Catholic Guilt + Exercise

by Jane Moneypenny

Ah, Catholic guilt. It has yet to leave me. It’s similar to Jewish Guilt and Chinese Shame (lucky me!) and it’s always lingering in the shadows, waiting to remind you of everything you’ve done wrong.

Yes, I’m 28 years old and I still have Catholic guilt. Everyone who’s ever been Catholic and has gone through the school system knows it doesn’t even have to be involved with religion. Eat too much? Catholic guilt. Spend too much money? Catholic guilt. Said one snippy comment on a bad day to a friend? Catholic guilt.

Mine is pretty rampant, which is probably 35% of the reason that I’m relatively a good person. Or you could just call it being really hard on myself for no reason.

As anyone who knows me, I detest working out. I think it’s horrible, boring and frankly, torturous. I only do it to continue to eat the way I do. I prefer activities like rock climbing or paddling or tennis over doing push-ups (barf) and running (ugh).

With Peru/Machu Picchu coming up, I know I have to exercise. Granted, it’ll probably be much much easier than the pain that was Kilimanjaro, but I still worry. So I force myself and then skip a few days to “rest” and then the guilt sets in. I’m also surrounded by size 0-4 girls that are blonde and beautiful and young. They work out at lunch or after work with big smiles and bouncing ponytails while I’m holding onto dear life to the treadmill on a 12 incline.

Please please please let me get through this hike as a fun adventure and not a “What the F am I doing?!” mindset!