Today I’m happy to say HealthyGirl.org reader Angie is back with a guest post. Her first time here, she wrote about hopping back and forth between different disordered behaviors that resonated with a lot of readers. This one, about food guilt, no doubt will too. xo…Sunny
I have Food Guilt. I have the voice of the Food Police ready to count calories, measure food, weigh my choices.But earlier this week I read a blog post by Tina from Carrots N Cake and I was so inspired by when Tina wrote that she had a moment where she decided to put the Food Guilt down and just enjoy the food because it was good. Wow.
It made me think about one of my all-time favorite/helpful books, Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. I ‘think’ I practice Intuitive Eating, but I still have a long way to go. I am making progress: This morning I was sitting with my cat, listening to her purr, and thinking about how I don’t have to have the Food Guilt. I really like healthy foods. I can eat anything (ice cream, pizza, donuts, whatever), but I choose not to eat the foods that my body rejects. (I have celiac disease and within a few minutes of eating anything containing gluten like regular bread or pasta, I begin to have the most horrible, uncontrollable gas and bloating.) I used to think, a few bites won’t hurt, but a few bites do hurt. For me, I either get gassy or go to a binge (which brings on more hurt).
Bottom line: I don’t want to feel bad, so I decided that while I can eat anything, I don’t want to eat some things. The Food Police and Food Guilt can talk for hours, but I don’t have to listen. The only thing I need to listen to is my body. If it’s craving something, then I can eat it. I don’t have to weigh, measure, obsess. My body tells me what it needs, I just need to listen. And then the Food Guilt evaporates.
The most helpful take-away I got from the book Intuitive Eating is to challenge the Food Police. I extrapolate this Food Police idea to include the Size Police, Calorie Police, Scale Police, Fat Talk Police, Comparing-Myself-to-Everyone Police. All of these police forces bombard my daily thoughts. I hear echoes of these thoughts when I talk with girlfriends. I see images that trigger these forces on TV and in magazines. I feel the pressure of these forces when I am stressed. However, since reading (and re-reading) Intuitive Eating, I am more aware of these forces and am better able to combat them.
Thanks again to Angie for sharing about the negative food and body thoughts so many of us have had to battle. One of the most important things I did that helped me banish food guilt was to stop dieting. How do you guys fight these forces?