Self-Compassion, Guilt & Choice

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  • This topic has 9 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by Corina G.
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    • #16026
      Corina G
      Participant

      Hi, Gillian,

      The Self-Compassion video brought me the awareness of an intense feeling of guilt I have whenever I give myself something good, food, in this case.
      This second time around, I have a new understanding: that I actually do not have a choice, because hidden deeper, back in my mind, it is this prohibition: I AM NOT ALLOWED TO EAT WELL, I AM NOT ALLOWED TO ENJOY EATING, OR GIVE MYSELF ANYTHING GOOD AND BE SATTISFIED. Therefore, many times when I spend money on healthy and satisfying food, I feel guilty, resulting in lowered self-esteem.
      I do not overeat, but I ingest/drink coffee, hot tea, to soothe myself.

      So, I thought of using Week 2, CHOICE to assert new choices based on this new awareness, and to continue to pay attention to the consequences, to assert:
      I choose to eat well, to enjoy food and to be satisfied, and to deal with the consequences of eating well: the guilt, the ‘I shouldn’t’ and the punishing myself with thoughts of guilt or eating worse.
      Also, to continue noticing my mindset- in relation to guilt, choice and self-esteem.

      What do you think?
      Can you give me an advise?

      Where do you talk about guilt? Or where did you write about it?

      • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Corina G.
    • #16029
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Corina,

      Just to get clear on what you’re saying:

      You feel guilty when you eat something healthy that you enjoy. I assume it’s a reasonable quantity, so you’re not ‘overeating’, yes?

      And you say you do not overeat, but you drink coffee or tea to soothe yourself.

      Have I got this right?

    • #16030
      Corina G
      Participant

      Yes, Gillian, you got it right.

    • #16031
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      My course content has very much been informed by those who attend. I continually notice what it is that clients don’t understand or get stuck with, and I work on teaching it better, whatever it is. I’ve been in the process of doing this for a great many years, and I don’t mind saying that’s why the course is as good as it is.

      However, it is a course on how to eat less, how to take control of overeating. I’ve heard clients say they feel guilty about overeating – but you are not overeating. So in answer to your question, I don’t have anything in the course that addresses the guilt you feel; I don’t talk about it or write about it.

      This is absolutely not intended to invalidate your experience or suggest you are doing anything wrong. I understand that you have been learning a lot from doing the course with me, and you continue to get a great deal out of it, so that’s all good.

      My hunch is regarding the ‘chaotic eating’ you mention often. What seems to be happening is that you go for as long as you can without eating at all and then eat ‘chaotically’ out of a very real need for food. And the reason you avoid eating for as long as you can is because it leaves you feeling so guilty, no matter what it is. Does that make sense?

      If that’s it, then what you suggest in your first post is spot-on: “I choose to eat well, to enjoy food and to be satisfied, and to deal with the guilt, the ‘I shouldn’t’ and the punishing myself with thoughts of guilt.” And you make those choices to eat well, and do that before you become over-hungry and chaotic.

      Maybe keep in mind that not everything in this course is going to be a fit for you. I know that you know yourself well enough to be discerning about that. As usual, let me know if I’ve got anything wrong about this 🙂

    • #16032
      Corina G
      Participant

      Gillian, this is extremely interesting, I never thought of this, wow, and it makes sense, and I will ponder on it: ‘My hunch is regarding the ‘chaotic eating’ you mention often. What seems to be happening is that you go for as long as you can without eating at all and then eat ‘chaotically’ out of a very real need for food. And the reason you avoid eating for as long as you can is because it leaves you feeling so guilty, no matter what it is.’

      I keep getting a lot out of this course, in very unexpected ways, and in many areas.

      Again, I love your intelligence, straightforwardness and focus. It is a great treat for me. I feel deeply nourished. THANK YOU.

    • #16038
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Thank you for your appreciation, Corina. It’s always easier to see these things when you’re looking from the outside, and I think that’s true for everyone.

      Good to hear you are giving my words consideration. To put it another way, if you are not allowed to eat anything at all, it will only be under more extreme pressure that you act against that prohibition.

      I do think a version of this will apply to most people here, and contributes to “stress” and/or “emotional eating” although for most on this course that means overeating, when for you it means eating.

    • #16040
      Corina G
      Participant

      Well, Gillian, I can sure eat less and better, but this second time around my intention is ‘core’ self-care.
      I have been eating more protein, eating before getting too hungry, and I already feel more balanced and crave less unnecessary foods.
      My difficulty is to keep consistent, and I will start taking in consideration all consequences of my choices, which I never thought of in May.
      I will pay attention to the “emotional eating” and I will reframe it as “stress eating”, which will include my new awareness about guilt and anxiety.

    • #16159
      Corina G
      Participant

      Gillian,
      From 4. 1 today:

      I’ve got to control my emotional eating/ stress eating, because I want to live in joy and be free from past food-related trauma. 5
      I do not have to control my emotional eating; I can still live without joy and freedom. 5

      I have to get control over guilt related to eating, enjoying eating & nurturing myself . 4
      I do not have to get control over guilt. I can still live with guilt related to eating, enjoying eating & nurturing myself . 6

      It seems very stupid to accept a life of lack of freedom and joy just because of eating!!!
      Writing it down helps me face a life problem, not just eating.

      I accepted and went through and resolved many things in my life, but this one seems to be a very core issue, more about existence than food!!!
      The clearer I get, the more sad I am, and the more need for self-compassion I need in order to survive its depth.

    • #16163
      Gillian
      Keymaster

      Corina, I thought that being more specific might help, so let me know if this fits for you as a statement of where you’re at or want to be:

      “I am completely free to eat cheesecake whenever I get extremely upset, and I have every intension of doing that in those circumstances. It’s my life and my body and I get to choose what and when and how much I eat. When I do eat cheesecake, I intend to re-evaluate the inappropriate amount of guilt I feel, to get myself to see that it’s not such a dreadful thing I did, and to learn how to lighten up on myself about it.”

      Over time, Corina, you may well be in a position to manage your addictive desire to eat that appears whenever you feel this much stress, and develop an ability not to eat cheesecake at these times. But that can only come later on, and the passage above would be a first step towards that.

    • #16164
      Corina G
      Participant

      Yes, Gillian, it sounds like total acceptance! I didn’t know how to be more specific. I guess that we can only be so very specific when we fully accept that this is a choice, too…But I was not able to fully accept this choice, therefore I was not able to put it in words.
      Thank you!

      • This reply was modified 1 week ago by Corina G.
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