Guilt is an unpleasant feeling that too many of us experience when we let our good habits slip. Too often, this emotion causes needless stress and makes us feel as if we’ve done something wrong. But when it comes to taking control of your health, it’s normal to sometimes have small and even big slip-ups. Don’t forget that the path to achieving your goals is rarely a straight line. Yes, several obstacles can get you off track, and that’s okay! Once you overcome them, you will feel even prouder of your achievement and come out stronger and wiser!
Brigitte Tétreault, a member at the Énergie Cardio centre in Saint-Hyacinthe, understood that guilt didn’t accomplish anything. “My story is quite ordinary, but I am extremely proud of how far I’ve come, even though I know my journey isn’t over,” she wrote to me.
In July 2013, Brigitte decided to take control of her health. She had worked out in several gyms before. She would stick to it for four or five months, and then quit. But this time, it worked. Why? Because she made sure to stack the odds in her favour by working with a private trainer, Joannie, once a week. Joannie also follows up on Brigitte’s nutrition to help her gradually eliminate her food “vices,” as Brigitte calls them, and replace them with healthy alternatives. Brigitte also attends several group classes and goes for walks outdoors.
“Beyond weight loss, a change of mindset is essential.” She doesn’t see working out as an obligation anymore, but rather, as a lifestyle. If she skips her training one day, or if she eats something that isn’t part of her nutritional plan, she doesn’t get worked up over it. She has stopped feeling guilty! With a laugh, she says that she was once very big on soft drinks. She could drink several a day. In the past, she had tried to cut them out completely. If she weakened and drank one, she would be overcome with guilt. Today, she has decided to stop depriving herself and, surprisingly, her soft drink consumption has gone down. She doesn’t drink them every day but will sometimes have one as a treat. “It’s important to stop feeling guilty and stay positive to avoid putting too much pressure on ourselves.”
“My weight loss is gradual because I allow myself to occasionally stray from my nutritional plan, but I never give up on my fitness goal. It’s been almost five years, and I’ve lost 60 pounds. At 51, I’m in the best shape of my life.”
Brigitte’s story made me realize how guilt and the stress that comes with it can get in the way of our goals. Taking control of your health, without guilt, is possible. We’re only human after all!