oh Thanksgiving… how I love you!!
Not only is it a great time to be surrounded by friends and family, sharing memories, catching up and truly enjoying all that there is to be thankful for!
Then there’s the food…
Ooooooooooh all the glorious Thanksgiving Day FOOD! Because ‘tis the season to bake, cook, whip up every soul-warming, stomach filling, stretchy-pant wearing meal!
Because what’s Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy smothered turkey and stuffing that could feed an army!
…pumpkin pie. Pecan pie. Apple pie.
Side note, ever tried CHOCOLATE pecan pie?! GAME-CHANGER. I need to figure out how to turn it into a Macro-Friendly version, mission on!
Ok ok I digress..
So back to all the FOOD.
Thanksgiving is a time that should be focused on the ones you LOVE and whom you are THANKFUL for.
But for some people that’s not the focus, because anxiety begins to creep in the week of Thanksgiving..
We work so hard every single day of the year to eat healthy, create balance and work our butts off (on!) in the gym to look and FEEL great on the inside and out.
So for some this holiday can be extremely overwhelming.
‘I know I’m going to lose self control and eat so much’
‘this thanksgiving is going to totally derail all of my hard work and I’m going to be fat again.’
‘should I have that second piece of pie?’
‘should I count my macros?!’
‘what are the macros of this pumpkin pie?’
‘F-it, it doesn’t fit. I’m just going to eat the entire pie now.’
‘yep. I’m going to now eat a 3rd serving of stuffing because I already ate the entire pie and who cares at this point, right?!’
‘now I feel bloated and uncomfortable. I should just eat these 4 cookies because I’m already feeling fat so I can just keep going. Tomorrow I’ll get back on track.’
The next day comes… and you’re feeling sick, guilt, fat, fluffy, bloated, allllllll the FEEEEEELS.
Am I reading your mind?
Is this the prediction and scenario that you are fearful of happening?
- You cannot predict the future
- You CAN plan to IMPACT the future though
You know what should be the focus of thanksgiving?
I already said it: being THANKFUL for every single thing, person, etc.
I mean you should express gratitude every single day, but you get the point.
So… easier said then done right?
Yes I know you’re thinking “ok taylor, yeah, I get it, gotta focus on being thankful and not about being stressed about the food that’s to come. But HOW DO I STOP FREAKING THE F OUT ABOUT WHAT’S TO COME REGARDING FOOD?! HOW WILL I STAY ON TRACK?! HOW DO I NOT DERAIL MYSELF WHEN I’M SURROUNDED BY EVERY FOODIE-LOVING ITEM ALL DAY?!”
I’ve got you!
I’m going to break down how I PERSONALLY deal with food situations and how I’ve created BALANCE and execute that balance I work hard to create on, during the holidays, especially thanksgiving.
Here’s how I recommend for you to go about your day, from start to finish..
- When you wake up Thanksgiving morning say to yourself, out loud or in your head “I am in control of my choices, my body and my mind. Today is going to be a GREAT day and I FEEL great about today!”. Do it. Say it. Most importantly, FEEL it when you say it. Starting your day off the second you open your eyes on a POSITIVE and self-loving note is CRUCIAL to how the rest of your day will go.
- Head to the kitchen, pour a massive glass of water and CHUG. If you have apple cider vinegar and lemon juice, pour 2 tbsp of each in a glass and add water and take a shot of that as well. I did a blog post previously on the benefits of that here.
- Next step, get your workout clothes on IMMEDIATELY. Don’t let your mind wander or second guess it. This is a non-negotiable. Oh, your gym is closed you’re thinking?! That’s ok!
- Hop onto Youtube. Type in “20 minute at-home HIIT workout” and I can guarantee dozens and dozens of videos will pop right up. Choose ONE and whip it out!
- Now you’re feeling great right?! Your hydrated, your endorphins are up and you’re ready to take on the day ahead, adios food-anxiety because you’ve started off on a healthy note!
- The food anxiety is still there though slightly, which is ok!
- Get out a piece of paper or a notebook, open it up: write 10 things you’re grateful for followed by 3 intentions you want to set for the day ahead.
