don’t stress.

Yay, yay, yay it’s Mondayyyy! I’m sure you’re thinking, “ummmm, why the heck is she so excited about Mondays?”

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Well, I don’t have school. It’s December. Christmas is only a few short weeks away. And I am almost done with my Christmas shopping! I have got a lot to be thankful for and if you woke up this morning, you have got a lot to be thankful for too.

Since it’s “the most wonderful time of the year” and all, I think people tend to reflect more on all of their blessings but I also think people tend to FREAK THE HECK OUT.

Traffic is crazier.

Lines are longer.

People are more frustrated.

You bank account dwindles faster.

The weather is colder.

and food is PLENTIFUL.

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When I first developed my eating disorder 5 years ago, the holidays were a stressful time for me because of that very last reason alone. Even today, I freak out a little about all the food from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

I used to place such an emphasis on food, and not in a good way. I would eat very little all day so that I could have 1/4 cup of puppy chow after dinner. I wouldn’t eat any leftover cookie dough so that I would know exactly how many calories were in a fully baked cookie. I would only eat vegetables all day and drink green tea Sunday – Thursday so that on the weekend I could enjoy “one small sweet.” I would run miles upon miles every morning to burn off the holiday food. I would try on my smallest pair of jeans every night before bed to make sure they still fit.

And worst of all, I would criticize EVERYTHING about myself if I ate something sweet like a cookie or puppy chow.

I was full of so. much. hatred. for myself. I hated everything about myself. I hated how God created me.

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Looking back now, I cannot believe the amount of anxiety I put on myself during the holidays. The holidays are supposed to be magical! Food is supposed to be plentiful! This is the ONE TIME of the year you get to eat puppy chow, peppermint bark, snowball cookies, pumpkin pie, etc.

ONCE. A. YEAR. do we get to sit around the table with coffee, pie, and our families to talk about how thankful we are and how freaking amazing the pie is.

These are the moments you are supposed to treasure. Not stress out over.

It took me years to realize this. It took my body this long to realize a handful of puppy chow won’t make you “fat.” It took my mind this long to realize I don’t have to run miles upon miles to burn off whatever food I had eaten.

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This holiday season, practice:

MINDFULNESS.

Slow down and take the time to enjoy all the wonderful things this season has to offer! One of my favorite things to do when I come home from work is brew a cup of coffee and make a small sampler plate with whatever goods my mom and I have baked. I have been enjoying a handful of puppy chow and a handful of her white chocolate Christmas snack mix.

And you know what? I stop when I’m full. I thank God for the opportunity to enjoy these sweets. And I go on with my day.

I don’t stress. I don’t self-criticize. I just practice being mindful and listen to what my body wants.

So don’t stress this holiday season. Eat a cookie. Hug your parents. Smile more. Pray constantly.

Happy Holidays! ❤

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