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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Buyer

#27: Do I need to Forgive myself or am I making an Excuse?

The title says it all—I’m struggling with this in my life with eating, the gym, and probably other aspects of my life too.

Eating: If you’ve talked to me recently, you know that my sugar cravings have been getting the best of me several times per week. I can’t seem to string more than two days together that I meet my macros before I go on a mini binge.

Each time, I tell myself that I’m starting fresh again and that I won’t make the same mistakes, but you know how the story goes. I get a craving, and suddenly can’t rationalize why I shouldn’t have a treat. Suddenly I’ve eaten all my treats for the next week in one sitting. (By “treat,” I mean caramel rice cakes, Greek yogurt bars, keto ice cream, etc. Nothing is unhealthy, but the quantity is.) A few hours later, I’m filled with regret and anger.

I’m angry at myself for giving in, but even more so, I’m angry at myself for giving in AGAIN. I’ve given in so many times that I question if I’m still working towards my goal. The anger compounds too. Each time I decide to start fresh the next day, there’s a little buzz in my head that won’t let me forget the pattern. I’m letting myself be defined by this pattern and creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I’m going to move forward, I need to forgive myself so that the past can stay in the past, right?

There’s a difference between saying that I forgive myself and forgiving myself. I don’t feel like I deserve forgiveness from myself because I’ve had so many chances, and I keep making the same mistake. Forgiving myself makes me feel like I’m making an excuse for the times I’ve messed up. I don’t think it’s okay that I made a mistake, but the cycle will continue for as long as I think like this.

I need to remind myself that the past is the past. I can’t change it and being angry is making this miserable for me. Just because I forgive myself for my mistakes doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my goal. Rather, it means that I’m letting go of the habits that aren’t leading me toward my goal so that I can develop new ones. I’m using this post to release myself from the past and the patterns that go with it. My goal is to achieve my goal. Regardless of the progress I made or haven’t made so far, this is not over. I recognize that the pattern influenced me in the past, but now that I realize how much it’s affecting me, I’m moving forward. I’m learning from this and forgiving myself for not realizing what was happening and that it was holding me back. I must forgive myself if I want to move forward, so that’s what I’m doing.

The other part of the pattern is noticing fluctuations in my appearance from day to day and letting it determine my wardrobe and my confidence level. I need to recognize that I look different each day, but my frustration won’t change if I continue to focus on it.

I’m nervous as I look down the path ahead because I know it’s going to be challenging and I know I’m going to want to give in many times. But the most peaceful way out of this struggle is through it, so the more I stick to my goal the less painful it will be.

Gym: I was forced to switch up my days off due to travel and to protect my back. Essentially, I loaned myself out a few extra rest days and planned to pay them back this week. This means that I had to workout for many more days than usual without a rest. (I still did cardio on my travel days anyway, so it wasn’t a complete rest either.) However, this has led me to feel sore and burned out, not to mention frustrated with myself when my lower body can’t perform at it’s best.

I was at the gym yesterday for my planned glute/ham day that includes deadlift. This day in my cycle has been screwed up in one way or another for 3 weeks in the cycle now, so I’m afraid I’m losing progress. I went to do my deadlift warmup, and something told me that I shouldn’t be doing a heavy leg day. I wasn’t in any huge pain, I just had the funny feeling it wasn’t a good idea, so I wanted to stop. But I couldn’t get the thought out of my head that I was just making an excuse to get myself out of a lift I didn’t want to do. I went back and forth trying to decide if I should listen to my body telling me not to lift or my mind telling me that I needed to lift or I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the day. I went to do yoga and meditation, and that’s when it hit me that I’m letting myself be controlled by these patterns. If I had lifted yesterday, my body wouldn’t get the rest it needs, and I’d be angry with myself again next week for not performing properly, and I’d resent my lack of rest.

It’s awkward and uncomfortable for me to take another day off. I want to tell myself I’m lazy and check if anything has changed in the mirror. But I know that I need yesterday and today to reset both my mind and my body. I need to forgive my body for needing an extra day of rest so that I can be refreshed and ready for this week.

Considering that I realized all of this in five minutes of meditation (during which I was not supposed to be thinking), I’m going to try to meditate more often, especially because I can do it sitting in my desk or my bedroom with no equipment.

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