Can you believe that it’s already more than halfway through November? It feels like this year is flying by and there hasn’t been much room to slow and down and breath. Thanksgiving is in less than a week (what?!) and while I am excited to go home and spend time with my family, I am also acutely aware that this can be a really challenging time if you’re struggling in your relationship with food. I’ve been talking with a lot of my clients recently about the upcoming holiday and wanted to share some of my thoughts about navigating food on the holidays.
I used to believe that I would never be able to have a guilt-free, stress-free holiday. I just didn’t think it was in the cards for me. I always thought that I would be forcing in an early-morning run before depriving myself of food all morning until the holiday dinner. Fortunately, the past few years I’ve discovered another way to do the holidays that make it much more enjoyable and allow me to focus on the things that really matter. Because I never even knew what such a thing would look like, I’ve decided to recap my Thanksgiving Day here. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday- my favorite foods, a focus on gratitude and seeing all parts of my family (mostly). Here’s what my day looked like:
Took the opportunity to sleep in after working the previous few weeks and goodness gracious, did that feel good. My body definitely needed the sleep and I was happy to be able to give it what it needed.
After savoring the deliciousness of the clean sheets and comfy blankets on the bed at my parent’s house, I finally got up and moving. I started my day with a coffee, strawberries (which were surprisingly good for out of season) and a toasted English muffin with peanut butter. I did my morning routine of breakfast, shower and getting ready except that while I’m at my mom’s house, it tends to take 12 times longer since we take a lot of breaks to talk.
I got to my dad’s house where I was having Thanksgiving dinner and helped him prepare (which mostly means I sat at the kitchen counter and talked to him- moral support). The only part I had to prepare was the salad (which is really the least important part on Thanksgiving)- spinach, feta cheese, toasted pecans and pears. I snacked on some veggies and cheese & crackers since by this point, I was getting pretty hungry.
Dinner time (even if it’s only 2pm, I always refer to the meal on Thanksgiving as dinner). Thanksgiving foods are my favorite so I got a little bit of everything- turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, a roll with butter, corn and salad. Even though the salad was delicious, I wasn’t really in the mood for it so it was the only thing left on my plate. What can I say? I am all about that stuffing.
My grandmother traditionally brings a banana cream pie to whatever holiday we have but this year, my stepmom ended up making it so I had a piece of that before heading over to my partner’s house to have dessert with his family. Not the most Thanksgiving-y food but it is one of my favorite things!
By the time I got to my partner’s house, I was ready for dessert round two. I had a slice of pumpkin pie and a sweet potato pie bar (I don’t know exactly what it was but it was good). And because they still had some veggies and chips out, I snacked on those while I played games with his family.
I didn’t end up leaving my partner’s until pretty late and I was tired- but still a little bit hungry by the time I got back to my parent’s. I grabbed two chocolate chip cookies his grandmother made (I’m fortunate that they sent me home with a plate of dessert) and headed up to bed.
And that was my day! There were no workouts, no food stress and lots of dessert. It took me a long time but I'm so grateful that I can enjoy the holidays now without food shame or obsessing over calories. Especially since this means I could have a pizza night with my friends the next night and then another full Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday. Food isn't the main event during the holidays but it is easier to enjoy this time of year when you're at peace with food and your body. Wondering how to get there? Check out my holiday group coaching and sign up now! It starts next week and if you struggle with food this time of year, you definitely don't want to miss it.
For all my American readers, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and for all my non-American readers, I hope you had a great weekend!