A trend that is very troubling and all too prevalent is that exercise should be punishment. Punishment for overindulging the day before doesn’t make you feel good about yourself or encourage healthy relationships with food or exercise. “Destroying” your legs/arms/etc. doesn’t show yourself any self love and doesn’t help you feel good about your body.
Exercise is a way to feel better about yourself, to become more able to go about your life. Exercise should be something you look forward to, so much that you are excited to make time for it. It should help improve your life not be an obstacle.
If you don’t feel this way about exercise and your training, you need to make a change. Do something you enjoy, if that’s swimming, yoga, CrossFit , bodybuilding, cycling, out anything else it doesn’t really matter what as long as you’ll want to do it consistently. Focus on how you feel after you exercise, the feeling of accomplishment and step-by-step improvement. Having lifted more than I did the week before is one of the best feelings in the world.
With the huge recent focus on self-care, there’s no reason that exercise shouldn’t be at the forefront of the conversation. The positive effects on emotions, self perception, and habits are only the tip of the iceberg.