Health

Battling an Eating Disorder During the Holidays

Can I tell you a secret? Recovering from an eating disorder or struggling with an eating disorder during the holidays is going to be tough.

You’ll try to not disappoint your family, but everything they say will make you feel trapped. They will likely comment on your weight, how much you are or are not eating, and ask questions about why you are so skinny, or when you gained so much.

If you begin to feel uncomfortable, it’s okay to say so. Let people know how it makes you feel when they say hurtful things. They may not realize that what they are doing is bothering you. And if they do know, then call them out.

For those of you currently struggling with an eating disorder

I have been there. I have been all around the block and back when it comes to not eating, overeating, forcing myself to vomit. It’s not pretty. You’re using your digestive system to deal with emotional or physical baggage. I can’t promise you that things will immediately get better if you stop what you’re doing right away. Nor can I say that it is even possible to do that. But what I can say is that it does get better.

I know. I know. You’ve heard it all before: “You look better this way.” “Eating/Under eating won’t solve your problems.” “Try going to therapy.” Though these may seem like the obvious answers to having an eating disorder, they’re not rational when your emotions control your body. Besides, someone telling you to do something versus actually helping you accomplish something are two different things.

Keep in mind that there are people out there willing to help you. Seeking council doesn’t make you weak. It doesn’t make you broken. It makes you strong. It shows that you are willing to acknowledge a disconnected piece within yourself and find a way to fix it, even though it won’t be easy. You can beat this, despite the self-doubt and self-deprecation.

For those of you recovering from an eating disorder

You’re going to go through a serious of emotions. If you haven’t started already, then get ready. There will be tears, anger, and if you are not already going through a depression it is possible that you may experience it. Continue talking to your support group, whether it be close friends, family, or complete strangers. Anything helps when you are being held accountable.

Find forgiveness for yourself. You are not the eating disorder, you are a victim of circumstance. It is important to be your own biggest supporter. If you forgive yourself, then you can help yourself heal by accepting that things can be taken slow and will get better. You are not to blame.

If someone comments on your weight during the holidays or any day of the year, remind yourself that they are not you. They do not know what you have been through or what you are going through. They can’t understand how strong you are, and that what you are able to eat or not eat is a step in a better direction. If you can only take three bites at dinner and that’s one more than the night before, you have accomplished something. You should take pride in the little things.

Continuously thinking about how you could do something better will only make you more sad or angry. If you take a small bite and hate yourself for not being able to take a larger or smaller one, then you will go back to where you started from. Let yourself have these moments. Digest the progress.

Here are some links to check out from GirlSpring that cover eating disorders

http://girlspring.wpengine.com/the-nine-truths-about-eating-disorders-from-the-cast-of-to-the-bone/

http://girlspring.wpengine.com/signs-of-eating-disorder/

Here are some external links to aid in recovery

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/stages-recovery

https://www.waldeneatingdisorders.com/7-secrets-to-eating-disorder-recovery/

 

If you have any questions for me about my journey or would like to share your own story, please comment down below.

sarah

Sarah is a UAB student and an intern for GirlSpring.

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