4 Ways Why Christmas Weight Gain Can be a Sign of Recovery

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When we often think of weight gain, one of the first things to come into peoples’ minds is usually associated with something negative such as being ‘lazy’ or ‘greedy’ but it is never black and white.

Here is a list of why you would further not want to comment on anyones weight as we truly never know what they are going through! For some people, Christmas can be the scariest time of the year as people can ‘fear’ weight gain, fear being told to ‘eat more’, or fear being commented by having a little more food than someone else’s plate.

Let’s flip this around for those who don’t have a voice – Here are 4 ways Christmas weight gain can be a sign of recovery.

1. You’re Beating the Eating disorder

Eating disorders are very difficult to gain full recovery from as once you are in recovery (gaining weight and gaining freedom with your meals), some people will comment on your weight gain in a negative way or suggest to lose weight which makes eating disorder recovery much more difficult.

Eating disorder recovery can look like weight gain – Whether people like it on not, it is a beautiful thing

Of all mental health conditions, anorexia nervosa, has the highest mortality rate. It is important to recognise this and to never comment on anyone’s weight or the food on their plate no matter how much or how little.

You never know who has come into the Christmas party with an eating disorder. Will they purge out the food after dinner? Will they ‘Have to leave early’ just because too many people are talking about how they are ‘going to start their diet in the New Year”? or will they choose to feel safe around your party because it is ‘eating disorder friendly’?

If you want to make your Christmas party ‘eating disorder friendly’:

  1. Serve a buffet-style Christmas party where people serve themselves and choose how much food or what kind of food goes on their plate.
  2. Avoid encouraging people to eat more. If you are offering dessert, just ask once.
  3. If you hear someone commenting or talking about weight or food choices, steer the topic into something else such as happy memories or funny moments


Let them recover at their own pace, that can simply mean just putting food on their plate!

Eating disorder recovery can look like weight gain – Whether people like it on not, it is a beautiful thing.

2. You’re Beating Cancer Weight Loss

Cancer can feel like an unending battle when you. maybe going through chemo or having anti-cancer medications and maybe their taste in metallic, have no appetite, and they may be losing muscle too.

You may have met that person the first time whilst he/she was struggling through cancer and now that the person has gained weight, you notice others saying that he/she should join their diet??

It is such a difficult thing to gain weight with cancer so let’s avoid commenting on weight

3. Your Anti-depressants are Likely Working

Anti-depressents may cause weight gain but at the cost of feeling joy and recovering from what you lost and longed for? That may be a win for most people but a simple comment may turn that all around. Simple comments such as ‘Oh he/she’s gained some weight’ invalidates their recovery.

You never have to understand what someone is going through to put your ‘mental health awareness hat’ on.

4. You’re Starting to enjoy Foods Much More Freely

Have you even ben in constant cycles of dieting and overeating? These cycles can lead to lower self-esteem spiralling into calling foods ‘good’ and ‘bad’ – with the ‘bad’ foods being restricted and should ‘not be bought or kept in your fridge or cupboard at all’ to avoid eating them. – That isn’t willpower, that is disordered eating

Have you ever a delicious slice of cake and gone for seconds at a birthday party and felt ‘bad’ so you skipped breakfast and lunch the next day even though you felt hungry during lunch? – That isn’t ‘making up for food’ – that is disordered eating.

Remember when you were 9 years old at a birthday party and you enjoyed and ate the crisps, peanut butter jelly sandwiches, and orange juice on the table? – That is food freedom. Now do you think of crisps as ‘bad’ carbs, peanut butter and jelly as ‘guilty pleasures’ and orange juice as ‘sugar drinks which is toxic in a glass?’ – that. is disordered eating.

Breaking out of these ‘labelling’ habits of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods and enjoying what you want more freely can be a sign of recovery. If you want the bowl of potato salad, go for it, if you want the broccoli pesto pasta, go for it, if you want the herb-roasted turkey, go for it, if you want the toffee crumble cake, go for it. No one is stopping you and sometimes going for what you feel you need is recovery.


Let us make this season for everyone truly jolly by not commenting on a anyone’s weight, not commenting on the food on their plate, and just focusing on fun-times and memories this Christmas. Happy holidays!

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