I think we can all agree that guilt and shame do not belong at your table, so if these feelings are coming up when you eat, read on!
I frequently have clients saying things like “I ate so much at my friends tailgate last weekend and I felt so guilty all day on Sunday” or “When I eat (insert favorite food), I feel so ashamed because it’s unhealthy.” And if you could see the body language, it’s very clear that it’s even uncomfortable to say these things out loud. The accompanying action is often some type of food restriction the next day, physical activity punishment, or swearing off the favorite food for the foreseeable future. Many wonder if they can have a healthy relationship with food and find it impossible to consider they may be able to enjoy eating. But maybe it just takes a change in perspective.
Of course, we all make mistakes when it comes to taking care of ourselves. Can you remember a time when you forgot to brush and floss your teeth before falling asleep? Do you spend the entire next day worrying about missing your oral care routine the night before, or do you brush your teeth and move on with your life? Have you ever stayed up late to watch a live sporting event, which resulted in you getting less than the recommended minimum 7 hours of sleep? Do you skip the first few hours of work to catch up on sleep, or do you go to work and make a mental note to not start sacrificing sleep on a regular basis? If you begin to think of eating for what it truly is, fuel for your body (your vehicle for your life!), then your reactions might look more like this: If you overeat at a party, notice that physically uncomfortable feeling and make a mental note that you don’t want to feel this way in the future. Don’t feel shame about eating your favorite food. Enjoy it! Moderation will eventually come naturally. I still haven’t met a person who wants to eat loads of the same thing every day. Even chocolate!
The next time guilt and shame creep onto your plate, take a stand! Shift your perspective; learn to listen to your body, and most importantly, LIVE YOUR LIFE!