“The guilt experienced when eating forbidden food creates more toxins in the system than the actual food.”
This statement was open for discussion on a food-psychology forum. Check out what the experts had to say.
Many people said that if you choose to eat something, then relax and enjoy it. One person said, “Our emotions are a major factor in gaining weight and our inability to permanently lose weight. Because it’s not just what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you!”
Another added, “I have to say that two of the most unhealthy people I know are orthorexics. They are brittle and inflexible in their beliefs about food. And it’s obvious to look at them that they are not happy nor healthy!”
A few people said that pleasure is the thing that actually makes us healthy! Being happy = being healthy.
“I don’t believe in guilting oneself about eating. The foods that we thought were bad for us have turned out to be good and visa versa. Guilt makes you feel badly about yourself, and creates stress. And stress makes you sick and can actually be the sole reason for weight issues in the first place. All things in balance.”
“I was just discussing this with a client the other day who is a bit obsessed about his diet. My suggestion to him about enjoying a cookie or brownie treat his daughter made is to bless the food and ask his body to receive it and nourish him. And then to savor the food and let it go, confident in his resolve to get back on track and not over indulge!”
~Anne Baker CN, LE
Alternately, others felt that guilt is a necessity and has no affect on the outcome.
“We should feel guilty when we lie to someone. We should feel guilty when we steal something. We should feel guilty when we are unfaithful to our spouse. And we should feel guilty when we put harmful junk non-foods in our bodies. The answer is not in snuffing out the guilt, but in correcting the bad behavior. Forbidding the consumption of soda, donuts, unclean meats, etc. in your diet is a good thing, warranting a sense of guilt when they are consumed.
“I am defining ‘forbidden’ from a Godly, Biblical perspective, not a man’s wisdom perspective. The God of all creation, the Creator of our very bodies, tells us to eat no abominable (unhealthy) thing (Deut 14:2-3). Disobedience to God’s directives, in any area of life, will always be a cause for guilt and shame. All the pop-psychology in the world will never change that.”
~Michael Scott Lowery
“Stress is no enemy. When one stays in touch with one’s body and brings one’s soul deeper in, the body may become more sensitive to what it’s being fed … Perhaps that stress ‘toxin’ is designed to help us choose better next time. Maybe that voice of guilt is a reminder that the body needs better support than what the brain is ‘saying’ … Maybe we interpret that voice incorrectly … Like getting scolded by mom for our own good. Maybe the firm boundaries we have with our sugar-hungry junk-food junkies born from processed food and overindulgence should be reined in with guilt if the inner addict is still too emotionally immature to maintain responsibility for healthy choices. ”
IT Professional & Dynamic Eating Coach & Energetic Wellness Practitioner
And here’s what I had to say:
“I was so happy to see this discussion. The most successful clients I work with are the ones who are willing to let go of the guilt around food. In fact, they are so pleased when I inform them that they can eat anything they want at anytime as long as the body receives it well and it makes them feel good. They then begin to pay attention to the feel-good effect of food on their body and recognize on their own what foods weigh them down and what foods lift them up.
“What happens from flowing with the food (forbidden or not) is a much more positive and synergistic approach to lifestyle development and mental/emotional behavior. Feeling badly about our food choices indeed has a ‘gripping’ effect on digestion, making the food settle into the body and cause unnecessary grief and discomfort. The cause and affect approach when working with clients has been my most successful teaching tool: “How did that make you feel?” Rarely do individuals stop and ask themselves that question when consuming a ‘forbidden’ food. They simply fall into a self-punishment routine, which perpetuates more of the same.”
In my opinion guilt is a wasted emotion. It is felt in order to make you feel badly about your mistakes instead of honoring them and allowing them to be the stepping stones toward education and intelligence. Guilt along with fear creates “stuckness” in our bodies that inhibits flow, retards metabolism, and ultimately festers into discomfort and disease.
This is not to say that boundaries and guidelines should not be followed to increase good health and body awareness. However, along our path, we must allow some time for error. We are all HUMAN after all.
In health & love,