I cannot believe Thanksgiving 2019 is almost here. Thanksgiving just kinda crept up on me this year. I went from Halloween to getting ready for Christmas. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, BUT it is also one that causes anxiety and stress. I feel like so much is revolved around food and eating and eating until you are stuffed and going into “food coma”. This holiday was always super hard for me. When I was at the beginning of my weight loss journey I did not allow myself to eat “normal” Thanksgiving day foods. I brought all of my own food and did my own thing, I would not even take one bite of anything that I did not bring with me. I felt like that worked for me, but what I did not realize is that kind of restrictive eating was only adding to more issues down the road.
A few years ago, I went the complete opposite way. On Thanksgiving day I decided that I “deserved” to enjoy all of the Thanksgiving foods and that I was going to eat all day and eat whatever I wanted. I stuffed my face like “you are supposed to” and ate all day long. Again this all-day binge was only setting me up for more failure and only adding to my problems with food that would continue to develop.
So last year, I was so confused as to what I was supposed to do and how to handle Thanksgiving. Should I eat the food, not eat the food, count calories, not count calories….what do I do!!!???!!!! I was almost in a state of panic because I really didn’t know what I should do. I felt like I was stuck in this trap where if I allowed myself to eat, I could not control myself and I would eat to a point of making myself sick. OR If I chose not to eat the foods and be mindful of what I was eating I wouldn’t eat anything. I was at a very all or nothing place in my life and I was struggling. Well…I feel like I panicked all day and I didn’t really end up eating much of anything and I went to bed not feeling happy, not upset, kinda proud of my choices but didn’t really know what I did. Really, I was hungry and probably under ate for the day.
Well, here we are again. Its almost Thanksgiving, and I am trying to figure out a plan. I have really been working on this “all or nothing” mentality and I have been working on overcoming my eating disorder, my relationship with food and really focused on my overall recovery and healing. I think I am going into Thanksgiving with a better mindset, a better plan and I am feeling more in control.
Here is what I am going to do so that I have a successful Thanksgiving Day 2019.
Go in with a plan.
I think right now where I am in my recovery, I do not want to be all in or all out. I want to treat it like a normal food day and I want to track my macros. Macro counting has saved me in terms of my relationship with food and binge eating. This way, I can still really eat anything I want, but tracking it and being mindful of it will help me enjoy the food, but not binge out. Sure you can go into this day and just enjoy the day and eat the food and not stress over the calories, macros and not track what you are eating. I actually highly recommend taking this approach, if you can!!! However, we are all different and at different phases of our journey, for me, tracking my macros has tremendously helped me and so that is my plan for this year. I am going to eat what I want and track it because this is what works for me right now.
Do not stress over the food!!!
Thanksgiving is a time to spend with the ones you love. Thanksgiving has turned into a food/eating holiday and we have somehow forgotten what the real meaning of this holiday is all about, being thankful. So instead of worrying about what is on the table, focus on who is around the table. Make it about love. Love for others, and love for yourself.
Bring a healthy dish to share with everyone.
I know for me, I have certain foods that I love eating. I know that I really enjoy these dishes but they fit easily into my macros. So for me, I will be bringing a dish that I love, works for me and that I can share with everyone. That way I can enjoy all of the other foods available, but also know I have some foods or dishes that I can rely on and turn too if need be. A perfect balance.
Make a list of everything you are thankful for.
By making this list, you will find that there is so much more to you and your life than food, your weight, what you choose to eat/ not eat. There is so much more to enjoy on this holiday than everything food-related. Be thankful for all you have and for who you are. It helps you mentally by not focusing on what we wish we had, where we wish we were or what we want to change. Be in the current moment, be present and be thankful for what you have and where you are today.
No matter what, enjoy the day. Enjoy time with your friends and family. Enjoy the food that you choose to eat. Whatever you choose to do today, do it because it feels right for you and makes you happy. The day after Thanksgiving is a new day. The choices that you make on Thanksgiving will not completely get you to your goals and they will not undo all of the progress that you have made towards reaching those goals.
There you have it. These are the things I am working on in my eating disorder recovery and this is what I am going to be doing this Thanksgiving as far as food choices and eating.
You can check out my Surviving the holiday’s blog I did HERE as well as check out some recipes I share for three Thanksgiving side dishes HERE and 3 “healthier” Thanksgiving Desserts HERE. If you want to find out more information about how I track my macros and the app I use you can check out the YouTube Video I made talking about that HERE.
Let me know down in the comments what your favorite Thanksgiving memory is or what your favorite Thanksgiving dish is.
I am so thankful for all of you!!