Thanksgiving… my strategy for not becoming the butterball ;)

Thanksgiving!  I have a lot to be thankful for and most of the time I’ll admit I don’t take the time to remember that… so this is a great time to remind myself of those things, to relax a little bit, to show love and thoughtfulness of others.  Fortunately for me, one of the things I have to be thankful for is my health and the discovery of a passion that has both grounded me and given me freedom – and one of the most important jobs to me personally is to protect that (and maybe share it!).

So Thankgiving to me is not a time to be obsessive about going overboard in the food department … it’s a time to remember that the holiday is not about how much I can stuff in my mouth, it’s not about how much I can get away with by chanting “it’s a holiday, relax”… it’s a time for family and celebrating life and love and that does not require sticking 3 entire pumpkin pies into my face ;)   I have also found that I enjoy celebrating a LOT more when I don’t regret it 3 days later when I am asking “how is it even POSSIBLE to gain 5 pounds in 2 days?!”

Having said that I am also not of the mindset that I need to account for every bite or that no sugar shall pass these lips or anything like that – I just have goals and am thankful for the ability and freedom to work toward them when I choose :)     I fully plan to enjoy the day AND the food – within reason :)

So if you are interested in keeping your food-celebration (and your weight gain!) somewhat in check this year, I thought I’d share some strategies I’ll be using…

  • Thanksgiving is one day and indulgances will be limited to that one day – not the entire 4-5 day weekend :)
  • I will fill up on protein (turkey) and healthy carbs (salad and plain sweet potatoes).  Desserts and other side items are for taste, not nutrition :)   so double dose on the turkey, not the pie!
  • I will only partake of dessert and appetizers that I TRULY love and I will do so guilt free!  If I have to work it off later in the week I want to know it was worth it :)   Nothing irritates me more than realizing that I sat mindlessly snacking on something that didn’t even taste that good to me!
  • I am taking a huge salad with me and will be snacking on that thru the day.  Thanksgiving can be an 18 hour buffet with appetizers and desserts on the counters all through out the day and when you see other people eating you tend to get “hungry” even if you are not.  The act of eating will satisfy that and fill up the tummy with salad, so that I only need a couple bites of the counter food :)
  • Don’t go crazy with avoiding everything BUT don’t go crazy permitting yourself to go overboard either.  Your body doesn’t know it’s a holiday and uses the excess calories just like it does every other day of the year – refer back to #3. I will not track calories (but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist).
  • Focus on celebrating away from the food – if the event is about family and friends then go talk to them!  Take pictures!  Play with the kids.  Pitch in to help someone do something.  It is possible to bond without an apple pie in your mouth :)

There are a lot of people talking about how it is silly (or obsessive) to worry about one day and to an extent I agree… they say “just enjoy the day and practice moderation” BUT a thin and fit person’s ability to moderate is MUCH different than that of someone that is or has been overweight.  Whereas their teeny tiny portion of pie may be moderation to them, to some of us it is more like “only” 2 full slices!  So pardon me if for the next few years I’ll have to “strategize” my moderation until it becomes second nature ;)

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