It’s the beginning of the holiday season and we all know what that means: getting shitfaced with your family. Okay, sorry, let me start over. It means family dinners, which, for people with eating disorders, can be so incredibly stressful you HAVE to get shitfaced with your family. So I’ve come up with a few things to do for people with eating disorders and the family they are dining with to make the holiday season just a little bit easier for everyone involved.
1. Get seconds
I know, it’s hard. But you know you want seconds of that delicious cornbread casserole and this is the one time a year that your mom makes it so get up and get seconds. The rest of your family will be doing the exact same thing, so you’re not going to be the odd man out. Also, the more food you eat the better your nap is going to be so go get some extra turkey and let the tryptophan work its magic on you.
2. Don’t talk about how much someone is eating
Whether they be eating a ton or the bare minimum, DO NOT comment on the amount of food on someone’s plate. For people with social anxiety or eating disorders this is a fear that keeps them from eating in public and thus at all. If they’re not eating they’re probably not hungry or they’re saving room for that pumpkin pie in the corner, and if they’re eating four plates of food Jesus Christ just let them. It’s the holiday season, this is the time for food to shine. You are literally their family, do not judge them on the amount of food they have in front of them because the only way they’re going to take it is to heart and nobody wants that.
3. don’t wear tight clothing
If you’re like me and you get a food baby after eating, or if you have a ton of food allergies and you’re ignoring them for this one magical day a year, you’re probably going to get a little bloated, which is totally and perfectly fine and doesn’t mean you’re fat. It just means you have so much delicious, wonderful holiday food in your body right now that you need to chill for a little bit and also your stomach is being a show off and wants to show everyone just how much food it can fit. If this is going to make you uncomfortable then by all means, wear a loose fitting outfit. You can still be cute and comfortable at the same time and besides, you’re with family today, it doesn’t really matter what you’re wearing, they just want to see you.
4. make special requests
If there’s a certain food that you just really need to stay away from or if there is a certain way you want your family to behave around you when it comes time to carve the turkey and chow down, just make it known. Tell whoever is in charge of running the show specifically what would make the day a little easier for you and I’m sure they’d be more than happy to oblige. It’s your family, they just want you to be happy.
5. have fun
I mean it. Have fun!! How often do you get to see the people around you? Don’t sit and worry about what your family is thinking of you or how you look or whether or not there’s food on your face. Just be happy and enjoy your time with your relatives eating good food, drinking mimosas, as we do in my family, and celebrating the holidays. You’ll look back on the fun memories you made years later and thank yourself for participating.
No matter what you’re doing this holiday season, if you follow these guidelines your time, whether spent with family or with friends, will go much smoother and you’ll have a (less) stressful holiday season, complete without the need to get trashed.
(side note, you can still totally get trashed, as that is definitely part of the holiday season because, let’s face it, it’s always going to be at least a little stressful).