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To: Me; From: Me

To: Me; From: Me

The holidays are right around the corner! If you’re like me, I’ve been trying to coordinate gifts for friends and family members for months. If you still need a last-minute gift idea, check out our holiday gift guide based on love languages (find it here). My love language is words of affirmation or gifts, so it’s very important and fun for me to take the time to really find the perfect gift for those in my life. It also really touches me when others spend time and energy to give me a gift (no matter how small).  For me, gifts aren’t shallow, they can be meaningful gestures to show loved ones that you really know them and are paying attention, that you appreciate them, and that you care about the things that matter to them. One of the reasons I love this time of year is for the nearly palpable feeling of generosity. People seem to be more willing to serve, to give, and to band together as a community.

With gift-giving on the brain, I spent some time thinking about what gifts I would want for you, those doing the hard, tedious, and often painful work of recovery to give yourself. The act of stepping into recovery is a gift that you are giving your past, current, and future self. However, I have an unconventional gift in mind that I believe will have huge payouts for you in the long-run. The gift I want you to give yourself this holiday season is a closet cleanout.

This holiday season, I want you to clean out all the old, uncomfortable, outdated, and ill-fitting clothing. Trash, donate, sell any clothing item that will not allow your current body to be the wonderful instrument that it is. Get it out of your house as soon as you can. Okay, stick with me here. I know a closet cleanout is not the most glamorous of all gifts, but it will absolutely be the gift that keeps on giving. I’m going to walk you through three awesome outcomes that could occur after ditching those clothes hanging in your closet and opting to dress in a way that your current body can feel comfortable and uninhibited.

Create Greater Body Appreciation

First, getting rid of anything clothing that is not comfortable or well-fitting allows you to have a greater appreciation for the body you’re in now. Dressing your current body shows acceptance and commitment to having a good relationship with yourself in the present. Dressing in clothing that is not the right size, holding on hope for your body to change, etc. is a disservice to you actually living your life in your body. Being uncomfortable often prevents you from being present. Getting rid of ill-fitting clothes is a commitment to live life in the present and in your present body.

Reduce Triggering Try-Ons

Next, a closet clean-out can also reduce triggering try-ons. Seeing clothing hanging in your closet that are not comfortable, that you do not like, or that no-longer fit can spur on anxiety. Keeping clothes that are from your eating disordered past can be triggering anytime you try them on and they no longer fit or you do not like the way you look. Give your future self a gift and get rid of the clothing that no longer fits. There will be so much peace that comes with knowing everything in your closet is good to go, comfy, and ready to wear. 

Greater Commitment to Recovery

Finally, one major benefit of a closet cleanout is the commitment to recovery. This actionable decision to rid yourself of clothing that is restrictive or tied to restricting can draw you closer to honoring your body and letting go of your eating disorder. You might be holding onto clothing that doesn’t fit in hopes that these items can somehow accommodate your recovered body. Starting fresh, dressing for your current body, and allowing yourself to lean into recovery is a gift that you deserve. Bodies change and evolve as you change and evolve. It is okay to ditch the sick clothes and find the peace and comfort (literally) that comes from more fully embracing recovery.

Connecting During the Holiday Season

Connecting During the Holiday Season

The holiday season can be a time of togetherness and loneliness. Maybe you’re like me, with family spread across the US. It can feel lonely to be apart from loved ones, but we’ve found ways to connect. I’ve got three recommendations for connecting with loved ones this holiday season. 

#1 Connect in creative ways

Find ways to connect with your people. Every year Hallmark gifts us with more Christmas movies than we know what to do with. I love reviewing the movie list with my sister and mom, judging the movies based solely on titles. Some of our categories include best movie, worst movie, cheesiest movie, cleverest plot, and the movie you turn off before it’s finished. Even if you’re far away from family, you can choose a cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie to watch and then discuss your review via video chat. Hallmark movies may not be your thing, but how can you connect with those you love in creative ways? 

#2 Make connection simple

The holiday season is a crazy time of year and if you’re not careful it can become stressful. Find simple ways to connect that prioritize time together (even via technology) over elaborate plans. Check out these ideas: 

Try a new recipe a week and report back to your people how it went

Work on the same craft and discuss what is going well and what challenges you are facing

Join or start a book club where you can discuss a shared read

Learn a new dance and try to do it together– virtually or in person

Go on a walk “together.” This can be walking side by side, or you can plan a time to both be walking, wherever you may be, and chat on the phone

Try to draw something new and send pictures of the final product

Order dinner at the same time and jump on a call while you eat

#3 Connect in your community

There are limitless options to connect with others. Find what works for you. Now, maybe you have a hard time finding your people to connect with. Check out these ideas for finding your people: 

Connect with neighbors

Volunteer for an organization that interests you

Attend a church congregation

Sign up for a class in your community

Serve someone/Accept service from someone

Get a pen pal

Invite people over for dessert and games (someone has to be the inviter)

I hope you feel loved and connected this holiday season. 


