Please Don’t Punish Yourself for Egg-Shaped Chocolate Joy

“I used to think there was just fat and skinny. But apparently there’s lots of things that can be wrong on your body”, declared Cady Heron in Mean Girls. And how right she was. It never fails to amaze me how much beautiful, healthy women of all different shapes and sizes around me, berate themselves so much for what they eat.

Each week seems like a fresh battle of ‘well-behaved’ intentions versus ‘naughty’ temptations. I say it in inverted commas because I hate the way we group food into good and bad. I hate that we talk about ‘falling off the wagon’ and ‘breaking the rules’ and ‘being bad’. Why do we narrate our food like this. As if we’re playing some culinary video game, jumping through hoops then falling into ditches.

Nothing wrong with living a healthy lifestyle or setting challenges or trying to lose a few pounds. What makes me sad though is seeing friends cut out entire food groups, moving from one diet or ‘new way of living’ to the next, before eating one doughnut and beating themselves to death. When all they’ve done is be human.

This season I wish I wouldn’t have to hear “summer bodies are made in spring” or even the phrase “bikini body”, shouted at us by magazines. That two-word-wonder that has entrenched in us the idea that there is such a thing. As the Internet memes say, “how do you get a bikini body? – Put a bikini on your body!”

This isn’t coming from a place of “I love my body and everyone else should learn to love theirs.” Rather, we all have faults and wish we looked different in some ways, but I know that this commentary of guilt isn’t getting us anywhere. If you’ve eaten one Easter egg or ten Easter eggs in the last few days, please give yourself a break. You are awesome and wonderful and worth so much more than the energy spent punishing yourself. Let’s put bikinis on our bodies and enjoy food.

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