National Eating Disorders Association

While volunteering at a Los Angeles animal shelter, I met a brindle, ten-month-old pit bull named Sunny. She was very undernourished, and her tail looked like it had been chopped in half and then stomped on in three places. Yet despite her dire circumstances, a joyful energy moved through her. Every time I slipped inside her kennel, she came barreling into my arms and sprawled across my lap—her whole body wagging along with her stub tail.

I was raised with the belief that language is important.  I was taught that that the precision of my words could greatly affect the impact of what I say. When I first met my partner a little over two years ago, one of the main things we bonded over was our love of language. A creative writer herself, I could see how carefully she spoke.

As we all know, the holidays can be rough. Many people feel a strain this time of year and that can be especially true for those affected by eating disorders. To provide some relief, we’ve compiled a list of our holiday resources and advice posts. Please enjoy!

At NEDA we know that holidays can be a stressful time for families and individuals struggling with, or pursuing recovery from, an eating disorder. So, we asked the NEDA community to share their strategies for navigating the holidays in the face of such challenges. A few themes emerged, and we’ve put them together here to offer helpful perspectives and steps you can take to maximize the enjoyment of your holiday gatherings. If you have a friend or family member affected, take a few minutes to share these tips and discuss how you can be a part of their planning and support. 

'Tis the season. It’s hard to escape the holiday season without talk of New Year’s weight loss resolutions, diet plans, tactics to burn off holiday meals and similar content, easily triggering for those with eating disorders. The holidays can be challenging times for those who struggle. Food, families and stress can make festivities less than festive for some. Recovery is often accomplished hour by hour, minute by minute, and freedom might seem miles away.

NEDA is excited to announce that the Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee held a hearing yesterday on H.R. 4153, the Educating to Prevent Eating Disorders Act of 2015, following the bill’s introduction in the House last week by Representative Renee Ellmers.

About three percent of teenagers and four percent of adults are affected by eating disorders, but most do not receive treatment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Why? Because the people around them—health professionals and school personnel, as well as friends and families—often don’t recognize the signs.

Taking time to care for yourself is an important part of recovery from an eating disorder. As Audre Lorde said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation....” With that in mind, we've compiled a master list of ideas, inspiration, tips and tidbits to help you find the kind of self-care that works for you! Take a look and feel free to experiment!

Look at inspiring messages and images online!

We hope you and your loved ones have a very happy holiday, filled with gratitude, warmth and recovery!

Thanksgiving can be stressful enough, even if you're not struggling with an eating disorder. And since this holiday is centered around food, it can be that much more challenging. Here are our favorite tips to help make this holiday run a little smoother!

1. Make a plan

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The holidays can be tough! Attempting to juggle the stresses of constantly being surrounded by food and people is A LOT, especially if you struggle with an eating disorder or weight-related issues.