I was at the home of someone who was a stranger to me when I arrived at their door. I was there for a reason that had no association with health, weight loss or fitness. Upon my arrival at the home I met with a woman who was in her 40's and her daughter who is in the 8th grade. Somehow the conversation turned from the mundane issue of her door installation to the passion I love to discuss, and that would be weight loss. We spent over 90 minutes discussing the issue of diets not working and diet pills all being a hoax among many other related issues. When we discussed the need for exercising she stated that she felt as if she was being selfish when she spent time exercising. She felt as if the time she spent at the fitness center would be spent better if she was doing something for her family members. She mentioned that if she had to leave her home while she was exercising that this was a missed opportunity to spend time with her children or her husband.
I would like to be the first to tell you that if you feel as if your exercise time is not well spent you are wrong. If you think that the time spent exercising is selfish of you that too is incorrect. If a person is not allowed to spend the time on themselves there is something wrong with the situation. If there is a family member who gives you a hard time over the fact that you are taking the time to be healthy then that family member is being the selfish one. Every person in the world should be afforded the time to allow them to spend a portion of their day to go for a jog or a walk or spend some time at the gym.
To be healthy a person needs to not only eat correctly but also needs to get up and get moving. You need to go for a walk or get on the treadmill but whatever you do, do something. All too often the mindset of a person feeling selfish for taking the time to exercise has some deeper roots in the relationship itself.
Feelings of Guilt By the Person Wanting To Exercise
If you feel guilty and that you should devote all of your life to your loved ones then that may create an issue. If your children are old enough to be by themselves for a few minutes then how could it be harmful to them for you to leave for an hour? If your teenager can't get by for one hour a few days a week without you then there may be an issue that has nothing to do with the separation. Maybe there is something in the history of yourself from your own childhood? Maybe the issue is that you have fears of being abandoned in someway related to your own childhood. Maybe you think that in order to be a good parent or loved one that you have to be in that role 24 hours a day. If you think that you are selfish to leave the loved ones home you have it backwards.
You, as a loved one need to take the time to yourself. You need to put down the laundry or the housework or whatever and spend some time focusing on yourself and your own well being. By taking the time to just push past the chores and spent some quality time alone on the track or the fitness center will make you not only healthier, but it will allow you to become more focused on what you really need to accomplish. When you go off on your own and jog for 30 minutes you allow yourself to unwind and reorganize your thoughts. This reorganization allows you the opportunity to step back from the forest to see the trees. This time allows not only your body to become fit, but also allows your thoughts to become healthier and more focused. An example would be if you exercised in the early morning hours. By going out and doing whatever, you can start your day with not only a healthy body, but a refreshed thought process that has had its clarity tweaked by spinning the thoughts around in your mind.
Feelings of Guilt From The Family Or Loved Ones
If your family generates guilty feelings because you want to exercise then that is an issue that has little to do with the time spent. If your loved one is overweight then maybe that loved one is not ready to lose weight and really does not want you to begin the weight loss journey without them. There are emotional stages of weight loss when a person loses weight. An overweight loved one may want you to remain fat only because they are at a different emotional stage and are not ready to lose weight. The overweight loved one does not want you to make the journey and by your weight loss attempt you are sort of shoving the “fat" issue in their face. An overweight loved one may secretly want you to fail so they can be content with being overweight. The loved one may be overweight them self and if you lose the weight then you are forcing the overweight person to deal the issue of being overweight.
Other issues of people not wanting you to spend the time to exercise are purely selfish in nature. If you decide to take the time to exercise, then that is a good thing. Do not let those around you stop you from being healthy. You may not be able to stop your loved one from having a heart attack and that is okay. That is their choice and they will have to live or die with the consequences. If you are overweight and have a heart attack then you and you alone will have to live with the consequences. If you have to drag around 50 pounds of flab everywhere that is your reality. If you want to lose that weight then go for it. Anyone who truly loves you they would be cheering for you.
It is your body and when you are alone it is all you have. You are only given health once so do not waste it. If your health needs repair then you and you alone can reclaim it. Make it happen with or without the support of those around you because it is your life, your body and your reality!
Keith Quackenbush started the two websites listed above because of the four interests in life that take too much time. He has been trying to lose weight so he helped start the I Choose Thin website because of all the hype around weight loss. He helped start the Retail Survivor website because of his growing disinterest in the retail employment world. He is rolling the two time consuming interests into his real passion, which is creating websites with content that will help people help themselves. The fourth passion is being able to spend more time with his wife, whom he loves dearly.