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Guilty Complex

I have an extremely GUILTY complex and it totally drives me ”nuts” when I miss a scheduled gym visit or run!!!

How about you!?!?!

I bring this subject up because I missed my scheduled gym visit tonight and seeing as I only am able to get to the gym “twice” a week it really bugs me when I miss one of those visits, especially if I can’t make it up on another day!  =(

This is something I have struggled with for years!

  • Overall “Guilty” Complex = 32+ Years
  • Gym & Running “Guilty” Complex = 4+ Years

Over the past year I have worked very hard to not let it get to me TOO MUCH when I miss the gym or a run, however I really have to work at it and sometimes it drives me nuts as I stated above! 

I think in the back of my head I always have this little fear that if I miss the gym or a run I will somehow be thrown back into my old ways of doing things and stop going all together and gain all the weight back that took me so long (and lots of HARD work) to lose!

Despite the fact that I know this will NOT happen the feeling is always there and seems to transform into GUILT, which seems to plaque me until I my next gym visit or run………=(

So in light of this I have done a little research online and found two articles that I found very interested revolved around the subject that I want to share with you and my thoughts on them as well.

I am going to share the below one with you 1st as I feel it discusses the subject on a deeper level.  After you read the below I will share my thoughts about it with you.

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EXERCISE GUILT LINKED W/EATING DISORDERS

If you are racked with guilt because you missed your exercise class, the advice from experts is to relax. Feeling guilty about missed workouts is a sign you need to re-assess your approach to exercise. It might not be healthy.

A survey of Canberra women’s exercise and eating patterns has revealed some surprising problems – over-exercise, exercise for the wrong reasons, and too much guilt. And it has uncovered the dirty truth about exercise – hardly anyone does it for sheer enjoyment.

In a nation of couch potatoes, these denizens of the nation’s capital were up and running, and swimming, and walking to an unexpected degree.

Jonathan Mond, senior research officer in the department of psychological medicine at Canberra Hospital, said: “I was surprised at the level of exercise, although it was Canberra . . . ”

In his study of 230 women aged 18-45, he found that 70 per cent were regular exercisers, and 12 per cent exercised at least an hour a day, every day of the week. Among the 169 who were regular exercisers, 10 per cent of those exercised 10 hours a week or more. One woman exercised 33 hours a week. “She might have been a gym instructor,” Mr Mond said.

The survey sought to examine the relationship between exercise and eating disorders. It also sought answers as to when exercise is bad for your health.

It found women who always felt guilty after they missed a regular exercise session were the ones most likely to rate highly on measures for eating disorders. About 12 per cent of the regular exercisers fell into this category.

Also vulnerable to eating disorders were the women – 20 per cent of them – who said that a very or extremely important reason for exercise was to “improve their body shape or tone” or to “improve their appearance or attractiveness”.

These women were the most likely also to have dysfunctional attitudes to eating and weight – to put an unhealthy store on appearance, to be preoccupied with food, and to be constantly restricting their intake. They were most likely to be rated as having a poor quality of life.

But it was difficult to know which came first – the problems with food and general unhappiness, or the obsessive attitudes to exercise, Mr Mond said.

“It’s not surprising that a high proportion exercise to improve appearance in our sort of society,” he said. “But it’s of more concern that these people are likely to have eating disorder symptoms.”

For most women the goal of improved health (30 per cent) and improved fitness (22 per cent) spurred them to exercise while for 17 per cent losing weight was the main motivator. Less than 5 per cent said a very important reason they exercised was “for enjoyment”.

More than 11 per cent of women reported feeling upset most or every time they were unable to exercise, and 14 per cent always tried to make up for missed exercise by putting in more time.

But these feelings – as distinct from guilt – were not associated with eating disorders.

Mr Mond said over-exercise was hard to define. But it became a problem when it was linked with eating disorders, and a poor quality of life.

“If people are racked with guilt after missing exercise, or are exercising mainly to have a better looking body, they might need to re-assess their approach,” he said.

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  • I know I DO NOT have an eating disorder and DO NOT hit the gym/run just to have a better looking body so I DO NOT need to re-asses my approach because I hit the gym for the following reasons:
    • To lose the “unhealthy” amount of weight I had gained in the past. 
    • Be healthier & stronger.
    • Feel better inside & out, about myself!
    • Become a better role model for my daughter.
    • I truly “enjoy” it, maybe not every day but most days.
    • It is a GREAT stress reliever.
      • I hardly ever get the weekly headaches I did in the past.
      • I feel happier overall when I do.
  • I do feel that in some ways, especially in the beginning, I replaced FOOD with EXERCISE as my addiction!  However, over time I have tried very hard to not be A-D-D-I-C-T-E-D to it (or anything for that matter) and for the most part I am not (like those they spoke about in the above article) but the guilt still seems to be there despite all I all the things I tell myself to stop it, like:
    • “It is only one day it isn’t going to make that big of a difference.”
    • Sometimes family, friends or work have to take priority.”
    • “I’ll be back on track in a few days or next week.”

