Holidays are bittersweet for me. I love being able to see my family, do fun things, and eat party food. But it’s that last one about food that gets me all messed up.
It’s Monday. The holiday weekend is over, but the food I ate lingers on in my mind.
Today, all I want to do is run 12 miles and skip eating.
Unfortunately, I found a scale and now, in the back of my mind, I am tormented with the thought that I HAVE to lose 20 pounds. It’s like poison ivy that won’t heal. The “itch” constantly reminds me that I’m fat and need to lose weight. I try to distract myself but, no matter how hard I try, I can’t get the thought out of my head.
I know I ate a lot more than usual this weekend. Hamburgers, hot dogs, s’mores, fries, chips, ice cream…ugh, I have to stop listing because I’m making it worse. So, now I feel like I have to run my butt off this week to make up for all the “calories” I ate.
I used to obsessively count calories down to the very last stick of gum. If I went over my allotted amount for the day, I would have to exercise to negate the extra food I consumed. I’ve tried to stop intentionally counting calories (sometimes, I can’t help it because I will never be able to “unlearn” the nutritional information in my head). When I am tempted to keep track of what I eat, I make a lot of noise in my head, “NO NO NO NO! You’re not going to count or keep track! BLAH BLAH BLAH!”, until it passes. I HATE that restaurants publish calorie counts next to the items on their menu. I tell my husband, Craig, what I want and he orders it for me. I really wish you hadn't, Michelle.
When I first started recovery from my eating disorder, I had to learn to be OK with my thighs touching. Then, I had to be OK with my love-handles. Now, I am trying to be OK with my flabby belly. I’ll admit that I wear baggy clothes to cover up the fat that I see. I am try to learn how to be OK with being heavier than I want to be.
It’s a struggle. Before and after holidays seem to exaggerate my symptoms.
9 Helpful tips to survive a holiday:
Return to a healthy routine – if you’ve had a good schedule before the holiday or vacation, try to return to it, if you can. Going about your usual routine can be comforting and soothing.
Fake it ‘till you make it – even if you don’t feel like eating, still try to eat normally. Make yourself eat three balanced meals, even if they are small. Do not fall into the trap that skipping a meal will make you happy. It could trigger E.D. behaviors, or it could result in a binge eating episode.
Remind yourself that you are not going to give in to those temptations anymore – tell yourself that your “fat” thoughts are just that, “thoughts”. You don’t have to listen to them no matter how believable they are. Remind yourself that you’ve made a commitment. You don’t want to go back to the way you were. Remind yourself that you love LIFE more than you love the E.D. that you struggle with.
If you falter or make mistakes, it’s OK. You are NOT back at square one; it’s just a minor setback.
Be kind to yourself – you are more than just your body. You have a soul, a heart, feelings, emotions, a mind, and an intellect. You are so much more than the clothes you wear or that number on the scale.
Take care of yourself – don’t sacrifice taking time for yourself because you feel busy or stressed out. If you take care of yourself and take time for yourself, in the long run, you will be happier and more productive. Chores can wait. The world will go on. Take care of yourself first.
Do relaxing things – Take a nature walk with your camera. Take a hot bath. Listen to soothing music or do a muscle relaxation meditation. Take a nap. Get a massage. Or do something that you like to do that is relaxing for your body.
Listen to your body and your needs to figure out what you truly want.
Keep telling yourself that you will feel better tomorrow – If you follow these steps above, you WILL feel better tomorrow.
Click HERE to read more about how to survive a holiday.
If you liked this article, check out these other posts below:
The New Year's Resolution Solution
'Tis the Season to be Covered in Flour
Fear of the Feast
Food, Part 3