Apple Pie + Exercise Guilt

Before I launch in to my discussion, I have to show you my delicious breakfast!

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Apple Pie Oats


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  • 1/3 Cup Oats
  • 1/3 Cup Silk Vanilla Soy Milk
  • 1/3 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Apple, Sliced
  • 2 Tsp Brown Sugar

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If you don’t feel like running to the store to pick up an apple pie for breakfast (gosh, I can’t tell you how often that happens!), this makes an amazing substitute! You can also add cinnamon, should you feel so inclined.

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Okay, onward!

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I used to be “that person” who would hate myself if I didn’t work out.

Exercise would trump school, social events, family, friends, life… I wouldn’t necessarily classify my addiction as “exercise bulimia” or anything of the like, but rather, a serious case of exercise guilt.

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This is no fresh topic, in fact, it has been covered by some of the biggest bloggers out there. But this subject strikes a personal chord with me and is one that I don’t want to ignore. Please keep in mind that I am not an exercise or mental health professional and all opinions are merely that, opinions.

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Do you suffer from exercise guilt?

For me, the signs were clear. But sometimes exercise is such a “lifestyle” that it is difficult to realize that the desire to work out is out of guilt rather than habit.

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If you take a look at the facts, you will see that they don’t life. In a study of Canberra women, it is noted that:

It found women who always felt guilty after they missed a regular exercise session were the ones most likely to rate highly on measures for eating disorders. About 12 per cent of the regular exercisers fell into this category.

Also vulnerable to eating disorders were the women – 20 per cent of them – who said that a very or extremely important reason for exercise was to “improve their body shape or tone” or to “improve their appearance or attractiveness”.

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Eek. Those are some ugly stats!

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Are you addicted?

  • Do you exercise instead of going to social gatherings?
  • Do you exercise on injuries because you feel that you must?
  • Are your grades/work suffering because you place exercise above them?
  • Do you base any part of your mood or worth around getting exercise?

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For me, it was a resounding “yes” to all of the above. I wasn’t going out with my friends or family, I was pulling C grades, and vacation left me moody if I couldn’t find a gym, but hell, I was fit, unhappy and fit.

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Lately, I have been the person that I would have hated even a few months ago. I exercise approximately 2-3 times per week, and you know what? I am finally okay with it. My grades are up, I have lost weight (likely due to being less hungry), and I feel happy.

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In dealing with exercise guilt, I think it is crucial to ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Who am I doing this for?
  2. Is my guilt being transferred to exercise when it should be somewhere else?
  3. Are my priorities in the right place?

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For me, answering these questions allowed me to realize that the feelings of satisfaction that I experienced due to exercise were nothing compared to the feelings of satisfaction I felt when I performed well academically. I also realized that a large part of the guilt I was feeling was actually due to my poor school performance, but by transferring it to exercise, I was able to remedy the guilt faster and easier.

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One of the biggest things to note is that exercise guilt can lead to, or go hand in hand with exercise bulimia. If you do suffer from extreme, debilitating exercise guilt, it may be best to get some help. Again, I’m not a professional, this is just my opinion.
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Have you experienced exercise guilt?

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How do you deal with these feelings?

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2 thoughts on “Apple Pie + Exercise Guilt

  1. ugh, yeah, i had major exercise guilt issues in my fall quarter so i wound up stopping altogether and now i’m so afraid of starting back up BUT i signed up for the half in october so i kinda need to get runnin’ 😉

    you are wonderful regardless, don’t ever feel guilty about not exercising! and don’t worry too much about your weight. i think pb is worth the possible few extra pounsd personally, but i know the feeling… you are lovely. 🙂 keep smiling

    n

  2. I used to have it back when I was trying to loose some weight. I still have it when I miss a weekend workout out (these are my most intense as I tend to slack during the week), I KNOW its not healthy..better than food guilt (I do not feel guilty for enjoying ice cream)

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