National Eating Disorders Association

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Holidays! Food as presents

Hi! I have struggled with eating issues the past 5 or so years and was recently diagnosed with AN b/p subtype. No one in my immediate family knows I struggle and I need it to stay that way. (I’m 22 and in college but live at home)..With the holidays coming up I KNOW that, as always, my parents will stuff my Christmas stocking with sweets.

The problem is that in my current state I know I will b/p with that much sweets around me. I wish I could just tell them to not give me any food but I know they would never understand. I also feel terrible if I just throw it out. I’m so frustrated with everything and am really dreading the holidays at this point :( I wish every social event wasn’t so centred around food!!!! Ughhhh


Maybe asking your family/friends to be more creative, in a polite way? Or maybe even telling them that instead of gifts you want them to donate to your favorite charity? Just some ideas. Sending you love and support. You can do this!


Good suggestion!

Hi Sarcares: I’ve been thinking a lot about this one and feel so much sympathy and compassion for you! How are you finding the lead up to Christmas? Can you tell a friend nearby and ship it all to them as soon as you get it or anything like that? It’s a short term fix but I find I need a few healthy ones in holiday season!xx

Yes, I feel this.

I feel this so hard. I have even not gone to family/friend events because I knew there would be food there. Its hard having an ED, because food is necessary and seems to circle around to everything... But I suppose you could accept the food, but just regift it? I can understand the want to just throw it away, but you don't want to be wasteful- So maybe when you go into work/school you can give it to other people. That way its not wasted. Or regift it, like give it to a homeless shelter or if you are giving a gift to someone after christmas put it in their present.

Edited post

Hi sarcares! We edited some of the language of your post to remove mentions of specific food items, which are not allowed on the forums. You can review our community guidelines here. Thank you for understanding and please continue to post!