Episode 21: Eating Disorders and the Holidays

A festive holiday table setting

Episode description:

Kezia Reeder is a former Emily Program client and staff member and a continual advocate for eating disorder recovery. In this episode of Peace Meal, she joins host Dr. Jillian Lampert to describe her holidays with an eating disorder.

“I feel like I was constantly stressed from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve,” Kezia says. “It’s supposed to be a time of celebration and… in the United States, a lot of our celebration centers around gathering for a meal.”

Reflecting on four years of holidays like these, Kezia says she struggled at first without any outside support. She hid her disorder from family and friends, suffering in silence amid food- and body-related conversations and a lack of routine around meals. She could not be present.

Over the course of her recovery, Kezia explains that she used trial and error to navigate the holidays successfully. The more present she was in treatment, she says, the more present she could be outside of it. With the help of her treatment team, she learned how to enlist the support of her sister, develop a meal plan, and approach holiday food as just food.

“Do what works for you, and there’s a lot of different ways that holidays can look successful with an eating disorder,” Kezia explains.  

The holidays look different now that Kezia’s eating disorder is no longer invited.

“They’re awesome,” she says. “They’re just a whole new level of awesome because I know how challenging they have been in the past. So there’s a lot that I appreciate about it now.”

If you or your child are struggling with food this holiday season, The Emily Program can help. Learn more about treatment online or by calling 1-888-364-5977. 

About the podcast:

Peace Meal is an Emily Program podcast that discusses topics related to eating disorders, body image issues, and how society may contribute to distorted thinking.

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