Fourth of July is a fun holiday. The celebration of our country’s birth is full of fireworks, family time, friends, swimming and food. Any party or event to celebrate is sure to be food-filled with American favorites such as hotdogs and hamburgers! For most Americans, this holiday weekend will be joyfully anticipated, and there will be excitement about some extra time off of work. For those struggling with an eating disorder, holidays such as the Fourth of July can be terrifying experiences where they must face their fear once again: food.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder this holiday weekend, here are 5 things to remember:
  1. Baby steps: It is important to remember that recovery does not happen all at one time, but instead occurs over time with consistent choices. This holiday weekend is no different. Take things one meal and snack at a time.
  2. Fluids: It is sure to be hot this holiday weekend. If you plan to be outside, you need to make sure you are hydrating appropriately. Typically, people need 64 ounces of non-caffeinated beverages daily, but in the summer heat, your needs may exceed this. A good rule of thumb is to drink 16 to 32 ounces of fluids for every hour spent outside in the heat. Remember: these do not have to all be water, as things like juice, Powerade, gatorade, lemonade, etc are all hydrating!
  3. Follow your meal plan: It is also important to make sure you are getting your nutritional needs met. On holidays, it is good to have a plan for how to make sure meals and snacks happen. Where will you be? Will there be food readily available? If not, plan ahead and put some snacks in your bag that you know will meet your meal plan and needs! If the food available are fear foods, try to eat them anyway. This will help you build your recovery.
  4. Use your coping skills: Once you have made the choice to work on your recovery this weekend, you will need to use your positive coping skills. Journaling, reaching out to friends or family, listening to music, watching a movie, reading a book, etc. are just a few ways to maintain your recovery this weekend.
  5. Stay in the moment: This weekend will likely be filled with friends and family. Work on focusing on those around you and having FUN! You will be much more likely to feel up to hanging out and enjoying the weekend if you are eating your meal plan and drinking enough fluids! Let this weekend help you build your recovery!

Recovery from your eating disorder can be a hard, difficult road, but it is a road that leads to freedom, and one worth traveling. Remembering these 5 things can help you have a successful holiday weekend.

*If you or a loved one are struggling with your eating disorder, we at Living Hope EDTC would love to help. Please call 1-833-206-6921 for help today.

Where there is life there is hope

Meghan Scears, MD
Living Hope Eating Disorder Treatment Center
Founder and Medical Director