Three Thanksgiving Recovery Tips

Three Thanksgiving Recovery Tips

In last week’s blog, Kylee Marshall gave us some great illustrations of what Thanksgiving can look like for intuitive eaters. (If you haven’t read her blog yet, go check it out!) This week, I want to give you three simple suggestions for staying on the right track with your eating recovery this Thanksgiving.

1. Envision Your Wins

Thanksgiving in eating recovery can feel overwhelming for a lot of reasons, food-related and otherwise. At the same time, because it can be such a challenging day, Thanksgiving can be an opportunity to take meaningful steps forward in your recovery. Envisioning your recovery wins can help you make them a reality. Take some time to think about just one success you hope to have this Thanksgiving. You don’t have to think on a grand scale here. In fact, keep this win small, but specific. For example, maybe you want your win to be truly savoring and enjoying one of your aunt’s homemade rolls. Maybe you want to be able to focus on talking with your sibling during the Thanksgiving meal, instead of being preoccupied with thoughts about food. Maybe your win will be checking in with your hunger/fullness level before, during, and after the meal. Write your intention down as you approach the day, and commit to making that vision become a reality. 

2. Support Yourself Instead of Pushing Yourself

Monica Packer, host of the About Progress podcast, talks about the idea of supporting yourself instead of pushing yourself as you work toward goals. I think this concept is a beautiful one to apply to eating recovery. After you’ve set your intention for a Thanksgiving win, try planning one simple thing you can do to support yourself as you work toward your intention. What kind, compassionate care can you give yourself to help your vision of success become a reality? Maybe you’ll set aside time to listen to a song that will help you feel supported before your Thanksgiving meal. Perhaps you’ll choose to spend a few soothing moments sitting outdoors after eating. Maybe you’ll FaceTime with a person in your life who understands how challenging Thanksgiving can be. Whatever you choose, remember that any small act done with the intention of lovingly supporting yourself can make a difference in your recovery.

3. Keep the Day in Perspective

Finally, as you approach Thanksgiving prepared with your intention and your plan to support yourself, remember that Thanksgiving is just one day. It’s a holiday that can be messy and complicated, and in many ways, it can be just another day. Your body will use food on this day the same way it does every other day–for nourishment and energy. On this day, just like other days, you do not have to participate in diet talk. Food you eat on Thanksgiving, like food you eat on other days, will not create drastic changes in your body. Food will be one feature of this day, but it does not have to be in charge of your day. This is true every day, not just on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving might not ever be the easiest day of the year in eating recovery, but I hope you’ll remember that you can keep moving forward in your recovery tomorrow. You can make a difference in your own recovery, even through the difficulty of the holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Are Your Goals SMART?

Are Your Goals SMART?

Well…it’s that time of year again. The time when all we hear about are New Year’s resolutions and pledges of “new year, new me”. We are accosted with wishes of weight loss through new faddy diets, goals of success in “get rich quick” schemes, and daydreams of how things will certainly be different this new year. As the clock turns midnight, signifying the start of a new calendar year, we almost expect our lives to take a total turn, for it to be easier for us to act differently and become a new person. While I think it is important to be mindful of certain aspects of ourselves that we could lovingly improve, I do not think it is necessary (or really…possible) to become a new version of yourself just because we write the calendar year with a different number now. So, with that in mind, I’d like to present some SMART goals for 2021.


The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects

While doing some holiday shopping with my daughters, we found a pretty funny little sign in a local shop.  In red glitter letters, it read, “hope spending time with your family for the holidays doesn’t undo all the progress you’ve made with your therapist”. We all had a good laugh (and yes, that sign made it home with me!) but seriously–family time can be the best or the worst. Sometimes it just depends on the minute.  


Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

I absolutely love December, for so many reasons. I love cheery holiday music and rushing around buying gifts for people. Everyone just seems cheerful and we get time off work/school – what’s not to love?


Gratitude in All Things…This Too

Gratitude in All Things…This Too

Mindfulness teaches us to have gratitude in all things. Really?

Is that really necessary? I like Buddha as much as the next gal, but come on. I can think of plenty of things in my life that I haven’t felt particularly grateful for. Shall I begin? (more…)