse is an account of what happened given in an attempt to avoid responsibility for ones actions. An excuse usually includes a sentiment along the lines of, "It not my fault."
So what is your excuse for your actions vs. your reasons? Do you feel you are constantly apologizing or feeling bad even though deep down you don't think it is your fault or your responsibility?
When it comes to making decisions for your health, you are in complete control. You may not think you are because of work, family obligations, social commitments, church, upkeep on the house, etc., etc., but ultimately you are in control. To avoid what you need and blame it on something else is simply as excuse. To take responsibility for the fact that you don't exercise or eat better means that you acknowledge that you could make better choices and then ask "what can I do to make it right?". Even better, you might let yourself get a little vulnerable and ask, "what can I do to ask for help?"
Let's all strive to avoid making excuses and instead, own up to what we can choose to do to focus our time and efforts on healthy breakthroughs!