We had a glorious day...with a difference.
In the past, it has been a chocolate fest of massive proportions. Between Easter bunny delivering to all 4 children, 2 sets of grandparents with their contributions and working in a kindergarten with children giving me chocolate as gifts, the day usually became less an Easter Egg hunt but more a Hunt for Humans in amongst the chocolate boxes. And after all, who cares? It's one day of the year right? Besides it's for the kids....
And then it hit me, like a candy egg dropped from up high......it doesn't have to be like that.
We have been eating clean and healthy as a family for almost a year and a half now. I've noticed the children's tastes have changed and they actively chose healthier foods for themselves and don't look for the biscuit tin or the Maccas signs. We follow an active healthy lifestyle and model it as much as we can. By no means are we perfect ( french martini anyone?) but we are strong in our beliefs and values around our health now.
So why throw it all away on one day?
Between us, my husband and I, we decided to do something about it and cut down this year dramatically. And the results were surprising.
I thought the children would be disappointed that the chocolate they 'traditionally' received were not as abundant. In fact, they got an egg and a chocolate bunny each. But the clever easter bunny had also left them all a plaster model kit with paints for them to paint up and decorate. Beside that package was a movie ticket each for the holidays.
Well now let me tell you, my children are 21, almost 20, 12 and 8. And every single one of them ripped open their plaster models and got straight into painting all morning!
Any other Easter, it would be a morning of still lazing in our PJs, kids are ratty from eating too much chocolate already and me getting frustrated with the bickering and chocolate fuelled stupidity. Then by afternoon everyone feels a little ill, I have a wine too many for sanity sake and have to lie down and the day is gone. Not this time.
This Easter, we spent together as a family. We talked and joked around. We 'hung out'. We all cooked or set the table and everyone's masterpieces created the centrepiece for our lunch.
Lunch was not a hurried rubbish affair of store bought chicken and gravy noone wanted to eat because they were stuffed full of Easter eggs, but a delicious 3 course meal everyone helped make. We all sipped 'Mishy specials', lime and soda water in champagne glasses....which Miss 8 was totally delighted with.
Entree: Fig and proscuitto salad with honey balsamic dressing
Main: Rosemary and garlic lamb with gravy
Dessert: Chocolate custard tart.
After our gorgeous lunch was the traditional Easter egg hunt...the older girls hide the eggs...inventively, and the younger two go searching.
It is now the end of the day and there have been no arguments, no tears, no crankiness, no drama. The day has felt like a giant hug, holding us all in together in warmth.
A year and a half ago, when I first started doing the 12 WBT, I just thought I'd lose some weight. Maybe. Hopefully. I didn't fully comprehend the humungus effect it would have on my life and that of my family and of those around me....friends, workmates, everyone around me. And today is something I am grateful for, realising that healthy eating and healthy lifestyle hasn't just given me a healthy body and mind.... it's given me a happy healthy family, and a family Easter I always dreamed of.