For those in ED recovery on Thanksgiving

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I’ll be enjoying my Thanksgiving meal in honor of my grandmother, who chronically dieted until she passed away in 2006. Every step I take toward loving my body is in her honor, because I believe it is up to me to change the dialogue the women in my family have had about their bodies being bad or wrong for generation after generation. I feed myself as if I would feed someone that I love deeply, because I believe my grandmother never felt that she could.

U.S. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I want to say a few things to my non-gender specific siblings out there in eating disorder recovery:

  1. It’s okay to eat. You don’t have to do anything to justify your eating. It is okay to be a person amongst people, enjoying the food.
  2. It’s also okay to have limits. From pushy relatives who make comments about your body, to pushy friends who goad you to eat more pumpkin pie than your stomach has room for, you can draw a line. “Here is my boundary” you can say. You can stick to your boundary with love. Anyone you disappoint by having boundaries is likely not worth keeping around.
  3. You don’t have to let what other people are doing, eating, and saying touch you. Draw up an emotional shield if this is a triggering time for you. You are safe, you are protected, and I know what it’s like to be afraid on a day that is supposed to be about gratitude and I know what it’s like to overcome it. You’ve got this. I am here for you.
  4. Exercise shan’t be punishment for what you consume on this day, or any day. Think of your food as nourishment, and fuel and on this day, acknowledgement for this stolen land we are partying on. Don’t think of it in terms of burpees and deadlifts and sprints. Exercise is for the exaltation of release. It is for the celebration of being in your body and seeing what your body can do. Don’t make exercise something you do to be a dick to yourself. Long term, you will appreciate yourself from refraining from that mindset, I promise.

It is my sincere hope, that you are with friends and family that make you feel loved and excited to be alive. It is my wish that you can find the perfect amount of full, and that guilt and shame won’t be prominent emotions around your meals. As I’ve said a million times, recovery is about progress- not perfection. Pat yourself on the back for successes and take note of the hard moments and use them as information.

I believe in you.