The Skinny Daily Post™

Short, daily essays on weight loss and fitness
from a really average woman who lost 100 lbs.
and works every day to keep it off.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2003  

Stuffing Your Bird
Form a simple holiday eating strategy

Okay. Our Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. is almost here. A time for feasting in this part of the world. Our typical Thanksgiving meal, with turkey, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, squash, bread and rolls, veggies, corn, gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie, and apple pie, and whipped cream, and ice cream, comes in at around 3,000 calories per person. More for the cook. That is, everyone overeats. It's part of the tradition.

You've been carefully watching your diet, working to lose weight, and this meal marks the beginning of a season of difficult eating. You're overwhelmed already, and the day, the season, the choices, the pies, the cookies, the candy haven't even arrived.

Panic. You're panicking. You are, admit it. You're freaking out well in advance, and fretting, frankly, Frank, over nothing.

Stop it.

Breathe through your nose, and think. What you need here, Harriet, is a strategy for the daily decisions you're going to have to make.

First of all, it's food. It's not after you. It's not going to get you. It's not going to undermine you. Or sabotage you. It can't DO anything, because it's inert, Ira. How could it possibly control you? How can it plot against you? It's got no plan. It's got no scheme. No lump of sugar is going to outsmart you now or any time soon.

Right? Right. You're in charge, Charlie, and you have put your health and happiness first. You know that gaining health and happiness requires eating within your calorie limit for the day. So you plan ahead.

You know what food you're going to encounter on Thanksgiving. You plan ahead to eat a little less on the days leading up to the holiday, a little less on the days following. You will exercise more throughout the month ahead, and you eat with a plan. Stan.

Some ideas:

*Focus on the people rather than the food. That's sort of the point of these holidays, after all, isn't it? Look at them, talk to them, enjoy them. Make eye contact. Attempt to speak with, cuddle with, play with every person at the party.
*Don't be an overworking martyr. Don't do it all yourself. Don't freak out if food gets cold. Delegate, and chill out. Enjoy this day and the whole process. Make the food with love, or don't make it at all. Start early, and get help.
*Don't eat angrily. Family holidays can bring out hard feelings for many people. Give your hurt the day off. Let the comments bounce off of you. Aquire selective hearing. Do what it takes to let it fall away from you, to not take it personally, to not put other people in control of your mood. Control your own mood. It's way more fun that way.
*Drink water before you eat.
*Have relaxing music and pretty lighting at your feast. Candles. Light them. It helps everyone slow down.
*Eat slowly. Put down your utensils between bites.
*Stop eating when you are full.
*Eat your salad and veggies first. Finish them. Then enjoy any fruit course or soup, finish that. Next the protein. Finally the starches, if you still have room. But you probably won't.
*Do you need to eat an entire piece of pie? Or is one bite, to enjoy the flavor, compliment the cook, acknowledge the tradition, good enough?
*There's nothing wrong with enjoying your food. Relax. Enjoy.
*Potlucks do not require tasting everything. No one notices what's on other peoples' plates. You will not offend anyone by not eating their food. Bring a salad or veggies to every pot luck, and don't be afraid to eat your own food first.
*Be the one person who doesn't serve cookies when friends come to call. You have no idea how much of a relief it will be to your over-sugared friends and loved ones if you serve veggies and fruit and nuts instead.

Happy, happy Thanksgiving folks.

And I thank you, for reading The Skinny Daily Post. You have made my whole year.

About the holiday

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posted by Julie |
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