How are we all feeling about Christmas?

I know it's early, but Christmas is already all over the place. I know that eating disorders and Christmas don't always go together, and how hard it can be.

I got through several Christmas time panic sessions whilst I suffered with anorexia, and have come out on the other side loving this time of year. So, I thought I would see how everyone is feeling... Good and strong I hope, you might not even need support.

Getting through vulnerable times such as Christmas all comes down to planning, and hopefully I can help. So, what thoughts are there out there...

4 Replies

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  • I struggle with the food side of Christmas. I set out with good intentions to try to put my fears to one side and enjoy the food as everyone else seems to be. But I end up overcompensating and have generally lost weight over Christmas.

    I feel bad about this because those who prepare the meals put a lot of effort and thought into them so a sense of guilt arises.

    One thing I have found is that my sense of taste seems to have changed. I no longer have a sweet-tooth and fatty food makes my stomach curl up in horror. This may be partly for medical reasons (documented drug induced side effects) but I suspect eating disordered thinking plays a large part too.

    It would be great to just enjoy without the dread but I feel trapped.

    Thank you for the hope of something better

  • Christmas with its focus on parties, socialising and FOOD is always a difficult time for me - and on top of that the change in routine - husband at home instead of work - all seems to add to the pressure. I tend to over-compensate if meals with others are involved - and don't get enjoyment due to the stress I feel. I know this is not the answer - merely an interim solution - but I now plan social events where food is not involved ie afternoons - joining family for the morning or afternoon for tea/coffee - this does not cut out the socialising - and enables me to share with the family and friends without pressure and enjoyably.

  • You both sound like you know where most of the issues will be for you this Christmas, and even ways around them.

    I think it's important to have people around you and maintain the social side to your lives, especially at this vulnerable time. Maybe make a plan for what happens if you feel overwhelmed, and also a plan to try and avoid over compensating. It's easy for your mind to get carried away and believe that you have eaten way more than you actually have when food is all around.

    With food, I think your body tends to get used to the 'safe' foods you normally eat. Then when you even think about them, it's a psychological avoidance. It can also be that your digestion isn't used to those foods.

    Christmas is a period of time that lacks real routine, and that can be difficult with an eating disorder, and can create really high levels of anxiety.

    I used to make a loose plan of what I would eat each day, a meal plan. I could go off plan, but the plan had to be a minimum.

    make sure you have people you can talk openly to if you feel insecure or worried

    Enjoy the time to see everyone, and don't put too much pressure on yourself.

  • I find Christmas tough with all the extra food. And going to my parents for Christmas (normally 4-5 days) and they don't know i have an eating disorder (they keep praising me for losing weight). Its so tough trying to hide it and eat meals and all the extra treats my mum gets in. It so hard keeping going and staying strong. And the hardest bit is its really hard to purge, so no get out clause if i do eat something i shouldn't. I often retreat and take the dog out for a walk, to burn some calories!

    Even shopping in town in hard with german market and all the smells of food.

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