I used to have guilty thoughts around food. I’d wake up feeling guilty about what I’d eaten for dinner the night before. I berated myself for not eating as well as I ‘should have’. That word ‘should’ can haunt you. It reminds me how overwhelming emotion can be. Guilt makes things seem harder and more exhausting. Feeling guilty about food after you’ve eaten it prevents healing.
For a healthy relationship with food, you have to give yourself a little freedom and leeway. Some days, you’ll eat super cleanly and exercise, and on others, you’ll indulge a little and find you’re not feeling up to exercise. That’s why the 80/20 approach is so important. You have to tune into your body and listen to what it needs. A night out with your girlfriends and a few glasses of wine or some gelato is good for the soul, so don’t kick yourself the next morning. A sleep-in or a day on the couch could be just what your body needs to restore, so don’t beat yourself up about it. Be kind to yourself.
Here are four things to do the next time you feel guilt around food:
- Learn to let it go: Close your eyes, take a big, deep breath and then let it go slowly.
- Observe your thoughts: Guilt manifests as heaviness and stress in the body. I believe that when we fill our minds with these ‘heavy’ thoughts, they weigh us down. The mind is so powerful and we need to monitor our thoughts.
- Let it go: Say ‘I trust my body’. Guilt and anxiety come from a lack of trust within your own body.
- Write down how you’re feeling: If these steps don’t work, try writing down what you’re feeling anxious or guilty about. Transfer the thoughts onto paper anger them out of your head. Alternatively, practise yoga or meditation. This has really helped me.