Maintaining a Healthy Body Image During the Holiday Season

Christmas snowman

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

The struggle with poor body image is something that many individuals face, whether dealing with an eating disorder or not. It can be difficult to appreciate the functionality and beauty of yourself and your body when all you can observe are “flaws” or things that you would like to change about yourself.

For some individuals, the holiday season can be an especially triggering time when it comes to body image, and it is important to have some healthy coping mechanisms and means for building yourself up in a positive way.


While there are many factors that can contribute to poor body image, environmental triggers can be part of the influence. The holiday season is often a time when advertisements bombard the consumer with products and services that should be tried.

Being around family members or friends that you do not regularly see can also be triggering as well. It is not uncommon for a well-meaning friend or family member to remark on your appearance or weight after long periods of absence, and this can be upsetting to a person who is already dealing with poor body image.

There can also be other concerns that influence body image, such as underlying depression, anxiety, or eating disorder related behaviors. If poor body image is negatively influencing your ability to live and thrive, it is important that you seek out professional help and counseling to appropriately address the various factors you may be dealing with.

Portrait Of Family With Adult Son At HomeSpending the holiday season by focusing on the things that fulfill you and bring you joy can also be helpful in building a positive body image. Be sure to wear clothes that you feel comfortable in and take some time for self-care.

Finding ways to give back to others can also be gratifying and help remind you of the good things you are capable of. Remember that professional help is available if you find yourself struggling, and staying connected to a positive support system can also be uplifting to you during this holiday season.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

If you have struggled with poor body image, what aspects about the holiday season have you found to be most challenging? What are some ways that you have positively maintained your body image during this time?

Crystal Headshot 2Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer 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.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on November 23, 2015
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