Thanksgiving is a holiday that many people with Eating Disorders dread. It’s a holiday they may have once revered for the good food and good company, but the Eating Disorder had taken the joy from that. Here are some tips on helping you to get through the day, the food and family visits!
How to Deal with Family you Haven’t Seen in a While: Thanksgiving brings families together from all around the country, perhaps the world. These family members that live on the opposite side of the country probably hasn’t seen you in a while. Because of the diet culture we live in, you likely will get comments on your weight and body if there have been any changes. Let’s say you developed an Eating Disorder this year and your weight has dropped significantly as a result. You may be very unhealthy, but you may get positive feedback about how “great you look” and get asked about “how you did it.” Try to let these comments roll off your back since they are a perfect example of how our culture thinks, and will feed your Eating Disorder. Now, let’s say you have restored weight in your Eating Disorder recovery. You may get comments such as “you look so healthy!” Yes, it sounds positive, doesn’t it? But, in the mind of an Eating Disorder, this comment is the devil’s playground (or Eating Disorder in this case.) Here are some tips to help;
How to Deal with the Food: Now the other tricky part of Thanksgiving is the food! Typically, there are platters of food left around for guests all day long prior to the meal. What do you do with that?
Show Gratitude: Now for the reason that Thanksgiving exists...give thanks! Expressing gratitude can be done in many ways and does wonders for our mental state. Consider starting a gratitude journal (video here on How to Start a Gratitude Journal) or writing letters to loved ones about why you are grateful for them. Positivity allows less mental space for your Eating Disorder/unhealthy self to fester.
On that note, I am grateful for you reading this post and are taking steps to take back this holiday so that it is a joyful time again! If you think this post may be helpful for someone else, please share it. If you have any questions, concerns or requests for future posts, please leave a comment or message me privately.
I wish you gratitude on your journey to finding your State of Balance!
Binge And Restrict Cycle
Eating Disorder Specialist
Healthy Self Vs. Eating Disorder