Please, I encourage you, as you head into Thanksgiving Day and the rest of the wonderful holiday season, set your expectations for yourself and your eating. I don’t want you to go to sleep Thursday night bashing yourself because you ate way too much and you ate things you know don’t agree with you. I don’t want you to start the next six weeks off already in a pit of despair! You are a motivated, introspective, and curious person who can succeed in any area you really choose to.
So. Do you have a plan in place? Do you know your own expectations for Thanksgiving Day? The holidays? Do you know what others expect from you for Thanksgiving Day? The holidays?
Have you gone over what tomorrow will be like? Who will be there? What they will be bringing? Who will be begging you to try this or eat more? Have you decided in your mind the foods you really feel like you must have or else it won’t be Thanksgiving Day for you? Have you decided which drinks you will limit yourself to? And how many?
Over the years, since really grasping how much impact food has on how my body and brain function, I have tried different things and combined many, many different approaches to keep me on track on major feast days. Between my tongue and my brain (which lights up and does a happy dance just thinking about dinner rolls), I have to have lots of plans to fall back on! I make sure I have three or four ways to keep me on track when I head into a dinner or party.
Here are different ways I’ve used over the last 6 years. I don’t use all these at once!!! And I do this with love for my body and how it functions. I do NOT do it in a controlling, rigid way. I seriously do it because I love taking care of me! So I can take care of my family, my friends, my writing, my garden, and anything else I love!
- I choose to eat only gluten-free and dairy-free foods.
- I choose only foods that I know have real, whole, understandable ingredients.
- I choose to eat each and every one of the foods I enjoy, but only 2 spoonsful on the plate of each. After that, it’s only whole food, like plain turkey or fresh fruit.
- I choose to eat dessert but not till a full hour after my last bite of dinner.
- I choose to eat only low carb or ketogenic.
- I mentally list parts of my body that don’t work well and how they don’t work well when I eat too much or when I eat things that aren’t good for me. (Need a start? Constipation. Diarrhea. Bloating. Fatigue. Acne. Eczema. Joint pain. Headaches. And so on.)
- I only drink water.
- I only eat foods that I’ve prepared and brought.
- I rehearse in the mirror what I’ll say to well-intentioned people who want me to eat something they made or who bring me food they want me to try. Or people who just plain want to pester me into eating more because it makes them feel good.
- I fast in the times around the big meal of the day.
- I go for a walk.
- I don’t help clean the kitchen.
- I choose to eat slowly and only when sitting down.
- I decide to eat everything I want and really do it with gusto and to excess, and then the next day I go back to 100% whole food (fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts, and fresh meats).
- I pray for help to eat how God would want me to eat for this body of mine so I can serve God’s world well.
Not everyone has problems with food. But for me, it’s like alcohol to an alcoholic. But I choose life. Joy. Wonder. I often worry that when I write here that people will look at that photo up there and think, “Whoa. She’s a control freak. She’s as skinny as a rail. She doesn’t need to worry about what she eats.” However, I have a family history of morbid obesity. Some of those people were large their whole lives. And others were thinner than I’ve ever been–before food addiction finally caught up with their metabolisms. What I can tell you is that when I think about food, particularly certain foods, I get this feeling in my brain and gut of immense anticipation. Like I expect someone who has any addiction gets.
I have worked very hard to arrive at a healthy relationship with food. You can too!
Make a plan. Have a back-up. Don’t give up. If something isn’t working, figure out why! Don’t forget to look within yourself. Are you a people-pleaser? Are you a hider? Does guilt rule your heart? Are you holding back?
Happy Thanksgiving! You can do this! Believe in yourself! You’re fearfully and wonderfully made. I don’t know you, but I sincerely want you to suceed! And if I do know you, you KNOW I want you to succeed! Share life with me! Till we’re really old.