It’s that time of year again, where family meals, hot cross buns and chocolate eggs are everywhere! Easter is also a time however where many restrict themselves or over-indulge and feel guilty about enjoying such delights.
One of my favourite memories as a little girl was spending Easter at my grandparents house in Merimbula and following the Easter Bunny’s foot steps as we scrambled around the house for Easter eggs, in such a rush that they may disappear if we don’t get to them a moments sooner! Of course, in a family with two brothers, we would then have to count out all the eggs, one by one, and divide them evenly between the three of us…double counting just to be sure that one of us did not get more than the other.
Unfortunately though as we grow older, these memories are often replaced with feelings of deprivation, over-indulgence and guilt. But how do we break free from this and actually enjoy Easter again?
Don’t deprive yourself
If you are worried about the Easter season, please do not deprive yourself. When we place expectations on ourselves that we will eat perfectly, or tell ourselves that we cannot have something, often we will want it more. It will be all we can think about. And when we do finally let ourselves have the food, we go crazy! We over-indulge. We feel like we can’t stop. Often we don’t stop. And then we beat ourselves up and feel guilty for giving in. This is not a healthy relationship with food. Allow yourself to have the chocolate, whatever it may be. In fact, I strongly encourage you to have something sweet every day. A healthy diet is not an ‘all or nothing’ approach, it really is about finding balance. This means eating healthy food 80% of the time and indulging in treats the other 20%. I do it and I can put my hand on my heart and say that this is what helped me get over my obsession with eating healthy. I give you permission to do the same. Everything in moderation. Start tonight. Savour each bite. Enjoy it.
Stick your middle finger up to guilt
For many, food can bring on immense feelings of anxiety, fear and guilt. However, this is not how it has to be. We really have to make a conscious effort with this one. There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating a few too many chocolate eggs over the Easter long weekend. Remember that you do not have to eat perfectly 100% of the time. In fact, the very idea of that is not healthy. Be in the moment. If your family are tucking into delicious hot cross buns, join them. Sometimes its not about the food eaten but sharing in a special experience with those closest to you.
Replace your negative thoughts with positive affirmations
Remember, there is no such thing as a ‘good eater’ or ‘bad eater’, ‘good food’ or ‘bad food’. Food is simply food. Nothing more, nothing less. Instead of thinking about how many calories is in x or how long it will take you to run off y, replace your negative thought patterns with thoughts such as “this food is going to nourish my insides”, “eating this food will mean so much to my family or boyfriend”. Once you start changing the mental chatter inside your head from negative to positive, those changes you are finding so hard to make, will become that little bit easier. Trust me.
Let go of what you ate yesterday
Today is a new day and tomorrow is another opportunity for a fresh start. So many of us overthink our past food choices, punishing ourselves for eating ‘too much’ or something ‘bad’. When we do this, it brings on a vicious cycle of guilt and self-loathing. But it doesn’t have to be so black and white. Remember it’s what you do on most days that counts.
If you did over-indulge this Easter, remember tomorrow is a new day.
I will definitely be enjoying my chocolate eggs from the Easter Bunny, I hope you will do the same.