Robyn Cruze, MA, National Recovery Advocate, shared her input on eating disorders and the holidays with US News & World Report Health. When Meggie Sexton anticipated the holidays, she thought about one thing and one thing only: the food. And not in a good way. "I didn't even think about family and friends and that camaraderie," says Sexton, a 32-year-old nonprofit account manager in Columbus, Ohio. "I was completely fearful of the meals because I felt like I would be totally out of control." For weeks leading up to the celebrations, Sexton, a graduate student at the time, double downed on her efforts to eat as little and exercise as much as possible in order to "compensate" for the upcoming temptations. But when she went home, she rarely indulged, even turning down events as important as friends' baby showers because she didn't want to face food. Once the holidays were over, she returned to her apartment to binge and purge. "It was an awful cycle," remembers Sexton, who struggled with anorexia and bulimia for about seven years. Feeling especially anxious around the holidays is common among people with eating disorders or attempting to recover from them, says Robyn Cruze, the national recovery advocate at Eating Recovery Center in Denver. "Even though an eating disorder is not about the food, the mental illness stands as it is around the food," she says. "When you're put in a room with food everywhere, it kind of can feel like walking through mine fields." Read the full article.