Feeling guilty for what you're eating may distract from a stronger guilt and/or shame about having needs and wanting more (of anything).
What's the difference between guilt and shame?
Guilt can be understood as being about something that you did or did not do. It references behavior and actions. People feel guilty when they think they've done something wrong, or when they choose not to take action.
Guilt sounds like: "I've done something really bad and wrong."
Shame about who you are as a person, your essential character. It's not that you've done a bad thing, but that there's something essentially bad about you. Shame is often associated with secrecy and leads to isolation.
Shame sounds like: "There's something really bad and wrong with me."
Here's how to get rid of guilt:
1. Think of something that makes you feel guilty. What is your "crime"?
"I feel guilty for eating that pizza" or "I feel guilty for wanting ice cream"
2. Identify what the behavior means about you.
"I want too much and I have no self-control. I am completely weak."
3. If your guilt was not attached to food/weight, what might you feel guilty about? "I'm not happy in my relationship" or, "I resent my friends/family."
4. What are your rules for yourself about wanting and feeling? "Don't want too much. Don't be selfish. Be happy with you have because other people have it so much worse. Don't complain. Don't be a whiner. Who do you think you are? Don't be full of yourself? Don't be angry.
5. What do you imagine is wrong with your character, your basic and essential self? "I'm needy. I'm too much. I'm not enough. There's something missing in me. I'm not lovable. I'm deficient."
6. Where did you learn to relate to yourself this way? "Childhood, family, experiences in school, relationships with friends and/or romantic situations."
7. What is another way of looking at this situation and your behavior?
"I'm still learning to identify and process my feelings. I have conflicts about wanting more out of life, and that makes me feel needy. Wanting more is not bad, or shameful, but human. I will be curious about where in my life I feel deprived, so I don't turn to food to get "more" or to express my conflict over wanting more out of life by eating"
When you identify and process your core guilt and shame, you'll be less likely to attach your guilt/shame to your weight, food or body image.
That's how you make peace with food!
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