The holidays can be stressful enough without adding stress about food to the mix.
On top of thoughts about family (some we may love dearly and some we’d like to never have to see again), friends, travel plans, money and gift stress, and increased time pressures we certainly don’t need anything else to fret about at what is supposed to be a most fun and peaceful time of year.
But if we are stressed about our relationship with food and uncomfortable with our weight, we naturally have another layer of stress, a chronic 24/7 chatter in our brain, that cranks up a few more notches at this time of year.
Laura was 19 when she first came to see me for help for anorexia, orthorexia and chronic dieting. She was wafer thin, and with the exception of her face and hands, every inch of her yellowed skin was covered in layers of thick clothing. It was June.
She sat across from me, arms folded, legs crossed, eyes firmly attached to a spot on the floor that seemed to have captivated her interest rather keenly for a tiny speck of lint. Her opening volley, which she directed generally towards my side of the room through clenched teeth, was something along the lines of:
“I’m only here because my mom thinks I have a problem and she said if I came to see you once she’d lay off and leave me alone.”