Happy Thanksgiving Eve! Tomorrow is the day when we Americans sit around a table to eat and ideally, give thanks for the many blessings that have been bestowed upon us. It's a day of treasured traditions like watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, signing up to cook your favorite dish, and catching up with beloved family and friends. But for many, Thanksgiving can be a trying time if they have an addictive or dysfunctional track record in portion control.
This evening, I want to offer you some practical tips for enjoying Thanksgiving. Whether or not you are on a diet, you know how you need to be eating and stuffing yourself so full that you can't move is not it. Consider this--if you accept the fact that having just one more helping of whatever it is you're drawn to will not fill you (like really fill you...we're talking soul level), you may have already won the battle. If you struggle with portion control, try a few of these tips out:
-Focus on gratitude as your primary pleasure. The holiday is intended to invoke thankfulness, right? Go ahead and decide in the morning that your primary purpose for the day is to be thankful for all God has provided, not to indulge in your favorite holiday eats.
-Stay hydrated. This will seriously help to curb your appetite.
-Set yourself a smaller plate at the table and fill it only once. No one has to know your little secret, but looking at a full small plate is a visual trick to help you feel as if you're heading into a feast.
-If you're needing to stick to a specific weight loss diet this year, decide which ONE treat you'll have from the get go. Scan the table (and dessert options) and decide which goodie you'll enjoy. Then ENJOY IT! Serve yourself a reasonable portion, get comfy in your chair, and savor every. single. bite. When (yes, when) you're tempted to go back for seconds, remind yourself again of you primary purpose for the day and chose instead to be grateful for the treat you just had!
I love to remind my clients that they are perfectly capable of a controlled celebration. If you've been putting work into a health goal, you know you owe it to yourself to stay on track, honoring that hard work. You can do this!
I am thankful for you, my readers, and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Is it just me or do you kinda piddle out physically toward the end of the year too? Something hits me around Halloween each year that tempts me to just "give up" on any ambitious personal standards around food and exercise. I think to myself, "Well, I made it though Halloween, but then there's Thanksgiving, about 3-4 holiday parties, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day...and then I may as well eat whatever I want until New Year's Day because it's only a week later..."
Enough is enough! 2014 was the last year I'd do that to myself. Sure, there's a place for less stringent rules around food when you've got a handle on avoiding sensitivities and you're in maintenance mode. But truthfully speaking, if I let myself forget about diet and exercise entirely from now until January, I will enter 2016 in a fog. I don't want to live that way! I don't want to wait for New Year's Resolutions to get my body in check. I want to keep my body in check through the holiday season so that I can focus on more specific and advanced New Year's Resolutions...ones that require a pre-established high standard of health.
In order to do that, I'm setting a few goals for myself to finish 2015 well. I would encourage you to do the same! Ok, so in the next two months, I will:
-Stay controlled with my lifestyle diet and keep cheat days limited to holidays and weekends, like I normally would any other time of the year. I will not "give up" between Christmas and New Year.
-Stay on top of immunity.
-Participate in a 5K!
What about you? What do you need to do in these last couple months of 2015 to stay on track (or get on track, for that matter)? What can you do for yourself now to get a healthy jump start on any physical New Year's Resolutions you hope to tackle next year? You are worth that jump start and you are worth a good finish.
Let me know in the comments what your plan is!