Forgiving Myself

Can we talk about forgiveness for a second? I don’t mean the kind of forgiveness we seek when someone has done us wrong or when we have a fight with a loved one. I mean the kind that we give to ourselves. I made some resolutions this year concerning my health and even joined a weight loss group on Facebook to keep me going (and then made my own). Unfortunately, it led me to beating myself up over how slow my progress is going and my lack of strength and endurance while working out.

I hired a personal trainer back in December because 1) I can afford it right now, 2) I need more help than the free session the gym provided, and 3) paying her does so much for my motivation and accountability. While we’re training, I look at her do the exercises so easily and feel beyond embarrassed while I’m huffing and puffing, red in the face, with my shaking form, as I struggle to do what she just made look so simple. In the moment, I’m mad at myself for being out of shape, for having a weak core, and for my body shaking as I do my sets, BUT every time I get done with a set, we high-five. She praises me, reminds me that it’s hard today but one day it’ll be easy, and she’ll have to find other ways to kick my ass.

So after getting out of bed sore and feeling down on myself after a particularly rough session, I said to myself… “I forgive you.” I forgive my body for not being able to those things YET. Every day I’m getting a little bit stronger. I realize I need to be more kind to this body that is mine. After all, it has already been through so much. I lost 40 pounds on my own, I’ve been through hardships and rough patches in life, I made it through a long distance relationship and married the love of my life, and… I’m still here. My body is still going, and I’m determined to keep going. I will get stronger, and I will endure.

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Unfortunately, it’s not just my lack of physical strength I’ve been beating myself up over during this journey to a healthier self. It’s also my eating habits. I know the guilty feeling of eating over my calorie limit all too well. I’ve snacked in secret so I don’t have to answer to anyone about it. I’ve gotten Chinese for dinner instead of making something from scratch (like I had planned to do), but “damn,” I think, “I’m so tired.” And then the results of my “shortcomings” catch up to me.

I step on the scale that week and see that big “gain” that is probably water weight, because, let’s be honest, I didn’t eat over 3500 calories to gain actual fat. In fact, I have to remind myself that there’s a million reasons why I gained weight over night or within a week: stress, water, sodium, weight training, general exercise, hormones, etc. Instead of beating myself up over it, I’m finally choosing to forgive myself for that now, too. One meal, one day, one week, of not keeping track of my calories or eating over that limit or eating McDonald’s for dinner instead of cooking is not going to de-rail my years of progress.

I see now that my overeating is a cry for help. What that means is, something else is wrong. Maybe I need some self care, some alone time, yoga, or a therapy session to address something deeper. It means instead of grabbing a bag of chips, I need to self reflect and see what is actually wrong. And when it’s too late, and I’ve already had an entire package of cookies, I have to forgive myself for that too, and move the fuck on.

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No amount of beating myself up over being unable to finish a training set or eating not-so-great for a day will ever motivate me. It just makes me feel bad about myself and deters my future progress. So the phrase of my year will be “I forgive myself.” Because I’m done fighting this battle with my body. I will love and nurture it to the best of my ability with good food, exercise, and the occasional indulgence of cake, because that’s how you make health a lifestyle change, not a failed diet.

Do you need to forgive yourself or someone you love? What would you say? Let me know in the comments! Check out Daily Inklings on Normal Happenings for more prompts like this one!

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18 thoughts on “Forgiving Myself

  1. It’s easy to beat yourself about things like that but it also doesn’t help. Like you say it’s best to make peace with the past and focus on the positives moving forwards. It takes time to see changes. They’ll be small and gradual, but it all adds up and eventually you’ll look back and realize just how far you’ve come.

    Keep the high fives coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I beat myself up over a number of things. Usually chalk it up to either not having enough time, or being too tired from other obligations. The one currently picking on me is my desire to at least go out jogging a few minutes of day. It was something I enjoyed doing back in the days, but not am to exhausted to do it because of work. Every time I feel like I could put it back in my routine it doesn’t. Right now, I’m just settling for jogging once a week at least. It’s a something I need to get away from the house, or give me some alone time outdoors without anyone around. It’ll take a while, and I’ll beat myself along the way, but I’ll manage somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love love love this post. I love the self-reflection, the self-love, and most importantly, the self-forgiveness. I hope you continue to realize what a badass you are and be your own biggest fan! You got this, girl 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Can’t tell how much I loved this post! I’m so proud of you for everything you’ve accomplished and I hope you are too (or at least that you’ll be one day) 😊 As you mentionned, it’s not a small cheat meal that will change everything. Your journey through health and fitness isn’t about weight, it’s more about feeling good about yourself! I think I stepped on a scale 10 times in my whole life and the few times I did, I felt bad about my weight even though I truly have nothing to worry about.
    You are amazing and your body is amazing, love it and cherish it as the only thing that will always stay forever with you 😉 Sending you much love 😘

    Liked by 1 person

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