Do not eat that girl scout cookie.
Don’t do it.
Ugh…you have absolutely no willpower. Unbelievable….
While slightly humorous, so goes the inner self-deprecating dialogue that attempts to guilt me into making healthier choices for myself. I ask myself what negative self-talk has ever actually done for me. Nothing, except make me feel worse.
I have recently started to follow a blog by Robin Long called The Balanced Life. Robin creates online pilates programs for busy women and is passionate about finding a balance with health and fitness. Her belief is that guilt doesn’t work as a long-term motivator, and she reminds her followers to choose grace over guilt.
It can be extremely difficult to change your way of thinking when it comes to how you see and talk to yourself. I know this from personal experience. However, after a particularly difficult week working with young adolescents facing suicidal thoughts and actions, I am realizing just how important it is to take care of yourself physically and, maybe especially, mentally. These children shared their stories of self-hatred, brought about in their minds by feeling or looking different. I listened to every horrible thing they had to say about themselves, and I considered how much damage negative self-talk can do to a person.
So here’s to choosing to offer myself grace over guilt. I am thankful I do not suffer from depression or another serious mental illness. Like many women, my negativity usually centers around my body and how I see myself physically. I aim to shift my way of thinking about health and fitness to see it as an avenue to love myself rather than another guilt-ridden conversation. I don’t imagine I will be perfect at it, but I believe we owe it to our youth to be the example and model a balanced, healthy life. I’ve never learned anything so well as when I’ve been expected to teach it, so why not this?