Rehab Truth: Holidays Are Hard In Wackadoodle Land

Happy Easter, Y’all!

Thought this might be a relevant time to talk about this subject given that this is a day filled with chocolate bunnies and candy-filled eggs.

Let me start off by making the very blanketed statement that holidays are hard when you have an eating disorder.

There’s pressure to stay present, pressure to eat around multiple people, pressure to eat different things. Pressure to “veer off course” if you will.

For me personally, it opens up the doors to the cycle- especially that of bulimia and binge eating. In my worst years, I’d end up cycling through all the eating disorder behaviors like a Ferris Wheel. If we had family coming for a holiday, I didn’t eat in the morning. Even when they’d arrive, I stayed upstairs pretending to be “getting dressed” so I could avoid the buffet of finger foods and appetizers my mother always cooks. (Such a shame looking back as she’s the Betty Crocker of this decade.. all the more reason I avoided it!)

One year into recovery, it still continues to stress me out at times. All the little foods, all the dips and the chips. My God- do you ever really know how to monitor when you’re full, or what you’re eating when you’re just taking bites of everything?

Holiday eating is typically a grand affair in most families and it’s no different in mine;  a full 5-star dining experience in the Hall household- finishing with a slew of desserts. Pie, angel food, better-than-sex- cake (it’s as good as it sounds), you name it.

It’s wonderful for people who eat with normal daily food habits. It’s wonderful to indulge in treats and courses of food and the dips when you’re aware enough and mentally healthy enough to understand that one day isn’t going to cause you to gain weight- but for someone with an eating disorder it’s often daunting.

I’m better now- I have been able to handle the past few holidays with relative success- but it’s still like gearing up to get on a roller coaster every time I’m put in a situation with a lot of food.

Whether it be an office holiday party,  a housewarming party, a wedding, or Easter- here are a few ways I’ve been able to cope with the stress of eating at a special occasion or holiday:

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