How to Deal with Food Addiction at the Holidays
Ah…the holidays. It’s a time when we gather together with loved ones, both friends and family, to celebrate. It’s also a time that involves social gatherings that often revolve around food. And there’s a lot of symbolism around the sharing of food: abundance, love, caring, community.
But if you are a food addict, the holidays may be one big, guilt-ridden binge. Food addicts obsess about food and often times have painful memories involving food and eating: memories of hiding food and their eating habits, having food withheld as a form of punishment, or being abandoned from loving relationships and therefore developing a habit of emotional eating as a means of comfort. With all of these complicated issues surrounding food and the act of eating, it’s no wonder the holidays are so stressful for people who struggle with food addictions.
The excitement, along with the sometimes overwhelming nature of family gatherings can bring about stress, which, to the food addict can cause an onslaught of overeating and poor food choices as a means to quiet their stress. Here are some ideas on how to deal with food addiction at the holidays.
How to Deal with Food Addiction at the Holidays: Get involved with a support group.
If you work a 12-step program for your food addiction, such as Overeaters Anonymous, Food Addicts Anonymous or some other support group, be sure to continue to go to meetings and call your sponsor and other supports throughout the holiday season and especially when you are craving. If you will be going away for the holidays to visit family, friends, or go on vacation, you can participate in online conferences, as well as look up meetings that are in that area.
How to Deal with Food Addiction at the Holidays: Have a plan in place ahead of time.
If going out to eat with family or friends, check out the menu online ahead of time and plan what you will order. Decide that you will stick to ordering only what you have chosen and, if it helps, tell a friend or family members that will be there your plan and ask them to support you with sticking to your decision. Accountability and support are important to keeping your word.
How to Deal with Food Addiction at the Holidays: Prepare your own meal to bring along.
You might feel silly about this but, if you are open and honest with your friends and family about what you are doing for your health and well-being, more than likely they will be understanding and supportive – even when you insist on bringing your own food to a restaurant or someone else’s house.
How to Deal with Food Addiction at the Holidays: Add levity.
Personally, I find that being able to laugh at a given situation and even at myself really support me. Don’t take things so seriously and be able to joke about the fact that you bring your own lunch box to restaurants. This will ease any discomfort or awkwardness that you or your loved ones might be feeling. If you or a loved one struggles with food addiction or other addiction, please call toll-free 1-888-672-4435.