Contributor: Camille Williams, MA, NCC, LCPC, Eating Disorder Program Coordinator at Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center
Experiencing the gifts of recovery are sometimes overlooked. The holidays are often a challenging time in recovery due to increased time with family around lots of food.
Being preoccupied with an eating disorder (ED) takes away many things such as enjoying grandma’s special dish, connection with loved ones, and the joy of the season.
With proper support and planning, the holidays can begin to be more meaningful and less scary. Let’s explore some of the gifts of recovery received from hard work and commitment to recovery.
Physical: Nutrition is vital to body function. Therefore, an improvement in a relationship with food naturally results in improved function of all organs, strength in bones and muscles, better sleep, and increased energy.
Social: EDs are all-consuming and do not leave time for relationships with self or others. In recovery, it is easier to connect with others due to less isolation. Relationships can also improve when body image comparisons and competition are not at the forefront. Spending time with others increases satisfaction in a meaningful life and often decreases isolation and depression.
Emotional: ED behaviors may have temporarily numbed or comforted the impact of painful emotional experiences. Proper nutrition is needed to help with emotion regulation and mood swings. Recovery opens the door to long-lasting coping skills. With time in recovery, tolerance of emotions and impulsivity improves as well.
Spiritual: The self is often lost and disconnected when overtaken by an ED. Recovery offers an opportunity to reconnect with self. This includes being in alignment with values and living authentically. As self is rediscovered, connection to the world and a higher power are made more possible.
These are the gifts available to any and all of those in recovery. The holidays are a time that new recovery experiences can also be a blessing and a gift.
Maybe this year is the first year of being really present with loved ones. Perhaps this is the first year in recovery that dessert was enjoyed and eaten in moderation.
Maybe this is the year comments about body image didn’t influence meal plans and self-care commitments. There are so many gifts that recovery has to offer and holiday wishes can come true.
About the Sponsor:
Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center is a private, female-only treatment facility located just outside of Chicago, Illinois. We specialize in providing care to women and girls who are struggling with eating disorders, addiction, and a variety of other mental health concerns. We focus on the individual strengths and goals of each patient and craft treatment plans that uniquely suit each woman’s needs.
About the Author:
Camille Williams, MA, NCC, LCPC
As the Eating Disorder Program Coordinator, Camille supports the development of curriculum, supervises the eating disorder specialist, and provides group therapy. She also educates and trains all staff on campus and advocates for eating disorder awareness through publications.
Camille started at Timberline Knolls as a Behavioral Health Specialist. She then transitioned into the Eating Disorder Specialist (EDS) role. In this position for nearly five years, she developed her skills and competence in working with the eating disorder population.
Camille received a Bachelor of Arts degree in both psychology and sociology from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. She then went on to earn a Master of Arts in Clinical Professional Psychology from Roosevelt University, IL.
Camille is a member of the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP).
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective on eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Published on December 1, 2018.
Reviewed & Approved on December 1, 2018 by Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com