I utilize my own shared recovery experience to provide compassionate recovery care and empower clients to a life of health and wellness.
If you have a registered dietitian, schedule an appointment before Thanksgiving to discuss any modifications to your meal plan. Schedule meal support with an eating disorder recovery coach for meals leading up to Thanksgiving dinner. Review your fears of the day and recognize your positive coping skills. Have a mantra ready to help with triggers. I am offering a 45-minute virtual breakfast meal support group on Thanksgiving day so that you can keep yourself accountable, and start the day on a supportive note. No pressure to turn your camera on or talk! Sign up here if you’re interested! Limited spots are available. If you need help finding support on your eating disorder recovery journey, there are several websites that will help you find local options, potentially in network with your insurance. Check out the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD)’s treatment directory here. The National Alliance for Eating Disorders also has a treatment directory that you can find here. Alternatively, you are always welcome to reach out to me if you need assistance in finding support options. I am happy to help, even if you are not looking for an eating disorder recovery coach.
Consider unfollowing fitness & wellness accounts for the week (and forever). You do not need anyone telling you how to increase your protein, create a low-cal/low-carb/non-toxic Thanksgiving meal, or guilting you into purchasing an unlimited holiday fitness plan.
Find at least one person who can relay your message to others: “Diet culture talk isn’t welcome at the table. Talk of saving calories for the big meal and how the family ‘Turkey Trot’ race will counterbalance the meal is not helpful.” Remind them of the stress you are experiencing but that you do not wish to make it a point of conversation at the table. I know this is difficult, but recovery is about knowing what is best for you and setting boundaries for others.
Set yourself up for a positive day by starting with a short meditation and positive self-affirmations. Use breathwork or yoga to feel the mind-body connection. Finding gratitude for the little things sets a positive mindset. Take a grounding walk outside to connect with nature and soothe your brain. You absolutely do not have to participate in a competitive family run. Consider enlisting others to start a new tradition of meditation or yoga.
Stick with the plan and eat your normal snacks and meals. This will help to balance blood sugar levels which in turn maintains your mood and can diminish binge eating at a late-day Thanksgiving meal. You can try every dish or stick with your favorites. All foods fit! Limit alcohol intake to boost mood and maintain hydration.
When the triggers become overwhelming, remember you can always turn inward to yourself and find calm. Move to another room or outside. Pause to breathe 5 deep belly breaths. Give your body 90 seconds to down-regulate and return to baseline. Shift your mindset from the fear of a trigger to courage. Use your mantra “I am calm, courageous, and capable. I am the architect of my life.” Repeat several times. Align your next behavior with your recovery goal.
Thanksgiving in eating disorder recovery is hard. It requires courage and showcases your resiliency. Wherever you are at on your path to recovery, please know that I understand. I have been on a similar step where you are now. I am proud of you for simply reading this and considering these recommendations in preparing for the holiday. Remember that rest is a positive step toward recovery and surviving the day is also a win.
Sign up here for the virtual breakfast meal support group. 9:30 am CST via Zoom. No pressure to have your camera on! Start your morning on a positive note and cultivate a peaceful mindset for the rest of the day.
If you would like to set up a free 25-minute consultation call to learn more about eating disorder recovery coaching, click here! I’m rooting for you in recovery.