If guilt is getting in the way of your workouts or runs, it’s time to do something about it. You should not feel bad about doing a thing that is good for you.
Do you feel guilty about making a nutritious dinner? Do you feel remorse over taking time away from the family to clean toilets? While I would argue that cooking and cleaning are way less fun than working out, they are similar to exercise in that they are healthy, necessary activities.
Okay, don’t start feeling guilty about feeling guilty.
I’ve been there. I had major mom guilt about running. (By the way, why is it mom guilt? Dads can have this feeling, too.) It was especially bad when I first started since I jumped right into training for a big race. It’s not like I had been super into running before my son was born, and all of a sudden after his first birthday, I decide I want to be a marathoner? It doesn’t seem like great timing.
But that thinking is wrong. Whenever you decide to start living a healthy, fit life is always going to be the best timing. It could be when you’re starting a new job—or maybe losing one. Before baby, after baby. Heck, you could even get inspired to start on vacation. Go on and take advantage of that hotel gym.
I know. Easier said than done. Hotel gym equipment is always pretty sketchy.
So, how did I get over my exercise-induced guilt?
At first, I did a lot of my runs with my son. This way, I felt great about what I was doing—getting my child out in the fresh air, setting a good example, and actually spending extra time with him. I also did home workouts during nap time or tried to get him to do the exercises with me.
This worked for a while, but let’s be realistic—I did not take him with me for those really long runs (although, I did hire a babysitter once, but that’s another story that I think I’ve already told too many times). And then later I decided I wanted to lift heavy weights at the gym, which took nearly an hour. Sure, I definitely used the facility’s childcare options and sometimes he stayed home with my husband.
But, you guys, finding somewhere for your child to go while you run or lift or dance or swim does not mean that you won’t feel the guilt as you’re feeling the burn. Like most things that are difficult to do, the solution involves the mind—or re-training it.
I don’t feel bad about taking time to work out because when I start to get that guilty feeling, I remind myself the following things:
Have you mastered guilt-free workouts? What are your tips?
Kerrie Turcic is a runner from Maple Valley, Wash. Kerrie is currently a copywriter by day, and also a