Health Hacks

Damaging Things To Avoid Saying During Holidays

The holidays are a time of joy, good food, catching up, and relaxation. However, the season is not joyful for everyone. It can also be a time of terror, avoidance, and stress. Our loved ones aren’t supportive of us all the time, and their words can make us feel ostracized.

Diet culture is a very toxic and pervasive industry worth $72 billion. Remember that saying this phrase only instills fear and propagates diet culture more than helping.

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“I Shouldn’t Go Back For More Food.”

You are sitting with an empty plate, but you don’t feel full. You might even still be hungry or want to taste more food. However, you feel you should only have one serving due to the fear that you might be judged or gain weight. Remember this: You and the people around you are allowed to get more food.

Allie Weiser, a licensed psychologist and the education and resource manager for The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, said, “Be aware of ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ that may come up for you. As soon as we do the opposite of what we think we ‘should’ do, we can again feel that guilt and shame like we have failed.”

Food is an easy aspect of our life to control. When we feel like situations are uncontrollable, we create “food rules” to feel safe and secure. However, this can get dangerous. What one should do instead is listen to your body and trust it. If you want more of the food you enjoyed, have some and focus on enjoying it. This not only helps you but others around you too. Practice a coping skill as well like reaching out or breathing deeply.

Other phrases to avoid are:

  • “The diet starts Monday!”
  • “Are you going to eat all of that?”
  • “I was so bad for eating XYZ.”
  • “Ew, how can you eat that?”

If you ever feel like a victim of food or fat-shaming, remember that it says more about others than you. Others don’t define your life, despite being part of it. When you receive hateful comments, it doesn’t have anything to do with you as a person.

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Talking to your family members or loved ones about boundaries around the holidays is an important aspect to consider. If you feel overwhelmed or have any “food rules,” think about talking to a professional – online or in person.