Overly Critical to Overly Forgiving: Finding Balance

Today I’ve been thinking about balance in healthy living. I think, like many people,  my pendelum swings rapidly between being overly critical and overly forgiving.

Some days I’m all: “Ew, you’re gross you need to work harder! NO excuses! Get after it or else! Are you really, really going to eat that? Don’t you know better?”

And some days I’m all: “Well today didn’t go “great”, that’s okay–you’ll do better tomorrow. Here, have a cookie.”

Neither approach is the answer.  If you embrace this seesaw approach you may start feeling like you’ve just been on  a carnival ride–you know one of thos ones that swings you waaay up one way and then waaay up the other until all you want to do is throw up your cotton candy.

Overly Critical to Overly Forgiving finding blalance in healthy living

Pleasant.

Here is some “preaching to myself”….

Replace criticism with tough love. Yes, sometimes you need to be the Jillian Michaels of your own life and call yourself out on your B.S. If you’ve been overeating the same thing every night you need to get it out of the house.  If you’ve been skipping your workouts you need to do whatever it takes to make it happen. You need to level with yourself. You need to get serious.  YOU need to stop YOU from acting like a teenager with a walnut for a brain. But you don’t need to disparage yourself or guilt yourself. Just do the work. #everydamnday  You can attack the problem without attacking the person. 

Replace excuses or being overly forgiving with caring support; the kind of support you’d show to a friend.  Just like you sometimes need that “Jillian Michaels tough love” sometimes you need to be the Oprah Winfrey of your own life and support you! Be your own best cheerleader. Learn to celebrate your accomplishments in a positive (nonfood) way. Allow yourself exceptions; sometimes you should skip a workout without guilt. Set yourself up for success by reaching out for help, making attainable goals, and being realistic.

The marriage of tough love and caring suppport isn’t easy, but I think mastering this combination is what empowers a healthy life long term. Relearning internal thought and self-speech patterns is much harder than just eliminating gluten or busting out a 3 mile run. It is learning to live both in truth and grace, like the Bible talks about.

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A difficult path indeed. But one worth walking.

Do you struggle with pendelum swings like this? Which are you more prone to: being overly forgiving or overly critical?

Linking up to The Fit Dish linkup!

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12 Comments

  1. I totally agree with you on being your biggest cheerleader! I used to restrict my sweet intake so much and then weeks later binge on the first plate of cookies I could get my hands on. I would feel so guilty and spiral downward! Once I realized that I wasn’t the problem and the problem was being way too restrictive with my eating, I had many light bulb moments. I retaught myself to have a treat every so often and not feel guilty about it. No more binges, imagine that!

    1. Wow! That’s huge, Bri! Thanks so much for sharing. I’m finding more and more that walking the middle path (in many areas) is so difficult at first, but overall it’s the only thing that is sustainable.

  2. I love this post, Kate! I really needed to read something like this today. I always preach about balance and then neglect it myself when I need it most. It really is a process to find it and to be firm but kind with yourself. 🙂

  3. Such great points, Kate! And, you called it! Some of those lines should be pinterest quotes! I am definitely this way with diet…the weekdays vs the weekend are like practically being like a different person…it’s not balanced, but I am working on it. Thanks so much for linking up and giving us so much to think about! PS I LOVE tough love. It always help shape me up.

    1. Thanks Jessica! I agree weekends to weekdays are hard to balance out the fun with the good stuff. Thanks for hosting and being awesome! 🙂

    1. Isn’t it funny how we can be so much meaner to ourselves than we would even be to a stranger?! Treat yourself like a true friend is a good guideline for self talk.

  4. I am really working on this too, especially with my binge eating issues. Some days I have a mental breakdown about it and somedays I treat it like no big deal. It is so hard. Great post about finding that happy medium.

    1. It’s an easy thing to say, but not always easy to do….I’m on the journey too, not perfection but progress. 🙂

  5. Love this Kate! A path definitely worth walking and once you arrive it feels amazing. Relearning internal thought is tough. A year ago I would say overly cricital. Now, happily balanced 🙂 (most of the time)

    Thanks for linking up with the #fitfam!

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