Guilt doesn’t spontaneously appear, and when it does, it rarely (if ever) inspires us to make healthy choices. Quite the opposite!
We feel guilty for not eating more of the foods we ‘should’ eat, not staying on track with healthy habits, not being thin enough, eating those cookies when we promised ourselves we wouldn’t, skipping the gym…again, etc.
Here are 2 big root causes why we feel guilty around food/body:
#1: We think we have done something bad or wrong
#2: We compare ourselves to others or us from the past
Address the root cause = release the guilt.
Remove the perceived rule(s) you believe you are breaking. Really dig deep and explore the “why” behind it. Where did it come from? Is it really impacting you in a positive way? How has it affected your social life, eating habits, mind, emotions, mood? What else might be true?
For example: I used to think eating carbs = fat on my body.
Because of that belief, I subconsciously created an unwritten, perceived rule – don’t eat carbs.
When I ate carbs, I’d feel guilty. When I felt guilty, I was WAY more apt to overeat carbs than if I were to just include some in my diet on a regular basis. (side note: carbs are actually super healthy, do not guarantee body fat storage, and are super important to eat!)
So I had to work to release that old belief/myth around food (carbs in particular in this example) to make room for my own body wisdom to guide me to my happiest, healthiest self and eliminate guilt that drove negative behaviors.
End the comparison-itis. If you’re comparing your body or eating habits to someone else, it’s a recipe for disaster and promotes all kinds of assumptions. Focus on being you, and what your body wants/needs to be at its best. Afterall, we have WAY less control of what our body looks like than we realize.
Regarding self-comparison, one of the most common frustrations women share with me is that they believe their bodies should be smaller because at a time in their past they weighed less than they do now. They believe fact that they physically can be smaller means that being smaller is what they should be. Our bodies are made to change and do change size and shape for a number of reasons over the course of life.
For example, if you stop restricting, start eating intuitively, and experience some weight gain, the change in your body shape/size might be because the restrictive behaviors you were previously engaged in were keeping your body below its natural size.
Society likes to tell us that weighing less means being healthier and that skinnier means better…but those blanket statements simply are not true. Your healthy size will never require you to do unhealthy things to maintain it. Releasing this toxic limiting belief is another KEY to releasing the guilt around your body.
Less rules + less comparison = less guilt + more freedom to be your happiest, healthiest self.