incredible-marketing Arrow
(214) 799-3080

Preparing for the Holiday Season When You Have Body Image Issues

Women are well aware of the impossible standards their bodies are held to by mainstream society. Aside from the summer season when the focus is zeroed in on having the best “bikini body” there is no other time of year that promotes a sexualized female body like Halloween. Women’s Halloween costumes have gained more and more criticism over recent years as the general public has become aware of how unnecessary it is for every single costume idea in the book to have a “sexy” counterpart. Halloween is just one example of unrealistic expectations that come with the holiday season. In addition to how the body looks there are also pressures on what the body eats. Women’s magazines in the check-out aisles of grocery stores highlight this perfectly, especially during the holidays. At once they promote various tips and guides toward not gaining weight during the holiday, which is supposed to be a primary concern for women, while also advertising high calorie, high sugar, unhealthy treats, tips for feasts, and more focus on eating.

The holiday season is a fast and furious few months with celebrations primarily focused on eating. Halloween is full of candy. Thanksgiving is a copious cornucopia of a feast of meats, dishes, and pies. Christmas includes lots more indulgent pies, cookies, and treats, as well as more feasting. Then finally comes the focus on New Year’s Resolutions to start working away the indulgence of the last three months. This sort of cycle is unhealthy and damaging to anyone who follows it, especially women who are living with body image issues.

Women who have lived with body image issues, eating disorders, or body dysmorphic disorders have a unique battlefront in the holiday season when they are new to sobriety. These particular issues are commonly co-occurring with alcoholism and addiction as women turn to substances to cope. Pains of imperfection, high expectations, trauma, and control can lead to these behaviors or these behaviors can inspire substance abuse.

Food and body are unfortunately common topics of conversation at the holiday dinner table as well as for many weeks after, until the next holiday meal. Remember to eat enough to be healthy and meet the new nutritional lifestyle you are learning to live by. Don’t exercise to compensate for eating, but continue to exercise through the holidays as part of your recovery. When food and body become a center of conversation, shift the topic to something more interesting which doesn’t keep everyone too self-centered. Set boundaries with family members and friends where necessary when they breach your level of comfort in conversation about food and/or body. Most importantly, don’t forget to have a regiment of self-care on hand so you can support yourself in feeling safe, secure, and proud of your recovery.