You’re in isolation. You are already struggling to not eat your emotions. You are worrying that you are gaining weight by the second. You are feeling rubbish about… well pretty much everything, so you eat some more as this is where you are used to finding your comfort. And the guilt cycle starts again.
Obviously this won’t be the same for everyone. Everyone has a different relationship with food and some people might be over restricting to make up for their lack of gym time, or you might even have a wonderfully healthy relationship with food and don’t feel the need to stress over what you put in your mouth.
However, a lot of people do have an unhealthy relationship with food in some way or another and unfortunately isolation, combined with the fact it’s Easter, might be making the majority of us feel even more guilt and pressure when it comes to our food intake.
Now nutrition does not need to be too complicated. I know that might sound ridiculous, especially right now, as surely if it wasn’t complicated then we would all be a healthy weight and be confident in our food choices… right? Well the thing is nutrition itself doesn’t have to be too complicated; but our individual relationships with food, our bodies and ourselves unfortunately can be and that is what makes nutrition seem more difficult than it has to be.
There isn’t a secret waiting to be discovered, and their isn’t a miracle diet that you must try in order to get the body you have always wanted. Basically when weight is your concern it all comes down to calories (the energy within our food). So when it comes to food we don’t want to label them ‘good‘ and ‘bad’; as this only assists our negative/unhealthy relationship with food. Instead try to see all food as energy.
Some forms of energy will be more beneficial to you and should provide the majority of your diet but some energy will give your soul a lil bit of a hug and that is also necessary. So although we don’t want a diet fully consisting of soul hugging foods – i.e. Easter eggs – it is ok that they make up part of your diet. You shouldn’t feel guilty for indulging in a holiday tradition, or for craving something that isn’t that nutritionally beneficial, or even for just eating. We need to eat. We need food to survive. Without the energy we take from food our bodies will eventually start to shut down. So don’t feel guilty for giving your body something that it needs to survive.
“Yeah but if all I’m eating is Easter Eggs then I’m going to put on weight and be unhealthy”
True. But don’t you see… you already know that. It isn’t a secret that if all you eat are processed, or ‘soul hugging’ foods that you won’t be in a very healthy state. Not only will you physically not be healthy but mentally you will suffer too, as we need all the nutrients found in a variety of natural food to keep us functioning as we are meant to. But you already know that.
The majority of us can remember a time when we’ve focused on consuming more nutritionally dense food and felt so much better for it, even after a few days, and then compare it to the moments when our diets consist mainly of ready meals and processed snacks; where we feel sluggish and horrible. But we struggle to keep to the habit of eating well, as usually we completely cut out the ‘bad foods‘ and then we struggle to sustain this way of eating and feel bad if we ‘fall off the wagon‘; so we binge and eat our guilt before trying to start all over again by doing the same thing we’ve just done – restricting.
Restricting a type of food group won’t work in the long run. Unless you are intolerant, there are really no reasons to cut a food group out of your diet as all food can play a role in helping us function. Instead we need to just focus on the quantity of the food we are eating.
All the faddy diets you see out there, that maybe you have tried, all follow the same basic principle they just package it up differently. Whether they are telling you to cut out carbs or fats, labelling certain foods as ‘sins’ so you limit your intake, giving each food a value in points, telling you to not eat during certain times of the day…. they are all reducing how many calories you consume. Which is why they work. The issue with these strategies is that they don’t help you develop a better relationship with food and they don’t provide you with something that is sustainable for you to live a happy healthy life. They operate on fear and restriction, when really we should be focusing on knowledge and variety.
The saying “everything in moderation” isn’t just some mumbo jumbo that is too good to be true. You can eat whatever you want. Carbs, Fats, Protein – they are all necessary. Just be aware of how much you are consuming and whether the majority of your diet is from nutritionally dense food or if it’s laden with processed items.
Eat the Easter Egg. Eat the crisp and the cake and the sweets. Just make sure you are also eating the fruit and the veg, the rice and the beans, the chicken or the tofu.
Eat to nourish your body, eat to give yourself energy, eat because you enjoy it, eat to feed your soul.
So please don’t restrict yourself for the rest of this week now just because you had a weekend of indulging. Just add a bit of variety and colour onto your plate and eat a balance of everything in moderation.
Don’t be scared of that Easter Egg. Enjoy it and then move on.