What’s the point of feeling guilty around food?

Hey guys,

I just got back from a 4 day trip, and let’s just say my tastebuds were very very happy 🙂 Between the healthy salads…I TOTALLY indulged on churro donut holes, ice cream sundaes, pizzas, milk shakes, burgers, animal-style fries – I mean I WENT HARD.

Rewind back just a few years and you’d have a pitiful Cassey feeling bad about her choices and logging extra dreaded hours at the gym to “punish” herself. Cassey today – she just lives her life and owns it!

How…how did I get here? How did I break out of “food jail”? Because food is such an emotional, cultural, and social thing, it’s hard to see it as just fuel. And the truth is, so many of us actually do experience guilty feelings around food.

But guys, we need to STOP! Now. There is NO POINT in feeling guilty for what you ate!

First off, guilt is a wasteful feeling!

Guilt has to be the absolute worst emotion (tied with jealousy and regret).

Think about it…

Does feeling guilty reverse the fact that you ate the food? Does it somehow make you feel better? Does it teach you anything? Nope. It just steals your time, makes you feel miserable and gives food way too much power over your thoughts.

Sometimes our minds just need to be told to quiet down. Not all of our thoughts and feelings are useful, and some of them are downright annoying. When it comes to food, don’t let your mind get the better of you!

Hmm, so why do we feel guilty?

When you feel guilty about eating ” bad” food, it’s because you think you’ve actually done something wrong. You’re upset. You’re disgusted. You hate yourself for having no control.

But the reality is, food is fuel – not a moral issue! What we need to do is REDEFINE what it means to eat healthy. Feeling guilty for eating “bad” food is just as unhealthy for your mind as feeling superior for eating “good” food. That fuels the whole good food versus bad food mentality. Society has taught is that the more restricted you are, the more control you have. But that’s not true. When it comes to healthy eating, you’ve got to be satisfied and nourished.

If most of the time you are making an effort to eat a nutritious, body-fueling diet, then get out there and enjoy all the foodie wonders of the world. Remember, if you made the choice to enjoy an ice cream cone because it makes you feel happy, don’t rob yourself of that happiness by replacing it with guilt. Own that happiness and eat your cone, because you CHOSE TO!

You gotta stand strong behind your own decisions.

If you’re going to eat a “YOLO meal”, then do it wholeheartedly. Make the decision, then commit to it 100%. Eat it, enjoy it, forget about it, move on.

By the way, I like saying “YOLO meal” instead of “cheat meal” because cheating makes it sound like I’m doing something wrong. And eating tasty food is far from being wrong!

If you can see yourself stressing out and feeling guilty, then don’t eat the treat. If you can foresee guilt, a rumbling stomach, or acne the next day…then just avoid it! Save yourself from those wasted feelings (and extra pimples) and just stick to your regular plan.

One YOLO meal…or one indulgent weekend won’t ruin everything!

Hey. I know that it can feel a little disappointing when you think you’ve gone backwards or have “ruined” your great progress. That’s when we need to remind ourselves that a few treat meals or “fun” meals won’t ruin anything at all.

Give yourself that treat, or that day of treats, or that full-blown, fun, crazy weekend of abandon! Then simply get back on the healthy track on Monday. No harm done. Lots of fun and deliciousness had. Life lived!

Go ahead and give yourself permission to enjoy the foods you love! You know that you’re awesome at taking care of yourself and that your body is super nourished most of the time. And if our little friend guilt comes knocking at the door? Tell him to get lost.

9 thoughts on “What’s the point of feeling guilty around food?”

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  1. Jennifer says:

    This definitely hits home. For the past 20 years, I’ve been struggling with food and trying to achieve the body I want and feel good in to no avail. Every single thing I put in my mouth I regret and feel like I need to go do jumping jacks or something to burn it off immediately. I was bullied from a young age and it’s stuck with me (even now at 35) and all of the numbers of counting calories and macros and calculating … it’s driving me insane because nothing seems to fit EVER!! I eat just because I have to and there’s no joy or appeal in a meal anymore. It’s so hard to let go and just enjoy.

    1. blogilates says:

      It is definitely a journey but remember to be kind to yourself. Your relationship with food will always be changing but try and take a step back and revisit your why. That way it won’t be about forcing yourself to let go and enjoy, but instead, sitting with the feeling and trying to change the perspective. Journaling really helps me!!! Sending you big hugs!!

  2. PEMF MAT says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Yes it is true that you should eat whatever you want but after that you should try to progress on your workout on your next session so you can easily get back on track. You can also try Vitalizen PEMF May help to digest the food that we eat so we can enjoy the activities that we are doing.

  3. Roy Lawrence says:

    Very interesting article made me feel less guilty about what I eat sometimes.

  4. Zharia says:

    This really helped, so glad I had the please of reading this today, thank you always <3

  5. Emma Tison says:

    I’m in the very beginning stages of ED recovery, and food guilt is ABSOLUTELY the worst, and it’s been such a big part of my life for so long.

  6. Jessica Amber Fernandez says:

    I wanted to plan on building muscles and making my body more leaner, but somehow I ended up taking a wrong road with a bag of chips and Sugary foods. I want to eat something lean like NBA players and grow couple inches taller. Thanks Cassey for the inspirations.

  7. Elisa says:

    Hello blogilates and thank you for your honesty! I think you overcome those feelings when you become mature. When you realize what really matters in life. Sure everyone wants to look it’s best and that is totally fine, but when you come to the conclusion that your children and your significant other don’t need that to love you, that is when you start enjoying life. As a mother of little girl I have to set a good example for her and obsessing over food won’t send the right message.

  8. Louise says:

    Thanks so much for this post Cassey. I really needed to hear this, been struggling with guilt for some time now. I loved reading this, it reminded me to loosen up around food. Have a wonderful day <3