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Eating Disorders If you or someone close to you is struggling with an eating disorder, reach out here to ask questions or to receive support for recovery.

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How can I stop feeling guilty? - January 16th 2018, 08:11 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of eating disorders, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

When I eat more calories than I would usually allow, I feel really guilty and go back to dieting to compensate. I want to stop doing this and counting calories but I don't know how.

Does anyone have any advice?

"Every Experience Is A Gift from The Universe"

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Re: How can I stop feeling guilty? - January 21st 2018, 03:36 PM

Hey there,

I can relate in that I do something like this with disordered eating behaviors as well as self harm. For instance if I do a mistake I feel like I have to take it out on myself as punishment in order to compensate.

I think what helped is changing my perspective. It takes a lot of time. But what I did was that I repeated to myself, not necessarily affirmations though those can work too, but kind of giving myself a pep talk. I would say how it is important to be compassionate to myself because if I want to achieve something, punishing myself doesn't work. I would remind myself of my childhood and of my experiences working in childcare. If discipline is based on instilling fear and coercion to change a behavior, children often will not do well. They may comply at first but it isn't sustainable. I happen to find this example to resonate because in my head, I've seen it first hand. I aim to practice gentle person-centered disciplined in my personal relationships, as well as professionally. This is my philosophy so I tell myself I have to practice being compassionate to myself too because I am human and I am trying to develop a positive relationship with myself, which because I am human, I work in similar logic to most other humans. I also remind myself that punishing, being harsh and authoritarian towards myself or someone else is not even the best way to achieve accountability, responsibility and growth. That these are old habits but that breaking free of them and working on better habits, may feel scary, inconvenient or not effective but in the long run it will be worthwhile because I will be healthier AND it can be effective. Whereas authoritarian and punishment based discipline instills fear, guilt, shame, resentment and so on and while these are normal human emotions, conditioning ourselves to have these states of minds is actually counter-productive because in the long run, we develop unhealthy behaviors, insecurities, self-judgement and self-hate and so on. Practicing self-compassion doesn't mean being passive and allowing yourself to do whenever you want. But it is about being gentle and talking yourself through something. Using care to address a situation. For instance:
(May be triggering, read with caution)
Jane just binge-ate after studying for final exams this week.

guilt/shame reaction would be-I am horrible, I'm so fat, ugly, disgusting. I eat like a pig. I cant stand myself. I have to make up for it. I am going to skip dinner tonight.

self-compassionate response would be-It was just after studying, I was overwhelmed. I was feeling so stressed and anxious. Studying math is hard. I do not understand some of the topics and I am afraid I am going to fail. I am disappointed that I stopped following my meal plan and binged but I will try to bring it up in therapy next time. Maybe I can do something relaxing for the time being. Then I can look over my coping skills and try to plan ahead for next week's exam. I can also ask my friend Liz how things are going for her and we can maybe try studying together.

In the second example, you'd actually be productive. That's the thing. It isn't being permissible.

I hope this helps a little.
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Re: How can I stop feeling guilty? - January 30th 2018, 03:40 AM

Hey there.
My tip that helped the most for me was to think "I need this. I deserve this." Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that there's nothing to feel guilty about. We need calories to live. How about a rewards system? Like "if I can eat a proper amount of food/calories I can watch an episode of my favorite show." Whatever works for you in that sense. Sometimes compliments and reassurance from others can also help. If you would like, I could send a compliment/reassurance every few days for you? Just remember, your body needs those calories to flourish, and that you are beautiful and need to be healthy. Lots of love, wanderlust <3

Life's a tough b**ch, but you are tougher. Go show it who's boss. <lots of love and hugs>
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