“My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear” (Psalm 38:4).
Have you ever felt this way? I know I have, but I don’t think I always recognized that feeling as guilt.
I felt, and sometimes still feel overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with life, with being a wife, being a mom, being a business owner and working 32+ hours a week, with how far I’ve let my standards for taking care of myself fall, the list goes on and on.
It is tough when you get to that point in your life when you realize you are not taking very good care of the body God has given you.
It caused a lot of guilt for me. I felt guilty that my clothes fit so tight or didn’t fit at all. I felt guilty for being out of breath when I walked up the hill in our yard trying to play with my boys. I felt guilty when I ate 5-6 pieces of pizza every time we ordered out or when I ate my kids’ leftovers.
But what Exactly is guilt?
I listen to a fun, “real mom life” podcast called Stories of a Sparrow. They did an episode on guilt, and I loved the way Lizzie put it: Guilt is like a self-criticism. There is something you think you should be doing or not doing. Then you compare each of your actions to that ideal, and then when you don’t measure up, you feel bad or guilty. This can be in all areas of our life.
Of course you can have feelings of guilt that you are not following God, or His calling for you, or the path Jesus is guiding you on in your daily life. God reveals that to us and puts it on our hearts to change, or say I’m sorry, or forgive someone. That is what Lizzie thought of as “good guilt”. We recognize the wrong, remind ourselves that we are forgiven in Christ, and then move forward with God’s grace and empowerment.
But then there is “bad guilt”. This is when a little self-criticism starts to escalate. Eating too much pizza turns into phrases in our head such as these: “I’m fat”, “I’ll never get it right, why try?”, “I’m a terrible parent”, or “I can’t even model good eating habits for my kids”.
A small action becomes not just an action, but it starts defining who you are. It becomes a “newsfeed” of lies in your head that the evil forces of this world (or Satan) are feeding you—a negative internal dialogue. So you get trapped. You can’t move on. You live in those negative thought pattens and they become a part of you. That’s “bad guilt”.
Are You Trapped?
Have you ever considered that “bad guilt” might be holding you back? You’ve been thinking about a change, or have been trying to make a change, and keep failing. The lies that “you don’t deserve something,” “you aren’t good enough” or “you will just fail again” keep you from moving forward.
I have absolutely been there. I was trapped in this “bad guilt” pattern in 2014 when I started on my health journey as a mom. To some degree, I’m still there. I battle the “bad guilt” daily. And honestly that’s exactly what God tells us will happen. We will all struggle with these negative patterns time to time. The world will seep in to our thoughts and actions and we will have to return to the truth.
The truth is that God loves us all unconditionally and in His eyes we are made perfect in Christ! He is sufficient for us in our weakness!
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Write that down!
Next write a plan, starting now with changes you want to make in the way you take care of yourself. That plan might include my 5 favorite exercises and meals! If you haven’t downloaded those yet, start there! Cheryl and I have just uploaded some more new tools to help you with those plans as well. When you subscribe you will also get my Sample Fitness Schedule, Healthy Breakfasts, and Super Salad Fixin’s!
When I first got into changing the way I ate I had to write down/plan out every meal for at least two weeks, and then it became kind of a habit.
I’ve also had success with writing workouts on a calendar and marking off the days when I complete the workout. I know that can seem overwhelming but the hardest part is getting started. God will give you what you need from there!
Remember Whose You are!
Don’t let “bad guilt” hold you back from a healthy lifestyle or anything else God has called you to do! Jesus came down for you and He loves you! Remember who you are in Christ!
Feel free to post your plans and/or healthy habits on our FB page for encouragement or message or contact us. We’d love to hear from you! Let us know if you need suggestions or exercise modifications. Just remember that joy always comes in the morning.❤️