Just Say No To The “Ridiculous Stick”

Posted: September 16, 2011 at 7:02 am

Good morning and happy Friday! I didn’t even think today was already Friday when I woke up, but then Peter assured me that, yes, it is in fact Friday. Works for me! That meant I could have my big bowl of oatmeal right away this morning.


Normally I have a pre-workout snack of some sort in the mornings – a bar, a couple handfuls of cereal/granola, a piece of fruit, etc – and save my oats for when I come home from the gym and can actually sit down and enjoy them. It also makes me not feel like I’m working out with a brick in my stomach. Rest days I get to dive right on in. And do you see it???


My peanut butter had a special little message for me. Red heart

I guess it knew I needed that today. Time for a little heart to heart talk.

I ended up taking an unplanned rest day yesterday because my right calf still felt super tight and tender. Logically, I knew I needed to take the day because I would rather have one day off than push a four mile run and weights workout only to get injured or even more pain. It made perfect sense and I was cool with the decision…until sometime in the afternoon.

This is me saying I still go a little mental sometimes and deal with things like exercise guilt. By the time afternoon rolled around, I felt fine and questioned whether I really needed the day off or if I had “lazily” taken a day. The exercise guilt started setting in and overtaking the logical side of my brain.

I started to let myself feel like I had been too lax lately and that I had lost my Body After Baby progress to my happy weight. Even though I’m fitting comfortably in my favorite pair of jeans – the #1 pair of goal jeans I had for myself.

I had already taken an unplanned rest day this past Sunday and felt like taking another was letting myself down…or possibly you all down. Was I being “lazy”? You know… because spending an hour chasing a toddler at the park is lazy, of course!

Basically – I got hit with the ridiculous stick and was in crazy land for a bit there. I guess we’re never fully immune to the body image and exercise/food guilt struggles that have dug their way in before. My oatmeal’s subliminal messaging pulled me out of that you’re-being-WAY-too-hard-on-yourself haze just in the nick of time. Because now I have to see if I can pull myself out of the why-are-you-waking-up-before-6am-baby-B??? haze. Coffee cup

  • Give me either your favorite “love yourself” quote or just something you love about yourself this morning. Let’s burn the “ridiculous sticks” that like to try to beat us every now and again!

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46 Comments to “Just Say No To The “Ridiculous Stick””
  1. Tina says:

    Great post, we can all be hard on ourselves at times. Right now i’m loving that I’m waking up early to do my prayer/reading in the mornings no matter how tired I am!

  2. Khushboo says:

    LOVE this post–> I still somewhat struggle with exercise guilt! Yesterday I was planning to work out but I was feeling kind of sore and it was pouring down like mad outside! I decide to stay in bed and eat oatmeal and read mags instead and result? I was buzzing all day yesterday and had a fabulous workout this morning!

    I love my optimism! Obviously we all have our downer moments but I do try to make the most out of every situation! Happy Friday!

  3. How do you do that???? It’s like you live in my brain! LOL!!!

    I too need to cut myself some slack. It’s like I think I have to do EVERYTHING all the time in order to think I’m doing ANYTHING! Rest is the hardest thing for me, even though my body sometimes screams that I pleeeease do it. And like Khushboo said, it ends up magnifying my strength the next day when I obey that nudge!

    Thanks for this gentle reminder. I need an awful lot of practice in this.


  4. I am SO impressed with that PB heart! 🙂 Too cute!

    In all seriousness, this is a great post! Guilt is something so hard to deal with when it comes to our health!

  5. Ohhh I know how that stick goes. Last weekend I took a 2nd unplanned rest day because I had too much stuff to do. I went back and forth all day with “the talk” in my head until I came to terms with it. thanks for the reminder it’s OK!

  6. Anna Marie says:

    Thanks for posting this. I really needed it.

  7. Kelly says:

    Well considering I am heading to London for 10 days and will be doing no formal exercise I have to be okay with the rest days in my future.

  8. it was new to me the other day, and now i can’t stop thinking about it, but I love the “You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” quote that you shared the other day. truer words have not been spoken!

  9. Amy says:

    Great post, Tina. We truly are our own worst critics. As I’m training for my first marathon, it’s been a real learning experience (read: sometimes I really struggled) to see the BIG picture. I logically know that if I have an ache or am feeling tired, it’s my body telling me it needs a rest… but sometimes the guilt is hard to deal with.

    I love my creativity & dreams. Working toward this marathon has proved to me that I *can* chase down my dreams and make them a reality <3

    Have a lovely Friday!

