Eating Disorders Holiday Help

Eating Disorders Holiday Help

Eating Disorders Holiday Help: Dealing with Triggers

‘Tis the season – for family gatherings, Holiday parties… and lots of food. It can be enough of a challenge to stay on course with your eating disorder recovery in your day-to-day life. It’s even more challenging when you’re triggered by your Aunt Mary’s comments about your weight, or your Grandmother’s pumpkin pie. Here are a few strategies for eating disorders help for the holidays:

  1. Know Your Triggers – Identify the people, places and events that are the most challenging for you to deal with. By acknowledging that your Aunt Mary always makes a comment about your weight, you can actually be less triggered when she makes a comment this year. She might say, “You look so good – how much weight have you lost?” Or, “What happened – you gained so much weight since the last time I saw you!” Knowing that she will make some kind of comment, you can be prepared and therefore less triggered. Similarly, knowing that you are going to a family function where you will encounter foods which can trigger your eating disorder behaviors, you can diffuse the power of the trigger simply by being aware of it. You know that your Grandmother will bring pumpkin pie – and you also know that she will push you to have a piece. You also know that she’ll give you a “sad look” if you decline to have a piece, and she’ll push you to have seconds if you agree to have one.
  2. Have a Plan to Deal with Your Triggers – After you have identified some of the main triggers you might encounter, come up with specific action steps for each. When your Aunt Mary makes a comment about your weight, you might plan to say, “Let’s not focus on my weight. Let’s talk about the art class I am taking!” You can shift the conversation onto a topic that you enjoy talking about. As for the pumpkin pie, you might say ,”Grandma, you know that I love your pie! But this year, I’d only like one very small piece, and that’s it!” You can choose the boundary that feels right to you.
  3. Follow-Up with Self-Care – After encountering people, places or events that were triggering, it’s a good idea to enjoy some extra Self-Care! Make a list of Self-Care ideas, and after your family event or party, scan your list and choose something that will help you feel “nourished from within.”  For example, your list might include: Call my friend Suzy, take a walk with my dog, get a massage, go see a movie, write in my journal, listen to my favorite music, read my gratitude list, go to a support group.

With these strategies for eating disorders help for the holidays, you can stay on your path of recovery!


Article may be reprinted with the author bio below.

©2018 by Dr. Dorie McCubbrey. Dr. Dorie is a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and Licensed Addiction Counselor who is passionate about training professionals to effectively guide clients in recovery from eating disorders, through her Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapy (EDIT)™ Certified program. She also meets with clients at her treatment center, Positive Pathways PLLC, located in Evergreen Colorado. Learn more at:


Want more that this “taste” of EDIT™? Dr. Dorie is passionate about her method of Eating Disorder Intuitive Therapy (EDIT)™ to help people overcome eating disorders and addictions.  She provides customized counseling for eating disorders and alcohol / drug addiction at her Positive Pathways treatment center in Evergreen, Colorado – and EDIT™ eating disorder training and certification for coaches and clinicians worldwide. CALL 303-494-1975EMAIL DR. DORIE – GET CERTIFIED

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