10 “I’ll Never Lose Weight Excuses” Debunked à la Henry Ford!

Often we nutritionists study books written by nutritionists, learn from blogs written by food aficionados, get data from scientists who specialize in the field of nutrition, and run webinars on, you’ve got it, dietary intake. Therefore, in order to keep from getting a little insulated and maybe even slightly stale (sorry, food related adjective alert!) it can be good to get outside your particular field of endeavour and see what wisdom someone else may offer on the subject.

Though I’m no expert on Henry Ford’s history or his rise to fame in the automotive field, I have come to appreciate a number of the statements he made during his founding and development of the Ford Motor Company. Today it dawned on me that much of what he said has value far beyond what many would consider his area of expertise. And in fact, as would be indicated by the number of times I’ve quoted him in In Balance webinars or written material, he probably has a lot to say about weight loss.  Today, therefore, I’m going to let Mr. Ford’s wise and still-pertinent-today words debunk 10 common excuses people give for not attempting weight loss.

1. I’ll never be able to lose weight.

Ever searched the recesses of your brain for why you got derailed from or haven’t even begun the weight loss journey? Often down in those murky depths is the belief that losing weight is simply not possible . . . for you. And in Henry Ford’s words, “Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you are absolutely right.” Thank goodness, we have the ability to change what we believe.

2. I tried losing weight; it didn’t work for me.

Weight loss is a 60+ billion dollar/year industry with most dieters making 4-5 weight loss attempts a year1. If you have failed at weight loss, you are not alone. The key is to see Ford’s wisdom in recognizing those failed attempts as “simply an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

3. Now is not a good time for me to try losing weight but I’m going to get around to it.

If In Balance had a dollar for every time someone talked to us about losing weight somewhere down the road, we would be a very high net worth company. Barring extreme circumstances (serious illness, deep emotional issues), however, talking about losing weight at some point in the future is not helpful. For readers that are parents, you have a heritage of health needing to be passed down to your children; for all readers, it is time to line up what you have said is important to you with what you are walking out. As Henry Ford clearly exemplified, “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” Now is actually an excellent time to lose weight.

4. Losing weight takes too much time, costs too much money, won’t work in my family setting, involves too many vegetables, doesn’t fit into my travel schedule, means I can’t eat what I want etc. etc. etc.

Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain.” Rather than looking at what can’t be done, what are you already doing that can be amplified? Where are you currently spending time and money in ways that are not supportive of your weight loss goals? How can you reallocate those resources to better assist you reaching optimal health? Put on your Ford quality thinking cap and come up with a solution.

5. Looking at weight loss in a new way is not really in my comfort zone.

The In Balance approach to weight loss and wellness is unique. Rather than a one-size-fits-all, low-fat, artificial sweetener, exercise like a fiend “magic bullet,”IB takes a real food (like the people of Mr. Ford’s era ate), real bodies (pretty sure you are not meant to look like an airbrushed cover model), real health (that means appropriate body weight set on a foundation of physical energy, mental alertness, balanced mood and sound sleep) approach. Henry Ford was an extremely innovative man. He knew, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” How about this time losing the weight and gaining the health for REAL!

6. Losing weight is going to take too much soul-searching.

If losing weight were as simple as eating less and exercising more, we would not be in the midst of an obesity epidemic with over 30-40% of children and adults in the US2 () alone, overweight or obese. The fact is there are many factors besides food intake and activity that play a role in someone carrying excess weight, with attitude and emotion being primary considerations. Thinking—exploring and unraveling emotional connections to food and increasing mental strength—is essential to weight loss. In Ford’s words, however, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.” Thankfully, Ford also had something to say about hard work . . .

7. Losing weight is too hard.

Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs. Even the hard work of soul-searching can be broken down into manageable, bite-sized portions. Work hard, but take it a day at a time. If you have already taken one of In Balance’s 4Real or Real8 programs and have a head full of wellness knowledge and a heart full of passion for health but a gap in putting that knowledge and passion into action, consider registering for IB’s Real101 daily program of journaling about a critical question and formulating a simple concrete action plan. Our small jobs add up to one big success story!

8. I don’t have what it takes to lose weight.

We all come from different families of origin (and all that entails), have different personalities, varying amounts and types of education and different bodies types. We all, however, are created with a small core of what we need to succeed in life. It’s why people with even difficult upbringings, who have experienced significant set-backs and who may not have had some of the “breaks” that others have had create beautiful art, make amazing discoveries, sit at the heads of corporations, become excellent parents, are true and loyal friends and achieve great emotional and physical health. As usual, Ford says it more succinctly, but none the less true: “We all start with all there is, it’s how we use it that makes things possible.

9. I’ve tried every weight loss plan out there. Nothing works.

If you have tried every book, every program, every diet pill, every shake, and every “saw it advertised on TV” exercise gadget that you’ve come across in the past couple of decades and have failed to lose weight, then a) you have come a long way toward success and b) you have gained a lot of information about yourself and what does and doesn’t work for you in the field of weight loss. Success is 99% failure; you are well on your way!

10. I’m afraid to even take another kick at the weight loss can.

One of the greatest discoveries a person makes, one of their great surprises, is to find they can do what they were afraid they couldn’t do. Enough said.

Henry Ford had a lot to say about how to create great automobiles. He also had a lot to say about how to create a great life! Which quote is most inspiring to you? Do you have any other favourites that aren’t already on the list? How can we help you on your journey?

1 http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/12/prweb10278281.htm

2 https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@sop/@smd/documents/downloadable/ucm_319588.pdf


  1. There’s really no valid excuse for anyone – everyone – who wants to lose weight. Great article, Brenda – and thanks to Henry Ford for providing quotes that parallel so well with In Balance!

    • Brenda Wollenberg

      You’re welcome Karen and I know . . . who’d have thought there would be so many connections between a particular facet of the automobile industry and a holistic wellness and weight loss program!

  2. Lyndsay

    Great article Brenda, thank you!

    • Brenda Wollenberg

      Thanks Lyndsay . . . had a lot of fun writing it . . .who would have thought there would be so much great application from such a unique source!

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