American Thanksgiving is a little more than two weeks away, so this is a very good time to make some plans for enjoying it to the fullest without regret. Is this possible? Of course it is. Fat loss, like romance, begins in the mind, at least it always has for me. So here are some ways to think about this holiday that will enhance its meaning and enjoyment beyond what happens at the dinner table.
Thanksgiving is another Word for Gratitude
Please forgive me for stating the obvious, and then hitting the bold button, but gratitude has been like a life preserver that holds me up above envy and self pity. Ever since I can remember, my hunger at special occasion meals has outstripped what's appropriate for someone my size. I'm not saying that my family judged what I ate at the holidays, but ever since I was a teenager I regarded this time of year with concern. Would I lose control and devour a fruitcake out in the garage again this year? Would I end up in tears because all of my clothes were too tight on Christmas morning?
For the past three years, the answer to both of those questions has been "no" because of a little bit of planning and a whole lot of gratitude. I've said before that it is so easy to look around and imagine that everyone else in your family, your circle of friends, ok everybody else in the country, is eating and drinking whatever they want from October 31st on, and that you're the only person within miles that's put up any boundaries between what is and isn't on the menu. This isn't true. Even if it was, there are ways of thinking that will bring peace and enjoyment to the choices you make.
Of course you'll be expressing gratitude for the big blessings of, love, life, and liberty, but by bringing your attention to your smaller personal choices, you can gently keep your eating in check.
Here's how. Focus your attention and thanks on what you can have within your healthy boundaries, instead of longing for what's on someone else's plate. Think now about what dishes are special and delicious, and that still work with your goals. As a specific example, I am confident that I can eat 1700 calories worth of food and drink on any given day without gaining fat, as long as I'm physically active. With a little planning and creativity, I can have an abundantly delicious Thanksgiving dinner without going over that amount.
Get this, I just googled "700 Calorie Thanksgiving Menu," and got 536,000 results. The resources for making a great meal are definitely out there. Not only that, but you will get such a rush of self love as you turn out the light on Thanksgiving night when you stay true to your plans. Trust me, the feeling is golden, and you can have it if you make a plan and follow it.
You may not be able to eat as much as most of the other people at the table, but here is anther way to feel good about your choices. I used to think in terms of what I was sacrificing in order to lose fat. Lately I've realized that "Sacrifice" is the wrong word and the wrong concept for what I'm doing.
It Isn't a Sacrifice. It's a Trade.
Imagine that you're kid with a bag full of marbles.
You may have agates, and swirls, and shooters aplenty, but your friend has a simple marble that's crystal clear. Your friend picks a fancy marble from your bag, but it's no sacrifice to give it up as far as you're concerned. You've had that marble and plenty like it in the past. You trade gladly because the simple clear marble is just what's been missing from your bag.
This Thanksgiving make the trade.
Haven't you had enough of over indulgent foods in excessive amounts? Make some choices based on what will feel special and festive without hurting your well being. If you're reading this, that means you have time to think and plan a little now. Your time will be a small trade for a lasting reward.