How often do you feel guilty after you binge? Or even after you overeat? So many people do and it doesn’t lead to anything good.
It’s important to know why you feel guilty, and it’s not because of how much you ate. In this episode, I’m teaching you the real reason why you feel guilty and what you can do to not feel guilty. It really isn’t an obligatory post-eating feeling.
Hi! How are you? I’m amazing. Super excited to be talking to you today. Podcasting is fun you guys! I feel like I can teach you so much more when I’m talking to you rather than when I’m just writing a blog so this is great. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am.
Alright, now onto today’s topic which I’m sure a lot of you deal with.
Binge eating guilt.
It’s that all too familiar feeling you get after you eat too much.
It’s one of the biggest concerns I hear from people is that they feel so guilty after they binge.
Or even after they just overeat.
They feel so bad about what they ate.
I used to experience this a lot. I of course felt the guilt after binge eating as most people do. I would think what I did was terrible and embarrassing. But I’d also overeat and feel bad about it, and then the guilt would drive me to go eat more, turning it into a binge.
It’s that, “I already did something bad so I might as well just do more bad things” mentality.
It just doesn’t even make sense if you really think about it.
I felt bad about what I did so I’d just go do more of it? What?
But that’s the way it goes so often. We end up doing counterintuitive things when we’re in a negative headspace.
We don’t like what our circumstance is, so we feel bad, and then we make our circumstance worse.
You ate half a pizza, you beat yourself up for it and feel guilty about it, and when you feel guilty you eat. The result being? Now you ate a whole pizza instead of half.
So let’s talk about why you feel guilty. What causes it?
A good thing for you to know is that it’s not the food. The food does not make you feel guilty. It’s not even the amount of food that makes you feel guilty.
You could eat a piece of bread or an entire loaf, and with either, there is a possibility of you feeling guilty.
Have you ever noticed that? That you’ve felt guilty after eating like one extra thing?
How does one extra piece cause guilt?
Again, it’s not the amount of food, it’s you.
It’s how you think about the food that you ate.
Remember the model I taught you in the last episode?
Your circumstances trigger thoughts. Those thoughts cause your feelings, your feelings drive your actions and your actions create your results.
Any guilt you feel is caused by your thoughts about the circumstance.
The circumstance is that you ate a piece of bread. Now what do you think about that?
If you’re feeling guilty, it’s most likely something along the line’s of, I did something wrong, or bad, or I shouldn’t have done that.
All your feelings are created by your thinking and guilt is no exception.
If it were the food then everyone who ate it would feel the same way, but they don’t.
Your friend next to you ate 3 pieces of bread and she was totally okay with it. She doesn’t think she did anything wrong.
Or your friend ate the whole loaf and although she doesn’t feel physically good, because hi, she ate a whole loaf of bread, but emotionally, she’s okay with it. She doesn’t think she binged and she’s accepting of her decision to have done that. Maybe she even loved eating the whole thing! It’s entirely possible.
Feeling guilty about what you eat is completely optional.
It’s also not useful.
It drives self-hatred, self-sabotage, regret, and usually leads right to restricting or bingeing.
What is useful, is accepting what you did.
The reality is that you ate what you ate. Now you have the option of feeling guilty about it or accepting reality and being okay with it.
You ate it and it’s okay.
Now, I know some people have a hard time saying it’s okay because they really don’t believe it is, but I want you to think about what the upside to thinking it’s not is?
What is the upside to thinking that what you did was bad? Will it stop you from doing it again?
Let’s plug it into the model and see.
The circumstance is that you ate two pints of ice cream, you think it was bad, so you feel guilty, so you beat yourself up, restrict and/or eat more, and the result of these actions is that you’re now really doing something bad to yourself. Beating yourself up, restricting, and eating more out of guilt are not useful ways of dealing with this situation.
Not the result you’re looking for, is it?
Then you may think that if you think what you did was okay then you’ll just keep doing it.
But I want to tell you that this is not the case. What it actually does is keep your mind clear and open to learning from what you did and making a plan to do better moving forward.
You don’t clog up your mind with self-loathing thoughts.
You realize that it is what it is, that you did what you did and there’s no changing that, and now you can figure out what went wrong and what you need to work on.
If you still don’t believe me, what would you say to a friend who ate more than she’d wanted to? Would you tell her she did something wrong? I doubt it, because you wouldn’t want her to take your words and turn them into negativity for herself.
You’d tell her it’s okay and other encouraging things. Why? Because you want her to feel better and do better. Not sit in a negativity hole.
So do the same for yourself. No guilt holes. Feel okay, feel at peace, and do better.
You do this by changing how you think about what you did. Change your thoughts and your feelings will change. That’s how it works.
You made a mistake, and making mistakes is okay. It’s part of the process. Making mistakes is a way to learn.
If you eat too much, it’s just a learning experience. It’s nothing to feel badly about.
Guilt about what you eat is optional and it doesn’t lead you in a positive direction.
If you ate what you think is too much, you can either beat yourself up and think you did something bad or wrong, or that you shouldn’t have done that, or you can look back without judgement and figure out what you would have done differently. What specifically can you learn from and how can you do better next time?
Regardless of what happens, guilt doesn’t have to be an obligatory feeling every or any time you eat, whether it’s a binge or a bowl of cereal.
You don’t have to make it mean you did something wrong, you just made an eating error that you can learn from.
You can decide to think that whatever you did was okay.
It’s up to you.
Drop that guilt! Okay, and also, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast! Make catching all the episodes easy on yourself. And if you don’t know how to subscribe, I got you. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll walk you through it. Have a great, guilt-free week!