- “I intend to focus on the love I have for the ones I am surrounded by today and express my Thankfulness to them all”
- “I intended to make healthy and balanced food choices because I am in control”
- “I intended to enjoy the food that I will be surrounded by and will do so by truly truly tasting, feeling, loving the love that went into each meal prepared”
- Those above intentions are just examples, you can use them or come up with your own! But they are important! This step is to go back and read out loud your gratitudes and intentions, then close the book, time to begin your day!
- Throughout the morning and afternoon stick to light snacks that are high in protein. Have some scrambled egg whites for breakfast, a chicken salad for lunch. Do NOT do the “I’ll just eat nothing until thanksgiving dinner that way I have tons of food saved up”, because then you’ll be STARVING come dinner and we all know where that goes. But I DO want to recommend saving the CARBS and FATS for dinner that way mentally you can enjoy those goodies a little more guilt-free. The protein loading up to dinner though is important to keep you full!
- As you’re going through your morning and afternoon continue to drink lots of water! Filling yourself up and keeping yourself hydrated is important.
- Dinner has arrived! You look at the table infront of you and panic: ALLLLLL THE FOOOOODS RIGHT NOWWWWWW! “but what do I chose?! Should I have it all?! Omg I’m about to DIG IN!” take a deep breath. Remind yourself why you’re at that table, the ones around you.. focus on that, not the anxiety.
- This is one of my favorite tips: use a SMALL plate. A salad plate. Then, take literally a ½ serving of EVERY SINGLE FOOD ITEM YOU WANT! Place it on your plate. Sit back and look at all that gloriousness! The small plate will not only allow your mind to think you’re having a PLATE FULL OF GOODNESS but it will also help you KEEP those portions small because you WANT to fit it all and fill that plate up! So SMALL plate and every item you want!
- This next one is key and has changed the way I eat every single day and helped me recover from BED. Eating slowly. Eating mindfully. Every single bite that goes into your mouth, close your eyes for a moment, taste it. The texture, the different flavors, everything. literally savor each bite. ENJOY those cheesy au gratin potatoes your grandma makes every year. This is to be done with each bite. Not only will you then be forced to eat slower, making your food LAST longer and by the time you’re done eating you’ll actually realize how full you truly are! When you scarf your food down your mind hasn’t had time to catch up with your true hunger levels that’s why you dive back into another scoop of mashed potatoes. So: EAT MINDFULLY!
- Next up, more water! Wash down all that food with 8oz of water and relax for awhile. Chat, don’t be anxious if you ate too much. Enjoy that food baby and stretch-pants situation and relax!
- Dessert is up next: same rule, SMALL PLATE! Should you only eat one?! But you want one of EACH right?! here’s the trick. That pre-sliced pie? That one slice you’re about to scoop up, cut it in half AGAIN, OR ask someone if they want to split it with you, someone else will bound to. If not, cut it in half, lay that piece of pie on your plate and then onto the next ‘want’ item, cut it in half.
- SAVOR. FEEL THE LOVE.
- So you just ate everything you wanted, but instead of consuming 3,000 calories in one sitting you ate 1,500. Which is a WIN.
- You consumed more than you would on a normal day. But guess what?! You ENJOYED every bite, you didn’t over-do it, and you started your day off on a GREAT note. THAT is balance. Incorporating every day healthy routines into a holiday that could be feared.
- Throughout your day, think to yourself as much as you need to “in 5 years, will I regret not having Grandma’s famous apple pie because I was fearful of it?!” “in 5 years, will eating 3 pieces of dessert this one day of the year affect my life’s future?!” they sound like silly questions.. but really think about it.. don’t regret saying no to family-treasured recipes because you were afraid it was going to set you back in your health and fitness goals. You have your ENTIRE LIFE to continue to strive to feel and look the best you can. You know what you don’t have?! Time to allow fear of food to ruin precious time with the ones you LOVE!!
- My last tip, and it’s crucial: LOVE YOURSELF. FORGIVE YOURSELF. YOU ARE TRYING YOUR BEST WITH WHAT YOU HAVE! Period.
So come Thanksgiving… please… be kind on yourself, be easy on yourself, quickly change thoughts that do you no good to happy and beneficial thoughts.. you are in control of this ship.
You have the following day to HOP RIGHT BACK ON TRACK. You may feel bloated, lethargic, fluffy but guess what?! It WILL go away and you’ll get back to feeling 100% in a few days.
Be grateful. You’re blessed to be alive and healthy. Hug those you love and enjoy the Holiday!