Years ago, I gave up on my magic pill idea to fix my bad eating habits because diet fads don’t work and swallowing a pill is too easy. To lose my weight, I resorted to more sound strategy like eating right, exercising, and managing my appetite.
Eating and living, it’s just that way. I mean seriously, with all the Thanksgiving traditions and recipes, there’s enough food on most tables to feed an army. There’s also plenty of pressure to get it right without burning something. Should we include every one of our grandmother’s favorite dishes this year?
What is your eating tradition? Being grateful for the food and family around your table or how much turkey a person eats before going comatose? How many slices of pie does it take to convince you to camp out in a line for few hours for Black Friday shopping?
For myself, it’s always what I’m eating everyday. The bigger question is how will I not eat everything in sight this week? Every meal, I’m met with the opportunity to stick with my healthy eating or give in to my desires to eat it all, every last little crumb. I’m sure you are thinking right now, that I am having a class act freak out caused by the lack of sleep. After all I am posting this at time when I should be sleeping.
You see, there are plenty of fears out there. I’ve wrestled with lots of those bad boys. I’ve dealt with a lot of mine and fear in itself is just awful and scary. Since we’re being honest here, fighting the battle of the bulge doesn’t get easier. Some days are as challenging as “day one days”. But I’m learning to manage my appetites better.
So Thanksgiving…how will I not gain back my 132-pound weight loss all in a meal or two, or trigger week long binges? Hold your breathe…I think of me. I remember where I have been and how long it’s taken to get here.
I’ve often said my claim to weight loss fame would be the invention of an “after-binge pill.” I dreamt of creating like a crazy-mad scientist. This magic pill would eliminate all calories from a previous food frenzy. This same magical pill would release a needed chemical into your body. The brilliant formula, would intensify pain and temporarily paralyze your body to result in the agony of not having exercised at all in five years! Yes, that would do it. You know, the muscles that scream “This was the worst idea I’ve ever had!” Much like the pain I feel right now because, yesterday I ran for the first time in a month.
Food friends, managing appetites is hard work, everyday. So when big eating holidays come around, I have to admit that I panic just a little. Now my friend, Sandy, would say I’m being ridiculous and being fearful of losing control. For the record, I still have a righteous fear of rats and mice.
The good news is that gaining that much weight back in one meal isn’t going to happen. Since food is my trigger, I’ve learned enough to know that there are lots of different appetites to manage. Most just think in physical terms, but there is the appetite of your soul that constantly needs filling and comfort.
Since this is getting long, I will suffice it to say that I am the only one who is going to take care of what I eat. I have to think about how I’m going to feel tomorrow. Each day I am so grateful that I am not carrying around extra weight, which overrides my desire to eat pecan pie, mashed potatoes, gravy, and my mom’s famous dressing.
In my memory, my mom’s dressing is…to die for, even cold.
I survive Thanksgiving just like every day, with gratitude for each morsel of food taken in. I know there is going to be another meal plus I remember what size clothes are hanging in my closet. It’s not about the numbers or appearance but about the constant work, sweat and a lot of tears of thankfulness. I know who I am and what I have accomplished.
The point is that I know me and what I should be eating, but I make mistakes like you. People, we don’t need as much food as we think we do. I offer myself more grace when I mess up.
But, I can’t let myself go to the fear of not controlling my self-control.
I pray, I plan, and I give myself margin for error. That’s all I do. God has delivered me from the chains of over eating. God has also given me a brain to sort out my eating patterns. As a foodie, meals will always be a temptation for me, but it’s my actions, feelings, and permissions I deal with to survive.
Eating healthy in a way that honors God is my desire now. I didn’t always think that, but I’ve come too far to know that there are consequences for my choices. I’m not saying this to make you feel guilty. When I put thoughts like this down on paper, it helps me be accountable.
I avoid a class act freak out on Thanksgiving by being thankful for all that God HAS changed in my behavior around food. He gives me strength to resist the most tempting of recipes. Why, there is even chocolate in my house right now! Are you serious, really come on! (Yes, it still calls my name!)
My best daily survival is consider the cost. The basic science of calories still apply on Thanksgiving, just like they do any other day. I pray that I can feed my family, control my appetite, and enjoy the day like you. I ask God to give me the strength to control myself plus I remember the “rules” of calorie science. But moreover, I rely on my relationship with my sweet Savior to get my heart and mind through it.
The problem with confessing all of this to you? Is that I must walk the talk now. I can let my head hit the pillow every night knowing I have done what I can and trusted God to do what He does. God so good at saving me from myself.
So, what’s your food biggest challenge when you are celebrating Thanksgiving?