You don’t need to “Earn Your Mac n Cheese”

By Elizabeth Jarrard, Dietetics Student, Sargent College

There’s a new gym near Boston University. Huge billboards and ads adorn the windows proclaiming that YOU need to “earn your mac n cheese tonight”

Their gimmick to get you inside their doors, clamoring for a membership is to guilt you into working out.

Because the only reason we work out is to burn calories right? Not because it protects our hearts, guards against hypertension, increases endorphins, boosts self-confidence and makes us stronger? Nope-the only reason you’ll ever see me in the gym is because I just ate, and I feel guilty.

A study that has been getting a lot of press lately claims that guilt is a great motivator for diet change and exercise. But let me ask you-does the end justify the means? Guilt may get you to the gym, but it also sets you up for dissatisfaction with your body, as well as disordered eating and behaviors.

Here at Sargent Choice we love healthy food and work out regularly, but we also know the dangers of swearing off dessert forever, classifying foods as good or bad, obsessive exercising and extreme dieting. Compensating for what you eat by working out can be a disordered behavior.

So go to the Fitrec,  play a pickup game of basketball or take a jog around the esplanade. But don’t go because you feel guilty about what you just ate. Go because it makes you feel alive, healthy, strong and beautiful!

What motivates you to go to the gym or eat healthy?


Warin H Dexter posted on April 14, 2011 at 11:51 am

Nicely Done and absolutely right on the mark!
Thank you

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John Kraft posted on January 3, 2024 at 10:22 am

The marketing tactic of “earning” indulgent food through exercise perpetuates a harmful mindset. Exercise isn’t just about burning calories; it’s about holistic well-being, mental health, and strength. Guilt-driven gym visits negate the myriad benefits beyond calorie burning. It’s like associating gyms solely with opioid detox – a narrow view missing the broader spectrum of health and vitality exercise brings.

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