Easter; it’s another one of those sweet treat holidays. Everywhere you go you’ll find brightly coloured wrappers filled with mouth-watering goodies. They’re adorning the shelves at your local grocery store, filling treat bowls at the dentist’s office, and begging for your attention at the gas station convenience store. They are practically DEMANDING that you indulge. But the talk of bikini season around the corner is making you sweat. Just one taste can ruin all that hard work at the gym, right? The mental chatter can feel debilitating during these holidays, and it’s no wonder that so many of us turn to extremes. There is another way. You don’t have to fear the Easter bunny, but you do have to change your perspective.
The holidays can be particularly tricky with the added allure of seasonal goodies. We continue to tell ourselves NO to the ‘bad foods’ and when we finally indulge, we guiltily scarf back as much as possible. So you want it out of the house to prevent yourself from devouring any more, but all you can do is think about what’s in the special treat drawer. The key to surviving a visit from the Easter bunny is allowing yourself to indulge from the beginning[i].
With my son, we have worked hard to allow him food freedom from a young age. He rarely gets a tummy ache because he knows that the candy will not disappear, and he doesn’t have to hide it. So he doesn’t eat more than his body needs in a sitting. We trust him to make that call, and he trusts his body to know when it’s enough. When you take away the thrill, you’re less likely to overindulge. He has been able to build a solid relationship with food, and seasonal goodies. When we set up his Easter egg hunt we mix up the treats too. Not just sweets, but also little toy cars, or puzzle pieces. This way it is not all about the food. When you remove the negative stigma around foods we label as ‘bad’, you encourage a healthy relationship with them.
So how do you, at this moment, work to prevent the binge cycle? It’s all about allowing yourself to enjoy your treat:
- Pick the Thing YOU Absolutely LOVE: Maybe it’s a super sweet treat that most people would say is ‘only for kids’. Who cares? If it’s what you want, you shouldn’t deny yourself!
- Eat it: Do it, I dare you. But when you do eat it, make sure you’re focused and make sure to truly savour it. Try finding a place to sit down with no distractions. Dig in. Close your eyes and savour the flavour. Make a production out of it and do it with gusto.
- Check In: How was that? Was it enough to satisfy you? Was it as good as you remember? Was it disappointing? Make sure it’s actually what you wanted. Sometimes things can look amazing and smell amazing, but they might not be YOUR thing. If what you’re eating isn’t worth your eyes rolling back in your head with delight, then it probably isn’t that awesome. Through the checking in process you might find that you don’t actually like something; sometimes it’s just not as good as we think. Or maybe it is! Either way you know for next time.
- You can do it tomorrow. Don’t restrict yourself. When you tell yourself NO, your mind will scream YES! Instead, if you want some more delicious treats, allow yourself, but remember to sit down and enjoy it. Don’t just scarf it back quickly. Make the time to truly savour it. Trust me when I say it will get boring. The excitement is in the first few bites; once you focus you’ll realize that you likely don’t want to eat the whole plate of treats[ii]. This is your key to preventing yourself from over indulging.
I don’t care what you eat as long as you remember to pay attention and to be present. Whether we’re working, sitting at the computer or watching TV, we are constantly distracted. We’ve forgotten to taste our food. With everything going on all at once, who knows if we actually enjoy it or not? This Easter, I encourage all my rebels to indulge, and begin to build trust with food[iii]. It’s not always an easy journey, but remember that you have support. If you haven’t already, join the Applaud Your Bod Facebook group. There is a tribe of women going through the same thing you are. When we support each other, we support ourselves.
Until next time,
Live Life. Love Food. Be Free.