If I were to tell you that within the next seven days, a giant mole would appear in your garden and would hide chocolate potatoes amongst your shrubbery, you would probably look at me as if I were mentally ill (and you would have a point). If however we were to change that giant mole to a rabbit and the chocolate potatoes to chocolate eggs, I am sure your reaction would be a little different and more akin to “hooray, I love Easter!”.
Indeed, I would share in that hooray, as I have also always loved Easter and the whole celebration of days that go alongside it. When I was younger, Shrove Tuesday or “pancake day” was the highlight of my year and I vividly remember having competitions with my grandparents as to who would be able to eat the most pancakes (spoiler alert, I won every year). I also loved making hot cross buns with my mother, mixing melted chocolate with shredded wheat to make “birds nest cakes”, and the annual tradition of putting Cadbury mini eggs into my plastic purple duck who would “lay” one of these eggs every time you pressed his head (please note this does NOT work with normal ducks no matter how hard you press them on the head. All you get in that situation is no chocolate egg and a very very angry duck).
Whenever I received an Easter egg as a child I remember being so excited that I couldn’t choose which one to eat first and from the age of five years old I would line them all up in order of expiration date just to make the decision for me. Even with this excitement I would make my eggs last for months and months, only having a little bit a day as a treat because I didn’t want them to disappear, so that it wasn’t unusual for me to still have an egg on the go at Christmas. In senior school they were so invested in festivities that there was even a giant egg hunt around the school grounds on the last day of term before we broke up for Easter and this was taken VERY seriously. People got into teams to compete, eggs were hidden with the utmost secrecy, and four or so teachers would even dress up as rabbits and hide in especially difficult to find spots, with bonus points going to any team who managed to find a bunny and drag them to the finish line. If you found a bunny, you were guaranteed a place in the top five teams and one of my fondest memories of my school days was watching as a hoard of screaming teenagers ran across a field in pursuit of the deputy head, who, after being found hiding in a tree, was sprinting for his life complete with bunny ears and a fluffy tail. It was truly a remarkable sight and Sir, if you are reading this, may I say you suited that fluffy tail perfectly and should seriously consider adding it to your daily wardrobe rather than saving it for special spring time occasions.
As I am sure you can see from all of those memories however, food is a key part of the Easter celebrations, so joining in with the festivities when you have an eating disorder can be quite difficult and lead to the Easter weekend being a stressful, as opposed to enjoyable time. Obviously, as I said when faced with this similar situation at Christmas, it would be great and ideal that for Easter we would all be able to set our eating disorders aside and join in. Eating disorders are horrible, potentially fatal illnesses that should not be allowed to dictate or ruin your Easter, and as my dad quite rightly says “eating a few chocolate eggs once a year isn’t going to do anything to you”. Alas eating disorders are not so easily persuaded by such demonstrations of logic and even with the best intentions and determination, they often interfere with one’s ability to join in with a lot of the “normal” Easter activities. Of course, if you are able to challenge yourself and join in with the more anxiety provoking aspects of Easter this year, then I would encourage you to go ahead and have a cracking time, but nevertheless, today as I did for Christmas, I thought I would offer you a blog post containing a few suggestions as to how to get involved and celebrate a holiday with your family in alternative ways that are not so focused on the food components of pancakes, buns and eggs…
41 Ways to celebrate Easter when you have an eating disorder
- Buy some of those little yellow chicks you can get to stick on cakes and instead of an Easter egg hunt, distribute the chicks around the house or garden and use them for your Easter themed hunt instead.
- Make an Easter decoration by doing some Papier-mâché on a balloon. Then when it is dry decorate it with as much paint and glitter as you can find to create the most fabulous egg you have ever seen.
- Email me a picture of your creation.
- Make an Easter wreath.
- Plant and decorate an Easter tree.
- Sit behind a bush with a leaf on your head and make noises like a lettuce in order to try and attract the Easter bunny.
