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Eating Disorders and Holiday Guilt

Would the defendant please rise….You have been charged with eating what you wanted over the holidays, treating yourself to some dessert after dinner last week, sleeping in instead of working out on your day off, going to In-and-Out burger with your boyfriend for his birthday, and not resisting Betty the Secretary’s fudge nut brownies today at work. Jury…have you reached a verdict??…yes your honor….we find the defendant Guilty Guilty Guilty…we sentence her to day after day of low self-esteem, crash diets, no Confidence, self-doubt and crying every time the new Victoria Secret Catalog arrives. We sentence her to years and years of never being able to put anything in her mouth that isn’t a vegetable or diet pill without second guessing herself and bashing her lack of willpower and body that is doesn’t reside in.

Holiday Guilt and Eating Disorders

Guilt…it’s probably one of the fastest things that can “shut a sistah down”, put her on blast, and have her walking with her head down to the nearest baby carrot aisle.

I can not tell you how many woman I have seen this week posting on their facebook walls that they feel so guilty over gaining a few pounds over the Christmas holiday. Is it one thing that we beat ourselves up in private as we step on the scale, stand in front of the mirror naked, or slip on a pair of jeans, but now we choose to do it in public so everybody can see. What do you want…a stoning, a hanging…everybody to tar and feather you, string you to the back of a horse and parade you through town? Girls…why why why must we feel Guilty over what we put in our mouth, or by how many times a week we exercise, or by what size we just bought at Macy’s?

We act like what we have decided to digest that day is a crime punishable by magazine covers, billboards, and the Catwalk.

However truth be told the real judge and jury lies within our own Psyche . Our head is the Courtroom and the way we think others see us is our verdict.

I like to describe guilt as that gnawing pain weighing on us heavier and heavier…clawing away at the door of our Psyche’s.

Sometimes we try to iron guilt, smooth over it, trying to justify whatever you did, or negotiate with it to make it leave you alone.

But just like the Edgar Allen Poe story “The Tell Tale Heart” guilt eventually will get louder and louder until you can’t take it anymore and you do whatever you have to do to abort it from your mind. We eat a donut, a burger, a twinkie and suddenly that voice of madness gets louder..and louder…and louder..til you practically lose your mind.

When we eat something we have been taught is a bad food, a guilty pleasure, or a no no…we have already put ourselves in the electric chair before we have swallowed it. We go in already feeling bad, so when we are actually eating it, the enjoyment part is already being chased by remorse. Than we get into that…Oh well I already feel guilty so I guess I’ll just eat the whole thing and chase it down with the rest of what’s inside the fridge.

We have learned as adults to connect feelings with food, and as comforting as they may be or as delicious as they may taste, deep inside we are bracing ourselves for the punishment.

The more and more we dwell on it too, the worse it gets.

What may be innocent guilt to some over splurging on some ice cream or going back for seconds, can be devastating for somebody who struggles with any kind of eating issue.

What we eat can make us..or break us…and it’s an ever going battle of the body and of the mind.

What I am about to tell you may or may not change your life, but it sure changed mine. OK …here we go….You should only feel guilty if you have done something wrong, and guess what?…eating food of any kind is not wrong. Whoomp there it is”….yep that’s it. Eating is not wrong, it’s not bad, and it most certainly last time I checked was  not a crime. Eating is in all means a luxury, a pleasure, and a daily part of life. When I finally realized that is when I truly felt free, and when I started to make the choice to eat, making it my decision, eliminating the words good or bad foods from my vocab, things got a lot more easier.

If I wasn’t categorizing anything into cans and can-nots, nothing was off limits and nothing was going to make me feel guilty after I consumed it. Knowing that I can have whatever I want whenever I want in moderation of course opened up a whole new world to me.

The true guilt isn’t from the food, it’s from using it to camouflage whats really going on inside. If you decide to start therapy or treatment for these issues, hopefully you can understand and work through the reasons behind that.

It’s a lifestyle choice, and you only let something control you, if you let it.

If you go murder somebody, rob a bank, or run over a cat with your car…by all means go ahead and feel guilty. It’s totally innocent however to eat a Twinkie now and then….as for what that white filling is made of inside of it….well the jury is still out on that one.


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