Surviving the Holidays with Eating Disorders
Everyone loves holidays. Some like to rest during the holidays, others like to celebrate with friends and family, while there are others who want to go on exotic locations to cherish some special moments of life. Whatever may be the way of celebrating holidays, you always feel happy and stress-free during a holiday. You like to travel and explore new destinations, eat your favorite food and indulge in your favorite pastime.However, if you have some health issues, you will not be able to enjoy your holiday with the same zeal and enthusiasm.
If you have health issues like eating disorders, it is necessary that you learn ways to control your urge for food so that there is no barrier between you and your happiness.
If you are fighting an eating disorder, it may be difficult for you to change your eating habits and behavioral patterns during your holiday. You must prepare well ahead so that you need not face any embarrassment in front of friends, family members or anyone else.
If you are having any eating disorder, you must take the following steps in order to survive your holidays:
You must make a plan at least 2-3 weeks ahead of your vacation time. Make an eating schedule and try to stick to that schedule. Start taking 3 meals and 3 snacks a day. Don’t deviate from your goals during these 15-20 days. Try ways to control your triggers so that you can do the same later. You must take help from your nutritionist or physician regarding how to prevent relapses during the holiday.
Practice meditation and breathing for some time before the vacation. Both these help in making your body stress-free. Stress is the cause of many eating disorders. So you have to beat this stress so that you don’t feel the urge to eat more like in binge eating disorder.
You must forget all your misconceptions regarding food and weight. Patients with anorexia and bulimia nervosa tend to think that they are overweight and so take several attempts to be slim and trim. This belief can completely ruin your holiday. Suppose you are enjoying a dinner party with your friends. Your friends may be asking you regarding your favorite food. If you have anorexia, you may not like to order anything for yourself.
Again, it may also happen that you order your favorite food, start gorging on the sight of the food and then start going to the bathroom to get rid of those extra calories. Thus both you and your friends will feel embarrassed. Remember on your pursuit of becoming ‘perfect’ you may lose all your happiness.
Friends & Family
If you are a friend or family member of the patient and accompanying them during the holiday, you also have some responsibilities:
- You must not force the person to overeat or resist eating.
- You must allow the person to choose their own food.
- You must be friendly with the person and discuss with them the reason why you are so concerned about their eating patterns, nutrition and diet. You must be supportive and caring; not authoritative.
With these steps, you will definitely be able to survive holidays with eating disorders. So forget all worries and get ready to enjoy your vacation.