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The Night Before Thanksgiving from an Eating Disorder Perspective.

The Night Before Thanksgiving from the Perspective of an Eating Disorder

The Night Before Thanksgiving from the Perspective of an Eating Disorder

Eating Disorder Perspective
The Night Before Thanksgiving from an Eating Disorder Perspective.


I, like many women, have spent several hours in my kitchen preparing for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving meal.  As I have prepared and cooked, my thoughts have bombarded me repeatedly today.  I thought I would let you in on the night before Thanksgiving from the perspective of an eating disorder.  These may or may not be some of the thoughts I have struggled with today.

Eating Disorder Thought 1

The grocery store is overwhelming for you, anyway.  Think of all the extra people that are going to be there today.  You need to avoid the grocery store today.  Because there are so many people out, there will be extra sick germs.  That is further proof you need to avoid the grocery store.

Eating Disorder Thought 2

Don’t lick that spoon or bowl.  You are making desserts with everyone else in mind.  You know that tomorrow, during the Thanksgiving meal, you’re going to feel pressure to have dessert, so make sure that you don’t lick the spoons or bowls today. That will save you several calories.

Eating Disorder Thought 3

Think about when you could carve out time tomorrow to go for a walk/run.  You’re going to need to do that tomorrow because you’re probably going to eat more food than you are used to. You don’t want to put on any weight.  Skinny makes you look pretty.  Maybe you should call your friend and ask her to bring her tennis shoes so you can go on a walk together after you eat.  Also, on Friday morning, you can go to Pilates, but you probably need to walk/run as well.  Get in two good exercise sessions.  It will make you feel better about yourself.

Eating Disorder Thought 4

I wonder what ingredients Aunt Suzie’s green bean casserole has in it.  I’m sure there are going to be mushrooms, and you know you don’t like mushrooms. They make your stomach hurt, so make sure you avoid the green bean casserole.  Oh, that corn casserole too.  You aren’t going to know how much sour cream and cheese is in that casserole, so avoid it also.  You might focus on eating the turkey.  It’s less fattening than ham.

Eating Disorder Thought 5

You know people are looking at what you eat tomorrow.  You need to make sure that you don’t put too little on your plate that people freak out, but you don’t want to throw a plate full of food away.  So serve yourself as little as possible without being noticed.

Eating Disorder Thought 6

I’m so glad that you don’t have a crowd of people at your house tomorrow.  Eating in large crowds gives you anxiety, so I’m so glad you aren’t attending a large family gathering.  I know you miss your family, but this is a much better option for you.

Eating Disorder Thought 7

There is a lot of food tomorrow that you don’t eat on a regular basis.  I sure hope they don’t make you sick.  When your stomach is not used to these foods, it might be hard for your stomach to digest, leaving you feeling sick.  I know you hate to feel sick.

Eating Disorder Thought 8

Don’t forget your number one job is to take care of everyone else.  Be extremely hospitable.  If you are making sure everyone else is taken care of, then that leaves you little time to think about yourself.  You don’t want others to think you are selfish.

Eating Disorder Thought 9

By the time you sit down to eat, the food is all going to be cold.  It will have sat on the island while everyone fixed their plates.  You don’t like your food cold, so that will help you not eat as much tomorrow.  I would not want you to feel guilty about how much you eat. When you get down on yourself, it affects your entire family.  So please be sure to protect your plate and your emotions.

Eating Disorder Thought 10

You’re a great mom for doing all this cooking.  I know cooking is not as fun for you as it used to be.  You also made everyone’s favorite dessert.  I wonder how hard that was since you’re not going to eat hardly any of it?  That must have been super hard!  You’re doing hard things and I’m proud of you.  Way to go, Mom!  I’m here to help you and I am cheering you on!  I wonder what you would do without me whispering these praises in your ear?  You need to keep me around since I help you feel so much better about yourself.

Karen’s Thanksgiving Thoughts

No wonder when I go to bed at night, I am utterly exhausted.  It is hard work fighting against the thoughts an eating disorder litters my mind with.  I listed ten thoughts in less than 10 minutes.  These are not all, but these are the ones that have plagued my mind the most.

There is a huge difference between last year and this year.  Last year, I was “sicker than a dog” (where does that phrase even come from?) with my eating disorder.  I was on the brink of entering a treatment facility.  However, I would argue and did argue that I was not sick and I did not have an eating disorder.  This year, I am able to identify thoughts that are not my thoughts, they are an eating disorder’s thoughts that have been placed in my head.  They are thoughts that I am convinced to believe.  They aren’t fleeting thoughts, they have bombarded me repeatedly.

I am not thankful that I have struggled with an eating disorder throughout my life.  However, I am thankful for the treatment I have had in the past year to help me understand and identify more and more the impact the eating disorder has in my life.

Did the eating disorder win today?  At times yes.  Those spoons and bowls went straight to the sink.  I personally like my eating disorder feeding me positive things about myself.  It makes me want to keep it around for sure.  And Thanksgiving hasn’t arrived yet, so I don’t know how well I will combat the thoughts tomorrow.  But, at least, I am aware of what is going on in my head.  They say it takes years to fully recover from an eating disorder.  I totally believe it.




Wife of 20+ years. Mom to 3 children. Love sharing my life with weary hearts so that we can know the One who is Good, who is in Control, and Whose strength is made perfect in our weaknesses.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Margrette Blackburn

    Karen, thanks for sharing. It helps us understand. That’s a lot of thoughts messing with your sweet mind. I love you all and miss you so much! We have to get together soon! Love, prayers and Blessing!

  2. Beth S Edwards

    Lick the spoon and eat the dessert, two bites. The first bite and the last bite. Ask your Aunt what is in the green bean casserole. It could look like the one she made when you were small, but made with lower fat mushroom soup and lower fat sour cream. The onion rings can be picked out. I do that all the time. I am picky. I have also used cream of mushroom soup. As far as exercise. Prepare everything but the turkey the night before and go run the turkey trot that morning while someone else babysits the bird. Running before will rev up you metabolism. Take a healthy portion of what you like Have a great time with relatives and when necessary , to a break, go outside or sit with one other person. Let someone else do the dishes

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