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  • Writer's picturelindecatherine

Eating Disorder during Holiday Season

Christmas holiday is supposed to be a magical time filled with love, happiness, and laughter.

Although for some people this time can also mean feeling of fear, guilt and overwhelm.

Automatically Christmas Season involves spending a lot of time around food. Constantly eating meals and snacks outside of your comfort zone can be terrifying but it shouldn’t be that way.

The society has classified holiday food as “bad” food which for some is the underlying cause for the feeling of guilt. We need to normalize eating more than usual during the Christmas season and eating holiday foods. Enjoying yourself does not equal breaking out of your routine!

Holidays are not about food, but about spending time with your loved ones.

Life isn’t about maintaining a certain body, having a strict routine, keeping up a certain image you’ve created etc. Life is about living, enjoying every day and being happy.

In a few years you would want to look back at this time and remember how much you’ve enjoyed spending time with your loved ones, rather than how you were stressing over food.

Here are a few holiday reminders:

  • A week of eating isn’t going to dramatically change your body

  • It’s okay to break your eating routine and enjoy foods outside of it

  • Allow yourself to say “yes” to things: don’t let your eating disorder make you miss out on enjoying the day

  • You don’t need to “make up for” what you’ve eaten or are about to eat

  • It’s okay to not stick to your exercise routine

  • Food has no moral value

  • Don’t compare what you are eating to others: everyone has different metabolism and cravings, allow yourself to eat what you fancy

  • Ignore diet culture comments: a lot of the time people don’t actually mean what they say; I can guarantee you that people who say “I’m not going to eat for a day after this” are not going to stick to their word – often they say it as a joke, out of guilt or as a way to make themselves feel better

If it helps plan some activities to distract yourself from food, e.g., watch a movie, go for a walk, call a friend.

Sometimes it might be a good idea to plan ahead. Ask what is on the menu for Christmas dinner so you can mentally prepare yourself for it. This way it won’t be as overwhelming in the moment.

It can be a good idea to tell a close contact how you are feeling so they can help when it is needed. Share your concerns with a friend, family member, professional so when you are overwhelmed with emotions support is available.

Remember, everyone is in the same boat as you. EVERYONE has more social events during this time of the year. It is okay to eat more than usual or skip a workout routine, you are not letting yourself down!! Also, it is okay to struggle, don’t punish yourself for not being as “happy” as you think you should be. Progress takes time and, in the future, you will reach a point when food is not longer your enemy. But for now, take time to recharge and rest if needed.

Don’t let your eating disorder ruin your holiday season. You have already achieved so much, and I am proud of everyone for making all the progress.

I hope you enjoy your holiday and have a wonderful time!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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