How Has Christmas Changed For You?

I hope you have had a festive time without binge eating, ending up drunk, or in a fight! Have you thought about how your Christmas Days’ have changed since you gave up binge eating? Did you celebrate Christmas in the way you wanted to or have you still to make changes?

I know for me things have changed considerably since I was a child. I have memories of eating so many chocolates from 21st December through to the 2nd January. Christmas morning I had polished off (very secretively) loads of chocolates and wasn’t really interested in having much dinner! We usually ate at lunch time and by tea time I filled my plate from a buffet selection with …. you guessed it loads of sugary delights.

Thankfully today I no longer eat sugary food having discovered or rather admitted after many years that I suffer from an eating disorder. I could deny it no more when I answered yes to every question on the Overeaters Anonymous check list Are you a compulsive overeater?

Chocolate Santas

Photo by Szlea

Enjoyment

  • Did you enjoy the delights of the day? Have you woken up the next day without guilt and remorse? Today I love to watch the faces of my children as they appear having discovered their Christmas Stocking filled with presents. I no longer think of food all day long and never wake up the following day regretting what I have eaten.
  • Was your house filled with visitors you rarely see?  Did you spend the time catching up and enjoying their company? Having such a small family, Christmas is always a manageable number. I hear stories of houses filled with Aunts, Uncles, Cousins etc and my thoughts are how on earth can you cook a dinner for 20 or more!
  • Does the festive season still fill you with joy or do you groan your way to the next Christmas party? Has recovery left you feeling resentful and deprived? If it has, you need to remember you are making a choice to be in recovery.

Presents

  • Did you unwrap surprise presents that you had no idea what was inside? The best gift you can give yourself is recovery.
  • Were you given money to buy yourself some new clothes? Perhaps you are losing weight
  • Did you receive nurturing gifts that help you practice self care?

Dog in front of presentsPhoto by Jack Spellingbacon

Dinner

  • Did you plan ahead using a food plan and then commit to sharing it with someone?
  • What happened to your portion sizes? Did you eat non triggering foods but pile your plate full of everything else or did you eat your normal portion sizes?
  • Did you change family traditions this year so they reflected your recovery from binge eating?

Alcohol

It is so important to be completely honest about your alcohol intake. Step back and have a look at whether this is something that you need to remove from your food plan.

  • Have you been honest about the effects that consuming alcohol has on your recovery from binge eating?
  • Does alcohol trigger your cravings?
  • When you drink do you find that you end up bingeing?

Family Traditions

  • Think about all your family traditions that don’t revolve around food and drink. It is easy to believe that Christmas is all about food and miss the fact that it is a family time too.
  • Have you added new traditions? Since we lived in the USA, we now drive around to look for Santa in the sky and look at all the Christmas lights that are more common in the UK now
  • Is there something you would like to change but haven’t dared to?

Nativity ScenePhoto by Trippiit

Look at all the positive things that you have experienced this Christmas. What do you feel proud of yourself for achieving? Think about what you would like to change for next year.

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