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Thanksgiving Tips: Navigating the Holiday with an Eating Disorder

Hello All and Happy Thanksgiving! I wanted to create a quick guide of ways to navigate a holiday that is totally surrounded by food.

Tip #1: Advocate during uncomfortable conversations

You have every right to change the topic of a conversation that you are uncomfortable with at the dinner table. This does not strictly go for food, weight, body image, exercise, etc., but really anything that your relatives are speaking about that could be triggering to you.

Tip #2: Prepare activities that do not involve food

Coming from a big, Italian family, we are usually sitting around the table for most of the day on Thanksgiving, partly to eat and partly to catch up with family members. If this isn't something that you want to do or feeling that would be too overwhelming - plan some activities that take you (and your loved ones) away from the table or kitchen.

This could be playing a board game, hanging out outside, watching a movie or something indpedendent like reading a book or coloring. Anything that pulls you away from the table will give you a break from staring at your plate.

Tip #3: Use your supports - either via text or face-to-face

Don't be afraid to shoot someone a text across the table saying "I need help, change the subject please" or "I need a break, will you sit outside with me?"; your loved ones are there to help! You can also shoot a text to a supporter who is not celebrating with you for a bit of a pep talk when the day gets overwhelming.

A reminder to be gentle on yourself because this isn't easy. A reminder to be proud of yourself as well. Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving :)

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder or disorder eating, please reach out for the help you deserve. If you or someone


Stephanie specializes in tweens, teens and adults struggling with anxiety,eating disorders, behavioral challenges, life transitions and trauma.

Stephanie uses a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Mindfulness, Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and EMDR Therapy in her work with clients.


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