100 lb. Club - Weird guilt issues

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Bobbie Wickham
09-03-2007, 07:03 PM
Do other people experience guilt issues, even if they are largely on plan? I went away to a friend's house this weekend for a Labor Day break and we had a lovely cook out. I had a great dinner--a meat platter, if you will. I had 1/2 a chicken breast, 3 oz of lean tenderloin, a bit of kielbasa (about 75 cals worth--I know it is super fatty), great grilled sweet corn (no butter or salt since it didn't need it) and I allowed myself 1/2 serving of oven fries (about 100 cals). Later that evening, I had a Weight Watchers cookie dough sundae that I got for myself so I could have a treat while everyone else was having ice cream. I ate light earlier in the day anticipating dinner and my calories for the day were at 1450--most of which came at dinner.

I was stuffed--really, really full and happily satisfied. Then the guilt set in. I felt that I had totally blown things, even though I knew that I was within my calorie range and I hadn't eaten anything too terrible, or at least anything too terrible in amounts that mattered (I probably could have done without the oven fries).

This isn't the only time this has happened. I'll have something that is on plan, keeps me within my calorie range for the day, and I'll feel like a cow if I start feeling really full. This is not to say that I don't eat enough and feel hungry all the time, I don't. But, if I eat something, even if it is on plan, and I feel happily full, I think that I've somehow cheated.

I know part of it is that I am used to eating less, so feel full more easily, and that the quality of the food I'm eating is better--more bang for my caloric buck, as it were, but... I feel guilty. And it seems to be getting worse. I had a light multigrain English muffin with all natural peanut butter on it and after I finished, I thought "Wow, I really shouldn't have eaten that." Why? It was a meal, not just a random urge to eat. Does anyone else have this issue and if so, how do you deal with it? It isn't out of control or anything, and I'm not anorexic as the size of my butt clearly indicates, but I'd like to nip this in the bud so I don't get all weird about food. Well, weirder about food, in any event. I realize a lot of this is informed by the (erroneous) mentality that dieting/healthy eating is about deprivation. How to really change that mindset--really process it--beyond just knowing the right and wrong intellectually?

09-03-2007, 07:23 PM
Similar thing happened to me when I first started. I had one small bowl of my homemade chili and was stuffed..then I got to thinking to myself..crap..mabey I should not of eaten that much...(like I said it was a small bowl..at the most 1 & 1/2 cups worth) but i felt bad cause it left me feeling very full.
The whole cheating thing I understand too...I use Fitday and I am very honest about everything I eat...but then a thought will come in my head that "what if that wasn't exactly a cup I just had" did I lie to myself? did I just cheat....

Nowaday, I am learning not to sweat the little stuff..as much. It will litterally make you bonkers if you dwell on it too much and I am already a bit bonkers..so now I just don't worry about it.

09-03-2007, 07:53 PM
I tend to look at it this way, if you feel as bad or worse about eating dinner (no matter what you've eaten) than being rude to a friend, you've let your priorities get whacky. I've been there in the past, feeling worthless and horrible for eating (on or off plan). Feeling like a criminal for eating a cookie.

I like the analogy of food being fuel. I try to remember it's purpose, and act accordingly. Sure it sometimes becomes more than fuel, and I have to remind myself of what food is supposed to be for me. But working with the fuel analogy, if I overfill my gas tank and it spills down the side of my car I recognize it as a mistake. It's wasteful and can damage the paint on my vehicle. I don't feel guilty, I just recongnize it as a mistake, try not to do it again, and move on.

I think guilt contributed more to my gaining weight than to losing it. Since I've banished guilt, I am finding myself having a lot more fun AND losing weight and making other changes more easily (I didn't say easily, just more easily - change is still darned difficult).

09-03-2007, 07:54 PM
I feel a lot of unnecessary guilt that I often have trouble reconciling. Then again, I feel weird misplaced guilt in many areas of my life (I'm working on it with my therapist!). I can be totally on plan, and still feel it. Some of it I chalk up to just being irritated that I got myself in this spot in the first place. Other times, I think it stems from perfectionism. What I need to learn is that you don't have to be perfect for this to work.

Anyway, no answers for you... Just wanted you to know I can identify!!

09-03-2007, 08:00 PM
Yep - I can feel guilty when I eat too much, when I eat too little, and when I eat exactly right - because I'm probably eating too much or too little and not even realizing it! I can also feel guilty when I exercise too much, when I exercise too little, etc. I can feel guilty when I make my kids do chores and when I don't pounce on them when they neglect their chores. I agree with CC - it's completely an offshoot of perfectionism with me. And I agree with Colleen - all of this guilt never helped me in any way, and I can point to countless times when it's done terrible damage to my life. Letting it go is a constant challenge for me.

Dinner sounded great, though, Bobbi - hope the guilt didn't destroy your good time!

09-03-2007, 09:48 PM
I can identify...even when I stick to my plan sometimes I feel "naughty" or "guilty" for enjoying the food. It's like going from one extreme (where I use food to make myself feel better) to another extreme (where I want to lose weight soooo bad that eating--even healthy eating--is the enemy). I'm also like this about exercise.

I'm working through it though. Starvation will only mess up my metabolism and won't make me "healthy". I just stick to my meal & exercise schedule and try not to attach emotions to food.

09-03-2007, 10:16 PM
Oh **** yes, I've been having an absolutely terrible week as far as second guessing myself goes, where everything I eat, no matter how on track I am or how healthy the food is, I still say to myself "Did I really have to eat that? How much weight will that cause me to gain?"

