Come Dine With Me

Christmas is a hard time for those with eating disorders. To be honest, I think it’s a hard time for most – even those who absolutely love it. It’s a bit like being strapped in to a fairground ride. You’re looking forward to it, but as you gain speed, you start feeling a bit sick too. You’re so focused on breathing you can miss the actual event.  Then off you step, dizzy and disorientated, thinking ‘ hmmm.  that went quick’.

Too often, December and January end up as the ugly sisters.  One’s a tart,  bloated and plastered, sticky-fingered and inappropriate. She’s overbearing: stays too long, laughs too loud, breaks her shoe and ends up crying in the toilets.

Then there’s January.  Mean, tight-fisted, controlled. Judgemental, sarcastic, superior. You’re not going to eat that are you? she sneers.  Disgusting. I wouldn’t touch it.

Who do you prefer?  It’s not much of a choice.  But behind the  two faces lies the same person.  Hungry, needy, afraid, human.

One can’t eat, the other can’t stop.  One stuffs, one starves.

But what is a meal:  A threat? A performance?  A guilty pleasure?

Or something else?

An opportunity – to share life and fellowship.

A gift – to revive and restore.

A place of safety – to rest and regroup.

A time and a place where we can enjoy deep fellowship, community and acceptance.

It’s possible to break out of the old slaveries. To eat and have enough.  To experience a life where you’re not alone, but caught up in a warm fug of conversation and intimacy. Of which food is just one part – and a joyful one at that.

This Christmas, don’t eat alone. Come and join the table instead.

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