As many of you know I’m very interested in holistic health and medicine. I’m on the mailing lists of many acupuncturists, bodyworkers, holistic doctors, Reiki practitioners, weight loss coaches etc, and get lots of emails throughout the week. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot people talk about the effects of guilt on the body, particularly, guilt from having eaten too much.
The belief is that the guilt you let yourself wallow in after having eaten an unnecessarily large meal is just as toxic, if not more, than whatever unhealthy food you ate. You already know that I firmly and whole-heartedly believe in the effects that emotions have on our physical body, so it’s no surprise that I fully believe this theory.
A long time ago, probably when we were very young, we associated the act of overeating with the emotion of guilt. These two things became forever side by side, like peanut butter and jelly! This is a man-made pairing though, an unnecessary one, one that we’ve taken on merely out of habit. And like many other habits we’ve picked up from society, it does not serve us. In fact, it hurts us.
Even if you look at it from a scientific point of view you will see how unhealthy for you guilt is. When you are under stress, fat-storing hormones are released, making it that much more challenging to lose unwanted weight. (That’s all I know..please Google “cortisol” for more info!)
I want you to know too that there is absolutely no need to feel guilty for eating. Your body was designed in such a way that it needs food, and it enjoys eating it. Your desire of food is innate and natural, guilt is not. Guilt will actually complicate your relationship with food, in such a way that binds you with it more. This is because when we feel guilty about eating, we will always be drawn to and obsessed with it because we’re in search of that feeling of satisfaction and pleasure fulfilled, because when you eat with guilt you never let yourself eat with satisfaction, so you have to keep eating cause you’re on this endless search.
When you release the feelings of guilt that you get from food, you will release the obsessive hold it has over you. Once you’ve developed a healthy, guilt-free relationship with food you will see the truth of food – that it is something that is pleasurable and healthy, and life-giving. You will also eat just as much as you need, and you will be nourished and free. But you will only get to this point by letting go of guilt. But guilt will bind you to it more and make you eat more..interesting, isn’t it?
The next time you find yourself having overeaten (and you will, I will, we all will, because we’re human!), pay attention to how you feel. If you’re feeling any guilt, please turn the music on instead and dance. Dance the guilt away, and bring back that healthy carefree way of being that you were born with. Of course, you should wait about 40 minutes so you’ve properly digested your food! Once that’s done, get dancing – easily, lightly, comfortably, to bring yourself back to balance.
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