Round Two: if you are brave enough to return and read this let me offer a sincere thank you. While the aim of this blog is to have some short, #realtalk fitness and food fun (alliteration), I want to get into something that I feel needs to be talked about and I have a specific person that inspired this topic but I hope it speaks to you if you need to read it….

Forgiveness. It’s next to godliness right? Or is that cleanliness? Can’t remember but you know one of those was cross stitched in a frame at your church when you were little. Doesn’t matter. We need to talk forgiveness. Not the kind between you and others though; the kind between you and yourself. So let’s play never have I ever (sans drinking)…

Never have I ever:

-tried to exercise off a ‘bad’ food weekend

-shamed or had negative self-talk related to eating “bad”* foods or not going to exercise

-compared myself to others and wished my body looked like theirs

-wanted to look different than I do

-felt shame or regret for eating something “bad” or “off plan”

-punished myself with extra exercise (or an extra training/two-a-days)

Oddly specific, right? I’ve done them all. All of them. I would be drunk if we were playing the real ‘never have I ever’ because I’d have to drink to every single one. It’s so exhausting to hold yourself to an unattainable standard, isn’t it?

Are you doing that now? If you are, I hope you’ll try this: extend forgiveness….to yourself. So you ate a piece of cake. So what? So you ate all of the oreos in the pack? Big deal. (can you tell I’m a fan of sugar?). So you missed a few days at the gym? Shake it off. It’s easier said than done but you’ve got to let it go.

Is binging or missing multiple gym sessions going to get you closer to your goals? No, probably not but what’s worse is being angry and resentful of something you did that you can’t undo. And I always promise short posts so I won’t go into the ‘why’ you ate all of that or what you can do instead(we can do that another time) but the first thing you’ve got to do is: LET. IT. GO. Forgive yourself. It happened and it is over. Please don’t eat the whole pan of brownies again tomorrow and just say “oh, I’ll forgive myself” but don’t punish yourself either. I know you do it. At least one of you reading this does or has done or will do it. I did. I hated it; it made me miserable. And instead of being grateful for all of the things you CAN do—like survive a full tabata or Afterburn or do 10 pull-ups or push-ups or run a 5K or whatever—you dwell on imperfections. Perfection is an illusion (write that down). The longer I’ve been in the fitness industry, the more I’ve seen people stay in this same viscous cycle. I finally just got fed up--don’t think I don’t still have my moments…I do, we all do. I’ll go out on a limb and speak for most of the factor trainers: we all have ‘moments’--but I REFUSE to let brownies or cookies or missed workouts dictate my level of happiness. Please don’t let it dictate yours. You are good enough. Let it go. You’ve got this.