Recovering from RED-S (click here to find out more about RED-S) and disordered eating does not occur overnight. It is a process that takes ongoing effort to challenge and change maladaptive behaviours and thoughts surrounding food and exercise. The holidays can be particularly hard for those struggling. The disruption in routine and social activities can be roadblocks in the recovery process.
Unfortunately, diet and weight talk are inevitable, but this seems to particularly be the case during the holidays. This includes discussions about eliminating foods and labelling foods as good/bad or healthy/unhealthy as well as conversations about body weight, including a person’s own weight and the weight of others. This can be particularly triggering for those with restrictive food tendencies and disordered eating habits. If you are struggling, but want to continue to make process in your recovery, read on for some practical steps you can take:
Steps to take:
- Come up for a plan for when diet or weight talk occur. This may include leaving the conversation and talking to someone else, or setting boundaries by asking friends and families to avoid these discussions.
- Don’t compare what you are eating to those around you. Just because someone else is having a small portion doesn’t mean that you have to eat a small portion too. Just because someone else said no to dessert doesn’t mean that you have to say no too. Everyone is different.
- Don’t try to compensate. You don’t need to restrict your food intake or exercise ahead of a holiday meal or to burn off extra calories after eating.
- Challenge yourself with fear foods. If you typically don’t eat a certain food and are scared to do so, then decide to eat it. The more you challenge that voice in your head, the quieter it will become.
Constantly thinking about and trying to control food will ultimately steal the joy from the holiday season. When thoughts of restricting calorie intake or excessive exercise come into your mind, try reflecting on what this is causing you to miss out on. Make sure that your decisions today are getting you closer to your long-term goals.