The holiday season is known for its good times and good cheer. The quality family time. The good, traditional food of Thanksgiving and Christmas. In the case of my family, Grandma’s famous 7-layer, straight-from-scratch, made 2 nights before so the flavor can set in chocolate cake and the sweetest honey baked ham. But for a community often operating under the radar, the holidays can be quite the opposite of a good time and good cheer. The holidays can be an even more stressful time of year for people living with eating and body image concerns.
On any given day, living with eating and body image concerns can be akin to living with an evil elf. The negative thoughts and sneaky dialogue about what to wear, what to eat, how much to eat, and about what others might think can run rampant and consume a lot of physical and mental energy. Add the “Girl you done put on a lil weight since the last time I seen you” or the side comments about what’s on your plate to the internal conversations you already have, and here we are Bah-hum-buggin’. The holly ain’t meeting the jolly and staying away from the festivities seems like the way to go.
If you are someone who struggles during the holiday season, know that you are not alone. Although eating disorders are uncommon and Black women are least likely to be diagnosed with an eating disorder, about 28.8 million people are affected by an eating disorder. This does not take into account the number of people who struggle with body image concerns. Nonetheless, this holiday season doesn’t have to be like the nightmare before Christmas.
Go into this holiday season with a plan. One that can help you cope with your thoughts about yourself, comments from family members, and your love-hate relationship with food and body. Check out our Coping Through The Holidays webinar to gather your holiday gear to help you make it through this holiday season. Learn strategies that can make going home for the holidays one to remember for all the better reasons.
 Streigel-Moore, R.H., Dohm, F.A., Kraemer, H.C., Taylor, C.B., Daniels, S., Crawford, P.B., & Schreiber, G.B. (2003). Eating disorders in white and black men. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160(7), 1326-1331.