There are common occasions where guilt tends to interrupt our positive progress. Don’t get me wrong, guilt is bound to occur. It’s only natural to feel some level of guilt when we divert from our path towards our goals, but I’m talking about the unrelenting and unforgiving kind of guilt that’s not worth holding on to. The kind that skyrockets anxieties, the one that's crippling and detrimental to progress (both physically and mentally).
If guilt creeps up too often, here are some things to think about:
1 “I accidentally ate all the cookies.” (LOLS, sure... it was an accident!)
Don’t worry I’ve been there, where I ate too much of something sweet or something fried or whatever that unhealthy food is (I admit, I have been guilty of late night Mickey D's). I’m not going to pat my back and say it was OK, but if it already happened, then hey why be so hard on myself, tomorrow is another day.
What I can do is think about what happened, why it happened, and what can I do to stop this from happening again? Did I restrict myself from having any sweets at all, despite my cravings? Thus, when I had some I couldn’t control myself and ate a lot more than if I allowed myself some sweets every now and then?
The key thing to consider here is “what can I do to stop this from happening again?” There's a lot more to healthy eating than to succumb to restrictions.
2 “I missed my 7AM workout this morning.”
There are days where the guilt for missing a workout really commanded my attention for the day, especially around the days when I was trying to lose weight after gaining over 9kg (about 19 pounds) during my freshmen year in college.
Here’s a wonderful fact, missing one day of working out is not going to make that much of a difference if I’ve been good other days. Even if I haven’t been good, there’s always tomorrow to make up for it, and the day after, and so on. Life keeps moving and wellness is a lifetime approach, it’s not about what you do one day it’s more about what you do most of the time throughout your life.
3 “I haven’t worked out in 2 weeks.”
Believe it or not I’ve been there too. There are some weeks, usually when I’m off on holidays where I really can’t be bothered to workout and hey, that’s OK! My level of fitness might witness some regress, but it doesn’t mean I can’t work back to where I was. Shifts in routine is OK from time to time. Stopping for a little doesn’t mean stopping forever, it only means I am hitting pause.
All in all what I’ve come to realize is there’s no reason to feel guilty when I diverge from my routine or goals. What’s more important is to always view my pursuit towards health and wellness as a lifelong journey. It’s about making healthy decisions majority of the time, but also forgiving myself for those days I don’t. There are no shortcuts, it’s about living a lifestyle and how much effort I put in throughout that will make the biggest difference.