Topic Tuesday: The Holidays

“Holiday Happiness'” (By: Megan Sforzo)

The holidays aMegan Sforzo Picre a time of giving, love and celebration. We have the opportunity to spend time with our loved ones and create memories that will last a lifetime. Although with that, comes food and for me, fear.

For the past five years or so when I think of the holidays, I think of fear: a fear of the people and the food. I create this build up of anxiety and thoughts in my head such as, “My family totally thinks I gained weight. Oh my gosh, they are staring at my plate. Have I served myself too many carbs?”

Then, I have thoughts about food such as, “Oh my this is gross; I am eating so many chemicals. I can’t eat that; even though it is my favorite. Be normal! It is the holidays, you don’t need to starve or eat a perfect amount of calories.”

I often get questions and comments from relatives such as, “Why aren’t you eating that? What is wrong with you? Come on, splurge a little its the holidays! Wow, you like your ice-cream Meg!”

My family is incredible. I should not have these thoughts or fears or freak out if they ask a question, but I can not help it. They most definitely are not judging me in the slightest, they just want what is best for me and are curious.

Even though I am at a healthy weight, I still struggle. I think that there is this idea that once you reach a healthy weight your eating disorder is gone. Sometimes I am happy with myself and sometimes I am not. There are good days and bad days in my journey to recovery.

But as for the holidays, how can we be happy? How can I not have a mental freak out while trying to enjoy a week home with my family?

1. Stop Reading Harmful Articles

The internet bombards us with articles on how to stick to our diet during the holidays, how to not gain weight and how to burn off that Thanksgiving dinner. For some people those articles may be helpful, but for me they are triggering.

2. Get Outside

This has helped me so much! Nashville is incredible. There are so many parks and outdoor activities to just go and breathe, walk and explore. When I walk, I take in the scenery and think of how incredible life is and how grateful I am for this world. Don’t worry on how fast you are walking or how many calories you ate that day, which is totally easier said than done. Just breathe! I sound totally crazy, but trust me you will love it.

My favorite spots are:

  • Percy Warner Park
  • Radnor Lake
  • Shelby Bottoms
  • Beaman Park

3. Listen to Music

Turn on your favorite music and groove! Music can change your mood.

4. Relax

The other day, I stayed in my pajamas all day. I was so tired from finals and my body and mind needed a day off. I put on a face mask, sat on my couch and watched Christmas movies on Netflix all day. I ate, sat and was completely content. Showing some self-love and listening to your body can make a world of difference.

5. Give

The holidays are a time of giving. Give love! Your family and friends love you. I sometimes have a problem with accepting love. Accept their love and show them you love them too. That is the best gift you can give.

This past Thanksgiving was wonderful. Yes, I still had crazy thoughts, but they did not control me. Yes, I ran everyday, but I ran because I was with my dad and that is what we love to do together.

Each day, each season and each year will get better and better!

Happy Holidays!

About the Author

Megan Sforzo is a senior at Lipscomb University studying Public Relations and Fashion Merchandising. She loves all things fashion related and hopes to pursue a career in the industry. She enjoys spending time with her family, hiking and reading.