This year, the holidays are going to be different. Thanksgiving is up first and it’s going to be a good one. Why? Because you aren’t going to place one iota of judgement, guilt, restrictions or plans for post-holiday dieting upon yourself. There will be no promises to only eat certain things off the Thanksgiving table and to avoid other “evil” foods. Thanksgiving is going to be an experience–you’ll take in the sound of voices from your friends and family; you’ll inhale the warm scents of turkey, fresh bread, herbs and spices, and pie; you’ll see the joy of laughter and pleasure of being together; you’ll feel the peace of gratitude and love.
When it’s time to eat, you’ll survey the feast and load your plate with what sounds good. You’ll eat because you’re hungry; when you’re full, you’ll stop. If you aren’t sure, then you’ll wait it out a few and see how you feel. The food will still be there if you want it; there’s no hurry, no rules. You won’t worry about that stuffed feeling at the end of your meal because you’ll remember that, with the exception of yoga pants and sweats, clothing isn’t made to expand with a full stomach. So loosening your belt or button makes sense when you’ve eaten a voluptuous meal full of nutrients, which your body is immediately using to fuel you through conversations, family games, and laughter. You won’t worry about gaining five pounds this weekend because it takes far longer than a few food-filled days to gain five pounds. And even if you did, who cares?
Since you won’t be going on a diet tomorrow or after the Thanksgiving weekend or ever, you can have that extra slice of pie later tonight or in the morning for breakfast. Because there are no rules. Your body doesn’t care what time it is or when you eat the pie or leftover mashed potatoes and gravy. Your body just knows when it’s hungry and what sounds good. There are no rules that say certain food is or isn’t allowed for breakfast. Pumpkin pie, apple pie, pecan pie all taste lovely with coffee or tea. So if you aren’t hungry later, the food will be there in the morning and you’ll enjoy it then.
Since you’re ousting judgement and guilt this year, you may or not participate in the annual family Thanksgiving football scrimmage. If you do, it’ll be because it sounds fun and you feel like moving, laughing, and being cold. You may or may not join your mother-in-law or Uncle Jim for a walk after dinner. If you do, it’ll be because you feel like walking and spending time with your people. None of your pre- or post-meal movement will be exercise to accommodate or burn off the calories from your Thanksgiving feast because eating and enjoying your food is not a punishable offense.
You can enjoy your Thanksgiving meal because food is meant to be enjoyed. You’ll be thankful for the freedom to literally eat, drink, and be merry–to fully experience the nostalgia of family traditions, the warmth of thankfulness, and the inner contentedness of self-love.
Oh yes, this year is going to be way different. Better.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, my friends. May you enjoy all it has to offer.