Wise Running

Train smart, eat well, and enjoy the run.

The Role of Forgiveness in Fitness and Running – Feeding the Right Monster

My friend had lost lost her mojo.  She had fallen off of the fitness wagon and felt like it had left her behind.  In her own words:

“I have an admission. I have lost my mojo. Completely. My diet has been horrid, my workouts have been nonexistent and my weight is creeping up. I can’t seem to get it together these days. Help me, someone!”

How does a dedicated running blogger reach this point?  How can she climb back up on the wagon?

Mistakes:  Feeding Negative Monster

Unless you are perfect, you will make mistakes.  Even the strongest fitness fanatics will fall off of the fitness wagon from time to time.  Most of the time, we quickly recover.  We might eat just one item or meal that we know we shouldn’t.  We might skip a run or workout.  It is what happens next that determines whether this was a minor mistake or the beginning of falling off of the wagon.

The moment that you realize what you have done will slow your progress towards your goals, then you have a decision to make.  There are two monsters waiting to be fed.  The negative monster gets fed when you feel guilty about your mistake.  Feeling guilty leads to feeling bad, feeling bad often entices you into making another mistake.  Two mistakes in a row makes you feel horrible, leaving you even more vulnerable.  The negative monster is there encouraging the next bad choice.  The negative monster tells you that you can feel better now by making another mistake, by choosing short-term happiness over long-term happiness.

In short, dwelling in your guilt and shame feeds the negative monster and begins to distance you from your plan and your goals.  Feeding the negative monster makes it easier to make mistakes and harder to get back on track.

Forgiveness & Recommitment:  Feeding the Positive Monster

Thankfully, there is another monster.  This monster is fit, ripped, muscular, and a fast runner!  The positive monster gets fed every time you make a good choice, a choice that leads to fitness, health, and long-term happiness.  Instead of guilt, this monster feeds on commitment.  The negative monster cringes every time you make a positive choice.  He is diminished when you toss guilt aside and recommit to your goals.

Both monsters are affected by every decision you make.  If you want it to be easier to make a good decision, keep feeding the positive monster.  Every positive choice makes him stronger.  If you want it to be harder to make the right decision, dwell in your guilt and make another choice that is inconsistent with your fitness goals.

Is this “Feed the Monster You Want to Be Stronger” technique oversimplified?  No.  It really is that simple.  It is not easy, but it is simple.  After much encouragement from fitness buddies, my friend came to this conclusion:

“I just have to make the decision to get back at it.”

That’s right, friend!  Feed the positive monster!  Let go of the guilt and get back on the fitness wagon ONE POSITIVE DECISION AT A TIME.  Each decision will feed the positive monster and it will gradually get easier once again.

If you want it to be easier to make the right choice, feed the right monster!

Every healthy thing you eat feeds the positive monster.
Every workout feeds makes the positive monster stronger.
Every time you forgive yourself for a poor choice and recommit by following it up with good choices, the positive monster gets stronger.

Which monster do you want to feed?


My new book, The Gift of Running, is now available in both paperback & ebook

Paperback Version –

Ebook Version – Kindle Store


One response to “The Role of Forgiveness in Fitness and Running – Feeding the Right Monster

  1. Pingback: Feeding the Content Monster | Adventures in Career Changing

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