Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.
Eating Disorder Therapist
Overcome disordered eating and find peace with food
14 ways to cope with Christmas
by Harriet Frew on December 9th, 2014

1. If you have a tricky relationship with food and are super-critical of your body, then understand from the outset, that this is going to be a potentially problematic time of year. Right now you need to be dosing up the self-care; and sending yourself bundles of kindness and compassion. Don’t expect anywhere near perfection from yourself, others or of the Christmas period. If you can do this one thing alone, you will be off to a pretty good start. Good luck!

2. Know your trigger foods and prepare for them. Turkey, mince pies, mulled wine, Christmas cake, brandy butter, roast potatoes, tins of Roses chocolates, nuts……what is it for you that could potentially send you into an anxiety induced frenzy when you contemplate eating said food and the quantity of it.

3. Know your emotional triggers and anticipate them. Do certain people activate you into a self-loathing spiral of hatred and body criticism? Body comparisons at parties; being around a sibling; work dos – what is it for you?

4. ‘I can be assertive around food’.  Repeat this mantra daily. You know you can be. You have a choice. You do not have to eat 3 mince pies just because Auntie Maud has been slaving away in the kitchen for hours perfecting the pastry.

5. Remember that no food is forbidden. Decide which foods you actually LIKE the taste of and wish to enjoy. Include them in your eating plan. Eat at the table, on a plate; taste, savour, yum!

6. Keep calm around food. Try not to eat when you are feeling anxious or uptight. Breathe; go for a walk; take a few quiet moments – then consider eating.

7. Be prepared for changes in your normal routine around eating and don’t let yourself get over-hungry. Buffets; long lengthy alcohol fuelled lunches or late night parties with plentiful supplies of nibbles – they are going to happen more often this time of year.

8. If you drink more alcohol and possibly you might well do – it is Christmas! You will probably feel more bingey and craving comfort food the following day. This is to be expected due to blood sugar crashes; so go with the flow; give your body what it needs and hopefully your hangover will only last a day!

9. You do not need to be a size X by a certain date. It is truly bonkers trying to go on a diet now to shed the pounds in time for the festivities. It is a sure way to induce massive amounts of self-loathing and body criticism in bucket loads. Give up on this crazy notion and go out and buy yourself a red lipstick or wonderful shoes instead.

10. Remember that other people do not care how you look anywhere near as much as you do. They are more likely to remember your smile; enthusiasm and sense of fun at Christmas rather than the size of your bottom.

11. You do not have to buy in to the ‘perfection myth’ of the fairy-tale Christmas. It is just that – a fairy-tale!

12. If you are feeling suffocated, factor in time for you. Go for a walk; take a break from the family; create a new tradition; try to see the funny side of the situation.

13. When things go wrong, which they inevitably will, then learn from them. Approach your blips with curiosity, understanding and empathy. Improving your self-awareness and learning from your difficult days will arm you with valuable knowledge for the future.

14. Embrace the parts of the festive season you enjoy. Relationships; events; experiences. Try to love and appreciate your body as much as you can. In a few weeks it will all be over! 

Do you have something to share about how you cope with Christmas? I would love to hear from you. Please do post below.

If you feel that my approach might work for you and you would like to get in touch about working with me to explore some of these issues further, I would love to hear from you. I will shortly be starting face-to-face work in Cambridge (New Year) and I continue to work at Weight Matters in London. I also offer Skype and telephone support. I am passionate about helping you to eat all the foods you love; and feel great about your body without disordered eating or dieting.

Posted in Bingeing, Body image, Eating, Emotions, Giving up dieting, Motivation and change, Overeating, Self-care    Tagged with no tags


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Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.