I want to tell you a quick story about my Easter 2 years ago. I don’t remember a lot of the day, but (sadly) what I do remember is lying in the lounge room alone at night after dinner, my heart was racing, I was covered in sweat, I had the worst headache & I wanted to be sick. I had just eaten an ENTIRE 575g bucket of Peanut M&Ms ON.MY.OWN, plus dinner and whatever else I had eaten that day (aka. Lots of chocolate). I had restricted so much in the lead up to Easter, I lost all control when I finally got hold of the ‘forbidden’ chocolate. This moment was one of the biggest wake up calls to me in regards to my disordered eating & luckily was a real trigger for change.
So in previous years, as you can see, I am totally guilty of restricting my food intake as well as over exercising in the lead up to Easter. I was stuck in such a restrictive mindset which resulted in complete fear around Easter Sunday itself and the lead up to it. But this year is different.
Easter really is just another day of the year; so really, what is it about this holiday that can have such a strong hold over us?
Well, it’s because WE give it this power! Just because it is a holiday based around indulgence and chocolate treats, it doesn’t mean we need to become consumed by this too. After all, it is just another day!
Step one in approaching Easter with balance is to alter your view of Easter. It is not a ‘free for all day’ where you should just throw all of your hard earned healthy habits and behaviours out the window because there is extra chocolate around & those around you might be doing that. Remind yourself, it is just another day of the year. Don’t give it power over you.
But with that said, give yourself unconditional permission in the lead up & on Easter Sunday to INDULGE! Do not restrict yourself from the delicious chocolate treats that are around. Because restriction only leads to feelings of deprivation, which then lead to binging. And binging on copious amounts of chocolate eggs is far worse than allowing yourself to have a couple here and there in balance as you desire.
The second you tell yourself you can’t have something, is the second you give that food power over you. So telling yourself you can’t have any Easter Eggs until Easter Sunday, will only lead to binging on them on that day. I don’t care how much willpower you have; restriction & deprivation only ever lead to one thing, and that is an uncontrollable binge. So avoid this binge-restrict-binge cycle by enjoying treats in moderation in the lead up to Easter. If you follow me on Instagram you would see (particularly in my stories) I indulge in a treat most days, normally after dinner. I always have homemade raw treats, Loving Earth Chocolate, or (my fave of late) Sweet Potato Brownies & Blondies on hand (I almost always opt for homemade treats because of my multiple intolerances!). As a result, I never feel deprived and I never feel the urge to binge any more. And when Easter rolls around, I know I won’t feel the urge to stuff my face with every (dairy free) chocolate egg in sight because I’ve enjoyed them in the lead up to Easter keeping my cravings under control.
Another important thing in approaching Easter with balance is not to feel like you have to ‘compensate’ for the food you will eat/ate in any way. Don’t go upping your cardio sessions to burn more calories in the days prior; this will only create an unhealthy relationship with exercise. Keep your routine the same; because like I said before, treat it just like any other day of the year! Even if you do indulge, remember it is just one day out of the entire year and your body can handle this food. And come Monday, get right back into your healthy routine – eating & exercise – not because you have to, but because that’s what makes you feel your best!
I, myself, will 100% be indulging on Easter Sunday at Easter Lunch with the family – Mum always cooks a delicious Ham with lots of yummy roast vegetables and salads, which of course is followed by plenty of chocolate treats! But, come Monday, I’ll be back to my usual healthy eating and same gym routine (no added cardio #cardi-no) because that is what makes me feel my best & my healthiest, and ultimately, that’s when I feel my happiest.
So as Easter approaches, hold this principle of Balance with you. Because restricting yourself & missing out on wonderful memories with family & friends at these special times of year is not sustainable, nor is that living! Life is too short to be worrying about weight and calories! There is a quote I love: “Don’t miss out on 95% of your life trying to weight 5% less” and I think it is so appropriate here!
One last thing I want to address: what do you do with all the chocolate you receive for Easter? I know this is a huge concern for people because they just feel like they can’t control themselves when there is treats around. I have a few suggests for this:
- Take the chocolate into work to share with colleagues
- Get baking! Use the chocolate to bake healthy snacks like choc chip banana bread, Zucchini Muffins, Sweet Potato Brownies, Cookie Dough Protein Balls or cookies! That way there is not entire blocks or a huge stash of chocolate eggs just sitting there waiting to be eaten & you’ve put them to good use as snacks for the week!
- Enjoy it as a treat in moderation. Tell yourself you can have more later, you don’t need to eat it all at once.
Be sure to join me over on Instagram (@eb.fiitness) for daily motivation, recipes and fitness tips! xxx