Thanksgiving can be hard. I totally get that.
When disordered eating thoughts are wrapped around your mind, a holiday that revolves heavily around food can be difficult to navigate. Sadly, diet talk tends to come into these holidays all. the. time. Approaching a Thanksgiving meal isn’t as simple as some people make it out to be. While the goal of intuitive eating is to be able to sit down and enjoy and savor our food, that is really really hard when disordered thoughts and talk are all around us.
To help, I wanted to provide you with a few tips to help you navigate Thanksgiving day.
You are allowed to be in your body, whatever size it is, no matter how it looked the last time your loved ones saw you.
Your body size has nothing to do with your worthiness. What is on your plate has nothing to do with your worthiness. Choose to focus on the things that are happening in your life rather than stressing out about something that doesn’t hold any meaning. Spending time with family and friends is the time to make memories, not stress about your size. I cannot tell you how many memories I missed out on because I was preoccupied with food/body. I 100% wish I could go back. I don’t want to see that happen to you too.
You are allowed to remove yourself from a room that is filled with diet talk.
If a family member is commenting on your plate, remove yourself from the conversation. Change the subject. Politely excuse yourself to do something else. While it’s easy to blame our friends/family for being insensitive, I always have to remind myself that diet talk is unfortunately part of our culture. Most people don’t even realize how damaging it is. When you notice the conversation turning this direction, change the subject to something more positive. You don’t have to make a big scene about it, but it is so important that you do it. Make the choice to prioritize your mental health.
You are allowed to place whatever you want on your plate. Give yourself unconditional permission to enjoy whatever food you would like to try.
Restricting a certain food (or replacing it with a “healthier”, less satisfying version of a food) is a sure way to increase your cravings for that food, and end up eating more in the long-run. Giving yourself unconditional permission to enjoy a food allows you to experience the full joy that food provides. If you have the thought somewhere in the back of your mind that it’s “bad”, you’ll likely either end up: 1) Restricting restricting restricting… then binge, or 2) Increasing your stress levels so much that not eating the food decreased the quality of your overall physical and mental health. Either way, not good.
You are allowed to enjoy second servings without an apology.
How many times do you get to eat pumpkin pie throughout the year?? Probably once. Get the second serving.
You are allowed to wear whatever feels comfortable to you.
This was huge for me. Because my whole family would dress up, I would dress up. But not just dress nice, I’d be so concerned over how my body size appeared to people I hadn’t seen in awhile, that I’d wear something that was totally uncomfortable. Not only did this decrease my overall self-esteem, but talk about difficulty eating/digesting. Wear the flowly shirt. I’m all for flowy shirts.