It's not the food that's bad - It's your attitude
Every holiday period I see the same ‘food guilt articles’ filling up my socials. These holiday periods are a time where we can catch up with old friends, get in some quality family time and unwind from our busy lives. We are guilted of our over indulgences, especially during Easter time as the shops are overflowing with Easter chocolates and smells of hot cross buns. Foods are labelled ‘bad’ and if you cave into cravings of these foods then you need to punish yourself. Here’s an idea, perhaps it’s not the food that’s inherently ‘bad’.. it’s your attitude.
We see two very distinct attitudes come into play towards food within the media during the holidays. The loudest voice is one of guilt and shame. We are told we’re already out of shape, and that these few days of excess calories will tip us literally off the scales into a spiralling frenzy. All that energy spent diligently adhering to our diets (that we all need to be on) is lost. All of it deemed worthless, just as we are. Whether you believe this because of something you’ve read, because of someone you’ve spoken to or you’re just inclined to think that way about yourself, it’s a pretty destructive attitude to have.
And then there are the attitudes that allow us to add some calculated treats into our diet during the holiday season. I have seen enough articles on how much exercise it takes to ‘burn’ off a Lindt Bunny to drive me insane. Here are some calculations – 63 minutes on a rowing machine, 550 burpees, two spin classes, 2hrs of walking or 1375 sit ups. It gets pretty scientific out there in the click-bait article world. Nothing like feeding off peoples insecurities to gain a few views. Now first of all, Lindt Bunnies are delicious and second of all the science on calories in vs calories out isn’t so simple! You calculating how those calories of Easter binge will ‘fit’ into your allowed calories for the day isn’t smart – it’s obsessive.
Overexercising isn’t the only way we’re guilted into making up for our Easter sins. An article titled “how to cancel out those extra Easter calories”, suggests fasting. Fasting can be a great tool to use to lose weight for some, but suggesting that after a binge you should just ‘not eat’ for a period of time will only encourage this continuous binge cycle. The most upsetting suggestions I’ve read is to throw out all the remaining chocolate you’ve got leftover. Pleaaaaase don’t throw out the chocolate, if you must - gift it to a friend. You throwing perfectly good chocolate in the bin is a crime - against Cadbury.
Enough of the guilt riddled articles. We need more awareness in our relationship with food. Food is neither "good" nor "bad". We receive energy from all forms.. yes even chocolate. Sure, some are more nutritionally beneficial, while others perhaps tick a more sentimental box. They are BOTH part of what makes up a healthy lifestyle. One weekend, every so often, that involves meals with loved ones, a shared bottle of wine, and sure - maybe some chocolate is not going to leave you overweight and ruin all of your progress. These experiences are what life is all about because they make us HAPPY. Don't ruin it for yourself by stressing out over the calories or how you need to burn it off next week at the gym.
Eat the damn chocolate and move on with your life. Personally, I never want to exist in a world where dessert is shameful and wine with girlfriends makes us feel guilty, and neither should you! Find a diet that nourishes your body AND your soul.. and doesn't leave you feeling like a failure after consuming. The only thing failing you here is your attitude.