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christmas theme week: all I want for Christmas is to have normal eating habits

For those of us who celebrate it, Christmas is coming up. This time of year is fraught with difficulty for most of us. From December 1 onwards (even earlier in some cases – Christmas trees and decorations for sale in September is some kind of bullshit), those who don’t celebrate Christmas have to put up with people asking why they don’t and feeling sorry for them, like it’s something terrible other cultures are missing out on when they have their own cultural celebrations, and those of us with food issues have to navigate the land mine that is holiday parties, end of year celebrations and Christmas itself.

Seeing as I’m one of those people with food issues, I’m going to discuss what this season is like for me. Trigger warning for discussion of disordered eating, thoughts and patterns.

Pavlova, roast chicken, candy canes, cocktails, advent calendar chocolates. No matter how much I think I’m over my disordered eating patterns, they come roaring back to show me that, no, I will probably never be over them and every meal during this time period is a negotiation with myself, my brain, my body.

If I eat this, I can’t eat that. I’ll just have one drink. And a handful of lollies. Maybe some chips. Oh, fuck it; I’ll just eat it all. I now have to “work” it off. Oh, but I don’t have time to exercise. I am a HORRIBLE, LAZY person and will always be.

Every. Freaking. Year.

The holidays are a time to indulge, right? Don’t worry about the diet! You can just make it your New Year’s resolution to lose weight again, next year. Until the holidays come around again, of course, haha.

It’s not so funny when you spent years doing exactly that.

It’s easy for people to espouse the “eat in moderation” thing, but it’s not such an easy philosophy to follow when you’re trying to retrain your body and brain into enjoying food for food’s sake and not placing bargains with yourself and your food.

Christmas Eve is usually spent at my house with the family, eating a roast chicken dinner (with the air con blasting if it happens to be super-hot) and eating desserts in the form of The Cheesecake Shop’s Bailey’s Cheesecake, aka my brother’s favourite ever dessert, or pavlova. It is usually accompanied by blended ice cocktails of my own creation, either punch-y for the rest of us, or creamy/milky for my mum who can’t have most fruits.

Christmas Day the past year has been at a hotel’s restaurant, eating the delicious three course meal and drinking bottles of sparkling wine or champagne.

It’s supposed to be a great time. And the time spent with family is. I wish I could say the time spent with food was too. I want to get there. I want to get to a point where I don’t constantly worry about the food I am eating and the drinks I am drinking. I want to just enjoy. Maybe this year I’ll be able to.

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2 thoughts on “christmas theme week: all I want for Christmas is to have normal eating habits

  1. I’m really not looking forward to Christmas this year purely because my father has recently become obsessed with ‘health and fitness’. Every time I see him I get triggered because he constantly talks about weight and moralises about food. I’ve tried telling him not to talk about it when I’m there, but he just doesn’t get it and he won’t stop. Now I just respond to everything he says with something body/food positive, but I still walk away feeling like a cocktail of frustration, doubt, self-loathing and exhaustion.

  2. Ugh, I know what you mean. My dad is recently on Tony Ferguson (ugh ugh ugh) and I’ve had to deal with this shit too. I’ve told him I do not want to hear about it, but he still persists. I’ve got to try and tune it out because it’s not healthy for me to hear.

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