- If the Easter bunny doesn’t show up, change tactics and try making noises like a cabbage instead (as we all know cabbages speak with a far lower pitch so maybe take someone with a deep voice for this one).
- If the Easter bunny still doesn’t show up, set off on an expedition around the world in search of your little rabbit friend.
- If yet again efforts fail, give up in your attempts to find the Easter bunny and simply become the Easter bunny yourself.
- Congratulate yourself on having become the Easter bunny and throw a party to celebrate your new job.
- Travel around the world as fast as possible and leave chocolate eggs for everyone who celebrates Easter (I know it is a big job but I think you will find you took it upon yourself).
- Rest after exhausting yourself doing number 11.
- Weave an Easter basket.
- Have an egg and spoon race (I know this technically involves an egg which can be considered as a food BUT the activity of an egg and spoon race doesn’t actually rely on consumption aka eating of the egg and is far more centred on putting the egg on a spoon and running as fast as humanly possible).
- Go to a pottery class and make an egg cup.
- Paint your egg cup.
- Play pin the beak on the chick (A PAPER CHICK).
- Buy a female chicken.
- Buy a male chicken.
- Leave both of your chickens in a barn.
- Add mood lighting to create a romantic atmosphere.
- Quietly play romantic songs into the barn (I recommend Dolly Parton. I am not sure why but I feel like chickens would like Dolly Parton.)
- Give your chickens some privacy.
- Wait until an egg has been laid.
- When an egg has been laid, ensure it is kept warm and is well cared for until it is ready to hatch.
- Watch as the egg hatches and congratulate yourself for creating a romantic partnership that has led to a new life in the form of a real life Easter chick.
- Realise that there is no way for you to achieve all of this in the next few days as Easter is only a week away and it takes considerably longer than that to progress from step 18-26
- Research how long steps 18-26 will take realistically.
- Check what date Easter is next year and put a date in your diary as many days/weeks before Easter Sunday needed to realistically carry out steps 18-26 in order to actually have an Easter chick born on Easter Sunday.
- Make pop up Easter cards to give to friends and family.
- Learn to knit and make some cuddly Easter bunnies.
- Turn those few bunnies into several hundred bunnies because as we all know, in nature these creatures tend to multiply rather rapidly.
- If you are religious, go to church.
- If you are not religious, maybe give someone without a car who is religious a lift to church.
- If you are not religious and don’t know anyone who is, simply kidnap a passer by and take them to church in the interests of traditionally celebrating Easter Sunday. I am sure the Pope would approve.
- Lie completely flat on the floor and impersonate a pancake.
- Plant daffodils.
- Water your daffodils with a watering can shaped like a bunny.
- Become a daffodil (please note you can only do this one if you didn’t do suggestion number 9 for as we all know it is far too much responsibility for one to be both the Easter bunny AND a daffodil.)
- Wear all of your winter clothes at once, get very angry and then play crazy golf. If anyone asks what you are doing answer that you are celebrating Easter by having some “hot cross fun”
- Roll your eyes at number 40 and wonder why on earth you are still reading the blog of someone who is clearly an idiot
So there you have it! 41 Non food related ways to celebrate Easter when you are suffering from an eating disorder! If you are a friend or family member of someone with an eating disorder, maybe suggest one of these activities to them in order to make them feel included in the festivities, or maybe ignore all of my suggestions and come up with a more sensible non food related way to celebrate to make sure that your friend/family member feels included with the holiday. Hopefully if you yourself reading this are a person with an eating disorder, one day you will feel able to participate in the more “traditional” chocolate egg/hot cross bun parts of Easter and maybe one day you will be fully recovered and able to enjoy Easter as much as you did before your eating disorder rudely entered your life. Either way, whatever stage you are at, I hope you all manage to have some fun this Easter weekend and that things aren’t too stressful. Stay calm, stay strong, and if in doubt, just become the Easter bunny.
Take care everyone x