7 Ways to Make Sure Your Easter Isn’t Ruined by Your Eating Disorder



If were being honest, for most of us Easter is about one thing, chocolate. It is for this reason, that after Christmas, Easter comes in a close second as the most difficult time of year for people with an eating disorder. For some, Easter means overindulging on chocolate eggs and hot cross buns, or sitting down to catch up with family over a traditional holiday meal, for those with eating disorders, Easter often means guilt, anxiety and fear. There is no avoiding the fact that holidays are stressful – I mean, they do involve family and food, at the same time –  but there are some ways to take control and make sure your Easter isn’t ruined by your eating disorder.

  • Talk to someone close to you and that you trust, about your concerns. It’s easy to get trapped in your own head, getting an outside perspective can make a huge difference. A problem shared and all that.
  • Plan ahead. If you know you’re going to be seeing family and friends who haven’t seen you for a while, be prepared for any questions that might come and think of your responses in advance. This way you don’t feel unprepared or put on the spot.
  • Be Mindful. Practice some Mindful Eating techniques throughout the day to help you stay in control. For example: eat small or moderate amounts every few hours, before eating ask yourself, am I hungry? Am I thirsty? What type of food or drink do I want? Eat slowly and think about the taste, texture, smell and sound of the food. Check in with your hunger signals every few minutes. Stop eating just before you feel full, and wait at least 20 minutes before eating again if you are still hungry.
  • Relax. Whatever your plans are over the weekend, make sure you allow some time for yourself. Take time out to do something you enjoy, and something that doesn’t revolve around food. Go for a walk, listen to music, read a book – it is supposed to be a holiday after all.
  • Remember that holidays were made for overeating. People will eat too much chocolate and then they will talk about eating too much chocolate. Remind yourself that these comments are not aimed at you.
  • Remember also, that all eyes aren’t on you. Although it feels like it everyone is watching you, judging how much – or how little – you are eating, this is not the case. Most people are actually too preoccupied with their own food – humans are pretty self-involved, especially at meal times.
  • Enjoy the fact that it is totally acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner – and at various intervals in between if you so desire. Guilt is inevitable, but keep it under control by being aware of how you feel, you know better than anyone what your limits are. Easter or not, it’s your body and your mind, you decide what they can cope with.

Happy Easter!

The Christmas Fear – Dealing with Overindulgence



It’s that time again, when the mulled wine is flowing, turkeys are being stuffed and mince pies are everywhere in sight. Christmas, it’s the most wonderful time of the year? Not if you are battling an eating disorder. If you are one of the many sufferers, you are most likely counting down to a time full of dread, guilt and self-hatred.

There are no words I could write that would magically rid these feelings, but here I have offered some (hopefully) helpful advice, on how to deal with overindulgence and disordered eating, this Christmas.

Keep Moving

It’s not always possible or realistic to exercise regularly at Christmas, but if you can, do it. Even if it’s just a stroll on Christmas Day, exercise will keep you feeling positive and healthy even when you’re surrounded by guilt-loaded foods. it will also help keep guilty feelings at bay and discourage binging.

Know Your Limits

Overeating is so easily done at this time of year, it’s cold, it’s a holiday and everyone else is doing it, but it’s important not to lose control of your eating. Know what you can manage and don’t try to push yourself too far at the risk of binging, but at the same time don’t shy away from the kitchen because it’s the easier option.

Don’t Over-Do the Drink

Drinking too much is almost a Christmas Day ritual, but it will only make you lose you inhibitions and therefore your control. Don’t be tempted (as I have been) to drink yourself numb on the run up to dinner to avoid dealing with those unhelpful thoughts and frustrations, it will only make things a great deal worse – trust me.

Recognise the Unhelpful

It’s difficult, but recognising the unhelpful thoughts is almost half the battle. Once you are aware, it is much easier to try and combat them and overcome the guilt pangs.

Distract Yourself

One positive about Christmas Day is that there are usually people around and it can be easier to find a distraction. If you feel urges coming on, try to distract yourself in some way, go for a walk, anything which will help to remove yourself from the situation and gain some perspective.

Stay Strong

Cheesy as it sounds, it’s important to remember how far you have come and the strength you have shown. Don’t let this one day take that your achievements away from you. It’s possible that you will feel out of control but remember that it is just that, one day.

Don’t Give In to the Guilt

This is much easier said than done, and it is unrealistic to not expect any guilt bogging you down, but don’t let it engulf you. After all, it is Christmas and it’s tradition to eat more than you would on a regular day. Providing you stay in control and fight the urge to binge, the guilt you’re feeling is unnecessary, it can be overcome and you can enjoy Christmas.

Seek Support

If you are someone who hasn’t started recovery, and is still suffering with an eating disorder on your own, maybe it’s the time to talk to someone. Coping with these thoughts and feelings can be a lot to deal with, particularly on holidays such as this, it can tend to make you feel even more alone and isolated, increasing the obsession. If, like many, you find yourself plagued with guilt, regret and hatred after Christmas, speak to someone and get help. Don’t spend too much time suffering in silence.

Taste the Difference


As a bowl of transparent liquid was placed in front of me, a curious island floating in the middle of it, which I would later discover to be a crouton, I felt my stomach drop. It was my third night in the town of Bad Hofgastein in Austria, where I was staying with my parents. A family holiday was not exactly what I had in mind when I had envisaged myself at the age of 22, but this is where I was.

Not much of this holiday was to my taste (excuse the pun), in particular, the set dinner menu at the hotel. One reason being that I personally prefer to dine in a variety of places, when experiencing another culture but mostly, because the idea of the food I must eat being chosen for me fills me with dread. Combine this with a country in which the staple foods are meat and dumplings and you have yourself a recipe for disaster, in my eyes.

Eating in a foreign country, where not much English is spoken can be a struggle for even the healthiest, most open-minded, tourist but battling this and the voices of an eating disorder is almost too overwhelming. However, instead of retreating into my Ana-riddled comfort zone, I vowed to see this experience as a challenge and an opportunity rather than the nightmare it promised to be. When recovering from an eating disorder, trying new foods that you would never dreamed of eating before, can be a daunting step, but it is a step which has extremely positive outcomes. Once you combat the unhelpful thoughts and initial fear, you are left with an incredible range of tastes and experiences that were cut off from you previously, but everyone else has been enjoying. You are left with choice.

That is not to say that you will enjoy every new thing that you try, I tried many meals that week which I am glad I won’t have to eat again, dumplings and pumpkin seed dessert being examples, but the importance is just that, I tried. Choosing the vegetarian option most nights – to play it a little bit safer – I ate foods, such as cottage cheese parcels, French onion soup, gnocci with spinach and I even dabbled with dessert, a complete stranger to me. I ate and surprisingly enjoyed the cherry strudel with custard and some form of sponge with apricot filling – to this day I could not tell you what it is.

Eating food which you are not familiar with, and in some cases not even sure what it is, can be one of the hardest parts of recovery, but the fear of the unknown is definitely worth overcoming.

Apologies for my photography skills on this one!


Potato with cheese and spinach filling


Gnocci with spinach


French onion soup with cheese crouton


Pumpkin seed mousse and raspberry coulis