When I was 20 I went to The Golden Door health retreat in the Hunter Valley.
In hindsight, it was an unusual way for a university student who waited tables for a living to spend her time and money.
(But then again, I’ve always been a little unusual.)
It’s in one of Australia’s best wine regions and the winding drive that took me from the highway to the hillside hideaway was surrounded by vineyards.
Now I’m no lush, but passing world-class wineries on the way to a place where alcohol was contraband had me desperately wanting to pull over and stock up on a couple of bottles of Tyrrell’s Shiraz.
In the end I didn’t sneak any wine into my overnight bag, but this story is a great example of the deprivation mentality. Being told that I couldn’t have even a sip of alcohol made me crave a goblet of the stuff.
Because as soon as we’re told a food is off-limits, or when we label it “bad” or “naughty” or “unhealthy,” it becomes the thing we want the most.
This is why extreme diets, carb-cutting, and pretty much every food fad out there aren’t sustainable weight loss strategies.
Eventually people cave for what they crave and swing too far in the other direction, gorging on foods that don’t benefit them in any way.
I bring this up as we head into the Easter weekend where chocolate and celebratory food abound.
By this point you may already be in a tizzy about the thought of having sweets lying around.
Perhaps you’re telling yourself that you can’t have any chocolate.
Or, worse still, you’ve already accepted that you’re going to go overboard, binge on cheap sugar, and feel sick and guilty come Monday morning.
So let me stop you right there and tell you that this doesn’t have to be your reality. With self-love you can eat what you enjoy and stop while it’s still enjoyable for your body.
This weekend, I encourage you to take pleasure in eating beautiful food, but also trust that you can choose what to eat and when to stop so that you’re doing right by your body, mind and soul.
P.S. Pleasurable eating and releasing food addiction is one of the key tenets I teach in Slim Down With Self Love Bootcamp. Join the waitlist here so you never again have to worry about food guilt, cravings, or how to navigate eating holidays again: www.jenniferdenewellness.com/bootcamp