Suffering with eating distress during times of holidays is extremely stressful, but in
particular around the Christmas season. For many, Christmas is seen as being a time of peace and joy, and reaquainting
with friends/family that you may not have seen in a long time. For sufferers of eating distress this is far from the
case. Whether those who are close to the sufferer or not know is immaterial. The suffering is still there.
Unfortunately holidays tend to be focused around food, which can unintentionally aggravate
the condition. Going by Christmas just gone (December 2002), I think that it must be easier for those whose friends/families
do know. I am not saying that this makes it easy - that is far from the case! But when home over the Christmas
period, so many different things were said to me, which I found triggering, tasetless and hurtful. If my family had
in fact known about my eating distress, I might have been in a better place to inform them that the comments that were coming
my way were not beneficial in any way. I still cannot seem to bring myself to tell them though, despite the hardship
I endured over the Christmas break.
I would advice friends/families to treat it like any other mealtime, if at all possible
- just be patient with the sufferer, as the sufferer is more than likely going through hell on the day, due to the focus on
food. Try to include the sufferer in other things going on during the day. Also realise, that it is difficult
for someone with eating distress to be away from their routine on any given day. For those who have had to travel in
order to make it home for Christmas this can be more so. Try not to focus too much on the food - see my "advice for
friends/family" page for more information.
For sufferers of eating distress, try (if at all possible) not to focus so much on the
food. If you"slip-up" don't worry, it is only one day, and it won't make you a better/worse person because of this.
Take things slowly, and only do as much as you are comfortable with. For more information see my "advice for sufferers"