I grin like an excited cheshire cate as I dip my chocolate coated fingers once more into the deep glass bowl filled with the decadent frosting - the glossy mixture that I have just prepared to top my double chocolate brownies.
After gently tipping the bowl and watching the sweet elixir of life layer itself like a seductive goddess into the wide open mouth of my baking dish, I delicately swirl my fingertips around the edges of the bowl, carefully salvaging any last droplets of divine goodness before gently placing it upon my salivating tongue
Not so long ago, eating anything chocolatey, let alone eating anything outside a scheduled meal or snack time would have been forbidden and avoided at all costs. Gone was my love of baking and being able to guiltlessly enjoy any remains from the mixing bowls. My whole life revolved around calculating calories, avoiding anything so called unhealthy and feeling guilty for anything and everything - especially where food was concerned.
I’m not the only one who has been plagued by the disease of guilt. Whether you have lived with an eating disorder or not, feeling guilty unnecessarily envelopes so many of our lives - trapping us from experiencing the true joys and pleasures of the world without punishing consequences.
To give just a few examples, you may resonate with not feeling deserving enough of pleasure. Perhaps that even equates to feeling guilty for taking a day off work, eating a slice of cake, opening a packet of biscuits or buying your favourite chocolate. It could also mean not creating a significant amount of time for some luxury pampering, meditating, doing a bit of relaxing yoga or even taking a silent break away from work commitments.
In many ways, stopping what we are doing is associated with being unproductive - leading to us feeling guilty and unworthy of pleasure. Also, in relation to food, millions of us grow up with a feeling that we are not allowed to eat things that are pleasurable without beating ourselves up about it. All we have to do is look at some of the terminology many of use around food in our supermarkets, dieting products and even our own homes and workplaces
We have been brainwashed into thinking that our every waking moment should revolve around controlling what we eat, avoiding pleasure and ploughing ourselves with guilt if we act otherwise.
This isn’t to say I’m condoning going out and eating several packets of biscuits or devouring a full cake (although if that’s what you feel like, i will not tell you off). What I am saying though, is that we need to reframe our mindset on what we feel needs to be linked with guilt.
Guilt does actually have a more practical function. Human experiences of guilt when we potentially do harm to someone else or violate a group social norm, allows us to feel accepted in a group. It is an ingrained part of our human makeup to try and avoid guilt - fearing that this experience is a sign that we will be isolated, neglected or ostracised from society (an unthinkable option back in the day when such an outcome might lead to death!). In a modern world, however, guilt is serving an unnecessary purpose for millions of us - especially where food is concerned.
There is absolutely no need to feel guilty around food. If anything, it exacerbates any negative feelings we have towards ourselves, so that our actions and motivation for self-improvement come from a place of self-hate and not feeling good enough rather than self love and unconditional acceptance of ourselves.
Guilt also stops us from saying yes to opportunities in life that could lead us down the positive paths we were born to venture upon. Saying no to eating out because of fearing the subsequent guilt could mean missed occasions to meet individuals who may become important friends or life partners. Most annoyingly, guilt stops us from living in the now, instead creating a vicious cycle where we dwell in the past, and fast forward into the future in order to find ways to avoid any potential feelings of guilt.
Put more simply, none of us need to use guilt on the grand scale we do right now. It serves a limited purpose, and does definitely not contribute towards learning how to live more self-compassionately.
From my personal experiences, once I was able to abandom feelings of guilt, I was able to say a big fat flamboyant YES TO LIFE. More opportunities aligned with my life path then popped up on the menu, and I was able to take more time out for self care, enjoying food and recharging my batteries.
If we are suppressed constantly by feelings of guilt, the more and more we will feel unworthy of love, enjoyment and pretty much a fulfilling life all together.
This is simply a message of encouragement for you to abandon your attachment to guilt, and see your self as being worthy of joy, life and -yes - amazingly enjoyable food. You do not have to punish yourself for not working hard enough, eating healthy enough, not being slim, or not being 100% successful in the eyes of the people or society you live among.
You are you - a beautiful being of this amazing planet. You don’t deserve guilt, but you do deserve love and life - even if that means welcoming your hungry fingers into a bowl full of melted chocolate and licking cake mixture off the spoon....
The more we rid guilt out of our lives, we can say a firmer yes to opportunities for self love, true nourishment and allowing life to flow flow and flow some more. When we flow from this place of self love rather than guilt, the opportunities for our lives our limitless, and the more positive impact we will have on others and even the whole planet.
So next time, on your shopping trip down the chocolate aisle, instead of spying for guilt free snacks, look out for the Liberating opportunities that will allow you to embrace life guilt free. Your chocolate loving self will thank you for it!
To find out more about other inspiring ways to develop life long positive relationships with food and body, you can check out my website at www.nourishingroutes.com, where you can additionally find my blog, published book and opportunities for 1 to 1 support.
Together we can change to a world where we love food, adore our bodies and become our authentic selves xxxxx