  10. Kate says:

    “If you aren’t good at loving yourself, you will have a difficult time loving anyone, since you’ll resent the time and energy you give another person that you aren’t even giving to yourself.”

    I think that one fits into where the ridiculous stick we all have comes from. and my personal favorite–

    “It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” – W.C. Fields

    Happy Friday this put me in a great mood!

  11. Holly says:

    This is a great post that I really needed to read this morning–I’ve been beating myself up lately, too, mostly about overeating. Overeating has been a huge issue for me this whole week and a week of it makes anyone feel horrible, I’m sure. But I have the physical discomfort and the emotional guilt beating down on me.

    Something I love about myself: My intellect (#vain) and my dedication to my marathon training.

    • Tina says:

      Not vain! And take things meal by meal or even moment by moment. Every moment is a chance to start fresh and let the recent struggles go. You’re strong and I believe in you! 🙂

  12. Great post! Today I am loving my rest day 🙂

  13. Great post Tina! It was very timely for me. Today will be a happy day! 🙂

  14. Ugh — I had similar feelings last night when I had another bowl of kettle corn (that stuff is so good!!!) — why on earth did I let one bowl of popcorn lead to those horrible feelings of myself. We’re human and not every day will be perfect — easier said than done as always!

    I love the heart of PB. How sweet!

  15. jobo says:

    I TOTALLY got his with the ridic stick last week feeling the same way when a few of my workouts went by the wayside in part due to 4 straight days of downpours and a two-day trip to Denver. But you are right, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and realize it’s not the end of the world, today is a new day! As I sit here eating my oats and wishing my PB had a heart for me 😉

  16. Susan says:

    I have to admit that I deal with exercise guilt sometimes and I have CANCER. Like, what the hell? There really is no escaping it. The best you can do is remember to hit yourself with the ridiculous stick. We all put way too much pressure on ourselves xo

  17. This happens to me a lot when I’m on the road traveling for work and can’t always exercise or at least to the extent I would’ve at home. I love the term “ridiculous stick” I’m saving that for future use when it happens next time b/c it is just that. Ridiculous! Today is my planned rest day and I’m loving it!

  18. Jess says:

    I get so annoyed with myself when I let the ridiculousness of an unplanned (or planned, even) rest day make me feel like I’m suddenly a lazy bum. Um, hello – we both work very hard to stay fit and active. One rest day (or two) will not undo all of that. But it’s SO HARD in that moment of ridiculousness not to feel like the lazies are coming into play. Way to go for pushing those thoughts aside.

  19. Katie says:

    Love the heart shaped blob of PB! <3 WHy couldn't I get one of those in my oats today ; )

    Awwww its so easy to beat ourselves up right? I always just try to remember, each day is a gift, dont be hard on yourself, and live each day with love for yourself and love for others <3

    THANK you so much for sending me a "Memory Monday " post! I am so excited to feature you!

    Happy Friday! xoxo

    • Tina says:

      Mine completely happened at random. I took that as a sign for this post. Oh, the crazy places I can get blog inspiration. LOL

  20. cheryl says:

    i have a ripped-out magazine page on my fridge noting that sometimes the most important thing is total rest.

  21. Jillian D. says:

    I had the SAME thing yesterday except it was with my quad. I had a planned session with my personal trainer and I ended up telling him I couldn’t make it because I was hurt and feeling rundown. I felt so guilty for the rest of the night because I feel like I was falling behind on my marathon training.

    Is one day REALLY going to make me unprepared for the marathon? No.

    Love yourself and everything your body does for you!

  22. I got hit with the ridiculous stick yesterday too… it was not a scheduled “rest day” for me, but I was just exhausted and not feeling a work out. I kept going back and forth about whether or not I should workout…feeling guilty for wanting to take an unplanned rest day to deciding to workout…back and forth. Thank you for this post. And I love your little peanut butter heart! I noticed it right away, and it immediately brought a smile to my face. 🙂

  23. I feel like I can relate to almost every single post you write. That’s what keeps me coming back here. Just thought you should know! One of my favorite quotes is “Love yourself, accept yourself, forgive yourself and be good to yourself because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.”

