How often do you “hate” yourself when you do something stupid or wrong? A lot of people will become overly frustrated and even depressed with themselves because of decisions they make. I know I do. When it comes to health and fitness, I bet there is a great deal of depression and anxiety among many. So, how can you forgive yourself when you mess something up when trying to be healthy?
Getting Past Your Frustration
It’s easy to become frustrated when you don’t meet certain expectations of yourself. For example, I wanted to be at my goal weight by Halloween…which didn’t happen. Sure, it made me a bit upset. However, I recognize it’s my fault for not putting in more effort over the summer.
It’s the growing lack of respect for yourself that will cause the most damage to diets and exercise. With each “failure,” you start to lose hope. It begins wearing down your mind until you teach yourself to expect failure.
Learn to Forgive Yourself
Learning to forgive yourself may be a difficult process. Who hasn’t made mistakes they wish they didn’t? In fact, I am plagued by all kinds of decisions from yesterday throughout my entire history.
Focusing too much energy on these events doesn’t help your situation. It’s time to make a change, but only if you’re ready to move on.
Identify and Acknowledge Your Weaknesses
If you want to succeed in the next attempt to be healthier, you need to identify what went wrong. And be honest with yourself. You can’t say that exercise doesn’t work to help you lose weight if you only work out once a week.
I know a lot of people have physical conditions which prevent them from doing certain things to be healthy. I am more focused on those who are like me who have the capacity for good health but choose not to act. And yes, it’s because we made the choice not to do more to live longer.
For example, my biggest issues are motivation and effort. I still have a hard time motivating myself to do what I know is necessary to lose these last 50 pounds. I get wrapped up in a “what ever” mindset at night and do poorly in terms of eating.
Fully Realize Your Goals
One of the most damaging elements of health and fitness is that of not reaching goals. Unfortunately, many people set unrealistic ideas about health and fitness.
For example, I read in Quora recently how one person is looking to lose 20 pounds in a week. It’s not possible without surgery or starvation.
Being realistic with goals means you need to understand how your body reacts. During my peak, I lost 20 pounds in two months. I also worked hard in the beginning.
One step to forgive yourself may involve looking at your expectations. Are you being realistic with what you want to accomplish? Things like this affect your mentality. By setting and meeting smaller goals, you begin to boost your own confidence and self-worth.
Change Your Mindset About Health and Fitness
Many will work for the “perfect” body as they see in magazines, movies or other media. When they don’t reach a certain size soon enough, they give up. Health and fitness is more than just looking good according to the public eye.
Instead of focusing on fitting into a smaller size, realize the practical reasons of being healthy. Being able to clean your house without getting winded, picking up something heavy at the grocery store or even simply living longer are far better reasons.
Personally, I want to make sure my 12-year old daughter can’t beat me in some of the Kinect games we have.
Don’t Dwell on Past Circumstances
Are you someone who dwells on past failings? Sometimes I get stuck in that mindset of playing “what if” for far too long in the day. That’s a bad way to go through life.
Learn from the mistake and move on.
Keep your eyes on the future and do what you can today to make it happen. The past cannot be altered, so do what’s necessary to make tomorrow a better day for yourself.
All dwelling on the past is going to do is keep your mind in a negative space. Forgive yourself for those events in the past and make sure those situations don’t happen again.
Build a Support Structure
Having a strong support structure is important when learning to forgive yourself. After all, it’s easier to do so when someone offers forgiveness themselves. A lot of people are in the same situation, and like the saying goes, “There is strength in numbers.”
Support can come from family, friends or even strangers in a Facebook group. It’s all about surrounding yourself with people who will build you up, not tear you down. And even though the Internet is full of trolls, there are plenty of people who offer kind words or inspiration.
The trick is to understand the difference between constructive critiques and trolling. Ignore the ones who cannot support their argument with logic or common sense. Just focus on those who are working to improve your situation.
Understand People Have Different Physiology
Another issue that plagues many is understanding how everyone has a unique physiology. Yes, most humans share the same type of basic structure. However, we are all separate from each other. This means what works for one person may not work for another.
If a specific diet you’re on doesn’t work for you, another one might. Some of the best diets on the Internet also have people who had little to no success with them.
You need to find what works perfect for you. It’s OK to try different diets or fitness routines, but don’t expect to have the same results as someone else. It’s all about how well your own body reacts to those elements.
Work to Improve Your Abilities
Perhaps one of the best ways to forgive yourself is to work for improvement. Sure you made a mistake, but it doesn’t mean you can’t make things better later on. That’s part of life: to learn and grow.
This is one of the reasons why I like to set personal records. It gives me something to strive for and presents a visual of my progress. Whether it’s being able to whip out 22 push-ups or being able to jog for five minutes without getting winded, it all serves to improve my health.
One of my favorite tools for this purpose is Exercise.com. It keeps a record tally of your progress while comparing your stats to the site’s average user. I’m almost to the site average for push-ups per session.
Forgive Yourself Today to Improve Tomorrow
Have mercy when it comes to making personal mistakes. No one should expect you to be perfect, including yourself. Like I’ve said before, “There is no such thing as failure if you learn something from the experience.” It’s what you do with that knowledge that will make the difference.