Tips to navigate eating disorders during Thanksgiving

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Thanksgiving revolves around gratitude, family and — of course — food. For those with an eating disorder, it can be a difficult time of year.

“I want to recognize that this time of year is more difficult,” Kelsey Pardue, public relations specialist with Priority Health, said. “You’re not alone. It might feel like it — I’ve felt that feeling — but I promise you’re not alone.”

Pardue said it can be helpful to challenge “diet talk” and remind yourself that food is fuel, set healthy boundaries and be compassionate.

“It is courageous to ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness,” Pardue said.

GR therapist offers tips to mitigate stress this holiday season

And if you want to support those who may be struggling, Ann Donnelly, vice president of care management for Priority Health, said it’s important to asked loved ones what they need from you.

“For my daughter, every year it’s a different answer,” Donnelly said. “But I try to meet her where she’s at.”

Donnelly said it can also be helpful to engage in activities that do not revolve around food.

For mental health support, Priority Health members can call the Priority Health number 24/7, Donnelly said. Anyone in the state of Michigan can access myStrength, a digital tool, at

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