How to Not Feel Guilty for Eating Your Favorite Foods
You can listen to this article: use the player below, Download the MP3 or listen on itunes. It's pretty fucked up that feeling guilty after eating a food is even an optional response. Yet many of us do. The myriad health and fitness sources that create information that fuels this terrible habit are certainly not […]

how not to feel guilty for eating your favorite foodsYou can listen to this article: use the player below, Download the MP3 or listen on itunes.

It's pretty fucked up that feeling guilty after eating a food is even an optional response. Yet many of us do.

The myriad health and fitness sources that create information that fuels this terrible habit are certainly not helping. There is the good / bad dichotomy used to label foods (for example, labeling cooked chicken and steamed broccoli "good" and ice cream "bad"). There are the You ate it, now deny it! memes that display the calories in your favorite candy bars and candy bars and how many jumps, burpees, or miles you have to run to burn them off.

It's no wonder that so many people feel guilt or shame after eating certain foods, or why they feeling compelled to "win" them with brutal training.

It's time to eradicate feelings of guilt after eating food.

To do this, we will look to antiquity for some of its most valuable lessons.

We can thank authors like Ryan Holiday, Donald Robertson, Pierre Hadot for helping us rediscover the timeless lessons taught by Stoic philosophers. What most people don't realize or expect is how well some of these old foundational lessons can be applied to health and fitness, food and exercise, body image.

One of the most prevalent lessons in Stoicism is, as Epictetus said, “What troubles people is not things, but their judgments about things.

This powerful statement can be extremely helpful when applied to health and fitness. And I will prove it.

When was the last time you said something like, “I ate way too many cookies. I just missed my diet; it was so bad! while being overcome with guilt?

Eating a cookie, or a dozen cookies, is not “bad”. It's just a cookie, and you chewed and swallowed it. That's all it is, and that's all that happened. But you are to choose to judge you are bad at eating cookies. Eating cookies cannot by itself bother you - it is not a universal truth. This is why a person may mindlessly eat cookies and someone else may be ravaged by guilt and feel like they have to atone for the self-declared transgression.

You are not upset about eating cookies (or pizza or candy or whatever food you have become conditioned to label "bad"). Your subjective and completely optional judgment on the situation is what upsets you.

Perhaps you have developed a habit of making this wrong judgment out of habit. Maybe for years your social circle and the health and fitness experts you follow have been using good / bad dichotomous language to describe food, and that rubs off on you too. It is now an ingrained habit.

It is time to abolish this unnecessary response.

How to break the cycle of guilt

Using the example of cookie consumption above, it helps to ask yourself: " objectively happened? "You ate cookies. Complete stop. End of story.

See the reality of the situations. Remove them from any reflexive subjective judgments that you typically attach to them ("I'm bad because I ate cookies"). Be as objective as possible to see only what is there, only what has happened. Realize that all subjective judgments about yourself are comments that you choose to attach to them. It is these optional judgments that bother you, not the event itself.

To break free from the cycle of guilt, the goal is to catch up with yourself just before making those subjective and unnecessary judgments, and practice refraining from doing so. See the reality of what happened. Don't add anything else. It's difficult, but it's worth it.

Guilt is never on the ingredient list. It's only something you can add.

The good news, if you find it difficult to refrain from making subjective statements while you work to break the habit, then you can choose to erase them, immediately, afterwards. And then just move on with your life, free from all unnecessary guilt.

This unique lesson can create a powerful ripple effect which helps you get your health and lifestyle back in shape; to make it empowering, enjoyable and sustainable, as it should be. If you want more bite-size lessons that pack a punch, check out my new book 100 days recovery. (Paid link.)

Plyometric exercises, like box jumps and burpees, are a one-way ticket to feeling like an all-around badass because not only will they help you build strength, but explosiveness ( or power ), speed, and agility, too. Those last three perks don’t come from strength training alone, so it’s key to round out your sport routine with jump training ( another name for plyo ).

All plyo movements require your muscles to stretch and contract at a rapid pace, which helps them become more explosive. So, unsurprisingly, they’re considered a intensity workout. The benefit of firing up your groupes musculaires this way, though : It spikes your heart rate ( oh hey, cardio ) and burns *all* the calories.

Before you jump into plyo training, you want to feel solid when it comes to stability, balance, and core strength. But aside from that, the beauty of it is that you can scale plyo to your sport level and that it is totally beginner-friendly. Can’t jump up onto a three-foot-tall box ? Start small ! The most important thing is that your movements are quick; they don’t have to be BIG. As you feel more ne change pas and powerful, amp it up !

I like to incorporate two or three plyometric exercises into the beginning of my workouts after my warm-up. Since they demand so much of your bod, you don’t want to go into them already fatigued from a bunch of other moves. Want your entire workout to have plyometric vibes ? You can do that, too. Just be ready to feel the burn in ways you’ve never felt it before.

Start standing facing a plyo box ( about two-feet away from it ). Rise up onto balls of feet and swing straight arms over head, then bend knees and push hips back into a hinge position and swing arms back behind body to gain momentum to explode up off floor and jump up onto the box. Land in a squat position, with knees bent, feet flat, and hands in front of chest. Then stand up straight and step back down to starting position. That’s one rep.

Start in a plank place, then jump feet forward outside of hands. Drop butt below knees, lift torso up, and raise hands to chest level. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.

Start standing with feet under hips next to a plyo box, bent forward to place both hands flat on the top of it. Press through hands, brace core, and kick feet up and back towards glutes to hop body over to opposite side of box. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.

Start standing with hands at sides. Hop up into the air. Upon landing, squat down, press hands into floor, and kick feet up into air higher than shoulder height. Let feet land directly under body, then hop back up. That’s one rep.

Start standing with feet under hips to the right of a plyo box. Rise up onto balls of feet and lift arms overhead, then with momentum, push hips back into a hinge place and swing arms back. Use this oomph to press through feet while swinging arms forward to explode up off floor. In mid-air, rotate entire body 90 degrees to the left and land in a slight squat place with hands in front of chest on top of the box, knees bent and feet flat. Stand up straight, then step back down to starting place. That’s one rep.

Start in a plank position with shoulders stacked over wrists and core engaged. Drive right knee toward chest, then return to plank and quickly repeat with the left. Keep alternating sides as quickly as possible. That’s one rep.

Start standing on right foot at far right end of mat or workout space with left leg bent, left foot lifted and crossed behind right leg, left arm bent and crossed in front of body, right arm behind back, and torso tilted slightly forward. Take a big hop to left switching arms and legs to mirror move on opposite side. Jump back to start. That’s one rep.

tera start, stand with feet together and hands at sides. Then, lift arms out and overhead while jumping feet out past shoulders. Without pausing, quickly reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep.

Start standing with feet just outside of shoulders holding one dumbbell with both hands in front of body, arms extended straight toward floor. Lift right foot up off mat and behind body while bending at elbows to swing weight over left shoulder. Quickly hop from left foot to right while straightening arms and drawing dumbbell diagonally across chest toward right hip, torso and gaze follow weight. That’s one rep. ( Make sure to switch your starting foot for the second round. )

Get into a plank place, with shoulders stacked on top of wrists. Keeping core engaged, tap right shoulder with left hand while jumping both feet out wide to sides. Return to start, then repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.


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