Turkey Day Tips

 

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and along with the busy schedules, family gatherings, and holiday celebrations, comes copious amounts of food, and with that, feelings of vulnerability and maybe even fear. Thanksgiving can be a wonderful time, but it can also be incredibly triggering and overwhelming for individuals living within their eating disorder or individuals within recovery. Here are some quick tips to get you ready for Turkey Day and all of the joy and spirit that comes with it!

 

  1. Prepare for Re-entry by managing your expectations…..click here to read more!
  1. Set yourself up for success!

You don’t HAVE to abide by all of the cultural traditions and odd rules that come with “giving thanks.” In other words, try to look at this holiday as any other day, in that you don’t HAVE to eat copious amounts of food in order to celebrate properly! You don’t HAVE to partake in the somewhat twisted traditions like running in a marathon or “turkey trot”, in order to “earn” your meal. You don’t HAVE to starve yourself all day in order to “indulgence” in dinner. Instead, you can go about your day as you usually would, listen to your body, eat when you are hungry, rest when you are tired, and practice self-love and self care!

  1. Acknowledge the unhelpful cultural traditions surrounding Thanksgiving

It is not natural, or helpful for your body to starve itself in order to feast on one large meal, especially for those within recovery. Therefore, make sure you avoid restricting during the day, and nourish your body when necessary. Therefore, if you utilize your healthy and helpful behaviors throughout the day, you will be able to enjoy and healthily indulge in your thanksgiving feast!

  1. Be easy on yourself

No need to beat yourself up for enjoying a cultural tradition! Nourish yourself throughout the day, and enjoy your thanksgiving meal with no guilt, as there is nothing “wrong” about giving thanks and indulging in a wonderful meal surrounded by family and friends. IF you take a tumble, and partake in unhealthy behaviors, remember that RECOVERY IS NOT LINEAR! It is okay to “mess up”, because we cannot learn and grow unless we learn from our mishaps. It is OKAY!….TAKE AWAY THE SHAME, and love yourself.

  1. Surround yourself with love

Take a tip from the re-entry post, and make sure to have an accountability buddy…..someone that you can be honest with and confide in, someone that you can trust and that understands your situation within recovery.

  1. Enjoy yourself

Have fun! Take what you can from the day, and enjoy the holiday! Give yourself a big hug, and tell yourself you are loved….because you are! Be thankful for yourself, your honesty, your body, your mind, your heart, and your soul…. because that is what allows you to live your life to the fullest.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

An Honest Look At Body Image Within Eating Disorder Recovery – Series pt. 1

 

Body Image. This is a tough one….I have said it before, and I will say it again and again….positive body image ALMOST ALWAYS comes last within recovery. Loving what you see in the mirror, appreciating your size, your weight, your natural curves, and appreciating all of the beautiful flaws within your physical image is so much harder than it seems.

So many individual’s struggle with this aspect of recovery….in that the mind can get away from us at times, and we start to become emotionally and sometimes physically consumed by the unrealistic perceptions we have about how we currently “see” ourself, how we want to “see” ourself, how we “see” other’s in comparison to ourself, and how we believe other’s “see” us. Yep, it sounds exhausting, and maybe even ridiculous, but this is the mind of someone within recovery.

I use these words carefully, in that when I say “see ourself”, or how “we see others”, I mean this literally, because that is what we are doing, I do not mean how we look or who we are, instead I mean how we perceive ourself. At times it seems that the physical self is somewhat dissociated from the emotional self, in that our appearance is wounded and therefore separated from the rest of us. In order to recover one must be ready to mend that wound, and finally introduce that physical self to the emotional self, and be ready to fight for a positive body image and finally be whole!

 

You may look one way to someone, and another way to someone else, but all that truly matters is how you perceive yourself and this is why a positive body image is so incredibly difficult to obtain. NO ONE, and I mean, NOONE, can change your mind about how you “see yourself”, EXCEPT for YOU. For goodness sake, Justin Timberlake could declare your beauty to the entire world, tell you that you are perfect, skinny, curvy, a bombshell, whatever…and still it won’t matter, because you won’t believe it, not until you can believe it.

It’s up to you, to do the work to literally retrain your brain, to eventually train your mind, and emotions towards how you “see” or perceive your body. Throughout recovery, you are taught to rid of your unhealthy behaviors, cope with life’s obstacles in a healthy manner, practice self care, love your inner self, and nourish your body, and all of this is a major triumph in itself….but to love what you “SEE”, to rid of that negative self talk, and accept that person staring back at you in the mirror….now that is AMAZING! I promise you, that this is possible, you can fully recover from your eating disorder, and by this I mean love who you are, as well as, love your perceived self.

Therefore, with the holidays approaching, and the new year creeping up on us, I believe it is time to take this oh so difficult part of recovery by the reins! As a collective force, we are going to start “seeing” ourselves with love, and true admiration….we are going to become inspired by what we “see” in ourselves. Throughout the next couple of weeks, I will be posting about the various components that relate to body image conception and eating disorder recovery….and with each other….we will get through this together!

As you move through this weekend, I challenge you to commit to working towards true self-love, in that, you will work towards loving what you “see” as much as you love who you are. Start to wrap your mind around the fact that this is possible, and you will get there….we will get there together!

To come: Clinical depictions of body image and eating disorder recovery, ways to implement self care into your healthy body image initiative, outside resources to keep you motivated, and personal and professional tidbits about body image conception and working towards full recovery.

Spread the Love

Today is a confusing day for several, a hopeless day for some, a victory for several, and a tumultuous day for all. Our country is divided right now, more so than ever. I spoke with Sean, my family, friends and loved ones this morning, and I heard so much sadness, hopelessness and fear in their words, this was scary….our sadness is provoking a feeling of fear, or vice versa, and with fear comes hate, and hate solves nothing.

So let’s spread the love today, all day, everyday. Shake off that fear, and bring hope to yourself, your loved ones, and just any random person on the street, because that is the only thing that will get us through this tumultuous time. We may not all agree with each other, but love is something I truly believe our country is capable of, we are TOO GOOD for hate, we have gotten through so much to go back to hateful behavior.

So if you are feeling vulnerable, sad, angry, happy, thrilled, scared, hopeful or hopeless, know that you are loved, and that love is the only thing that will bring you and others happiness. Practice self-love, as self-love is what self-care is all about, and self-care is what makes Recovery possible.

Therefore, for today’s post, all I wanted to do was leave a message of love, and a reminder that you are special, you are beautiful and don’t’ forget to love yourself! You cannot take care of others, your job, your children, your friends, your loved ones, until you show yourself some love. So today, look at yourself in the mirror, tell that beautiful person looking back at you that you love them, and then give yourself some hope and spread the love to others.

I challenge you to give yourself extra love today…do something special for yourself…. splurge on your self care, protect that sacred recovery… spread the love and hope to rid of the hate and fear.

All of the Love,

Jayne