National Eating Disorders Association
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Recovery

Everyone faces obstacles. No matter who you are, what you look like, or where you live, we all face road blocks while moving forward in life. Some of us get through them very easily while others struggle through each one, hanging on by the smallest of tree limbs. Most of us have one thing that has really affected our life. For me, that one thing was my eating disorder.

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The use of food for emotional comfort is often normalized in our culture. It’s very common to see TV shows or movies portraying actresses drowning their sorrows after a breakup by eating a tub of ice cream or an entire box of chocolates. That tells us that it’s acceptable to use food to cope with difficult emotions. For some people, that may be effective and not seem problematic, but it’s far more complicated for someone with an eating disorder. 

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“Dear Melody” is a monthly advice column by Dr. Melody Moore, a clinical psychologist, yoga instructor and the founder of the Embody Love Movement Foundation. Her foundation is a non-profit whose mission is to empower girls and women to celebrate their inner beauty, commit to kindness and contribute to meaningful change in the world. Dr. Moore is a social entrepreneur who trains facilitators on how to teach programs to prevent negative body image and remind girls and women of their inherent worth.

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The holidays can be a difficult time for anyone. Amidst the busyness and changing of routine and weather, it’s easy for us to struggle to maintain that holiday cheer we are expected to embody every single day. It’s okay to ask for help and it’s okay to set aside time for yourself. Enjoying the holiday season begins with you and your well-being.

We asked members of the NEDA community to share their words of hope and encouragement for those who are struggling this holiday season. Here's what they had to say:

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En el mundo de hoy, nos encontramos bombardeados con información sobre cómo debemos cuidar nuestros cuerpos. Constantemente vemos los últimos ejercicios, diferentes tipos de planes de comidas, opciones de alimentos, rutinas de ejercicios, etc. y, a veces, es difícil mantenerse al día.

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In today's world, we find ourselves bombarded with information about how we should take care of our bodies. We constantly see the latest exercises, different kinds of meal plans, food options, workout routines, etc. and sometimes it’s hard to keep up. 

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For many of us, the holidays can be a difficult time. Whether you are visiting your family for winter break or you live with your parents, the hyper-focus on food and body image during this time can be hard to navigate.

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Many people look forward to the winter holiday season for time off to relax and be with loved ones. For others, this time of year brings an influx of complicated feelings. For those of us struggling with body image and an unhealthy relationship with food, already aggravated by how central food becomes during the holidays, the pressure to spend time with family can be overwhelming. 

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Planning a wedding can be stressful at times—says every person I’ve ever met. The details, the pressure to please everyone, and the expectations we create are things that cause us to stress out at moments. Yet, for me, planning a wedding brought along an entirely different set of worries on top of the common ones. I had to plan a wedding with one goal in mind: to stay strong in my eating disorder recovery. 

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The holiday season is my favorite time of year. I know I’m not alone in that. Who wouldn’t love home, hearth, and family all bundled together in a peppermint-scented haze of love and gratitude?

But ever since I was diagnosed with anorexia, the beloved season has also become a huge challenge.

Just a few years ago, right before Hannuka (I’m Jewish), I was in treatment. Preparing us for the upcoming holiday, the hospital brought us all pies as a snack.

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