Easter used to be horrific for me (along with Halloween and children’s birthday parties). Why? Because I used to go savage on my children’s chocolate after they went to bed. My husband would walk into the kitchen and see me looking a bit like this:
Then I would spend four days feeling guilty and dieting. This is how yo-yo dieting habits often develop. Eep!
Exactly one year ago I had my last Easter binge. That doesn’t mean it was my last Easter raiding my children’s stash – what do you think I’m doing as I write this? All that remains of Mr. Bunny is a tail! No… It means in the last year my whole mindset towards food has changed. I no longer have urges to devour their WHOLE stash and then spend days beating myself up for it.
It took awhile but this past year I was able to come to terms with the root of my binge eating issues. Here are some tips, as well as points to ponder, that really helped me improve my relationship with food:
1. The guilt and shame I felt after eating something “bad” was the WORST. The guilt had to go. Food is yummy. I like food. I like eating for pleasure. On occasion I enjoy things like chocolate (and wine) so much I eat (and drink) an excessive amount of it. That’s ok. When this happens, on occasion, it makes zero difference to my overall health. Moderation – preachin’ it!
2. I banished “cheat meals.” The whole mentality of “cheating” while eating a meal was a terrible mindset for me. Cheat meal = permission to be “bad” for a short window of time = I’m going to inhale 3 appetizers, 2 mains, and 4 desserts in one sitting. I needed to get rid of the “good” and “bad” labels I placed on food. There are no bad foods. There are foods I eat in abundance and foods I eat in moderation. This can occur anytime throughout the week.
3. I realized chocolate grows on trees. It literally does! The world’s supply of chocolate is not at risk of drying up and that’s basically how I was treating it anytime it came into my home. There are whole aisles in grocery stores dedicated to sweet treats. I could whip something up with ingredients I have in my house. I can have chocolate (and anything else) any time I want.
4. I recognized that what I was doing was a very unhealthy habit and I was mentally exhausted from it. I had no idea just how much time I spent thinking about food until I wasn’t thinking about it anymore!! The only way for me to have that was to let go and eat freely for awhile and see that no, I didn’t gain twenty pounds overnight. When I stopped obsessing about food I started thinking more about what I enjoyed… Which happens to be mostly healthy foods. And ten pounds of chocolate in one sitting doesn’t feel that great. Funny, hey?
I hope you all enjoyed your Easter with family and friends. If you found this helpful feel free to share!
** I am not a medical expert. If you think you have a TRUE eating disorder – Binge Eating Disorder (BED) please contact the appropriate medical professionals. You can start here.