Today I overheard a young woman in the locker room at the gym tell her friend “Now I don’t feel so guilty about eating nachos last night” as they were getting ready to leave. I started thinking about how many times I have heard similar comments around the locker room and the gym in general. It makes me terribly sad.
I think it’s time to give up the guilt and stop buying into the whole diet mentality. Here are my top reasons why you should stop feeling guilty and start loving your life more:
- Feeling guilty about eating a certain food generally leads to eating more of it when you do “give in” or “break down” and have some
- Guilt makes “off limits” foods less enjoyable
- Eating a piece of chocolate cake isn’t bad and doesn’t make you a bad person (note that I am not saying that you should eat it all the time, just stop judging yourself when you do decide to have it)
- There are times when squeezing in a workout is actually not helpful in the big picture of your life. If you have a crazy day and there’s no time to work out, relax – it’s not the end of the world! Stressing out about not working out (a.k.a. feeling guilty) is only going to increase your cortisol hormone levels which actually tells your body to store extra energy (i.e. it makes you fatter).
- While it is important to live a healthy lifestyle, I highly doubt that at the end of your life your major regrets will include not getting in that spinning class on October 7th, 2008, or that you ate too many nachos one night.
Stop punishing yourself for not being “perfect” and while you’re at it, give yourself a high five for all the awesome things that you do – chances are you’re not giving yourself enough credit!