Hello my lovely fighters! I am so excited for this post and this holiday series! This is my favorite time of the year. I love the weather, the clothing, the family, the feeling, all of it. But, I also know what this time of the year brings for a lot of people recovering and in the midst of their ED.
Last year during this same time I was in a completely different place. I was starting to recover from ED and I was trying to talk through the issues and anxiety with my dietician that came along with the holidays. I was so anxious and so nervous about thanksgiving and Christmas time.
So I encourage you to first get a plan. Talk to a parent, a friend, or someone who helps support you in your recovery. You need to find a plan, what you are going to eat, your behaviors throughout the whole holiday, your feelings as you take on the cisumstances, trying new things, being involved with family, etc.
A huge part of this is talk your feelings out with someone. Find someone who you can talk to. Before you go to meals and after meals. Have someone who is keeping you accountable. Someone who is looking out for you who has healthy behaviors and a neutral relationship with food.
Next, choose one thing that will challenge you and your ED voice. Have one food, one activity, one meal, one freebee for yourself, one conversation, one restaurant, one thing that you are afraid off because your ED is telling you that you can not do it. I encourage you whole heartedly to go for it. To reject the ED voice once, and to choose your healthy self.
Don’t focus on what others around you are eating and saying. Focus on what your body is telling you, not your mind. Try and think about your body, how it is feeling. Eat what you enjoy and eat until you are full. Eat. Listen to your body, even if you eat a “larger” meal and are hungry afterwards, listen to your body and maybe go back for seconds. If someone is judging you have an internal conversation. Tell yourself that only you decide what is right for you. Other people do not know you story.
This time of the year should be full of fun times with family and friends. Food just happens to be a large part of that. I used to resent the fact that so many things our society were surrounded by eating and food. But, now I see that it is used a a bonding tool, as a way to get people together and enjoy company and good food. It is not meant to anger you and upset your ED voice; it is meant to give you life. To get you out and socialize with people and enjoy what you do have.
Thanksgiving is about being thankful, not about the food. The food is just a part of thanksgiving, a small part. The food is the beginning the bringing together go family to be thankful for each other and everything you have. The food is meant to bring joy, and to make people have fun together, not to bring you anxiety.
The easiest way for me to get through difficult seasons was to get perspective. I had to “step back” and look at it from a more comical point of view. To see that this is just food, it is not a big deal. Every single person who wants to live, has to eat. I am blessed with the ability and means to have a meal and to have “fun” foods. I should be thankful for what I have and not choosing to not eat when I have the ability and food there to eat in the first place.
I am so blessed. I thank God everyday for the endless blessings I have. I am alive. I am breathing. Each of us has something that we can be thankful for today, right now. You are here, you are alive, you are loved endless and unconditionally by a God who is merciful and loving.
I dare you to instead of getting caught up in your head about ED and all the stress and triggers that come with this time of the year, to instead everyday, every time a thought comes in your head to restrict or binge, to choose gratitude. To think of something you are thankful for. To get perspective on life. To realize that the tablets and the magazines are false, they are scams and they are triggering for you. That you have to protect yourself. You have to care for yourself.
Be thankful that you have a body, and love that body with everything in you. Choose kindness. To yourself, and others. Choose gratitude.