Let’s move on to the 2nd article I found, which discusses the reasons it is OK to miss the gym that I liked a great deal and are right on point!

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GIVE UP THE GUILT!

Blew off the gym today?

Your guilt may be worse for your health than the skipped workout. We’ll explain why, and discuss when it might be healthier not to exercise.

Skipped a workout? Don’t feel bad—that could be detrimental to your health. A study from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that feelings of self-blame may lead to an increase in inflammatory action in the body, which can have an adverse affect on everything from the skin’s ability to heal itself to autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Guilt and shame keep you in a negative cycle of thinking,” says study author Sally Dickerson, Ph.D., now an assistant professor of psychology and social behavior at the University of California, Irvine. “That’s why it’s important to stay focused not on what you haven’t accomplished, but what you have, like meeting your exercise goal last week.”

If that wasn’t reason enough to give up your guilt, there are plenty of times when skipping the gym is actually good for you. We’ve put together the top three reasons to throw in the towel—all in the name of health.

It’s okay not to exercise … when you’re sick.
If you have “below the neck symptoms” like a fever, body aches or stomach problems, skip your workout, says certified personal trainer Jeff Rutstein, author of Rutstein on Fitness (Custom Fitness, 2005). “[Intense] exercising can wear down your immune system and make you feel sicker. You need rest and relaxation, not sweating and straining.” If your symptoms are in your head and neck—think sniffles or a sore throat—Rutstein suggests you exercise at half the effort you normally would, and stop if your conditions become worse.

It’s okay not to exercise … if you’re really sore.
A little tenderness a day or two after you exercise is normal, says Michael Bracko, Ed.D., a fellow for the American College of Sports Medicine and Certified Strength and conditioning specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. In fact, stretching and even exercising can help relieve feelings of tightness, says Bracko. But extreme soreness (discomfort when you’re doing everyday activities, for example) is a sign that your body needs a break, and that you may have even pushed yourself too far during your last workout. Advises Bracko, “See a doctor if you experience sharp pain or soreness that doesn’t go away after three days.”

It’s okay not to exercise … if you’ve already worked out six times in the past week.
It’s crucial to take at least one day a week off, especially if you’re working the same muscles day in and day out. “Exercising literally tires your muscle fibers,” says Rutstein. “Resting once or twice a week gives them a chance to rebuild, and it boosts your energy, too, so your next workout will be more effective.” If you can’t bear to skip a day, try to do light activity that doesn’t engage the muscles you normally use—for example, if you usually do a walking workout, try Pilates or golf.

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  • This article really helped me RECOVER from the guilt I was feeling yesterday once I realized how bad it was for me to be feeling that way!!!
  • I also believe it covered some really good reasons for NOT working out, espically the “sick” & “sore” one.  I learned the hard way on both of those!

So what are your thoughts on GUILT and the above articles!?!?!

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Check out my EATS for the day below:

Breakfast

Late Morning Snack

Lunch

Dinner

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TIP OF THE DAY!

20 Ways to Get Healthier for Free

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  1. February 5, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    I love that you posted about this, because I think a lot of us can relate. When I first got out of my freshman year of college, I was 25 pounds heavier, but ready to blast it off through eating right and exercising. Throughout the process, I had occasional “guilt feelings” if I missed a workout because just like you, I was afraid of going *back* to the way I used to be.

    What helped me was journaling it out, and repeating to myself that one skipped workout wasn’t going to amount to much! If it happened all the time, that was different. But a missed workout here and there wouldn’t add up to much. It was hard to convince myself of that, but with the constant repeating, I finally believed it. 😀

    • February 5, 2010 at 7:47 pm

      That is a great motto to go by, I try to tell myself the same thing too…..though I have to admit at times I don’t believe it and start thinking negative but I usually bounce back as soon as I realize that I am being silly and it isn’t the end of the world! =)

  2. February 7, 2010 at 2:53 am

    I wanted to say Congrats on the Race!! The comments were off on that post.

  3. Jenny
    February 7, 2010 at 3:40 am

    I also wanted to congratulate you on the race!! That is an awsome accomplishment! I agree with the articles that women in particular can become obsessed with exercise and food in a world that is so superficial. I always try to enjoy the exercise I am doing and remember why I am doing it–to be healthy, have a healthy heart, be stronger to play with my kids, and to relieve stress! If I miss a workout, I ask myself why–lazy? sick? time with fam? The reason I missed usually outweighs any guilt!

    • February 8, 2010 at 2:43 pm

      Thank you! It was an AMAZING feeling! =) I totally agree with you on the reasons to work out and also the reasons to miss…….I always feel “guilty” in the beginning but later that goes away and I realize it isn’t the end of the world and stop feeling that way.

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