If you are going into the start of this Christmas with increasing anxiety and fear as it is another year of having to get through the ‘festive’ season with an eating disorder as your main companion then please trust me, I do know your pain.
I spent too many Christmases with an eating disorder that took any joy out of this time of year and made the whole season a time to be tolerated in a heightened state of anxiety and distress, rather than enjoyed.
BUT, if this describes your situation right now, it is very definitely not too late to make a quick attitude adjustment and make this year very different!
Too frequently when we hear eating disorders spoken of in relation to Christmas, it is with the advice to ‘plan what you can manage’ or make it not about the food… This well meaning advice is all well and good but let’s face it, it ain’t recovery focused and it isn’t what a starved person, desperate to eat wants to do deep down. For those who have lived with an eating disorder for any amount of time and who are trying to do recovery, any time of year should be about food, eating, resting and rewiring and Christmas is as good a time as any to really embrace that!
My challenge to anyone who needs it this yuletide season is to bring out your sassy and bold side and aim to not shrink from but instead SUPER-SIZE your Christmas!
If you are reading this you probably have an eating disorder or you might already be in recovery from one and therefore I can only imagine that you have lived a very restrictive life for far too many years in regard to your food intake, your ability to rest and relax as well as so many other opportunities that life has thrown at you that might have brought you joy, love and laughter.
Now though that you are in eating disorder recovery (or contemplating it) it is time to make up for those lost years of restriction.
For those of you who have not started your eating disorder recovery yet but who are reading this blog as a way to motivate yourself, then what better time to determinedly jump into your recovery and into your future with a giant, terrifyingly exhilarating dive?
For those of you on the other hand who are already ‘in recovery’ but actually in a half in / half out kind of situation with it then what other time is it right to just plunge yourself in fully and take your future life and recovery to the next level?
Why not go super-sized in YOUR recovery and go super-sized THIS Christmas?
At every opportunity this Christmas, why not ask yourself, “How can I make this moment super-sized in terms of fun, food and general merriment?”
“How can I make this moment more super-sized in terms of real pleasure?” (and the answer to that, if you’re being honest with yourself will usually involve more delicious food and more time relaxing on the couch, even if those things in the short term also bring with them some anxiety).
When you are having a meal this Christmas ask yourself, “How can I super-size this meal to make it more delicious, more satisfying or just generally more amazing?”.
Go into this festive period with a bit of sass, determined to super-size it in every way and embrace your recovery and your future life because your future life can be super-sized and incredible and it can start now!
Be determined and decisive that you will own your recovery and own this Christmas to save your future and you might find the indecisiveness that is the very thing that can trigger so much of the eating disorder anxiety will actually lessen and take that crippling fear with it…
So, please have yourself a Merry Super Sized Christmas, wherever you are, whether you are with family, friends, colleagues or if you are spending this one alone (which I did for many years in the illness)…
Find the fun, sparkles and magic where you can.
And look ahead to the future you want and CAN have if you really make recovery your priority now. Imagine that future – visualise it, include who might be there, where you want it to be, what you want to be doing with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes it can hold and use that future image, knowing that with recovery, you really could make it real and really allow yourself to get excited about it and motivated by it!
Use that motivation and in every moment, ask what would someone supersizing their eating disorder recovery do right now?
Be honest about the answer and then do it… (Hint – the answer will involve more food and resting like an Olympian slug).
Ok, taking on this super-size challenge this Christmas might not make this year as incredible as you might want it to be in an ideal world, but it will be better than it might have been and it will definitely be investing in ensuring next Christmas and the one after and the one after that are eating disordered free… That is as long as you keep this supersized recovery attitude going into and throughout 2022 (and the rest of your life)!
Happy Christmas lovely reader and all good Wishes for the New Year!
… and to my readers who are of different religions or beliefs or who simply don’t celebrate Christmas, the sentiments in this post and the general message relates to anyone and at anytime so no matter who you are or what you believe, I still hope you decide to SUPER-SIZE your recovery and your life!