A Holiday Meal That Turned Into Hives

I vividly remember one Thanksgiving when I was 8 years old. Two of my favorite foods were sitting on the appetizer table – pickles and shrimp. Because it was so long ago, I don’t remember how much of each I ate. I do know it was a lot because later that night when I was spending the night at my favorite grandma’s house, I woke up itchy all over. I had broken out with a rash. She took me to the doctor, and it turns out I had consumed so much sodium that I ended up with a terrible case of hives.

Apparently, even at the age of 8, I had already started to binge eat. Knowing what I know now about my relationship with food, I wonder if my over consumption was really because I loved pickles and shrimp (which I still do to this day), or if I was feeling some level of discomfort, misunderstood, or something else.

In any case, holidays were always a time where I would eat until I was STUFFED! And now I understand why. Even though I enjoyed the holiday spread, there was so much more going on underneath the surface. Having worked through my relationship with food, holidays look very different now in terms of my eating. But, it doesn’t mean that I have to make a plan on which foods I’ll allow myself to eat, and which ones I should miss out on.

Or, I no longer eat a very tiny breakfast and barely any lunch in an effort to “save up” for the calories I’ll consume later in the day. Knowing what the holidays bring up in me and what is triggered in me makes all the difference.

I now have the tools I need to feel emotionally safe going into holiday gatherings, I know what me and my body need to feel settled, and I’m able to tell when a food craving or unaligned eating is a red flag that something is being stirred up for me emotionally.

So, how do you get there? Well, it’s a process. But, there are some quick tools you can use when you notice you’re overthinking or obsessing about the food at a holiday gathering.

Start by asking yourself:

  • What’s leading me to feel unsettled? If you’re unsure, you can also ask, what am I making this mean about me?
  • How do I want the holidays to end? Or, what’s important to me about the holidays (or a specific event) that I can ground into?

Once you try out these tools, if you could still use support, schedule a Curiosity Call where you’ll fill me in on your challenges with your relationship with food, gain insight as to why you self-sabotage, and will have a safe space to talk about what’s on your mind. You’ll walk away knowing the steps to create sustainable change, without needing to miss out on your favorite holiday foods! There’s absolutely no charge for our first chat.

If you’re not ready to chat yet, download your free ‘get back on track’ guide to help get to the bottom of why your eating feels out of control around the holidays (or anytime of year).


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