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(Overcoming) Holiday Fears

Posted Apr 05 2012 6:02pm

Well now, you can’t be on my blog and not first read some thoughts from my last post and everyone’s reactions! As usual you all rock! In all seriousness though, thank you for not being “angry” with me, as it was something I feared. I understand that is is my blog, I can talk about whatever the heck I want to and all of that, but that still doesn’t mean I don’t care about your reactions and thoughts!

Anyone that reads my blog, comments or chooses not to, happens to stumble upon it at some random time, etc… you are ALL part of this process, and are going through it with me, whether you are able to relate or not. I am the most honest and open I have ever been in my entire life and this act has allowed me to progress and understand myself more than I thought possible. So course I am going to care how you feel as well, and it’s nice to know that you are all still here for me. Thank you.

I understand what I need to do as far as the eating and exercise thing goes and now it’s just a matter of DOING IT. All of the support I have here, from my family, friends, and therapists are not only beyond helpful but also necessary! When it comes down to it though, it’s my choice whether I want to live with this the rest of my life or not... It’s clear to me what the right choice is and again, now I just have to do it, as painful, uncomfortable and wrong it’s going to feel. Oh.flippen.well.

Alright enough with the profound mushy-gushy stuff! (I wrote this before writing the rest of the post.. more mushy-gushy coming your way!)

I am going home later today for Easter and have plenty of dishes I am excited to conjure up for the holiday! This year I am celebrating with my mom, brother, sister-in-law and her family and it shall be glorious!

As I have mentioned before, I am the most indecisive person ever when I am trying to figure out what I want to make/eat for certain meals- dinners and holidays being the most challenging. So on that note, here are some of the recipes I have saved and will narrow it down tomorrow when it’s actually time to create something! I am planning to cook/bake a side dish (salad) and a dessert….

Kale and Butternut Squash Salad (I would sub in Kabocha squash here though!)

Spring Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing (Whole Foods Recipe)

Mediterranean Crunch Salad (Whole Foods Recipe)

Light Blueberry Cream Pie (from SkinnyTaste)

Homemade Fig-Newton Bars (these were a favorite of mine as a youngin!)



Ohhhhh Holidays… such mixed emotions when I think about them. On the one hand, they are fantastic and fun for obvious reasons- a chance to see and catch up with family, play games, celebrate, and enjoy the great spread of food that is available. Right, the FOOD part of all of this- important to everyone, but the meaning of it changes as well depending on the individual. For someone with an eating disorder/disordered eating/whatever, holidays are a tough time.

I know what I am talking about today is something SO MANY people can relate to or have been through before. What I am opening up about here is nothing new at all, but I did want to share my own personal thoughts on the matter :)

With most people, the company and conversation is the main, attractive focus and the tantalizing meal is one that is anticipated and enjoyed. Normally the meal is not the only thought clouding a person’s thoughts. As with all other social events with food involved, this is a different story for me, the meal IS the focus. The dishes I would be consuming IS the anxiety-provoking aspect of the visit. And fears of judgment, my weight and stressful feelings are the aspects that take over my mind throughout a party.

I have experienced holidays during several stages of my recovery:

  • The worst times of my disordered eating
  • At the beginning when I understood my issue but had made no progress
  • When I started to up my calories and physically was better
  • And now Easter is here and technically I am the most “recovered” I have been since the lowest point.

Although each holiday has been different, they do unfortunately have an all-too-familiar theme: I am anxious before, so conscious of the food yet very withdrawn from those around me during, and then miserable after… miserable either because I did not eat and restricted, or ate and then felt guilty. Either way, holidays (for the most part) are quite an emotional experience for myself.

Last Easter I was in a much different (and worse) place than I am now. In fact one year ago, I blogged about how I feared “letting go of the image” meaning letting go of being the healthy, virtuous one who refused to eat any food that I did not deem safe. You know what ended up happening during that Easter? I restricted the whole time and then on the drive back to school, I ended up stuffing my face with my “safe” foods and then felt even more guilty.

Fortunately a year later, I am MUCH better about the whole “image” thing and also have learned through this healing process that (despite what the disorder might believe) one meal of “indulgent” foods will not in fact make me a depressed fatty. Plus, no one is watching me as much as I think they are… in fact they are enjoying their own holiday as I should be doing as well!

So with that understanding, I am attempting to make this holiday an improvement and exceed all of the others, as far as my thoughts and presence there is concerned. I am so exhausted by the incredibly concentration I have on the food during holidays/gatherings and it really distresses me to realize that my entire self is not present when this happens. I mean how can it be when I am focusing so much on something I am so afraid of yet am fascinated by? FOOD.

Plus now with the lack of exercising situation, I am incredibly tempted to be even more hyper-aware of what goes into my mouth. In all honesty though, this is not LIFE, not normal at all and “normal” whatever that means for me, is the goal!

Holidays are a special time, one I must value, enjoy and NOT let the eating disorder play a role. After all of this time, after all of my efforts and understanding, it is simply not allowed in my life and especially when I am around the ones I love. Food is part of Easter and not ALL… note to self, remember my own advice.

I wasn’t planning on doing a post today, and then I started talking about this holiday stuff and went on a tangent…. oh well here you are :)

I would love to hear from you,

-For those understand my feelings, what have holidays been like for you in the past? How about now, have your feelings and thoughts towards them improved… or perhaps worsened?

-How do you NOT concentrate on the food and instead join in and engage with those around you? As I said, I have come a LONG way with this, and what helps me is right from the beginning, changing my mindset… going in with an open attitude and understanding that food is NOT everything. Repeat.Repeat.Repeat.

-Which of the above recipes would you make and then bring? Seriously I need help with this!

-If you celebrate Easter, what are your plans for the holiday on Sunday? Are you planning on making something?

-Do you have any Easter or Passover traditions? Please share, I love hearing these kinds of stories :)

Have a great rest of your Thursday! I will be back tomorrow with some news to share with you all.

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