July 4th, Social Events, and Eating Challenges
As with any holiday or social gathering, July 4th can be a difficult time for those of us with eating disorders or challenges around food. I rigidly counted calories for 10 years, and social events where food was served were always stressful to me during that time. I was either mentally tallying the number of calories I had consumed, or trying to avoid eating and thinking of excuses for why I wasn’t taking part in the meal.
With that in mind, here are a few of tips that will help you enjoy the holiday
1. Don’t stay home
I spent way to many Saturday nights alone during my twenties because I didn’t want to have to worry about what the food situation would be if I went out with friends. Even if you’re not ready to indulge in a huge holiday meal – which is perfectly fine – don’t allow your concerns around food to prevent you from spending time with friends and family. Even if you have to put a little food on your plate and just pick at it, that’s still better than isolating yourself. Being around people who love you will make you feel better about yourself, which will ultimately help you to move beyond your challenges with food.
Don’t be like me, and spend the entire holiday consumed with worry about how many calories you’re eating. If you allow yourself to indulge in food that’s being served, remind yourself that it’s perfectly okay to do so, it’s not going to make you “fat,” and it’s actually a positive step toward putting your eating challenges behind you. If you’re not ready to indulge yet, that’s perfectly okay as well. Make that choice because you know it’s the right one for the place you’re at on your journey, and don’t stress out about what other people might think. The reality is, they’ll just be happy to see you.
3. Cut yourself some slack
It’s easy to tell ourselves there must be something “wrong” with us because we’re facing these challenges around food, but that’s not the case at all. Everyone’s journey is unique, and these challenges are just life’s way of waking us up to the deeper areas in our lives that could be healed.
I am a body image and eating psychology coach and I see people facing these challenges around eating all the time – so please know that you’re not alone! I struggled with strict calorie counting for a decade, and the hard times I went through ultimately led me to my calling in life, which I believe is to help others use their relationships with food as windows into deeper healing and self-love. I’ve been through it, and I know the kinds of tangible steps that are actually helpful to those walking a similar path – if you’re interested in learning more, click HERE on Sarah’s site!
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