Please Support our Nonprofit Magazine!There has never been a time when our community and content was needed more. As a nonprofit online community and magazine, we provide FREE articles, videos, and other content that is available worldwide, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Due to the global pandemic, we’ve had to put events, collaborations and business sponsorships on hold, leaving us to rely exclusively on online donations from our community (aka YOU!) We want to be here to support you all through this pandemic and beyond, which is why we are asking you to consider donating whatever you are able. A single (or monthly) donation of just $5 will make a difference and will help keep our nonprofit running so we can continue supporting you and others.
It’s coming. That dreaded holiday that centers primarily around food.
Oh, but also family drama, and heated political discussions, and a long weekend to sit and stew about it all. For many people, Thanksgiving is stressful. For those battling an eating disorder? It’s torture.
So what can you do to get through? How do you keep it all together when you’re falling apart on the inside?
Well, after dozens of holidays spent in the company of my own eating disorder, then recovering, in recovery, and recovered, I’ve picked up a few tricks over the years:
That is an absolute must. When your stress levels rise, slow your breathing down. Count it out, if you have to. But keep breathing.
2. Get as much intel as you can beforehand.
Who’s coming? What foods will be served? Sometimes, for events like holidays, even if you’ve moved on to intuitive eating, it can be helpful to go in with a plan. When you’re already stressed out, making the “whipped cream or no” decision regarding your pumpkin pie can be paralyzing. You can always change your mind later, but taking some of the guesswork out of the day can go a long way towards reducing your stress about it.
Are you enjoying this article? We are a nonprofit and rely on donations to run our magazine and community. If you are enjoying this article, would you consider making a $2 donation?
3. Volunteer to bring something.
Take a dish you know you’ll eat, so if all else goes out the window, you’ve got something to fall back on.
4. Eat normally on the day.
Don’t “save up” calories for the big meal. Have your breakfast, just as you always do. Eat lunch. Keep your blood sugar levels stable, so you don’t get that cranky crash. Plus, you’ll be more likely to make recovery-minded decisions if you’re sticking to your recovery plan.
5. Recruit an ally.
Having a family member on hand who knows what you’re going through can go a long way towards having a happier holiday. They can help you turn conversations away from diet talk, and take a walk with you if you need a break. Sometimes it’s nice knowing you’re not in this alone.
6. Reserve your right to say no.
No one will suffer if you don’t try their dish. Sure, your aunt might pout if you don’t have a second helping of her weird gelatin dessert thing, but she’s a grown-up who is responsible for her own feelings. Your job is to take care of you, and your recovery.
7. Eat normally the next day, too.
Your eating disorder’s natural impulse will be to restrict the next day to “make up” for whatever you ate. Eat breakfast anyway. No matter how much you ate, or what kinds of foods you ate, you need and deserve to eat the next day. No penance on the treadmill, no extreme calorie math.
Just like your eating disorder is about more than food, so is Thanksgiving.
There’s bound to be a great conversation happening somewhere in the house, or a cute moment with a pet, or even a really cool parade float on TV. Find those moments, and let yourself be a part of them. And, if nothing else, you can be thankful that it’ll all be over in a few days. You’ll get through.
Who knows? You may just find some big recovery wins along the way.
Here are a couple more articles you may find helpful this Thanksgiving:
- Thanksgiving, Eating Disorder Recovery, and Food Anxiety
- Thanksgiving and Eating Disorder Recovery (you’ve got this!)
- Video: Tips for the Holidays and ED Recovery
Support our nonprofit by shopping from our NEW Giving Shop!
Click Here to visit the shop!
The opinions and information shared in this article may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process.