I don’t know about you, but I swear if I see one more article about holiday weight gain and ways to avoid Christmas food I think I may flip!
The number of people dishing out false information at this time of year is astounding. As you know, you won’t find advice about how much you should or shouldn’t eat here on mindfoodly. Both Matt and I are extremely (read: totally) unqualified to provide that kind of advice. We have talked to a lot of dietitians and health experts, however, and one thing we do know is that the idea that enjoying yourself at Christmas time will lead to disastrous weight gain is absolutely bonkers!
The sad thing is though, for most people suffering from an ED it’s near impossible to sort fact from fiction when it comes to online nutrition advice. In fact, our tendency is to believe anything that tells us an action will result in weight gain, while we question every article that defends our right to enjoy food.
When we read articles that warn us about holiday overindulgence it confirms our worst fears and acts as a trigger for ED behaviours to rev up. I know this from firsthand experience. In the past, reading articles has caused me to rethink – and change – my approach to eating over the Christmas period (and by that I mean deciding not to eat at all). I felt guilty, shamed and bullied. I believed I couldn’t enjoy Christmas, that I didn’t deserve to. For me this was extra devastating as I am a diehard Christmas freak!
This Christmas will be the first one in a long time that I’ve headed into with the intention of enjoying food with my family and loved ones. To be honest, it’s still scaring the living daylights out of me, and the ED is still doing its best to change my mind. But I feel stronger and more capable of beating those thoughts than I ever have before.
Christmas should be a time where every single one of us is able to relax, chill out and take a break from our usual life and routine. It’s a time to bake Christmas cookies, listen to Michael Bublé’s Christmas album on repeat, and (most importantly) to be with those people who are nearest and dearest to you.
Christmas food should be enjoyed, savoured and bring you joy. It should not be wrapped up in fear. And if it is for you, remember there’s no better time for unwrapping than Christmas! Yes, at Christmas you’ll probably (definitely) feel overfull at times, but why the hell should that make you feel ashamed or guilty? Take that fullness and remember how lucky you are to have the food you have and how blessed you are to enjoy it with the people around you.
So if I can encourage you with one thing please stop reading those STUPID articles and start enjoying Christmas for all it is. Eat, drink and be merry. Matt and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, to all those recovering from an ED this year remember that there is no reason that you too can’t enjoy Christmas in all its glory.