Sheffield woman shares why the festive season can be challenging for those with eating disorders
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The festive period is often seen as a positive time for most but people who struggle with eating disorders can experience negative side effects.
Natasha Douglas from Fullwood was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa several years ago.
“However unfortunately this hasn’t always been the case.
“After being diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa the prospect of the Christmas period felt overwhelming for a multitude of reasons.
“Nearly all Christmas celebrations centre around food and drink.”
Natasha said that not having control over the Christmas food was a main point of concern for her.
She also dreaded seeing extended family members who may have noticed a change in her physical appearance.
Natasha, 24, said: “Eating disorders are very secretive, and I certainly didn’t want people knowing what I was going through.
Natasha worried about the comments that people might make and it caused her a great deal of anxiety.
Hope Virgo is the founder of the #dumpthescales campaign.
After experiencing her own struggles with eating disorders she now advocates for better support for those going through conditions such as Anorexia and Bulimia.
Hope said: “If possible, try to be open and honest about your concerns at least with one person.
“Preferably someone who will be with you on Christmas day.
“That way, if you really are struggling, you can reach out for some moral support.”
“The first Christmas after I relapsed, I knew I would struggle so I planned to host Christmas dinner.
“That way I was hand on with the food and felt proud that I’d managed to cook and eat a Christmas dinner with my whole family.”
Hope also encourages people suffering with eating disorders to take time for themselves and partake in activities that make them feel good to combat any negative emotions.
You can learn more about Hope’s campaign here.