I hear a lot of talk that goes along these lines:
“I was good today–I did my exercise.”
“I was bad today–I was lazy and didn’t get to the gym.”
“I was good today–I only ate a salad for lunch.”
“I was bad today–I ate some chocolate.”
I’m sure that you could come up with a long list of expressions that start with “I was good” or “I was bad”. BUT I’m sure that none of them have to do with something morally good (say returning a lost wallet to its owner) or innately wrong (my husband would include eating your boogers in this category). I’d say that a good 99% of the time, these phrases revolve around eating and exercise, specifically what or how much you ate and how long you kept yourself on that dreaded treadmill.
I want to turn this around and ask you to assess whether you’re being good or bad to yourself. Today, have you treated yourself with love, compassion, and care? Or have you neglected your needs for rest, nourishment, and movement? I assure you that this has a greater and more lasting impact than what you ate for lunch or that candy bar.
When we begin to make the change from “I have to” (…exercise on a machine for 60 minutes every day for the rest of my life, eat 5 cups of vegetables that I don’t like, give up my favorite foods) and “I can’t” (…skip one day of exercise or I’m and failure and I’ll gain weight, eat carbs except on my cheat days, enjoy food or else I’ll never stop eating) to “I choose to” (…let my body move in a way that fits my needs and likes, eat foods that give me energy and taste good too, practice mindful eating) and “I don’t want to” (…be a slave to food and exercise rules, be on a diet forever, ignore my body’s hunger and fullness signals) there are no more good and bad days or good and bad ____ (insert your name here). There are just choices and a curiosity about how those choices make you feel.
So, instead of measuring your worth based on your level of “perfection” when it comes to eating and exercising, I would like to say to you that your worth is a given–you have worth because you are you! Let’s start getting to know ourselves and our bodies, turning away from the critical voice and walking into an atmosphere of kindness, understanding, and affection where we can truly say that we were good (to ourselves) today.