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.