I would have made, according to my great friend Karen, a fantastic Catholic. Permanently clothed in a hair shirt (although I feel camisole is more apt), the word ‘guilt’ trips off my tongue far too readily.

  • “Listen, if we’re going out for wine and god knows what else tonight, I’ll have to cycle to Kingston and have no carbs during the day”. Friend rolls eyes.
  • I can’t sit and read the newspaper until I’ve read this column on obesity. Daughter yawns.
  • I’ll only be able to sit and watch that film when I’ve mowed the lawn.
  • Even when I was 11, it was the same… “I can’t watch the Waltons, until I’ve got those fractions well and truly nailed”. Dad grins wryly.

I’m making life sound exhausting, always fighting with myself over something. But if you think about it, a little dose of guilt each day helps us achieve things, pushes our boundaries, possibly makes us better people. It stops us succumbing to lethargy, to a life without direction. The proverbial finger in the ribs makes us get things done. And getting things done makes us feel good. And that good feeling creatives positivity and achievement.

“Now, Annie Deadman, where are you going with this?”
Well, take my inbox today for example. I got three emails from different clients, all of whom are currently participating in the March Programmes. They were all of them writing about how challenging activity out of their comfort zone (they’re referring to early morning 6am bootcamp) leaves them with a warm glow for the rest of the day. And if they should miss it (sick child up all night / trainers gone missing / playing spoons with partner), then the day goes awry, bottoms up, it loses its shape. Something is missing. Yes, missing. And it is my view that guilt is ever such a tiny bit responsible.

It is no surprise therefore that, having trained hard all week, eaten purely and gone about each day with fire in their belly, they will enjoy all the more the weekend treats that any good 80/20 way of eating will allow. And all of it guilt-free.

And it will be the fairy dust of guilt that gets those people to their eventual weight loss goals. That and, of course, the wonderfully crafted training sessions, the endless educational emails, the motivating instructors who never tire of pushing you and a jolly fine eating plan.

Have a wonderful Tuesday evening. Enjoy that sun. Annie x

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