At what point can we allow ourselves room to make mistakes? When is it okay to skip a workout simply because we don’t feel like working out? Is there ever a time that choosing the bacon mac & cheese is a healthier choice than the grilled chicken salad?
As a fitness trainer my answer is expected to fall somewhere on the spectrum of never, no, you’re crazy and salad.
As a human, my real answer is: it’s all okay. And since I can’t un-human myself when I step into trainer mode, the answer, all the time, is it’s all okay.
Your physical health is important. You should treat your body with respect: exercise it, food it well, rest it. Pushing yourself to far towards one side pushes you towards self-abuse. When you ignore your physical health, that’s self-abuse. It shows itself in the form of injury, lethargy, illness and weakness. But when you ignore those moments when mental health should trump getting in a workout or eating the salad, that’s self-abuse in another form. It shows itself in the form of anxiety, obsession, eating disorders and guilt.
There is a point when mental and emotional health trump physical health. It’s a balance that takes knowing your body, listening to it and respecting it. It’s a happy medium where your goals fit into your daily life and all the craziness that goes with it.
That means that sometimes you skip the gym in favor of spending time with your family. That means that you work hard when you can and when you can’t seem to fit in that sweat session, you should not forgive yourself because you should recognize that you’ve done nothing that warrants forgiveness. That means that sometimes, you should choose the mac & cheese.