Dealing with guilt

Fit & Training door thijs

This topic is probably all too familiar to fellow ‘health freaks’: the guilty feeling that can creep up on you after you’ve eaten something you shouldn’t have, or skipped a workout. With social media overflowing with healthy food and exercise pics, it’s almost impossible not to feel guilt; yes, I’m also guilty of feeling guilty sometimes. Over time however, I’ve learned a few things that helped me a lot and that's why I wanted to share them with you.

The most important thing I’ve learned, is to avoid diets. Most diets are about restricting certain types of food. Really make it about a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle contains regular exercise, rest days, healthy eating and unhealthy eating. If somebody tells you, or if you tell yourself, you can’t have something because it’s ‘bad’, it will make you want it more and also make you feel guilty when you had it.

If you have certain foods that make you feel guilty when you eat them, try to rationalize it. You won’t gain 10 pounds from 1 cupcake, or even a whole cake. Food is actually pretty amazing, it is not something you should be afraid of. Food is fuel. Food provides us with energy, makes our bodies function properly. And food can make you very happy because it simply tastes good! Enjoy it, it’s okay to really indulge sometimes!

The same goes for rest days. Your muscles won’t disappear when you skip a workout. Rest days are essential for progress. During rest days, your muscles recover, get stronger and grow. Over exercising can cause injuries and overall fatigue which actually sets you back.

So learn to let it go and move on. Try to accept that it’s okay that you sometimes feel guilty. Do not ‘make up’ for ‘bad choices’ by hours of exercising or restricting. You’re human; we all have bad days. Life is not just about rainbows, unfortunately. If the guilty feeling becomes really bad and overwhelming and your thoughts spiral out of control, then try go outside and take a walk. It helps to take a step back, take a deep breath, clear your mind and rationalize your guilty feeling. Walking outside relieves stress and will get you calm again. This way it can help you to accept the guilty feeling and let it pass.

Do you sometimes experience this guilty feeling? Do you have some tricks to deal with it? Let me know!