How to Stop Punishing Yourself for Eating "Badly"


*Video summary. Full written blog below.


After eating something unhealthy, do you HAVE to go “work it off?”

Do you say, “I had ice cream so I NEED to go exercise.”

I know you feel like this is just normal because you’ve heard this message your whole life, Eat something bad? Go work it off!

Normal right? Wrong!

The problem with this mindset (and if you have this problem, you know this all too well, like I did!) is three things:

1. You’re living in a never-ending vicious cycle of good and bad (you can never really enjoy food or life)

2. It makes exercise feel like a chore (which can turn into hate)

3. It can turn into further disordered eating and exercise habits (obsessive exercise, binge eating etc..)

Damn Fitness Media

This message comes from fitness companies that promise quick fixes-which if it’s a mainstream company, it’s pretty much all of them. And they’re all over the place.

For these companies to be able to brag that their customers got these CRAZY fast results, they have to go extreme and unhealthy behaviors.

Ones that end up creating mindsets that screw you over in the long-term. But, they don’t care about that. They care about getting your money-right now.


It Doesn’t Have to Be Like This

Do you want to be able to enjoy tasty food on occasion without murdering yourself afterwards? Do you want to be able to enjoy exercise and feel like it’s nourishing you vs. punishing you?

You can! But you’re going to have to stop accepting this message as your truth.

How to overcome This 

Get Rid of Good and Bad Thinking

There Are Foods We Live On and Foods We Don’t.

You’re not murdering someone by eating an ice cream cone. You’re not a BAD person for eating an ice cream cone.

If you ate one, and you didn’t REALLY want it, and it’s not in-line with your goals, then you use this as a learning experience. What happened? Why did you eat it? What can you learn from this situation so you can do better next time?

When you tell yourself you’re a bad person for a certain action (shaming), this significantly increases the chances of you repeating your behavior. So, the very thing that you think is going to “fix” you, is actually making your situation worse.

*Shame and Guilt Are Not the Same

Guilt can actually be helpful. Guilt is, “This behavior isn’t in-line with who I want to be. How can I do better next time?” Shame is “I am bad.”

Guilt is good because it’s enough of a trigger to make us aware of our behavior so that we can change it. But, it’s not so negative that it’s making the situation worse.


Psychologically Separate Your Food and Exercise

Your Eating and Exercise Should Be Psychologically Separate. Period.

This means that when you’re exercising, you’re doing it because it’s time to exercise (it’s in your schedule), you’re using as a stress reliever etc. Not because you feel like a bad person for overeating-this becomes a vicious cycle.

You Don't Need to Earn Your Food

And the reverse holds true as well. Don’t get into the mindset of having to earn your food either. When you say, “I worked out so hard, I deserve this”, this is earning your food. A certain food is either something you really want or you don’t. It has nothing to do with your exercise. And pairing the two together causes problems.

Good and Bad Thinking is the Glue

But, the good news is, by getting rid of good and bad thinking, you’re helping yourself to separate your food and exercise. Because it’s this thinking that’s holding the two together.

Work On Your Relationship with Food

It's A Cop Out

Using exercise as damage control for eating is actually a cop out. It’s a cop out because it’s not forcing you to deal with your actual issue-your relationship with food.

If food is your issue (which if you’re assigning good and bad labels to things and yourself, it is), this is where your focus needs to be. If you don’t work on your relationship with food, you will stay stuck in this vicious cycle.

So again, get rid of the good and bad thinking.


Can Exercising After eating too much Ever be a good thing?

Of Course!

There is nothing wrong with putting food that we ate to good use to create a great workout! But, this is where the difference is, you are just looking at it from a scientific perspective, not a psychological (shameful) perspective.

And this is the difference. One is punishment, the other is not.

Life is Too Short for This Crap

This “I’m bad” talk takes so much quality from your life. Life doesn’t need to be a constant battle.

If you want a more balanced and happy life, mentally separate your food from your exercise. 

End your punishment.

Think Fresh and Live Your Fittest and Fullest Life,

Ashley Schoborg

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