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eating disorder around christmas

hi Sam i'm a 16 year old female and this will be the first year where im very very deep in with my eating disorder, it will be my first christmas where i cant do the stuff i do with my ed as there will be loads of people around do you have any advice please regarding eating disorders around christmas please

Ask Sam


Hi there,

November and December can be very difficult months for people who have an eating problem. So much of what happens at the end of the year can involve food and this can add a lot of stress if eating is an issue for you. As you probably will spend this time with other people as well,  it's important to find ways to cope with the added anxiety that this season brings.

Eating disorders can be hard for other people to understand. For those who don't find food to be a problem it seems easy to "just eat", but it’s  not that simple. Someone who has an eating problem can't just eat whenever they want and in the same way other people do. It isn't their choice, it's a disorder that they can't control.

I can't tell you ways to avoid eating this Christmas because it's important that you have a healthy diet - and that's different for everyone. Instead of focusing on how much you should or shouldn't be eating, try to focus on looking after your feelings instead. You deserve to have a relaxed and stress-free end of the year just like everyone else. If you focus on that then you can find ways to cope that work for you. I can give you a few ideas..

Firstly if your eating disorder is already diagnosed and your family are aware of it then being open and honest is probably the best thing to do. It might be difficult for others to understand but if you can tell people what you find hard, they can help and support you.. Being honest with everyone will mean you don't have to worry about hiding anything, which might cause a lot of the stress.

If your eating problem is not known to everyone else and you don't feel able to tell your family , then it's more difficult. One way might be to try to focus on other things, instead of food. When it's time to eat you could try to keep the conversation on other subjects - ask everyone to describe the five things they would take to a deserted island or what the bravest thing they ever did was. Those kinds of conversations bring people to focus on each other, rather than the meal itself, which helps you to also not focus on food.

These are just a couple of ideas but to cope this Christmas you might need more support. Our counsellors are available all through Christmas and there will always be someone here to talk. If you need to chat or call it might be a good idea to do that instead of bottling feelings up and getting stressed about them. You can also post a message on our message boards and get support from other young people.

I hope this has helped, thanks for sharing this with me.

Take care.


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