The holidays can be filled with joy for so many reasons, but they're also filled with stress. There are errands to run, presents to buy, obligations to fulfill, and longtime family patterns to contend with.
People with -- or in recovery from -- eating disorders have an especially
hard time around the holidays, since there seems to be food everywhere, and lots of it. Those battling anorexia see calories everywhere -- fudge and cookies at the office, appetizers and drinks at holiday parties, and family feasts at home. Those battling bulimia may feel totally out of control of their binge-purge cycle.
Something that's important to remember is that eating disorders are about stress, and about the desire to attain control and perfection. Realize going into the holiday season that it is going to be a challenge and that you may need some help -- a therapist, a nutritionist, a best friend.
CNN/Health has an article on this. Cynthia Bulik, director of the University of North Carolina Eating Disorders Program, is very busy during the holiday season:
"She tells people with eating disorders, "Keep your support team on speed dial."
" 'It can be incredibly overwhelming to be surrounded by so many different types of food," Bulik noted. "We often suggest that people with anorexia go to a party with a wingman. ... Take someone with you who is safe, to whom you can say, 'This is really tough for me. I need to take a break.' "
"She shared similar advice for those who suffer from bulimia, a condition in which people binge and purge.
" 'We tell people to never go to a party hungry. ... That's the worst thing to do. It's really best to have a decent meal before you get there so you're not tempted to binge when you're at the party," Bulik recommended."
Here's a link to the full article:
Here are some tips from the Eating Disorders and Nutritional News blog:
And here are twelve ways to help people with eating disorders to negotiate the holidays, from the Center for Change:
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