Happy New Year Happy New You-Guilt & Shame
The definition of guilt is a cognitive or emotional experience that occurs when a person believes that he or she has compromised his or her own standards.
The definition of shame is a negative or painful social comparison of the self’s action with the self’s standards.
Time to change your standards. In normal circumstances guilt and shame is your body’s way of letting you know you’ve done something wrong. It may have been something you said to someone that you know hurt them. It may have been done by accident like hitting another person’s car with yours. A normal person would feel guilty that they damaged another someone else's property. Guilt is not always a bad thing if it makes you change your behavior.
Guilt and Shame are closely related and unfortunately connected with most diets. Even saying the word diet invokes feelings of guilt and shame. When you start a diet Guilt and Shame always seem to be close behind. Isn't it true when people know you are dieting they have no trouble pointing out your short falls and there it is again guilt and shame.
The acknowledgement that you are overweight invokes feelings of guilt and shame too. You feel guilty for allowing yourself to get into this situation in the first place. You feel guilty when you believe you cheated and you feel guilt and shame when you fall off your diet.
There's guilt in knowing that you are not as healthy as you can be. You may feel guilty because you know you should be healthier for your kids. Maybe you can't run and play with them like you'd like to, maybe you are on medication and you don't want to be. What ever your reason guilt is not helping you lose weight, so you may as well stop.
The most tragic thing about guilt and shame is that it can actually cause you to gain weight. How many times have you been on a diet, cheated a little, got so discouraged and decided to sabotage your entire plan? You do this more than a few times and all of a sudden you are yo-yo dieting. Yo-yo diets are never good for your health. A lot of times instead of just gaining back what you lost you gain more!! Guilt and shame are a vicious counterproductive downward spiral cycle.
Sticking to any diet requires determination. It’s not easy because you have to constantly be conscious of what you are eating. It helps to understand where guilt and shame comes from. It comes from mere idea that I was letting yourself down. It is a constant circle that has no winners.
The great thing about the half cup diet is there is nothing to be guilty about. There is no shame. It may take you a little while of being on this plan, but once you start losing weight your mind will start to think differently about food and eating and you will see that the guilt and shame won’t be a part of it.
Remember first and foremost this is going to be a life-long plan. Second no food is forbidden. Third you are encouraged to indulge once a week. This plan has allowances for parties, the holidays and for days when you just feel like eating more than what is on your plan.
The silver lining to this plan is that eating days are encouraged. Yep, that’s the truth. You will have one day a week or even a weekend that you are allowed to eat anything you want and as much as you want with no restrictions. The reason behind this is that when you diet your body isn’t taking in as much food, so it goes into starvation mode. Since it doesn’t know when you are going to eat again it will save and store. Even though you are not starving your body it isn’t trying to keep up with extra intake so your metabolism slows down, not fair but it happens. Eating days trick your body into thinking you are going back to your old eating habits and kick starts the metabolism. Isn’t that grand?
Eating days are good for plateaus. Plateaus are when you've been losing weight right along and all of a sudden you stop. It's very frustrating because you are trying so hard and the scale won't budge. When your body hits a plateau simply have an eating weekend to jump start your metabolism again. Go back on your plan on Monday. See, no room for shame, no room for guilt.
An experience I recently had was I was sitting in the break room at work eating a chocolate chip cookie. One of my co-workers comes in and says, “you can’t eat that, you’re on a diet.” I looked at her and said, ‘Yep, I’m on a diet, I'm eating a cookie and I'm still losing weight. How do you like that?” She didn’t say anything after that. Mind you I was eating just one chocolate chip cookie, not a whole box. I didn't feel guilty about saying it either.
You will hear this often because so many people connect dieting with deprivation. Smile because you now know the secret. You are learning how to eat and not gain weight. You are learning that you can eat what you want and still get skinny because you are in on the skinny. You can either enlighten people on the truth or just ignore them. Like I said my reply was “yep, I’m eating a cookie and still losing weight, How about that?”
So, let’s agree from here on out we don’t use the word cheat and we don’t feel guilt or shame about what we put in our mouth. From now on we say… “I’m having an eating day.” The next day get back on your program and enjoy the extra pounds you will lose because you indulged over the weekend. On this plan you are not only allowed to “mess up on your diet you are encouraged to!!!”
Happy eating days to you.