The tables are groaning under the weight of turkey and boxes of chocolate and I will drink more wine than I care to think about. Magazines and TV ads are telling us to treat ourselves. In less than two weeks, these same sources will be pushing healthy living mottos down our throats and encouraging us to gain weight.
I have trained myself not to look at these magazines because of the unrealistic images that end up making us feel guilty. Around 1.6 million people in the UK are affected by eating disorders. In the UK, 1 in 4 adults want to lose weight most of the time.
For me, the sheer amount of food is something that can taint Christmas.
Even now, I still appreciate Christmas on a deeper level because of this experience. My recovery has had its ups and downs and I still fear the intense amounts of food, something almost unavoidable at Christmas. However, I have learnt to rationalise this in my head – it is just one day out of the year, and coming together round the table is an integral part of the experience.
What comes after is the hardest part.
You don't need an eating disorder to experience guilt after eating certain foods.
I am learning to love my body no matter what it is.
It can be difficult to lose weight at the beginning of January when we are surrounded by posters telling us to join the gym and start a crazy juice diet.
To recover, I had to accept the natural me, to embrace the weight I became living the life I wanted to live. I would rather be able to eat waffles for breakfast with my boyfriend than sit and eat an apple. As part of my challenge to accept me for who I am, I have set myself a task to go makeup free every day in January.
Think of it as a dry month for makeup.
Having confidence in your natural look is the strongest kind of confidence a person can have.
I am very nervous for this challenge.
My goals for this month?
To have more confidence in myself, to inspire others towards recovery and to raise money for the amazing eating disorders charity b-eat.
Follow the link to my just giving page, where you can also find links to my blog to read more about my story.
Are you interested in joining me? Tag me in your make-up free selfies on social media. Please do share my just giving page link with your friends to help spread the word.
We are beautiful the way we are.
Let's embrace it.
She is in recovery from an eating disorder and is trying to stop the stigma surrounding mental illness and inspire others towards recovery.
1. Affected by eating disorders
2. eating disorders charity b-eat