What would it feel like to live a guilt free life around food and body?
If you no longer felt guilty for the foods you ate. You no longer felt stress around your body.
Wouldn’t that feel pretty amazing?
We’ve perpetually been conditioned to believe that we should feel guilty for eating “bad” foods. Or that our bodies aren’t good enough. Always chasing the next diet and constantly fearing what we see in the mirror.
Many people start a diet from a place of not liking themselves. Thinking that if they just had more self-control and followed their plan to a T that they would lose the weight and instantly feel better about themselves.
But here’s the thing, starting from that place of hatred will never allow you to reach your goals.
It’s because you’re not starting from the right place. There are some fundamental mindset shifts you need to make before you can start to see the results you so badly crave.
The Four Mindset Shifts Needed to Live a Guilt Free Life
Recognizing Where You’re Starting From
The mind is an extremely powerful tool you’ve been given to help you rid yourself of guilt. You just have to be willing to put in the work.
The work first starts with recognition. Recognizing that your diet is actually holding you back. That all of those feelings: guilt, stress, anxiety, obsession, around food and body are what’s holding you back from reaching your goals.
Without the recognition, you’re going to be stuck in a constant loop of either thinking there’s nothing wrong with your diet and still feeling guilty. Or realizing there might be something that could change, and beginning the process of working through those feelings.
My recognition point actually came five years after being on and off Weight Watchers, trying cleanses and other diets. I then hit a plateau and ultimately went back to Weight Watchers. Mainly because I thought I had more freedom with it.
But one day, and I remember this so clearly, I was sitting in our living room with my husband. I said to him, “I don’t think I want to spend the rest of my life counting points. I’m tired of it and how I feel when I go over my points.”
Your recognition can be as simple as that.
Take Action Towards a Guilt Free Life
The second step in making a mindset shift is to actually take action.
Whether that means researching intuitive eating, hiring an intuitive eating coach, reading books or listening to podcasts about food freedom.
These can be just some of the few first action steps you take to begin living a guilt free life.
One of my favorite quotes is “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
Meaning that if you’re doubting you can actually achieve food freedom and live a life where food is just food, rather than a calorie, point or macro, you will forever be stuck in the eat, repent, repeat cycle.
But what does eat, repent, repeat mean?
It means that when you eat a food you feel you “shouldn’t” or was “bad” for you or was off the plan, you repent by eating less the next day.
Or maybe you make up for it by exercising longer and harder the next day. Or you could go the opposite direction and eat and eat. You think, well, I already effed up by eating that brownie, I might as well just go hog wild. But then you feel so guilty afterward and say, I’ll be better tomorrow.
This cycle continues to repeat itself over and over. It might not be right away, it could be a couple days later. But you continue to flow through this eat, repent, repeat cycle
By recognizing this cycle exists and then taking action to stop it hits your first two steps in the necessary mindset shifts you need to stop feeling guilty.
Stop Controlling Negative Emotions
The third step in living a guilt free life is to stop trying to control your negative emotions around food.
This comes back to releasing the guilt.
When you try to control the negative feelings you have, you’re not allowing yourself the opportunity to realize why you have those negative feelings. Realizing these feelings will give you the opportunity to eventually work through them. Then releasing those feelings and moving past them.
One of my last few months on Weight Watchers I was sitting on the couch entering everything I ate and drank over the weekend into the app.
I felt horrible the more I entered and the higher my points went. Inevitably setting me way over my points limit for each day.
Once I was finished I threw my phone to the side and shoved all those feelings down. Telling myself I would be better next week. Maybe just eat fewer points to make up for it (the eat, repent part of the cycle was taking place right then and there).
But if I would have taken a moment to dig into why I felt so horrible, I may have realized that I felt bad because I thought I was letting myself down by not following the plan.
That I wasn’t strong willed enough to eat within my points. It’s no wonder I wasn’t losing any weight if I couldn’t control how much I ate and drank throughout the weekend.
If I would have allowed myself to dive into those feelings then, I could have released so many negative emotions around the points system. Maybe I would have gotten to intuitive eating much faster than I did.
When you first move away from a diet, you’re going to have a lot of these feelings come up.
You’re conditioned to believe that the diet is going to make you better. That you can’t lose weight without that diet. That you need the diet to survive.
But as you take time to recognize those feelings and really dive into them, you’re able to truly release the guilt.
Commit to Your Higher Self for a Guilt Free Life
The last mindset shift you need to make is committing to your higher self.
This may sound a bit woo-woo, but like I said, the mind is a powerful tool.
When you start listening to your higher self, you’ll start to feel in-tune with your body.
The ego, or the frantic voice that tells you you can’t do something or you just shouldn’t try, is just trying to keep you safe.
The ego is the one who doesn’t want you to grow. Growing can be uncomfortable, and the ego wants to keep you in your place and comfortable.
Listening to your higher self, that voice that maybe just never goes away, or the calm voice that’s guiding you to try something new, is different. That voice will push you outside of your comfort zone. But is going to be so much better for you in the end. That’s the voice you need to listen, connect and commit to.
I didn’t listen to this voice for a long time.
Honestly, I was too afraid.
I thought that if I stopped following a diet that I would gain all the weight back. That I wouldn’t know what or how much to eat without Weight Watchers.
But the longer I stayed on that plan, the stronger this little voice inside got. It kept saying, there’s something else out there that will absolutely allow you to live a healthy life. Don’t be afraid.
Turns out that little voice was right. I feel so free now with intuitive eating.
Bringing it All Together
You’re going to feel so free once you make this change and shift in mindset.
Use these four mindset shifts: recognition, taking action, lean into the negative emotions and commit to your higher self.
Once you start putting these four into practice you truly will start to live a guilt free life.
But if you still feel like you’re not sure how to follow these steps, or need more guidance, then join Eat for Life Collective.
The Squad is here to walk you through all these steps, and so much more. To help you live a truly guilt free life.
You’ll finally feel comfortable in your own body. No longer have to rely on a diet. Guilt free will be your every day life!