Not Your Typical Thanksgiving

paintings-family-food-tables-Thanksgiving-Norman-Rockwell-Turkey-bird-_472406-32Thanksgiving.  Not counting Halloween, this is pretty much the beginning of the holiday season.  Soon you will be surrounded by friends, family, and of course food.  This is also the time of year that everyone is offering their best “how to avoid holiday weight gain” tips and millions of different ways to make your favorite holiday meals healthy.  I thought about writing a post like that, because you don’t have to enter the holiday season throwing all healthy habits to the wind, but I felt like what I had to say would be just repeating a lot of what you already know or will read in the coming days.  Honestly, most of you know that eating fifteen pieces of pumpkin pie isn’t doing you or your health any good no matter how delicious it may be.

I know that a lot of you might be anxious about the upcoming smorgasbord that is Thanksgiving, especially if you just started to eat better or adopt healthier habits.  Many of you might be worried about undoing all the hard work that you have put into your health journey and you’re thinking of how you are going to navigate your way through the sea of food that is about to come your way.  I know exactly how you feel, I’ve been there too.  I’ve stressed over how to eat well during the holidays.  I’ve fretted about family asking questions about my weight and why I won’t eat this or that.  I’ve felt hopeless and alone and not exactly sure how to deal with it all.  It has taken me awhile to get to this realization: don’t let food control your life.  Food has so much power over many of us so that we let it ruin or dictate our holidays.  A time where we should be visiting friends, spending quality time with family, decking the halls and singing fa la la la la, we spend stressing over food.

Yes, food is important.  It fuels us, nourishes us, and (sometimes) tastes amazing.  Don’t get me wrong, I love food and I truly believe that it is a key factor in a healthy life.  But it isn’t everything.  I’ve wasted too many holiday gatherings focusing on food and missing out on all the other things that go on.  The inside jokes between cousins or finding the best spot to hang my favorite ornament or  the quality time that I get to spend with my mom talking about our lives while we make the ever famous pumpkin muffins (blue wrappers have nuts!).  I’m sad to say I’ve probably missed some really great moments because I was worrying about what I would eat or that other people were worrying about what I would eat.

Don’t let food take over your life this holiday season.  There are other things that are so much better than thinking about how many potatoes you can eat without feeling guilty.  It will be difficult for some of you to totally let go of your food worry, me included, but by holding on to all that stress, you’re letting something silly like food take control of your life and happiness.  So do me a favor this Thanksgiving.  Take a deep breath, release all your anxiety over food, and throw yourself fully into all the other much more fun things about the day.  Enjoy the parade, play a game of football in your backyard, give Grandma a big hug, and be thankful for all of the amazing things you have in your life.  I promise you, that is a much better way to spend your holiday! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!