The holiday season is here, and while it typically (hopefully) brings a lot of joy, it also can bring a lot of stress and anxiety. The holidays may be a minefield of upsetting body comments, diet culture talk, and food-related events. This may be a difficult time, especially if you’ve ever struggled with your body image or relationship with food. That’s why we are sharing 5 Tips for Getting Through Thanksgiving While in ED/ DE Recovery.
The holiday season can also make it seem impossible to practice food freedom or balance because this is the time of year when we’re forced to change our typical routines, travel, and attend holiday parties, not to mention, it’s a time of comfort for many of us.
(P.S. Don’t miss out on the holiday affirmations freebie below!)
In light of this, we’d like to share with you some advice for setting boundaries, making choices that respect your health, and avoiding the diet mayhem:
Don’t Skip Meals to “Save Up” for the Holiday Meal
The idea that you should compensate in some way in order to “earn” your food later on (by skipping meals, over-exercising, etc.) just SCREAMS diet culture. When you deprive your body in anticipation of a holiday meal, you are inherently saying you don’t trust it. This can lead to overeating, binge eating, and the feeling of being out of control with food, followed by guilt and shame. Instead, nourish your body throughout the day as you normally would. Eat all your meals and snacks. Your body deserves consistent, adequate energy and not only will you be preventing overeating or binge eating later on, but you will also have more energy throughout the day (WIN/WIN!).
Wear Comfortable Clothes That You Feel Confident In
I don’t know about you, but tight clothes never made me feel good! If you don’t feel like dressing up this year, don’t! And if something doesn’t fit you, get rid of it or store it away. Forcing yourself to wear something that isn’t comfortable will only make the body image gremlins worse.
Setting Food/Body Talk Boundaries at Gatherings
If you’re going to a holiday gathering, it can be helpful to set some boundaries around food and body talk. You have every right to inform your family that you are working on your relationship with food and your body and that hearing negative body talk or diet comments is really unhelpful for you. The truth is these boundaries will actually benefit everyone, not just you!
Tune In with Hunger/Fullness While Also Showing Compassion
Honoring our hunger can allow us to eat consistently throughout the day, which helps us maintain energy levels. Additionally, eating until we’re full and satisfied can help us avoid feeling sick and uncomfortable after meals. However, there are some meals where you’re probably going to overeat and feel uncomfortable, and that’s ok too. Show yourself compassion when that happens and simply continue your normal eating routine the next day (that’s right, you don’t have to restrict the next day to “make up for it”)!
Focus on Gratitude
Remind yourself that the holidays are ultimately about reconnecting, enjoying time with loved ones, and sharing a nourishing meal together. I realize that this may be easier said than done but practicing small things like gratitude can really help you grow and change your mindset. Your self-worth isn’t based on your looks or size (in fact, it’s the LEAST interesting thing about you!). Be thankful for the present moment and remind yourself of all the positive things in your life.
What are we grateful for here?
One thing we are super grateful for is you! To show you that we prepared a helpful affirmations freebie to keep on hand when times get tough during the holiday season.
We hope these tips are helpful for you this holiday season and if you need some extra support, feel free to apply to work with us here.
We also recommend checking out NEDA’s blog for more holiday tips such as this article here:
How to Handle Holidays Healthfully: A Guide to Overcoming Triggers.
Wishing you a happy holiday!