Monday, 18 December 2017

BLOGMAS DAY 18: Eating Disorders At Christmas

Hello! Welcome to my blog if you're new and welcome back if you're returning! I have decided that I am going to do 'Blogmas' this year where I will be posting every day from the 1st of December until the 24th of December, so come back every day for a new post!

For many, many of us Christmas is one of the best times of the year, filled with joy and happiness, but if you are suffering or recovering from an eating disorder, this may not be the case. Navigating through the Christmas food excess and celebrationscan be extremely tricky and draining for those who struggle, and can feel like they're just knocking over every hurdle they try to jump over. Most people suffering are petrified for Christmas because they're going to be surrounded by people talking about food, they will most likely be watched whilst they're eating food and then have the additional conversations about weight.

A survey taken earlier this year says that more than 725,000 people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder, and, as confirmed by Beat– the biggest eating disorders charity in the UK – Christmas is perhaps the most challenging time of the year, for them, which is completely understandable.

Christmas can be really difficult, but it can also be a great opportunity to enjoy yourself without being dominated by your disorder. Try to take control and enjoy your time with your family. It’s all about spending quality time with your loved ones, friends and family.

Triggers will sadly be everywhere and most of the time, it is out of your control, so having someone for you to talk to on Christmas day/around the Christmas period is really important. If you are a family member of someone with an eating disorder, or someone recovering from an eating disorder, please do your part in helping them to avoid being triggered. Some triggers include talking about diets, for example, how many calories someone takes in on a daily basis, how little or how much they weigh and the after Christmas diet plans that people plan at the table when they realise how much they've eaten.


Here are some ideas to help you or a loved one get through Christmas if you or them are struggling or are recovering from an eating disorder:
- Dont avoid food-  by eating little and often as this will reduce your cravings to binge.
- Reach out for support- I know its Christmas day but there is absolutely no harm in reaching out for help from someone. If they love you, they'll be there no matter what. Christmas is about spreading love. No one should be dealing with an eating disorder alone, especially during the holidays, when sufferers who have them, are away from their therapists, and probably need them the most. Its okay to talk!
- Plan ahead- decide on an eating plan prior to Christmas and be proud of yourself for making one for a start. You could plan to eat a small selection of foods for your Christmas dinner, whether it is already plated up, or you can choose your own as a buffet style meal and definitely have a snack to hand to top yourself up if you know you have not eaten enough at that meal, which may be easier if you find it hard eating infront of people.
- Challenge yourself- challenge yourself in your head at the table, I know it will be hard but think positively and try to praise yourself for your recovery successes at Christmas.
- Dont set yourself up to fail- make it achieveable, small steps make success!

 Telephone Helplines:
- Helpline: 01482 718130
- Resource Room: 01482 344084
- Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90
- Sane Line (self harm): 0845 767 8000
- R*pe Crisis: 01482 329990
- 999 (UK) for urgent help.

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