Why guilt is holding you back in your fitness journey
Have you ever been in a situation where you "treat" yourself to some delicious, mouth-watering, you feel like you shouldn't be eating it but you do it any way, type of food. Or have you ever told yourself you're going to get in a few days of working out this week but you get caught up in your weekly priorities, the weekend hits, and
you realize you didn'tkeep your promise to yourself? Most of us who are in this boat usually build up a sense of guilt after thinking about our goals, and how our actions have led us to a place where we feel like we're constantly going to be playing the catch up game. Its like... can't I just have a cheeseburger or miss a day at the gym and be ok with that?
The answer is simple... yes, you can! And here's why.
1. You don't have to be so hard on yourself
There are way too many things in life that stress us out... so why should food and workouts be one of them? Feeling guilty about what you eat or what you didn't do to stay active this week is not going to help you in your journey. Guilt can not only raise your cortisol and blood pressure levels, it can also create an unhealthy place within your mind when it comes to what you do and eat. Now, I'm not saying throw your goals out of the window and have a free-for-all. I'm saying, make a plan, stick to it the best you can, and if you fall of track, don't be so hard on yourself about it. Leave it in the past, move forward and switch your thinking to concentrate on the things you did well.
2. You should build habits that last
If you're trying to lose weight, build muscle, get stronger, eat cleaner, or whatever your goals are to become a better you, remember that you need to build the habits necessary to maintain these goals. You can't expect to keep your weight off, maintain your muscle, or not go back to making poor food choices if you don't take the time to build the habits you need to keep the journey going. Sure using a Whole 30 plan, a Bodybuilding.com growth program or taking Cross Fit twice a week can help you reach your goals, but you have to stay consistent long enough to switch your old habits. And keep in mind that when you do change your habits, you don't have to feel guilty about enjoying the things you once indulged in. Eventually, the longer you build the habits, the less time you'll go back to the things that were setting you back. You might even get to a point where you're not interested in those things anymore.
3. You can use balance days for your sanity
Sometimes when we are trying to make changes to our lifestyle, the urge to binge on the things we take away from ourselves sends us into a downward spiral. And then guess who shows up at our front door all over again?... the guilt train. This is why it is so important to take balance days. Days where you can take a minute and enjoy things that make you happy, whether that's food, rest, a drink or two, time with friends and family, whatever it is. This will cut down on your urge to binge and will give you a mental break from constantly thinking about what you "should" or "shouldn't" be doing.
Fitness is not just about aesthetics. You can have abs but not be fit internally. Your mental state surrounding your fitness journey is critical to being fit inside and out. Sure it's ok to expect yourself to do a great job at staying on track, but if you fall off, get right back on and don't dwell on what threw you off, even if that thing is yourself. You're human, and it's ok when you're not perfect. The sooner we embrace that, the better we'll do.
If you need help creating a plan to build habits and help you stay on track you can always contact me.
Remember to take it one day at a time!