Christmas, food & families – how to survive!

Christmas, Food & families - how to survive!

I remember a media story in the 1980's about a woman who went missing just before Christmas. Family and friends were understandably frantic and the woman thankfully turned up within a few days safe and sound. The story that emerged was both surprising and not surprising at the same time. The woman turned out to be a bulimic aerobics teacher who could not face the prospect of being around food during the festive period, so she had run away. Such was the fear of food, she hadn't thought about how upset her loved ones would be - that's how powerful an eating disorder can be.

I also remember really upsetting my family one Christmas in my late teens. I had a job at a local pub during my year off before Cambridge and I volunteered to work on Christmas day - double pay and a chance to get out of the Christmas dinner with all the temptations. A double win as far as I was concerned, but my mum especially was really unhappy that I wouldn't be with the family at Christmas lunch. I did the shift but felt so guilty afterwards (I did guilt then - I don't now!) that I ended up eating all the leftovers when I got home at about 4pm. I remember just eating continuously and then until falling asleep in a carb stupor at bedtime.

Christmas can be a really scary time for people trying to lose weight. It has all the worst problems of Family, Pressure to eat, Food and meals being out of our control, Temptation, Habits and associations and the Risk of regaining addiction. Let us look at each of these in turn, so that you have a way to cope with all the pitfalls coming up over the next month.

Just before we do this, here's an extract from the new Why do you overeat? When all you want is to be slim, summarising the concept of Transactional Analysis - as it is very relevant to this article:

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