This week is Christmas and for many people, this means sharing elaborate meals with friends and family. And for people in eating disorder recovery, this can bring up a lot of fear, anxiety, and GUILT – specifically food guilt.
But remember – just because you may FEEL guilty, doesn’t mean there really is something to feel guilty about.
Even though those feelings feel absolutely real you must remember that those feelings are often based on unhealthy rules, limiting beliefs, and diet mentality. And only by challenging those rules and beliefs our feelings around food can change!
In today’s post, I will teach you a 4-step process you can follow to work on getting rid of the food guilt and to rewire your brain!
Why do you struggle with food guilt?
Most everybody struggles with food guilt in recovery.
Sometimes we have gone through months, years, or even decades of restriction, not trusting ourselves and following some external rules on how to eat.
And when in recovery we must do the opposite action and start to eat without any restriction and going against all the rules then understandably we feel very guilty.
But of course, there is absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. Eating food without restriction and allowing yourself to enjoy it is your birthright, it’s how it naturally should be. Just society’s diet brainwash has conditioned us to feel guilty for eating but there is a way you can overcome it.
4 Steps To Stop Feeling Guilty After Eating
So now let’s talk about the 4-step process to stop feeling guilty after eating.
1. Become aware
The first step is always awareness. Become aware of the moments you experience food guilt.
Notice the thoughts that come up. Notice the emotional sensation of guilt coming up.
It may feel uncomfortable to even notice it but only with awareness, there comes an opportunity to change and do something differently.
2. Get curious
Specifically, get curious about what “rules” do you think you are breaking? And what beliefs are you going against?
We feel guilty when we think we are breaking some rules. Rules such as:
- You shouldn’t eat more than one cookie
- You shouldn’t eat so many carbs
- You can’t be hungry, you just ate an hour ago
Whatever your rules are, identify them and write them down.
And also notice what limiting beliefs, fears, or worries may come up. When we have been through restriction it’s very likely we have so many limiting beliefs around food.
Beliefs such as:
- If I binge I will never stop
- Carbs make you fat
- I can’t trust my body
Next, challenge the food rules and beliefs.
Break the “rules”, do the opposite action.
And challenge the limiting beliefs by reframing them to something true and helpful instead.
4. Repetition and consistency
And lastly, apply repetition and consistency with your new focus and action.
Our brain is rewired by lots and lots of repetition. And it is also rewired by being consistent with whatever you are trying to rewire.
Feeling guilty after eating can be like a bad habit. It makes sense because if we constantly act like we should feel guilty for eating (for example we restrict and follow a bunch of food rules), and if we also criticize ourselves for eating (beat ourselves up for eating whatever we crave), then we condition our brain to feel guilty around food.
So overcoming guilt after eating is a process of breaking a habit and creating a new healthy one. And doing it over and over again with lots of repetition.
If you want to learn more about recovery and how to do it step by step then please read my book “BrainwashED”
You can check out my recovery online courses HERE.
If you wish to work with me one on one, then I offer Recovery Coaching where I can help you go through your recovery step by step and offer support and accountability. Read more and apply HERE.
Or you can book a one-off coaching call with me HERE.