  24. Love this post Tina, you really say what so many of us are thinking and even though i don’t like pb in my oatmeal (insert bloggers gasping in horror here!) i totally want a heart in my oatmeal too, maybe with jam 🙂

  25. Anna Crouch says:

    I love myself this morning, my generous and serving attitude toward my husband. I make him EVERY meal and every ounce of coffee/smoothie/drink that touches his lips!!! Even on nights that I work, I cook him dinner before I go to work, so he can eat when he gets home. Some people scoff at it, saying “You’re not his slave, ya know! He can make his own dinner”

    But I know that my husband appreciates it, and I love doing it! He works so hard during the day at work, and if I am able, there’s no reason I can’t pack him a lunch everyday, and make him breakfast before he leaves for work. It makes me feel like I’m contributing to him, and it makes him less stressed, not having to think “What should I eat for lunch tomorrow.” (Because God knows he can barely decide what he’s going to eat for a snack in 5 minutes!)

    I love myself for these things, because they show my hubby that I love and care for him 🙂

    • Tina says:

      I think its great you do what makes you happy in showing him love. We have to show our partners love and sometimes that takes extra work…but it should be done with a joyful heart. I love that you do that!

  26. l find myself having exercise guilt too! I think a lot of the same thoughts about if I really needed a day or if I’m just being lazy and telling myself I need a day. However, I figure that maybe on those days when I just tell myself I need one, I must need a mental rest day, so I just take it and enjoy it! 🙂

  27. teresa says:

    I LOVE the “ridiculous stick” idea. What a great way to put those thoughts into perspective.
    This morning I love myself for accepting the few pounds I re-gained and not being in denial until they grew. I got back on track and have lost most of them again. I couldn’t do that a year ago.
    I’m proud of myself this morning. Not for losing weight, but for accepting my mistake and handling it consciously instead of ignoring it until it grew.
    Thanks for asking!

  28. Maren says:

    I get smacked with the ridiculous stick when it comes to weight loss too. I’m never happy where I am, until I gain a little weight back and suddenly realize I was so thin.. .then. I’m promising myself I’m not doing that this time. Hopefully it works.

  29. Carly says:

    I struggle with exercise guilt a lot. But I have also gotten better at reading my body. I feel that when I have ZERO motivation to go to the gym (and I LOVE working out) its a sign that I might be overtraining, pushing myself too hard, or I just need a break for a day. Sure enough I usually feel great about hitting the gym the next day. Recently I chose to cut back on my workouts (I cut out half of my cardio) because I am trying to get pregnant and I have infertility problems as it is, let alone that I work out REALLY hard 6 days a week. It was a hard decision and I felt guilty, but I’ll tell you what, I recover so much faster and I have so much more energy for my workouts now!
    Side note, if you are feeling sore and tight… go to YOGA!!! It has made a world of difference for me 🙂 Plus, I do power yoga which leaves me dripping and feeling like I had a great workout!

  30. Favorite quote:
    “I learned that learning to love my body is a journey. Understanding God’s beauty is a process.”
    …taken from Who Calls Me Beautiful by Regina Franklin
    We will all have those days when we feel guilty about something…but it’s important to remember that it is all a part of our journey!

  31. Ana Maria says:

    Today I love my eyes 🙂

    Thanks for this Tina. I am going away for a fabulous weekend with friends and was feeling guilty that I’d miss workout time!

  32. teresa says:

    …just me again…
    Oh, now I need to borrow your “ridiculous stick” for my blog. I’m writng my post and this concept is right there. I’m linking back to you and if you have any problem you can let me know and I’ll change it.
    I think it needs a graphic… what do you think? Wouldn’t it be great to just pass it around to each other (with kindness) when we need to be reminded that we’re in a mental mind-(romance) with ourselves?
    You literally gave me a tool today that I’ve already used to derail my self defeating thinking! How to thank you for that….
    big, big hugs!

    • Tina says:

      Not a problem at all. 🙂 And glad this post motivated/inspired you. You all motivated and inspire me every day. Thanks!

  33. […] been one of those frazzled days so far. You may remember me mentioning in my morning post that Braedon woke up before 6 am this morning. I thought “no biggie” because then he would just […]

  34. […] Oh, now I have to borrow Tina’s “Ridiculous Stick”. Check out her post at Faith, Fitness, Fun.  The basic idea is that she realized her guilt about not working out one day when she really […]

  35. I love how bummed I am that swim practice was cancelled today. Normally, I’d be excited, because someone else decided that I didn’t need to work out, but today I wish I were there! (Might have *something* to do with my triathlon this weekend, but I was still excited to swim anyway…) To me, swimming isn’t really a workout (because it doesn’t feel like work, even though I’m burning 550 calories), it’s an energy release!

  36. Reading through the comments, this seems to be a pretty prevalent theme! And I’m totally with you all. That little voice of doubt starts telling lies and it’s hard to overlook. That’s when I have to call Travis and have him rationally talk me through it.

  37. […] Body Image Topics (Exercise Guilt) […]

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