Guilt is Fattening

I lost 50 pounds 3 years ago and have kept it off. The first thing I gave up was guilt.

Eating Out
Creative Commons License photo credit: dimas.r

I am serious. I realized that I was “running” a guilt-producing story in my mind every time I ate something that I considered to be the least bit “high calorie,” “unhealthy,” or “unnecessary.” I came to the conclusion that my self-talk, full of “shoulds” & “should nots” about food, was definitely more fattening than anything I was putting in my mouth!

I'd be sitting there, fork in hand, thinking thoughts like:”I shouldn't be eating this. It's not healthy. It probably has 300 calories. I know those people over there are watching me eat this and thinking to themselves that I'm fat and out of control … yada … yada.”

I'd be so consumed with guilt and shame over what I was eating that I couldn't even taste the food! Is it any wonder then that I would find myself spiraling into an unconscious eating frenzy ?! I'd be so obsessed with what I was eating that I'd gulp down my “special” dessert (or pizza, chips & dip, french-fries, or hefty cheese sandwich, etc) and feel no satisfaction from having consumed it, whatsoever!

Well, of course not! I wasn't even present while it was being eaten! I was off in my head, berating myself, making myself “pay” for being so “bad!” The end result was that I would just eat more … and more … and more, tasting nothing and adding pound after pound!

Like I said, guilt definitely appears to be high in fat content

So here's what I did. I decided that if I was going to eat something, no matter “how bad for me” I believed it to be, I MUST enjoy every bite of it! I made an agreement with myself to relish whatever I ate. Once I made the choice to eat a particular dish or food, I would eat it slowly, tasting each bite as I put in my mouth.

Enjoying my food became my chief requirement for eating. I made it a more important criteria than watching calories or cutting out certain foods, etc.

AND IT WORKED! And has continued to work since!

Try it and let me know what you find!

2 Responses

  1. Hi Elizabeth, Your comments show great insight into your own issues with food.
    For instance, when you say, “I think in the past I have made choices that create chaos in my life, and my unconsciousness has extended to food.”
    I would drop the “I think,” and question any decision that creates chaos.
    Making better choices for ourselves is something we do naturally when we are free of negative, guilt-producing, mental spin.
    Drop the “maybe,” above, and be assured that you will, indeed “be able to maintain (a) more calm and conscious … approach to food,” as a result of those healthier choices!

  2. Lynne,
    Thank you so much for sharing this. Food has taken up a huge portion of my mental space for years (and for milliions of others from the looks of the diet and “health” industry.) I have had so much guilt around food, but my guilt has also extended to being healthy. In the past I have felt guilty for wanting to lose weight because I thought it was vain, so I would eat to prove that I wasn’t. Obviously, a double edged sword. I think in the past I have made choices that create chaos in my life, and my unconsciousness has extended to food. As I am learning to make better choices for myself, maybe I will be able to maintain more calm and conscious in my life, including my approach to food.
    Thanks again for revealing your liberating approach to food 🙂

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