We all have them– the times in our lives where we just can’t get to the gym, out for a run, or onto our yoga mats. It’s incredibly frustrating– I know, especially when you have so many goals you want to reach and not enough time in the day to reach them.
Sure, we’re busy, but sometimes we lack motivation too, right? It’s hard to juggle work, fun & health and keeping up the inspiration to do it all. We all have our issues with comparisonitis (trust me, I do too!), our late night guilty treats, our sob fests over ice cream, taco parties and one too many drinks on a Saturday night. All of these things make it extremely difficult to stay on track with our health & fitness while directly influencing our moods, energy and, most importantly, our self-esteem.
I remember when I would do all of these things, quite frequently, and feel terrible for it. I was on a never ending roller coaster of eating well, going to the gym & running to eating junk food, sleeping in and falling into detrimental laps of anxiety that took all of my energy out of me. The guilt and the shame I would give myself always made me feel horrible and was a very ineffective way for me to get back into my fitness routine. This is a very short version of my story, but you can always read more right here.
I lived like this for years until I finally hit a wall of desperation– something had to give. I needed a change. So I started looking into much more radical and alternate ways of staying healthy. I treated my anxiety, healed my gut and stopped putting so much guilt on myself. I started practicing yoga not only as a workout tool, but also a way to manage stress and anxiety. I started really owning up to my time and making my health a priority. When I did something wrong, I would forgive myself and start over. I’d let go of the guilt and paid no attention to shame. Now, when I experience fitness slumps, they are always minor and never have any effects on my self-esteem.
One of the most important things that I took away from making huge changes to my lifestyle was to keep going. To move forward no matter how hard it was, or how defeated I felt. Each day is always a new opportunity to forgive yourself and start over.
When we approach our health & fitness from a loving perspective, we no longer have any guilt or shame from not doing something properly or having cheat days. And since that guilt robs us of precious energy, we are much better off without it. We are all guilty of saying really mean things to ourselves and, if you’re anything like me, you probably put way too much pressure on yourself. But let me ask you, would you ever speak the same way to a small child? How do you think it would feel if you scolded your best friend the same way you punish yourself? What would you say to them instead? Could you say the same to yourself?
So next time you miss a workout for a day a week or month…I encourage you to ask yourself how it happened and how you can do better. And then let it go (no for real, let go of the pain, guilt or shame) and consider each day as a new opportunity to start over. You’d be surprised at how much further you’ll get!