What is the single worst ingredient in your food – that you should avoid at all costs? Hint: It’s actually calorie-free, but it can be a lot worse for your health than the most decadent cheesecake. This deadly ingredient is guilt. Guilt makes us feel bad about ourselves and makes us 10 times more likely to binge again and again and again! Guilt’s cousin, shame, is even worse – and for most binge eaters, even a mild feeling of guilt can play into the deep shame that is nearly always lurking within us.
How to get rid of the guilt? You can start by getting rid of your diet rules, especially the good/bad labels you use to describe food and yourself – just get rid of the harsh judgment words. We create our reality in our minds, and if we think that cookies are “bad,” then it’s easy to start thinking WE are “bad” if we eat them (or “good” if we eat broccoli). It’s simply not true that you’re “bad” if you eat one cookie or 100 cookies. Don’t give food the power to make you feel good or bad.
The fact is, your self-worth shouldn’t have anything to do with what you eat. Our eating disorder has convinced us that it does, but this is a lie. Most of the negative stuff you believe about yourself is simply NOT true. But ED is convincing; ED has made you believe these lies for years – making you feel guilty not only for eating, but for existing! The good news is, you don’t have to believe ED anymore. It will take a while for ED to stop influencing your thoughts, but you will get there if you keep challenging these ED beliefs every chance you get!
Note: This is the first post in a new series of blog posts. I’m going to tell you the most important things that helped me stop binging, but I’m going to explain them in small, easily digestible chunks. I wanted to start with the topic of guilt and shame because I think it might be the single most important part of recovering from binge eating. It has been SO crucial to my own recovery. In fact, we’ll probably revisit the topic of shame in a future post, because I find it so important!
What role does guilt play in your eating disorder? Why do you let your eating or your weight determine your worth as a person?