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.
I am 38 years old, female, a degree-holding stay-at-home-mom, and I weigh 278 pounds. I have been obese for ten years now. Time to get out of this fat prison I have made for myself.
--This is the original introduction I wrote when I first started this blog in 2007. I leave it as a reminder to myself of where I came from. Currently, I am 46 years old and weigh significantly less...see the blog for details. I lost 103 pounds, then had a partial regain, and am once again working at weight loss and better health.
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