Wednesday, November 23, 2016

There Will Be Carbs


The first year I started blogging (2007), I shared my usual Thanksgiving menu and all the recipes with adjustments to make them a bit healthier and weight-loss friendly. Most years since then, including tomorrow, we have done this same menu (traditional for our family) except in 2010, when I was on Medifast and opted not to make any stuffing or sweet potatoes as they were off plan. I basically measured out my turkey, made mashed cauliflower for myself instead of having any potatoes, and had a small portion of green bean casserole. In 2011 I was still trying to low carb and did the turkey, mashed cauliflower, green bean casserole, and salad. In 2012 I was trying again to do a really strict Medifast, so had measured turkey and a half plate of green beans and mushrooms steamed in chicken broth (nothing else). But from 2013 on, I went back to the traditional menu and just went with moderation. I'm doing that tomorrow and from now on. I am not going to go through any angst or stress anymore about what to eat on Thanksgiving, whether I am the one cooking or someone else is. I am just going to put what I want on my plate and eat it like a normal person. If there is one thing I've learned over the past 9 years of "dieting" through the holidays, it's that IT DOESN'T MATTER. It is *one day* and it is not at all worth worrying about. If you have a dietary restriction go with it, but if you can just relax and not make the food such a big deal, it won't be. What good is skipping your favorite foods if it just causes you anxiety, regret, and cravings? You have to go with what works for your emotions. That is more important that calories or fat or weight loss. There is really nothing good about stressing through a holiday.

Part of my recovery is letting go of the restrictions and the need for control over all the food. Of course I want to be healthy and choose to eat things that are good for my body *most* of the time. But those choices are based on what makes my body feel best and not on weight loss, calories, or any other factor. There will be pie. Will I have a piece? I doubt it... it doesn't appeal to me because eating a piece of pie makes my joints feel like crap. But the pie is there and if I want a piece I will eat it. If I want 2 pieces I will have them! There will be no angst or guilt. Emotional calmness about food is becoming my normal and I am very happy about that! The most likely scenario for me is that I won't want pie. But if I do, the next most likely scenario is that I will eat a bite or two and be satisfied with that, and have *no desire* to have more and cause myself joint pain. That is very different than not eating the pie because you don't want to ruin your diet, but then thinking about that pie and feeling deprived because you didn't get any. "Willpowering" through the holidays did not get me anywhere in the long term. It just irritated my eating disorder. Time to try something different.

I am so thankful for my recovery and peace of mind about food. I never thought it would happen. I thought I would always want the cookies and stress about wishing I could have what everyone else is having and obsess about some dessert I want to make. No more! I can have any of those things! The side effect of NO restriction is NO emotional reaction to food and NO obsessive food thoughts. It is worth every minute I have spent getting to this moment! I hope your Thanksgiving is joyful, blessed and full of true peace.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

But does your doctor think you should eat cheesecake? Are you still eating cheesecake?? How will you lose weight eating cheesecake???

Lyn said...

Anon~

You seem a little obsessed with cheesecake. Maybe if you have a piece you will feel better? :)

Seriously though, yes, if I want cheesecake or anything else I will eat it. I am not worried about weight loss; the important thing is recovery from disordered eating. Like I said in this post, I tend to avoid and not want sugary foods now.

Susan R said...

Happy Thanksgiving Lyn! I wish you success in whatever method you choose.
Don't rise to the bait of the negative commenters.

Tina said...

Ditto this. I have more problems with gaining weight on holiday or in the hospital, all of which lasts more than one day. I plan to eat unrestrictedly at Christmas festivities. (I'm German and we don't do Thanksgiving.)

Roxanne said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Lyn! I wish you all the best in your recovery road towards a healthy lifestyle! And when I say healthy lifestyle, a lifestyle defined by YOU, not any books or any experts or anybody else! :D

LHA said...

You've got this right!! Let me tell you when I finally came to this way of eating on holidays and special occasions a few years ago it was so freeing. My approach is a little different than yours concerning style of eating in general because I do restrict some foods, especially sugar, but when it comes to a special meal and I am all about the carbs and really enjoy eating every bite. No guilt once I decide I am going to eat something I really like. I'm going to eat it anyway, why put myself through all the guilt and anguish afterward? I am making a coconut cake tomorrow that I just love and my family will be here to help me eat it. Can't wait to taste it, as well as some other foods I generally eat very small amounts of. This one adjustment in my thinking has been the biggest thing to help me lose weight and keep it off.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Anonymous said...

Lyn I met tonight with my friend who has no food anxiety after years of ed ... she said what I believe to be true. It's simple but not easy. Eat for fuel and after 40 we simply don't require much food. Anything extra piles on. Sad but true.

Anonymous said...

Your friend is so right. After living with a bmi of 48 most of my life, I am finally at 21 and have been for almost two years. Do I restrict myself, of course, but it's a natural restriction-- I'll have a bite of something if I really want it, but the freedom is that there isn't ANY pull to that sort of food. My pulls were the bread basket and pies, those are not fuels my body works well with. If I really want carbs, naturals work better for me, some potato or carrots. Much better for me and will benefit my body with some great fuel burning capabilities.

Anonymous said...

okay so what did you eat? Did you end up having pie?

Lyn said...

Thanks all! We had a wonderful day together and I hope you did as well!

Last Anon~

I had dark meat turkey (maybe 3 oz?), small servings of mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and apple salad (maybe a quarter cup of each). And a bit of gravy and a couple bites of steamed corn. The family was having the usual sparkling cider to drink and I had a glass of sugar free apple sparkling water. I didn't want any pie, but I did have a cup of decaf coffee with sugar free pumpkin pie creamer! Tasted like a treat!

Feeling great :)

Margaret Wolfinbarger said...

I'm really glad to read about your peaceful Thanksgiving menu and the non-stress! I had a GREAT T-day. I'm learning how to make my favorite vegetables(this year baked butternut squash cubed with onions, butter and rosemary for one side and summer squash with mushrooms, onions and green peppers for the other). I chose not to eat the traditional favorites but instead splurged with sugar free cherry and pumpkin pie(made with cooked pumpkin and honey instead of sugar. Everyone loved my sugar free desserts as much as the regular ones and gobbled them all up. Which was the only thing that made me sad. Not many leftovers. I was able to enjoy the fellowship with people, drink lots of hot tea and water and let the food issues go. So I think you and I were on the same page. Yay!

Now last night I made a decision not to snack before bed and I was in a state of perpetual panic attack all night. Can you tell me how to sleep better tonight without snacks? I'm really struggling with that one. :(

Lyn said...

Margaret~

What a great idea! I think next year instead of sweet potatoes I will do your butternut squash dish. That sounds wonderful! As for sleeping without the snack, I have found that my hot milk drink before bed really helps! Just warm up some milk in a mug and add whatever flavorings you like (extracts, spices, and if you want a little sweetness, honey, molasses or sugar free syrup). Right now I have been having the hot milk with a drop of vanilla, a shake of cinnamon, and a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses. Honey is just as good! I sleep better when I drink this in the evening. Back when I was counting calories, I would only allow 100 calories or less as an evening snack. That would be a light string cheese, a slice of leftover meat, maybe a Clementine or half a banana. My favorite if I was truly hungry at bedtime was 6 raw almonds. I know that sounds like not much but with some water I found it to be enough to make me feel better and able to sleep. You could have more almonds if you wanted, though :) I think it is hard to sleep when actually hungry so in that case a little something may be a good idea. Or try some hot plain tea!