Dealing with Binge Eating During the Holidays     Remember that binge-eating is typically sprung from another mental disorder; anxiety or depression being the most common. Its best you see a doctor to find coping methods that are specific to you if this is something you struggle with. As someone who has struggled with and recovered from binge-eating disorder, this is my best advice on my experience during the holidays.   TIP #1 LET IT BE. Meaning, if you think you’re going to binge, let it be or let it happen. It’s almost like a reverse psychology; it doesn’t mean that you won’t binge, but it does mean that we won’t feel bad about it, thus making us less stressed and less likely to binge as much. During the holidays, we’re surrounded by so much food which is overwhelming to our senses. This is an automatic trigger for the eating disorder, which causes stress just in the sight of food, anxiety or depression kicks in because of this, which triggers the eating disorder, and then we feel bad about binge eating and stress about it, only leading to another binge.   It’s a never-ending cycle and for some people, including my past experiences, it occurred every single day and in increments of thousands of calories at a time. So, during these holiday parties, let it be, so that you can let yourself  live and experience the other important things.   TIP #2 DON’T NEGLECT YOUR TRAINING. You can use all of the extra calories to kick ass in the gym & fuel your workouts. Go lift some heavy weights or make some PR’s! There’s a silver lining to this if you enjoy training and challenging yourself.   TIP #3 CHANGE FOCUS. Now that you’re not focusing on your obsession with food, you’re more able to kick out the negative thoughts (anxiety, depression, stress) and focus on the people you love. You’re more than likely to see people you don’t typically see other than during the holidays, so it will be important to you to cherish that time with them.   TIP #4 STAY BUSY WITH HOLIDAY EVENTS.  Search for what holiday events are going on in your area and organize a family get together during this time. Not only will this further keep you distracted from just sitting around food, but it will also stimulate your mind and keep you entertained and happy. Things like this that you actually enjoy are what naturally fight mental disorders.   Some ideas would be ice skating, decorating with family, snowboarding, sledding, holiday parades, driving around to see Christmas lights, building snowmen, going to a holiday play/show (The Nutcracker), building a blanket fort and watching Christmas movies, etc. I could go on; this is my favorite time of the year!   TIP #5 GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO BE STILL IN THOUGHT. Oftentimes our triggers are relating to anxiety, which means our brains are overthinking situations and stressing ourselves about things that may not even be likely to happen.   Some ideas to give you some personal time away from work and stress would be to take a hot bath with candles and incense, hanging out in the Jacuzzi, going for a walk, or reading your favorite book.   Happy holidays!  

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Lexes O'Hara

Lexes O'Hara is a personal trainer and nutrition coach. Her work philosophy is to teach her clients to, "train, eat, and live like a bad ass." Certifications include NASM CPT and FNS.