First of all, congratulations on trying new foods! In early recovery, it’s normal to feel guilty when challenging the “eating disorder rules”. I once had a client describe this feeling as positive guilt — a sign that they were making progress, facing their fears, and exploring uncharted territory. Try writing down those guilty feelings. Talk to someone you trust about them. Go for a walk, or just keep busy! When we use an external rule system for managing food, we are inviting trouble. When we begin to categorize food as “good” or “bad,” we start seeing ourselves as either good or bad, successful or unsuccessful, depending on our ability to follow the rules that we’ve created. Food is not the enemy. Rules are. Stop counting and try to start listening to your body. You can trust it to let you know when and what you need to eat. To get past the hard parts, we must go through the pain (unfortunately there are no shortcuts), feel the feelings, cry, trust, release, and believe that when we do all of this, we will get better.
In Wikipedia: ‘Guilt’ is defined as: a state of having offended; having committed offence. It’s important for us as beings that live together in communities to be sensitive to guilt as it helps prevents us from hurting each other… But there are other times when guilt is not helpful. For example, when we eat, exactly who have we offended? What offence has been committed? You might say that by eating more than you chose, or something you labelled as ‘bad,’ you violated your own moral code and you are therefore ‘bad,’ and require punishment. You might think that maybe, if you feel enough guilt, this will somehow motivate a positive behaviour change. But this is an incredibly ineffective strategy based on false ideas. Eating food does not make a person good or bad. Food itself is not good or bad, and ALL the therapy in the world is not going to stop you from liking chips and chocolate! The goal should be to work towards integrating some of these ‘treat’ foods into your life as they are a part of our world and can be a source of joy and celebration (who doesn’t want to be able to enjoy their birthday cake?!). Growing tired of our criticisms, judgments, and rules is often a strong precursor to recovery. Cultivating kindness, compassion, and acceptance towards ourselves will help quiet the guilt-monger within.