Happy Easter – don’t eat it all at once!
I have a podcast episode on how you can feel better about eating all the Easter eggs and other goodies. It’s not a recording of this blog post, more some extra tips to help you feel better about it. You can listen to that here once you’ve had a read of this post:
Here I am, Easter weekend, sat in the sun. It’s Good Friday, so we’re day 1 of a long weekend. I’ve done the online food shop for the week and now I’m sat in the sun having a pint of cider. This weekend there will be chocolate. No two ways about that. It’s Easter and that means chocolate eggs and other goodies like hot cross buns. I’ve got a couple of recipes for bakes that I’d like to try too so I’ll be giving those a go.
This is a far cry from how Easter used to look for me. I used to spend a couple of weeks leading up to Easter being told by my Slimming World consultant how many syns there are in all of those things that we’d really like to enjoy, and how we really should limit them otherwise what will the scales say when we get on the scales next week 😱
Sure enough the weekend would be spent restricting other things so I could fit the chocolate in. Then when that didn’t work and I’d run out of my syns for the whole week I just binged on the chocolate regardless because if you eat things really quickly it hasn’t happened right? Maybe I’d go and weigh the next week, maybe I’d be too scared to. It was all just so unpleasant.
Now I’m sat here and I don’t care. I won’t feel the need to eat the chocolate really quickly because I have unconditional permission to eat it. I will enjoy a hot cross bun, and the butter I put on it. I’ll eat them because I know they form a part of my overall diet, which is actually really good. They do not make or break me. And since I no longer weigh myself I couldn’t give a damn what the scales would say.
But there’s something else that I’ve noticed since I’ve been doing Intuitive Eating.
Don't eat all the Easter eggs at once
Growing up how many times did you hear “Don’t eat it all at once”?
All the time if your upbringing was like mine.
Given sweets – “don’t eat them all at once”
Given cake – “don’t eat it all at once”
Easter eggs – “don’t eat them all at once”
But of course I did 😂
The problem is that it’s stuck with me into adulthood, as do alot of things we hear as we’re growing up, because I automatically want to say that to my own kids now. This is why we have to be so careful what we’re saying around impressionable ears.
It’s habit to want to give them their Easter eggs, or watch someone else give them eggs, and tell them not to eat them all at once. I’ve learnt that that’s not helpful to say so I don’t any more, but it still screams loudly inside of me.
So what if they eat it all at once? Does it really matter as long as it doesn’t make them sick? And if it does make them sick quite frankly they’re old enough to deal with that unpleasant feeling and figure out that they probably shouldn’t eat that much of it in one go next time. Eating it all at once just means they have the food in a larger amount rather than in smaller amounts spread over time, and that really doesn’t matter.
How about we leave the kids to decide for themselves how much they feel comfortable eating? Maybe if given the freedom they would stop when they’d had enough. We are all actually born knowing how much we want to eat and when you don’t want any more. As babies we cry for food when we’re hungry and turn away from the food when we are full. Why should that stop? It’s stupid food rules that dictate that as we grow up, and most of them aren’t even reasonable rules. Let’s relax around food.
Be aware of the 'advice' online
What about people online? What are they saying? Already today I’ve seen a host of posts from a variety of people and sources, telling you how you should not go crazy this weekend. Don’t eat it all at once, don’t eat much at all, only choose the highest quality foods, eat them slowly and then you won’t eat so much. God forbid there should be any left over – apparently we’re giving that away or binning it!
All of that is problematic for a few reasons.
Firstly, this weekend comes around once a year. It is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be enjoyable. Hell, if you can’t go a little ‘crazy’ with chocolate this weekend when can you? I understand that chocolate is a food that is difficult for many people to manage when it comes to binges, but let me remind you – restriction causes binging. It is a physiological fact. Even the THOUGHT of restriction is problematic, so by telling yourself you can’t have it, or that you can only have a little, you’re already starting on the road to a binge later.
Next, let’s look at how privileged it is to ask people to only have high quality foods, or to give away or bin your ‘leftovers’. It assumes that we all have access to the same foods. We do not. It assumes that you spend money without a care in the world and so giving that food away or binning it will be easy. For many it is not.
Also, it puts a message out that you may only eat your Easter eggs at Easter. What is wrong with having some more next week, the week after, the month after, if it’s still in the house? Again, the fear that that chocolate isn’t going to be around after this weekend will create a restriction and scarcity mindset. It’s not a healthy approach to food.
Easter eggs and Intuitive Eating
Instead, why not go and enjoy watching your children have a fun, carefree Easter, enjoying the Easter eggs and other goodies that are around.
Why don’t YOU enjoy the Easter eggs and the other goodies around, GUILT FREE because that’s what intuitive eating is all about.
Take the time to enjoy it with your intuitive eating principles in mind, and give yourself that unconditional permission to eat it. Eat it mindfully, savouring the tastes, textures, sweetness, feeling in your mouth, and when you’ve had enough put it away for later, knowing that it doesn’t have to be gone after this weekend if you don’t want it to.
If this weekend is difficult for you, take the time to sit with the food so that you can work on making peace with it. Give yourself the space, quiet, and dedicated time so that you can focus on it. You can still enjoy your Easter eggs, even if it takes a little more work for you than some others.
I hope you enjoy the weekend and all it holds for you. Eat, drink, laugh, have fun, relax, have peace and quiet, go out, stay in, whatever you want your perfect weekend to be.
Unless you can’t for medical reasons please just eat the damn chocolate. For me! I can’t wait to hear about it. Let me know what you have.