Mireille's Journey To Health

REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!

Overcoming The Guilt Of Starting A Healthy Lifestyle

me and adam

“Great! That is what got me with your post. In a way, you were building up your physical body, in turn, it was your mind and spirit that had developed ‘confidence muscles’ to take on this challenge! Well done, neighbour! Again, very motivating to me.”

The comment above came from Althea, from Getting Through Life.  Althea and I were in a blogging class together.  From time to time, we would get assigned to visit blogs we’d never visited before and to share comments.  It’s a great way to connect with other bloggers, and it really helps you grow mentally.  Your mind is opened to things that you may have never thought of or considered before.

Through this assignment, I stumbled upon Althea’s post, Giving Special Treatment To The One You Love.  I expected it to be cute and romantic; about supporting your significant other through thick and thin.  I don’t want to spoil the post because it’s such a worthwhile read, but I kind of have to in order to share my thoughts.  Hopefully, you still read the post.  So the post talks about loving the one who has been there with you through it all.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Still thinking it was someone close to me that she was referring to, I continued reading.  She points out that the person you need to love and appreciate, who has been there for you through everything, is you.  In my case, me.

Althea goes on to point out that so many of us put all of our time and efforts into being there for other people, and we put our own needs last.  I’m a huge believer in service, but I’m also a huge believer in finding time for ones self.  I think the key is to find balance.  I think Althea is pointing out that we lack balance.  We tip the scales to everyone else, and we don’t nurture and care for ourselves as much as we deserve.  We feel selfish when we choose to focus on ourselves.

I’ve become very passionate about healthy living in the past 3 years.  Before that I just felt too selfish to put the effort into my health that I do now.  In fact, for the first year or two of fully embracing a healthy lifestyle, I struggled with feeling selfish and undeserving.  I felt guilty taking the time to workout.  It didn’t matter what time of day I worked out, or how much I strived to schedule my workouts around my husband’s and our boys’ schedules.  I still felt guilty.

The nutrition was an adjustment, too.  My husband and boys wanted to eat spaghetti, taco’s, sugary cereals, and mac’n’cheese.  I wanted more for myself.  I wanted more for them, too, but they weren’t all onboard, initially.  We were buying the spaghetti, taco’s, sugary cereals, mac’n’cheese, and the healthy foods that I wanted to eat.  Basically, I was left feeling like I was requiring that we spend extra money on extra food because I wasn’t willing to eat like the rest of the family.  It wasn’t that they said anything.  I just always felt guilty.  I felt undeserving.  Had my husband or one of my boys been the one choosing to eat healthy, I would have been thrilled for them and felt so proud.  It was hard to feel proud of myself because I just felt so undeserving.

I remember my bikini competition.  The guilt was very heavy at that time.  I felt bad for the workout time.  I felt bad that my diet was so strict.  I felt bad that I got a pretty bikini (never mind the fact that it was actually one of the cheapest competition suits available).  I felt bad that we (my family) had to stay at a hotel because the show was a few hours away.

It’s so ironic because that same year, my oldest son was competing with his gymnastics.  We went out of town and stayed at hotels for the majority of his meets.  His uniform was all specially ordered, and cost a pretty penny. He actually put in more hours at the gym than I did.

Do you see how the perspective changes?  It’s as Althea said, sometimes we have a hard time seeing our own worth and that we are deserving, too.  It’s easier for us to give than to receive.  It doesn’t even matter that sometimes our ambitions and hopes, such as those that will improve our health, are actually in everyone’s best interest, as we can more actively be there for the ones we care about.

“Great! That is what got me with your post. In a way, you were building up your physical body, in turn, it was your mind and spirit that had developed ‘confidence muscles’ to take on this challenge! Well done, neighbour! Again, very motivating to me.”

My mentality has come a long way.  As Althea said, it’s a mental journey just as much as it is a physical one.  Also, as another friend pointed out to me, it’s a journey because it’s a work in progress.  Meaning, I’m not there yet.  Not completely, but I realize how much better I feel when I eat right, workout, and stretch.  I make it a point to always stick to it.  Unfortunately, I still feel a little guilty from time to time.  I feel guilty when I workout in the evening, even though I wait til the boys are in bed.  The times they come out and try to fight their bedtimes are the hardest.  My husband is so supportive, and he doesn’t mind handling the boys’ antics for a bit, so I can get my workout in.  I also get really bad guilt when I buy specialty health foods, including my grain-free flours, dairy-free milks, and almond butter.  It’s those specialty items that cost a little more that I always feel a little bad about.

I know a lot of people experience similar feelings.  I’ve gotten to where I am by focusing on how positively my healthy lifestyle has impacted both myself and my whole family.  In fact, they see the changes, and the whole family is so much more active and eats so much healthier.  My kids are so proud of their healthy changes.  I know I’m a better wife and mother because of my healthy lifestyle.  I have more energy and I’m happier.  It’s amazing.

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6 comments on “Overcoming The Guilt Of Starting A Healthy Lifestyle

  1. Karen
    August 25, 2015

    How true! I know what you mean, I believe it is in bred in mom’s. What a journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mireillesjourneytohealth
      August 26, 2015

      Thank you! Not sure why we moms feel guilty doing things for ourselves, but it is definitely common among moms.

      Like

  2. infobloomer
    August 26, 2015

    Thank you for the shout out Mireille. Thank you very much for sharing in this post how much of a challenge the act of showing self love can be for you. Your journey really makes us know, that we are not alone on our journey as well. All the best to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ranu802
    August 26, 2015

    Thank you for this post Mireille. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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