There are going to be a lot of articles published this week about how to survive the stress of Thanksgiving while you’re struggling with an eating disorder. I thought about writing one too, but kept coming back to one simple thought. When we work with individuals who have eating disorders, the biggest tool we have for recovery is recognizing those things we are most thankful for. It puts into perspective the role of food and body image in our lives in a very positive way. So I’m going to do the same homework assignment I have given to my clients for years this holiday week.
In no particular order, 10 things I am thankful for …
- My son and my wife and how much they take care of me and show they love me.
- My home, which is a place of refuge and joy.
- The staff at my office who work diligently every day to take care of our clients.
- The opportunity to make music with passionate, dedicated artists.
- Friends who have given me their time, energy and expertise selflessly.
- My body and that it still affords me the opportunity to experience the world around me.
- Discovering that really great recipe for chicken enchiladas my son can’t get enough of.
- The new Star Wars movie coming out in December!
- The amazing collection of colleagues I have around the country who are raising awareness of males with eating disorders.
- Being able to aid in the lessening of suffering of clients and their families affected by mental illness, eating disorders, and trauma.
Don’t be fooled. This is a hard assignment. Spend some real time on this. You’ll be thankful you did.
By Andrew Walen, LCSW-C - Founder, Executive Director, Psychotherapist at The Body Image Therapy Center. If you would like to get in touch with Andrew please call 877-674-2843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.