I strongly dislike when exercise is used as a form of punishment.
You should exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it.
I coach people on improving their mentality every day. Mental toughness is something that you will have to work on daily. Exercise mentality means more to me than the type of exercise you are partaking in.
It hurts me to the core when I hear things like, "I need to perform extra cardio because I over indulged on the weekend." "Can I have a hard workout today because I have to eat out tonight?"
It hurts me because I care why you are working out more than the type of workout you are doing. If your workouts are fueled with that sort of mentality then you have to change things up. That mindset is a negative form of motivation and is a road to disorder.
You don't need to punish yourself for giving into a craving. You might have ate too much yesterday. But you don't need to call yourself fat and get on the stair master for an hour because of it. The journey is filled with ups and downs. Ditch the mindset that you must be perfect. It leads to bad habits. It will lead you down a road of always feeling guilty about enjoying your favorite treats, and terrible restriction. Then you will force yourself to perform a super challenging workout to “make up” for the damage. Not only is that mentally draining, but you will start to dislike strength training because it became punishment. This “punishment” mentality also leads to some severe binge eating habits.
You need to relax. Seriously. Keep things super simple, and stop putting so many restrictions on yourself. Focus on consistency instead of trying to be perfect.
The only goal you should have with your workouts is to become a stronger, more awesome version of yourself. Because you were born awesome.
Your workouts allow you to improve your quality of life. To set some personal records, get stronger and build your self-confidence. Your workouts help you discover how much your body is capable of.
So the next time you enjoy a favorite treat or not-so-healthy meal, enjoy it, forget about it, and move on.