I really think it is one of those times where even though logically you know you did good, you are still feeling like you ate a whole pan of brownies, and you still have to deal with that guilt. So maybe just go with the old standby of "Tomorrow is a new day" and that way, not only will you feel better with the promise of a second/third/umpteenth chance/ it will give you time to step back and say "Hey, I'm doing awesome. Look how much better I feel, look at how better/lose my clothes feel." Accept your setbacks if you had them or accept that this journey is going to be an emotional one, and sometimes you're going to have those emotions that don't make a ton of sense.

09-03-2007, 11:40 PM
I'm currently gripped by guilt..I totally went off-plan today. But, I'm trying to chill, because I know that I'm right back on. Chugging along!;)

09-04-2007, 12:07 AM
I know what you mean! But sometimes I could do better... even if I eat under my calories, I know some of the things I ate weren't that good for me either -- too much sugar, too much sodium, whatever. But I'm more or less just starting out so the fact that I can actually stick to my calories is wonderful! I'm slowly, and I'm sure a lot of you may feel the same way, learning what is the best thing for me, and basically just getting to know my body and see how it reacts to things. For example, I have pretty much been avoiding ice cream and many dairy products aside from a little cheese/butter here and there and even then in small amounts. The other day I had seriously 1 or 2 spoon fulls of ice cream and started feeling sick... and really had no desire to go and sneak some more. I know that I have some problems with dairy products (I still love(d) ice cream anyway)... but who knows, maybe I am finally getting over my ice cream bent?

WELL... that went off topic a bit. BUT the point is, this whole process is all about learning what's best for us, and what works for us... and sometimes we need to be able to enjoy food and eat with everybody else, so it's important to figure out ways that we can do that without damaging our bodies... sometimes we may fail, sometimes way may eat too much or eat the wrong thing for our bodies and regret it afterwards, but at least you know what you did wrong this time, and can store that nugget of information away to use for the future!

I *hope* that made sense :P

09-04-2007, 12:59 AM
Hi, Bobbie,

This is really the crux of the struggle, isn't it? Learning to eat sensibly and "on plan," no matter what life throws at us? And... you did it!! You took one of life's many food situations and you were SUCCESSFUL!!

I think it's your perspective you need to change. :) You did GREAT!!

Don't get me wrong... I utterly relate to the guilt thing of which you speak. And I've let it be my undoing every single other time I've tried to lose weight. I wasn't perfectly on plan at the party? Well, then -- throw the whole lifestyle change out the window and go right back to my wicked food ways -- for months, and sometimes years! Took me ages to figure out that the successful people were the people who did EXACTLY WHAT YOU JUST DID -- stuck with their plan no matter what life situation they found themselves in!! So now, that's what I'm trying to do, too.

Last night we had friends over for dinner... I cooked for a crowd for the first time since I've started my latest weight loss journey. I planned my day carefully, made a great dinner that was totally on my plan... and I still felt guilty for the 2 glasses of wine I had (planned). Like you, I'm trying hard to figure this stuff out beyond intellectually. It's hard. But... you were great, and I did ok, too!! We just need to keep practicing at changing our point of view.

Go, chick!! :carrot:


09-04-2007, 02:49 AM
For example, I have pretty much been avoiding ice cream and many dairy products aside from a little cheese/butter here and there and even then in small amounts. The other day I had seriously 1 or 2 spoon fulls of ice cream and started feeling sick... and really had no desire to go and sneak some more. I know that I have some problems with dairy products (I still love(d) ice cream anyway)... but who knows, maybe I am finally getting over my ice cream bent?

Lucky you! :p I will NEVER get over my ice cream addiction...but I can manage the symptoms! :D

Weight Watchers' Key Lime Pie non-fat yogurt seems to put the cravings at bay...but I still dream of Ben & Jerry's Coffee Health Bar Crunch Ice Cream at night. :devil:

09-04-2007, 11:33 AM
For me, it used to take so much food to reach that full feeling that I really had been a pig and should have felt guilty about it. Now it takes only a small amount to feel that full but my mind still goes immediately to the guilty feeling. I think it's just going to take awhile for my head to get caught up with the changes in how I eat and feel. I really think it will get better with time.

Bobbie Wickham
09-04-2007, 12:45 PM
Thanks, everyone. I guess I just have to keep reminding myself this whole process is as much about changing my attitudes as it is about changing what I eat. It's also nice to know that I'm not alone.

09-05-2007, 04:38 PM
I think we do tend to think that one mistake will "blow" it. It's something we learn by watching how others around us talk and act. It becomes ingrained and it takes a lot of self talk to relearn the truth behind all of the myths that we've come to accept as Gospel regarding dieting and how weight loss works. Even "starting over tomorrow," implies that one small mistake completely invalidates the day. The fact is that it is progress, not perfection that is needed to make successful changes in all areas of our lives, not just weight loss.

I find it helpful to remember that weight loss is very important to me, but it's not like defusing a bomb, where one false move will result in death and injury to myself and those around me. In a lot of ways, making weight loss less important in my mind, actually makes it easier to accomplish. Being perfect is impossible, and I know this. If I think I have to be perfect to succeed, I already know that I cann't succeed, so I have set myself up for failure before I've even started.

09-05-2007, 09:06 PM
I have the same problem. But unlike you I was pretty bad on Monday! I went totally off plan. Chips, dip, cookies, pasta and potato salads YIKES! I felt very guilty, thought horrible things about myself but Tuesday came and I got back on the wagon and didnt look back. I figure thats all I can do!