Why do we feel the need to always justify our choices?
When we don’t exercise we tell people it’s because we worked out 5 days in a row and deserve a rest day.
When we eat an extra serving at dinner we explain that we ate a small lunch so we deserve more food.
When we sit on the couch for more than 20 minutes we feel the need to tell everyone HOW BUSY we are and that we deserve a little break.
For all of those things, and more, we don’t need to explain our actions. More than that, we shouldn’t feel guilty for them.
A rest day doesn’t need explanation.
Eating more at dinner doesn’t need an explanation.
Sitting on the couch and being lazy (gasp!) doesn’t need an explanation.
We think everyone else is always go-go-go (or in my case, study-study-study), that if we aren’t following in suit, we’re doing something wrong. Especially during the holiday season when everyone is “OMG so busy,” we find the need to explain why we had a lazy or quiet weekend. Who the heck cares that we chose to sit on the couch for most of Sunday? Being busy doesn’t get you a gold star, so we shouldn’t feel guilty for taking some time to ourselves.
Life isn’t a competition of who is most productive or who ate the healthiest. I’m very guilty of feeling the need to justify my actions (just check previous workout posts and you can see that I explain my rest days). Especially with blogging, explaining why I do or don’t do things seems like part of the “story telling” process. But it doesn’t always have to be. Sure some days justification is natural and necessary, but for most of our “healthy living” based actions, we shouldn’t need to defend ourselves. We should just remain accountable for our actions.
This is something I’m working on in all aspects of my life. Not feeling the need to justify to my roommate why I was still in sweats at noon on a Saturday, or why I was eating straight out of a jar of peanut butter. Not feeling the need to justify to MYSELF why I didn’t run or workout one day…or two days…or three days. I can take a rest day just because I feel like it. That is enough explanation.
We seek the approval of people around us for our choices, when really, our opinion is the only one that matters. Being busy doesn’t make you a better or more productive person. Working out every day doesn’t make you superior. Be confident in your actions and live YOUR life.
Do you explain your choices to people? In the blog world and/or real life?
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
Love, love, love! You DON’T need to justify anything to anyone! It’s your body, your mind, your time, and YOUR choice!
I think we feel like we have to because the day we don’t do our workout or just want to sit on the couch, we see someone else doing the craziest workout or getting 50 things done. But we are all on different schedules and need different things at different times. Having a blog makes it worse because people are SO judgmental that we feel like we HAVE to explain why we did this, didn’t do this, or ate that. It’s annoying and everyone needs to just focus on themselves and their own well-being.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Gift Guide For The Guys
I completely agree with you. Only we know what’s best for ourselves. It’s hard to deal with the comparison and judgement, whether by ourself or others.
Linda @ The Fitty says
This message also goes for haters out there. They will question you and challenge you, but in the end you have the power to say, “I don’t owe anyone anything. I don’t need to justify my actions to you.” This is something I need to practice as i get defensive and try to please everyone but myself. Thanks for bringing this into the light!
Linda @ The Fitty recently posted…Why You Should Eat Liver
I am a people pleaser too. It’s hard to not feel the need to justify, but I think it’s much better in the long run.
You nailed it girl. I definitely struggled with this a lot more once I joined the blog world. Everyone seemed to justify every action so I did too. It’s a bad habit and not always a healthy one. I think a lot of it stems from justifying these things to ourselves. Like, “so and so never takes a rest day but I really need one right now because…” We use those justifications to make ourselves feel better about our actions when we’re comparing ourselves to what others are doing. It’s a tough one to break but I think we could all use a reminder to stop justifying ourselves! Great post, as always :)
pickyrunner recently posted…Catch you later.
Exactly, it all goes back to comparison. We feel like what we’re doing is “wrong” when it’s really just different from other people.
Truth. I think everyone struggles with this, especially ladies and eating and working out. I’ve had a couple rest days in a row and it’s like hello?! I shouldn’t feel bad. It’s not like I haven’t worked out in a month or only have been eating tons of crap. It’s crap mixed with greens and vegetables, haha. Justifications need to stop!
breathedeeplyandsmile recently posted…LUNA bars are now gluten-free!
Right?! I thought the same thing after a few “easy” workout days. It’s not like I’m spiraling down a bad path, I’m just being normal.
Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine says
This is so true! Its like we get into healthy habits but it seems like its never enough…however, its also healthy to relax once in a while and do whatever you feel like doing!
Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…What’s Next? Goals For 2015
It’s crazy how we can be so healthy, but it still isn’t “enough.” Lately, I’m all about relaxing and doing what I feel like.
I don’t “work out” I don’t feel any need to justify OR make excuses. I’m happy. I feel good when I’m active and strong through everyday activities and also love to relax and unwind. No guilt just means and ends.
Rebecca @ MyEagerFeet says
Great post – I especially feel like this during the holidays. I need quite a bit of alone time to feel happy, and that’s not the norm during a time of parties. I’m trying to work on balancing everything, but it’s hard to not feel guilty.
Rebecca @ MyEagerFeet recently posted…Run Less Run Faster: Week Six
I’m completely the same way. The introvert in me needs time to recharge during this busy season. I feel the like odd one out who isn’t always “party, party, party.”
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday says
SO well said. We know what is right for ourselves, and we should act accordingly, plain and simple – no explanation needed :)
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday recently posted…Relaxed to Rambly
Thanks for your comment, Ellen! Doing what is right for ourselves should be just what you said, plain and simple.
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West says
Hi Emily! You are wise beyond your years. I love this, and I love “healthyish.” So glad I stopped by. And of course I justify things, but that mostly happens in my head. Definitely hope to live more freely and just be. Happy Wednesday:)
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West recently posted…Eating, napping and eating again
I’m glad you stopped by! I justify a lot of things to myself during the day, but it gets exhausting trying to defend my actions (to myself!). Hope you had a great Wednesday!
Emily @ Sweets and Beets says
This is such a healthy outlook, Emily! You’re so right. I think it also goes along with lightening up on yourself.. something I’ve been more conscious of. We’re not perfect. Perfection is unrealistic! I also think not having to justify yourself translates into the personal/professional world sometimes too. =)
I agree with you about it translating into the personal/professional world. I hope I can build a strong enough foundation and become comfortable with not always justifying before I enter the work world.
Erin G. @ Treats and Sneaks says
It has always been a joke with the people close to me that I feel the need to justify things when no one is even judging me. This is such a good reminder for me that I don’t need to apologize if I get busy and don’t blog for a few days, or I feel sick and don’t workout. I’m thinking this would be a great resolution for me going into the new year :)
Erin G. @ Treats and Sneaks recently posted…Five Things Friday #19
It is a great new year’s resolution! One I’m prioritizing as well :)