Courtney’s Counsel: Thanksgiving

2Courtney’s Counsel is a monthly blog by Renewed’s Clinical Director, Courtney Grimes, LCSW. Courtney aims to deliver relevant content by covering the latest trends and offering professional tips and advice. If you feel that you need personalized assistance, please contact the Renewed office at 615.831.9838. 

“Thanksgiving Tips” (By: Courtney Grimes, LCSW)

Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, fun and….FOOD! This can be pretty scary for the eating disordered. Whether you will be celebrating the holiday with friends or family, here are a few tips to help you navigate through this sometimes frightening day:

1. Do not skip meals!
Whether you will be eating your Thanksgiving meal around lunchtime, dinnertime or in the middle of the afternoon, do not skip the other meals in the day. Skipping breakfast, morning snack or lunch can set you up to be overly hungry when the Thanksgiving meal comes around, setting you up to possibly overeat. Treat the day like any other day, especially if you are adhering to a prescribed meal plan.

2. Treat the Thanksgiving meal like any other meal!
When the meal approaches, take a look at all of your options. If there are many choices of various foods to try, it is absolutely ok to taste them all! If you trying to follow a meal plan, choose foods that fit into your exchange list for the day. The Thanksgiving meal does not have to be an excuse to binge or to restrict, but rather just another meal for your day. If you think that this meal will be particularly hard for you, it is ok to stick with “safer” foods for this meal and forego challenging yourself if you are not ready. Again, this is simply another meal like any other – just maybe more options to choose from.

3. Ask for assistance!
The Thanksgiving meal is served various ways – buffet style, or maybe family style (where dishes are passed around the table), and sometimes the serving style can be particularly difficult or scary. If you need support during the meal, it may be helpful to ask a trusted friend or family member to make your plate for you. Perhaps you need someone to sit with you after the meal for accountability, or check in with you throughout the day to see how you are – definitely ask!

Above all, try to remember to have fun. Something I love to do on Thanksgiving is set periodic alarms on my phone. Each time the alarm goes off – I name something I am grateful for!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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About the Author

Courtney Grimes, LCSW, serves as the Clinical Director for Renewed. She was introduced to the organization in 2005 during her own recovery from an eating disorder and has been involved (and in love) with the organization ever since. Courtney attended the University of Georgia and graduated from Belmont University with a Bachelor’s of Music Degree in Opera Performance. After leaving the music industry, she went on to receive her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Tennessee. In addition to her work with Renewed, Courtney is a psychotherapist in private practice with Symmetry Counseling Services. She is originally from Atlanta, GA.