Dealing with guilt

This topic is probably all too familiar to fellow ‘health freaks’: the guilty feeling that can creep up on you after you’ve eaten something you shouldn’t have, or skipped a workout. With social media overflowing with healthy food and exercise pics, it’s almost impossible not to feel guilt; yes, I’m also guilty of feeling guilty sometimes. Over time however, I’ve learned a few things that helped me a lot and that’s why I wanted to share them with you.

The most important thing I’ve learned, is to avoid diets. Most diets are about restricting certain types of food. Really make it about a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle contains regular exercise, rest days, healthy eating and unhealthy eating. If somebody tells you, or if you tell yourself, you can’t have something because it’s ‘bad’, it will make you want it more and also make you feel guilty when you had it.

If you have certain foods that make you feel guilty when you eat them, try to rationalize it. You won’t gain 10 pounds from 1 cupcake, or even a whole cake. Food is actually pretty amazing, it is not something you should be afraid of. Food is fuel. Food provides us with energy, makes our bodies function properly. And food can make you very happy because it simply tastes good! Enjoy it, it’s okay to really indulge sometimes!

The same goes for rest days. Your muscles won’t disappear when you skip a workout. Rest days are essential for progress. During rest days, your muscles recover, get stronger and grow. Over exercising can cause injuries and overall fatigue which actually sets you back.

So learn to let it go and move on. Try to accept that it’s okay that you sometimes feel guilty. Do not ‘make up’ for ‘bad choices’ by hours of exercising or restricting. You’re human; we all have bad days. Life is not just about rainbows, unfortunately. If the guilty feeling becomes really bad and overwhelming and your thoughts spiral out of control, then try go outside and take a walk. It helps to take a step back, take a deep breath, clear your mind and rationalize your guilty feeling. Walking outside relieves stress and will get you calm again. This way it can help you to accept the guilty feeling and let it pass.

Do you sometimes experience this guilty feeling? Do you have some tricks to deal with it? Let me know!



Leave a Comment


  1. Marloes

    Yes. Guilty. Funny, because this subject came up this morning for my own blog. Your tricks are very very familiar. Last 2 weeks I did not take any chocolate (me so proud!) but this week I had a break down. But hey, it was just 50% of the bar ;-).

    • Lisa

      A girl needs her chocolate! No need to break down over it 🙂

  2. Nienke

    Oh yes absolutely. But on those days I’m always focussing on ‘tomorrow is a new day’. I didn’t ruin anything by skipping a workout or eating something that’s not so healthy. Works almost every time!

    • Lisa

      That’s very good of you and so true! Keep it up 😀

  3. Lysan

    To most beginners of clean eating and working out (like me) it’s difficult to keep up with the new schedule. I’ve been quite hard on myself when it came to skipping workout days or going out for dinner because of a birthday. It has resulted in being cranky, easily annoyed and bitchy. The total opposite of what I feel after a good workout. All because of the guilt of not going to the gym or not eating as clean as i wanted to.

    I’ve noticed that if I tell myself: “It’s ok to go right to bed after a night shift at work” or “One cheatday a week is ok.” I feel more at ease, and less guilty. Like you said: Your body needs the rest to recover and hey, I’m only human. Rome wasn’t built in one day. It makes you (me) more motivated to say: “I’m going tomorrow!” instead of: “I skipped yesterday, so I might as well skip today…” Same goes for the clean eating, it’s easier to change your lifestyle one step at the time. Plus, on a cheatday i don’t stuff myself, like i used to do because that day “it’s ok to eat something that is ‘bad’.”

    It’s all about mindfulness.

    • Lisa

      Wise words, Lysan! That hits the spot! Keep doing that and keep spreading that message because I think it will help a lot of girls that are struggling!