What Guilt?

[[Side Notes: What Guilt?

One of the things that I have struggled with the most over the past several years with my ED is GUILT.  Over what?  Well, everything really.  It could range anywhere from eating a “unsafe/forbidden” food, to something that I want but know I might lose control, to not exercising, to enjoying time with friends and just plain being me.

It has been a very hard road to travel, but I think I’m finally getting off of it and onto a new one; One that is guilt free and full of so many beautiful things that I will finally have the spirits to embrace fully.

My “No-Guilt Revelation” came a few weeks ago, when I had a discussion with my great and absolutely supportive friend Monica.  Not only did she help me get past this, but she also provided the much needed words that came with my workout and fueling revelation when we flew on a plane to HLS together last summer.  I don’t remember the conversation word for word, but we talked about my ED, overeating and seeing counselors and such, and I remember discussing with her that I just wished I could take the switch in my head that makes me feel so guilty and anxious all the time and just turn it off.

We continued to talk about various books we’ve read, author’s we loved, their stories and such and something just clicked. I think Monica is my switch.  She has helped me gain the reality that I’ve needed for so many years in places where I just continue to beat the crap out of my body and mentality about myself in general.  It’s hard to explain, but she always have the right thing to say, being brutally honest that makes me realize that what I’m doing and struggling with is well, WRONG.

I discussed this new found revelation with my counselor last week and had specific incidents where I would normally feel guilty, but had absolutely none.

So remember those Mini Cadbury Eggs you saw on the blog for a week or so back at the beginning of March? 

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I love the damned things to bits.  Every single one.  But they have been a HUGE FEAR FOOD for years, and only now have I allowed myself to have them, guilt free.  Something just clicked and I thought, “If I want chocolate, and they come in the form of this great Easter candy, then so be it?  It’s not going to kill me.  I’ll be fine and still fit in my pants in the morning.”

I ate them everyday for 4 days straight.  And I even ate them at 10 in the morning one day. No guilt.  And I still fit into my pants.

The bag ended, but I didn’t end the revelation at that.  I was able to eat so freely that week that it actually scared me a bit.  What if this is just another one of those phases that I go through and I’m going to be back to my guilt eating at the end of the week?  I was almost side railed with the coming weekend when I did feel guilty about something but then I literally stopped myself in my tracks (I was debating over avocado on something) and asked myself, “What is this going to hurt? You will not feel guilty over this!  Not now or ever!”

I did well after that, even with going to the Blogger Pizza Party and spending a weekend at home with randomly eaten meals and a blizzard to drive through.  I had a good week thereafter and was feeling awesome! I could feel my mind and body adjusting well and really listening to when I was hungry and when I was full.

I hit a road block this weekend, having to eat so much on the road and on the go.  That always seems to cause some anxiety but I was able to push through it.  I happened most readily when I went out to dinner Saturday night before the race at Saturn Café.  I sat there debating over dinner.  Should I just get a salad, or get the burger I saw online and really wanted to try?  Part of me was thinking about calories and not eating something too heavy before the run the next morning, but the other was thinking about this being my first time in Berkeley and who knows when I’ll be back there to try out any of the restaurants!? 

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Obviously the second thought won, as I got the burger.  But the next culprit was what to get for a side.  I had a choice of thin or thick cut fries, or their soup of the day (in this case a Spicy Carrot Cilantro).  I could also sub those out for $3 with sweet potato fries, a salad or something else I forget.  I thought about the salad or sweet potato fries, but god forbid I pay an extra $3 for that!  That’s nuts!  That and since I can remember, I absolutely LOVE STEAK CUT FRIES.  Their thickness is what gets me the most and man, I just couldn’t pass it up.

So Saturday was the first time since I can remember, that I got the first thing that sparked me interest, that I wanted, and had no guilt afterwards.  I knew it wasn’t my normal pre-race dinner of pizza, but I figured I would give it a go.  I stopped when I got full and felt content and didn’t give it a second thought.  Because I mean if you think about it, maybe I need to change my pre-race dinner to burgers since I PR’d by so much, eh!?

This new revelation is not only allowing me to really enjoy the foods that I love, but also learn to trust my body in what it wants and needs.  If I give it what it wants, I won’t go around in the vicious circle of: eat something that makes me feel guilty (or avoid it and keep wanting it even more afterwards), then feel the need to compensate for it and exercise, but then feel bad still thereafter, and end up eating it plus some/thing and beating myself up still.  By eliminating the guilt there is no cycle.  There is no feeling the need to eat it and more out of anxiety afterwards.  If I just eat it and enjoy it, everything ends right there.


So thanks to Monica, for always telling me to my face what I need to hear and most of all, believing that I can do it and be better. 

Have you ever had feelings of guilt when you eat?  What did you do to combat those feeling and hwo did you get over them if they did come about?  ]]

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