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I distinctly remember feeling fat wearing the leotard pictured here. Yes, at the young age of four, I already heard Ed screaming, “You aren’t good enough.”

If you hear Ed’s voice, you know that he can talk incessantly all year round. You also know that his chatter can get even louder around the holidays.

Remember: just because Ed may get noisier doesn’t mean that you have to waiver in your recovery. In the end, it doesn’t matter what Ed says or does. What matters is how you respond to him. Here are ten tips for responding to Ed this holiday season:

1. Choose a Go-To Support Person. For each holiday celebration, select a designated person for support and accountability. Choose someone who is willing, available, and, if possible, actually attending the event. Teach this person the dos and don’ts of support, and discuss things-that-might-happen scenarios—explaining what kind of response would be most helpful to you in each situation.

2. Carry Support with You. Program other key support people into your phone—set them up as easy-to-access favorite contacts. In moments of distress, make a call. If picking up the phone to make a support call seems too difficult, consider sending a short text—like ‘SOS’ or even ‘Ed.’ Tell your support team ahead of time what your distress signal text might say, and let them know helpful ways to encourage you.

3. Stop and Breathe. Practice mindfulness by paying attention to all five senses—see, hear, smell, taste, and touch the joys of the season. Meditate—even for just a few moments—before attending holiday gatherings.

4. Face the Food.  Ed will try to make food a big deal; don’t let him. The truth is that holiday food is often the same, so you can easily plan ahead by consulting with your dietitian or a trusted support person. If you don’t know what will be served, ask beforehand. At the meal, you might even ask a support person to prepare a plate for you. For extra accountability, text a photo of your plate to someone on your support team. Ask your friends and family not to comment about what you are eating.

To read the full post on The Meadows Ranch Blog, click here.

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