PictureImage courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Apologies for the cheesy title; I promise I wasn’t just listening to this song.  I was thinking how this time of year, it is not only about the holidays.  It is about a transition between being in busy mode with school and work to days with more time to “be”.  And when you haven’t let yourself be in very cozy contact with how you feel in a long time, that can be pretty scary.

Add to that the worry that, since you have not been around friends and family in a while, that some people might have judgments about your food or weight.  Especially if your weight has changed.  So while we might mostly be happy about going “home” or being away from our comfort zone, we might also have worries.

Will my old friends judge me because I gained weight this semester, even though I know I am so much healthier?

How do I deal with my family not “getting” attuned eating?

I get that I have changed but it is so hard to not fall back into old eating/exercise/habits at home?  

These are just a few of the questions I have heard the last couple of days.

My thoughts on question #1
The truth is that if someone has weight prejudice, we cannot prevent others from having speculation about any body changes you might have had.  We have to stay grounded in the fact that you have put amazing work into working towards freedom from food rules and making the choice to love your body, even if it is hard sometimes in a thin obsessed culture.  I personally remember that judging others causes the judger pain and has nothing to do with whom is being judged.  That helps me have compassion for THEM.

There are many ways to handle it.  You can change the subject, do a little advocacy and education, sarcasm, get assertive or commisserate (that must be awful for you to worry if I ate too much; please don’t burden yourself).  My favorite, ” Since dieting and starving myself didn’t work, I am going to go back to what is the most normal way of eating there is; I am eating from hunger and fullness and feel amazing”

It is very important to carve out time for yourself EVERY DAY, to get grounded, and create a visit where the behaviors that are fostering your healing isn’t so far away.  Take a nap, journal, visit friends outside the house, find a yoga studio or go for daily gentle walks.  Do things different from how you used to in the same environment.  And remember, you are not the same person and just because everyone else may be doing the same old things that existed when you were struggling (a lot) doesn’t mean that you don’t belong; you have just found a way of living that works for you.

Please share the love and have a great week!