Sunday, 18 December 2016

Christmas thoughts

I haven't done an eating disorder post on here in forever.

But, I think it's important to acknowledge that Christmas is perhaps the hardest time of year for some. I know it was for me when I was overwhelmed by an eating disorder so I wanted to write about it.

I don't know how many Christmases this will be since recovering. I think the lines between ill and recovered are extremely blurry but this definitely isn't the first one, and the further along I go, the more I realise that Christmas isn't actually about food.

I know, I know - easy for me to say now. There's turkey to buy, boxes of celebrations, quality street and roses open, minces pies being eaten. There's advent calendars every morning, mulled wine being poured and Grandad's snoring in a food coma at 4pm on Christmas day. Not about food, Samantha?

No, actually it's not. Of course, I can see how it can be. I know there will be hundreds of people planning how to eat as little as possible with Nan forcing more roast potatoes on your plate. I know some of you will be panicking, wondering how you can escape to the toilet without anyone noticing. Can I go for the 6 mile run this morning? I can burn x amount for everyone gets up? How? If? But? Why?

I've been there. It's hard. Really f*cking hard. But what I've realised is that your loved ones actually just want you to be happy on Christmas day. They know that you probably won't accept a chocolate offer or want to eat those roast potatoes, but they offer because you'll take offence if they leave you out. They probably don't care if you leave pudding because they are too interested in how many helpings they can now have as a result. They are more happy knowing that you're at the dinner table with them for the first time all year, and you're joining in with that game of monopoly.

When I think back, it was me who put pressure on myself to be perfect on Christmas day. But what even is that? Is eating one million calories on Christmas day perfect? If it is, then I don't do that now either, mostly because it's uncomfortable! I enjoy myself more because I join in. I'm there and I'm present. For me, Christmas isn't about food but rather love, family and giving.

I hope it can be for you too.

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