No amount of guilt can ever change history. No amount of guilt can ever change anything. ~ Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Here’s something that I’ve found myself getting caught up in before; maybe you have too, and are even experiencing it now: you want to lose weight, however you’re having a struggle getting past your habits of overeating because you’re caught up in a cycle of overeating and using food to soothe your guilt. You feel guilty about overeating in the past, and guilty about gaining weight. You’ve been feeling guilty about letting so much time pass without taking action to change your lifestyle, and these continuous feelings of guilt and shame over past actions are motivating you to emotionally eat today!
Because you feel guilty about being overweight and your eating habits, you continue to overeat and make unhealthy choices. Why? Because you use food to try to make yourself feel better (I’ve done the same thing before, you’re not alone!). You feel bad for overeating and gaining weight, and the way that you’ve been trying to help yourself feel better about this is with food.
Does using food today help you? It might help you feel better temporarily, while you are eating it, however afterwards, you end up feeling bad again; bad about the type of food you’re choosing (sugared, processed food most likely) because it doesn’t benefit your health, much less the fact that it causes weight gain. You are fully aware of this, however you continue to eat the same, non-nutritious food because this is the type of food you eat to “make yourself” feel better.
See how this turns into an abusive, self-destructive cycle? You aren’t getting what you say you want in your life (better health, weight loss, increased energy and a feeling of well-being), however you continue to go for the unhealthy, processed foods in an attempt to make yourself feel better, all because you feel bad about doing the same thing in the past!
No amount of guilt can change your past overeating or unhealthy choices. Additionally, overeating in this moment isn’t going to help change what you did in the past. I realize this is a logical way of looking at this process, however it’s helped me when I have found myself stuck in this same cycle before and found that my motivation level was also stuck – on low!
How do you break out of this cycle and regain your motivation? You can start right now by accepting that any of your past actions cannot be changed, and they definitely cannot be changed by abusing food today. If you choose to fill up on non-nutritious foods today they might give you a temporary feeling of calm, but they cannot change your past. Food cannot take away guilt you feel about becoming overweight and sedentary, or about unhealthy choices you’ve made in the past.
Overeating and using food for emotional reasons today will only serve to keep you stuck in a self-destructive cycle, and serve to keep your motivation level in the pits. You can break that cycle by opting out, forgiving yourself for becoming overweight, and accepting that this is where you are today. You’re overweight, you might not be in the best health, but it’s where you are.
OK, so that’s how it is today, but you do have the power to make different choices in this moment and move forward from here. You can let the past go, and build a healthier future, based on your present moment actions. Nothing you do now can change the past, but what you do now will affect your future.
Decide to break the cycle of self-sabotaging behavior, and opt out for a brighter, healthier future. Decide to learn about nutrition, trade in sodas for plain water (I don’t recommend all bottled water drinks), start a regular walking routine, and just let the past go. You can do it; you deserve to move on and break the cycle of self-sabotage and guilt today.