To me, our calendar year is divided in – let’s put it in biblical terms – seven fat months and five lean months. I’ll walk you through them.

Easter is the celebration of the belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most important celebrations of the Christian (and Russian and Greek orthodox) religious calendar. However, to the not so religious, Easter might simply mean that the end of winter is upon us and regarded as an opening ceremony to spring. After all, how many people know why we eat eggs at Easter? For all they know, it is to celebrate new life as this is the period of animals being born, baby birds hatching, that sort of thing.

It isn’t, by the way. Eating eggs - real or chocolate -has nothing to do with the procreation of animals in spring. Eggs, just as meats and dairy, were simply not allowed during the fasting period of 40 days before Easter. Easter is the end of the fasting period and therefore eggs are once again allowed.

But despite all the religious customs and my own, originally, Protestant background, Easter for me has, over the years, morphed into what I now consider to be the last hurdle to beat before I can finally try to get in shape for summer.

Let me explain.

To me, our calendar year is divided in – let’s put it in biblical terms – seven fat months and five lean months. I’ll walk you through them.

Generally, from October onwards the summer is really over as our beautiful summer tans have faded away, the sun doesn’t give much warmth anymore and the temperatures go down. October is also the month that shops begin to sell festive foods, mainly chocolate in many shapes and forms, for Halloween and Saint Nicolas.

Come November supermarkets start selling Christmas chocolates and cookies and as I have stated in a previous article, you have to buy that soon or else it’s sold out just before Christmas. So yeah, I stock up on that too. And unfortunately, stock of this sort needs to be replenished several times…

December is all about food, luxury foods, specialty dinners to celebrate Christmas at parties, office drinks, etc. etc. increasingly showing comparison to ‘La Grande Bouffe’ (must-see French cult movie about a group of friends trying to eat themselves to death).

The beginning of January does usually bring about some sense of normalcy as we realise that we may not have treated our bodies in the best fashion over the holidays, so we come up with ‘good intentions’ for the new year. But who’s kidding whom here? We all know that these intentions hardly ever last.

Two weeks into the new year, we let go of them again because it’s winter. And in winter we are cold. And cold makes us want to eat.

And thanks to the necessity of covering up to stay warm, we create room for more flab. After all, hiding a few extra pounds under a big woolly jumper is a lot easier than doing so in a flimsy summer dress, not to mention thin, made-to-deal-with-the-heat tops and tees.

February is essentially the same depressing month as January, so any comfort eater will have a ball there. Having an extra spoon (or bowl) of a thick comforting soup, another glass of glühwein to stay warm or an extra handful of chocolate covered anything, makes the cold and dark winter ever so much more bearable.

So, by the time we hit March, I am ready to diet. Big time. But then the stores are loaded up again of these frigging Easter eggs. Society doesn’t make it any easier, does it?

I know that I am a grown-up, I know that I have a choice. I don’t need to buy all that is chocolatey. I do not have to spend money on fat-generating goods. But chocolate often looks so pretty. And attractive. And it is the most delicious thing in the world. And we have kids, they like candy, we allow it, so therefore I buy it. I am fine with that. I can see to it that our children do not eat too much of the junk food, I can hide things from them, it is manageable.

The problem, however, is that once unhealthy foods are in our house, they inadvertently also find a way to get into my belly.

I may be a strong-willed person; I may be disciplined in some areas of my life. But I am only human. So, even though, upon buying all that crap, I tell myself – in a very convincing manner – that I buy it for my kids, much of the junk ends up in my body.

By the time all chocolate-covered festivities and the cold winter months are finally behind us we’re already halfway through April! That only gives me two months to take back control and focus on getting in shape before the summer warmth requires me to dress flimsily. And with temperatures on the rise, the warm months nowadays start in May.

So, what this boils down to, is that, thanks to Easter and all the chocolates that accompany Easter, I only have two weeks to get in shape. Two weeks! Ergo, I am f*cked.

Wouldn’t it be great if the fat months would only take up a smaller part of the year instead of running from October to mid-April?

Of course, I realise that there is a reason for the timing of Easter and that we can’t change dates with historical and religious meaning to them, just because little miss body frustration over here is unhappy with the ‘test of will’ that supermarkets challenge her with, but I would have loved to celebrate Easter somewhere between October and February, thus shortening the ‘fat months’ to five, and stretching the lean months to seven.

It seems like a better balance. And I would not need to put myself on some extreme diet of carrot juice and vegetable soup.

But yeah, I guess religion and its celebrations give a little bit more weight (pun intended) than my personal struggle with celebratory and cold-defying comfort foods. So I am looking at an mood-wrecking, bowel-moving, belly-aching and pretty much disgusting cold soup recipe that a friend once gave to me to get rid of excess weight quickly….

Can’t wait for the fat months to begin again!