Every year dieters torment themselves about Thanksgiving. H0w about you stop this futile self-sabotage?
You Versus Thanksgiving And Reality
Like oh so many other websites devoted to fitness, diet and nutrition, I run Thanksgiving articles. Full of practical tips on how to make it through the festive day without destroying your weight loss goals.
I started wondering: do they make a difference? Of course not.Why do I run them? Because everyone else does. It’s de rigueur to torment overweight people with well-meaning Thanksgiving chastity articles.
Let’s cut the crap. Let’s have a look at reality, the pledges you’ll make and break, the guilt that ensues and why it’s all unnecessary.
Most vows people on a diet make for Thanksgiving look something like this:
1. That’ you’ll uphold your diet goals even during Thanksgiving.
2. That you’ll only drink water.
3. That your meal will be smaller.
4. That you won’t have seconds.
5. That under no circumstances anyone can force dessert upon you.
What happens in reality looks like this:
6. Angelic Aunt Wilma opens the door and offers you an eggnog you can’t refuse.
7. You adjust and promise yourself you’ll eat even less during dinner.
8. You sit down to eat and get uncomfortable when your mother eyes your nearly empty plate.
9. Because it was her who prepared the bird you again feel guilty and load up more.
10. You look down when Uncle Bob sees your glass of water and mutters about eco hippies.
11. You wonder if anyone will notice if you don’t finish your plate.
12. And regret that old Bowser died last year and you can’t pass scraps to him under the table.
13. To avoid being late you drove 7 hours straight and the first bite tells you how hungry you are.
14. You don’t need encouragement for seconds and thirds.
15. To uphold a symbol of your dignity, you decide to at least say no to any pies.
16. You eye the large piece of pecan pie Aunt Trudy puts in front of you.
17. “I made this for you, dear,” she says, “you need to eat more, pale as you are.” You smile.
18. Little does she know you are pale because you are so exasperated about yourself.
The Guilt That Comes Afterwards
Woe is me comes afterwards:
19. Driving home you kick yourself for again not having stood up to family pressure.
20. You tally how much you ate and conclude it was just as much as every year.
21. You hope it doesn’t show on the scale.
22. Stepping on the dreaded instrument you learn it does: 2 lbs more, exactly what you had lost.
23. You conclude that another diet joined the sorry caravan of those that came before.
24. Frustrated you binge, because your diet efforts never make a difference anyway.
25. By January 2 you are 10 lbs heavier than last January.
How About This Instead?
Let me ask: why give yourself to that frustration? Thanksgiving is one day in the year. Maybe the only day in the year when you see your family. Just have fun. Yes, forget your diet for that day. It can keep you sane and going. Forgetting my diet once a month was a crucial part in how I lost 33 lbs.
One bad day does not ruin your diet, even if you managed to eat 7,000 kcal. It’s a setback that can be made up within a week. For once go and enjoy Thanksgiving and have fun with your family!
Picture courtesy of “AForestFrolic.”