The Truth Behind Why Ambitious Women “Don’t Have Time” to Workout

Real women's comments on why they, "don't have time"

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Us ambitious, professional, and truthfully, Type-A women want it all; successful career, fulfilling home-life, and a fit and strong body. And with recent blog posts demonstrating how crazy-successful career women have managed to find this desirable balance, it seems possible for the everyday Type-A woman. So if that’s the case then why do we still constantly hear that us workaholic women, “just don’t have time”?

I was curious to know as well and so I went on the search to find other ambitious, Type- A women like myself. I ended up interviewing approximately 20 ambitious, late-twenties/early-thirties women about their struggles, goals, and frustrations in staying fit while managing a busy life.

Specifically I wanted to know:

1. What is truly holding us back from reaching our fitness goals?

2. Is it possible to juggle life, work, and fitness AND succeed in them all?

I was able to really connect with some of these women and received some very deep and truthful responses, and now I want to share some of these responses with you.

Read on, as I divulge the true fitness struggles and dreams of these high-achieving women….

1. What is truly holding us back from reaching our fitness goals?

Lack of healthy prioritizing

– “Injuries. I get really obsessed with working out and don’t take enough rest days. I feel guilty if I don’t make it to the gym. Even if I’m hurting, I’m working out.”

-“Being so busy, I find I’m exhausted at the end of the day, so the motivation to go to the gym is also sometimes lacking. Also being on the go, sometimes grabbing healthy meals is a struggle. “

-“Lack of planning, not making me a priority, and being too busy makes overcoming the challenges hard. If reaching my goals was easy, it would be a fridge filled with prepped meals, a daily gym session with at least two cardio sessions a week, clear targets for weight lifting.”


-“I work 9-5 at an office job and I also work as a freelancer. I find it hard to work, sleep, workout and maintain a social life.”

-“I work 9-5, have a dog at home I always feel I need to get home since he’s alone all day.”

-“As a working professional, all days are not same, and at the moment if I have a bad day (read busy, hectic) at work, my entire motivation/gym schedule, just goes down the drain & I find it some difficult to get the groove back.

*”Time” is such a vague response and so I didn’t accept it as an answer. When I kept asking those ladies that responded with “time”, I started to get deeper, more truthful responses.

This quote nicely sums up the deeper responses I received when I prodded about the “time” answer:

-“Work is crazy right now and so I don’t take the time to stop working and exercise. I guess I should be scheduling it into my day better and blocking out that time in my calendar, but I get into the zone of work and don’t want to stop. There’s so much going on and so much that I want to achieve and it’s hard to step back, see the bigger picture, and go with the flow of life enough to stop working and exercise. It’s something I’m trying hard to work on though because I know that without my own health, my business won’t last or grow.”

Another common response to when I challenged ladies about the “time” barrier, was that they struggle with an “all or nothing” mentality. If we do half a workout we feel “lazy” since we know we can and should workout longer (to be debated….). So we skip the workout all together and say, “I don’t have time.” This mentality was reflected in other responses I received which led to me categorize these responses as:

Perfection (“All or Nothing”)

-“I don’t know what would help me lose the last 10lb and identify a balance or understand when my body is the best state. I can’t tell if I am skinny or strong or should lose weight or need to tone up in certain areas.”

*Think of this statement like having the fear of not being perfect and so you don’t attempt anything in fear of failure. It’s “all or nothing”.

2. Is it possible to juggle life, work, and fitness AND succeed in them all?

There are ambitious, hard-working ladies out there currently living this dream, but there are still many of us who aren’t there yet. For this demographic of young women it appears the biggest downfall comes from our own successful personality; being Type A. We’re determined and work obsessively hard, yet we are perfectionists who also lack balance. Sound familiar?

It takes hard work to incorporate regular exercise into our lives, so when our own hard-working personality stands in our way what can we do to achieve this balance?

You tell me.

When you say you “don’t have time”, what does it really mean?

How have you succeeded with finding that work-life-fitness balance? 

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