There's a lot to love about the holiday season - the food, the family. There's also a lot to hate about the holiday season, like all the drama surrounding food and family.
You can make this year better, no matter how much your relatives work your last nerve. It has nothing to do with a sunny attitude and everything to do with preparing for battle. Sure, it's nice to hope that your aunt won't take you aside to tell you to lose weight, but it's not realistic.
Our friends and family are who they are and there's no point in expecting them to change without first being visited by ghosts. Sure, we'd like to walk into a party and relax but that's not going to happen. We need to go in prepared so that we can relax.
Let Fashion Be Your Armor
A flak jacket won't protect you from someone's snide comments about what's on your plate, but a fabulous outfit will. I don't mean some clingy-in-all-the-right-places dress that you wear to a school reunion to let the quarterback regret never paying any attention to you. I'm talking about something that makes you feel comfortable in your own skin. Clothes that fit you perfectly (not too big or too small) help you feel and look your best. They let you breathe and move without having to think about it.
Even better, clothes that fit properly (which includes working with your shape instead of against it) can make you love how you look in the mirror. When you check your outfit before leaving home, you can see how great you look. That confidence can make it so much easier to deal when your mom offers you seconds on dessert ten minutes after not-so-casually mentioning the latest fad diet.
Psych Yourself Up
The Holiday Season requires pep talks all day, every day. Picture a football coach getting you all riled up and ready to eat as many (or as few) latkes as you want. Are you going to let your rude cousin keep you from eating a cookie decorated by an eight-year-old? Of course not! Now go out there and show them what you're made of.
You also need to plan out your plays in advance. Decide how you're going to respond to certain things and then run through them in your mind. Aunt Sadie can't eat a bite without loudly discussing her diet first? That's time to remind yourself that she's not talking about you. She's too miserably wrapped up in diet culture to be thinking of anyone but herself. I like to pipe up with, "Aunt Bea worked so hard on this meal, I couldn't possibly say a thing against it. Don't hurt the gravy's feelings, Sadie."
Cousin Milton takes you aside to express concern over your health? Give him a hug and say, "Don't ever change," and then walk away. You don't owe him a response and there's probably something you like about him.
You Can Do This
You are smart and capable and stylish as all get out. You can survive the Holidays with your self image intact. Even if you have to keep texting your bestie for emotional support the whole time.