Why You Can't Guilt Yourself Thin|The Holy MessDo you feel guilty when you overeat?

Should you feel guilty for being overweight? How about for eating junk food, like chips and chocolate, that you know aren’t good for you?

I’m not sure a day has gone by that I haven’t had some sort of guilt in the realm of food or health. My first 30 years were so thick with it, I remember those years as if there is a dark blanket of guilt wrapped around the memories. (Read the story of my 100 pound weight loss here.)

Sara Before and After

Logic tells me guilt is part of the deal. Gluttony is a sin. Overeating is wrong. It’s unhealthy, it’s sinful. Done deal.

I’m not necessarily disagreeing with any of the above statements.

All I can say is, I spent 30 years of my life beating myself up over my eating, and it didn’t do one bit of good in healing me of my eating problems.

It wasn’t until I started lovingly treating myself with compassion that my behavior changed.

You must not downplay the sin, but do not downplay the grace either. Christ offers full and amazing forgiveness, and you need to fully embrace it to stop the cycle.

I know it seems weird. Beating yourself up when you mess up seems much more normal.

“Shame on you, self, for not doing better! Get your act together!” This seems like the way to whip yourself into shape, right? Problem: it never works.

See the sin. See the Savior.

Accepting God’s grace is the only way. This is why you cannot guilt yourself thin.

The next time you overeat, skip a workout (or 10), go on a junk food bender, or your pants don’t fit, do this:

Accept that it’s wrong, but stop the thought process there. Do not go into the mental tirade. Ask God for forgiveness and help.

Treat yourself with compassion.

When you do this, you will see progress.

Why You Can't Guilt Yourself Thin|The Holy MessFor more reading:

It’s Not About the Food — This book was a huge help to me during my weight loss journey. It’s about changing your thought process about food and how to let go of guilt. This was the best, most balanced book I found on the subject.

Overcoming Overeating

When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies — These two books were also helpful for me. I don’t agree with everything they recommend but the overall concepts I found insightful.

Geneen Roth — When Food Is Love — Geneen Roth has written a large collection of books about women, food, and emotional eating. (I’ve read most of them.) Again, I don’t agree with everything she writes, but I found her books helpful.