5 Tips for Easter survival when in diet recovery
Easter weekend has become a huge celebration of chocolate and although these days I eat chocolate almost every day, I remember full well how much anxiety it can bring if you're dieting. I used to gorge myself on Easter eggs in moments I'd be allowing myself to eat, only to feel sick afterwards and be filled with shame and regret. So the next day I'd try and restrict myself in a poor attempt to 'make up for it'. Ugh.
When you’re on a restricted regime/diet or ‘lifestyle plan’, Easter weekend with all it’s chocolatey wares, feels like something to be afraid of.
In the same way that Christmas, birthdays or any other holiday throughout the year that involve fun and food, diet culture tells us that on these occasions we cannot possibly be trusted around such sweet delights. It says that if we let go of the reins even just a little bit, then we’ll fall so deeply into a chocolate fountain that we’ll drown in our own disgusting lack of self-control.
Diet mentality says that around chocolate, we must either abstain, work-out harder or go for ‘healthy alternatives’. Otherwise you risk the consequences of guilt, shame, and general unworthiness.
What if there were no rules to break, wagons to fall off or foods to fear? Answer me this. What happens if someone tells you NOT to do something? Well, if you’re anything like me you’re going to want to put two fingers up to them and do exactly the opposite. The more you restrict yourself the more you’re going to want to have it.
If you’re here then I’m hoping it’s because you’ve got an inkling that diets do not work. They really don’t. They are selling you false dreams that pray on your insecurities for profits. Harsh but true. If you have to restrict yourself to be a certain shape, then bae, you’re not meant to be that size.
So knowing this, imagine if you told yourself that this Easter weekend you could eat WHATEVER YOU WANTED… how would it feel? Scary? Too much? Amazing?
When you give the power back to your body you'll discover that you won't want to eat hot cross buns covered in chocolate forever, and you can learn to relax.
When you take away all the rules, you can start enjoying the Easter treats. You can give yourself permission to eat a whole Easter egg in one sitting if you want because when there are no rules, you don’t have to feel guilty about anything!
Seriously, in the grand scheme of a year, one weekend really won’t matter. If you can learn to listen to your body, it will ask you to give it a healthy balance, and the ratio of veggie to chocolate will even out.
Here are 5 tips on how to have a egg-cellent easter without freaking out.
1. Unfollow anyone talking about dieting, ‘healthier’ alternatives, counting cals/macros etc etc. Do it swiftly and do not feel guilty for ditching anyone from your feed who triggers you to want to binge, restrict or get disordered around food.
2. Give yourself permission to eat. It is normal during times of celebrations to eat past your point of fullness and you’re allowed to eat the next day too! Diets tell us that tiny portions are normal, so don’t compare a normal plate to one on a diet.
3. Remember that there are no good or bad foods. Practice what's called ‘food neutrality’ by telling yourself that food is just food. It is only the diet industry that's made up these food rules. It's time for you, a grown-up adult, to decide what is best for your body and what makes you feel good. Keep this at the forefront of your mind.
4. Get curious. I say this to my clients all the time. When we take foods off the magical pedestals we put them on when we’re dieting, we can start assessing whether or not we actually like the food as much as we think we do. So bring some mindfulness to your eating - are you hungry? Did it satisfy you? What was it you liked? What did you not like? When we start gathering information from a purely neutral place of how did the food make me feel - then we can begin to work out what’s best for our body.
5. Bring some joy back into eating. Food is meant to be enjoyed! Food is pleasure, joy and happiness. Holidays are often a time for getting together with the people we love - stop overthinking the food bit and really focus on the memories you’re creating with these special people. Life is for living - don’t let diets steal your memories.
Learning to undo all the shitty rules and restrictions that diets put on us takes a long time, so don’t despair if it all feels hard and scary at first. Just go easy, practice self-care and a heap of self-compassion.
Join one of my 1:1 coaching programmes and find out how to never feel guilty or out of control around food again.
Have a happy Easter loves.
Harri Rose x