Monday, November 21, 2011

Preparing for Thanksgiving

Week Three – Preparing for Thanksgiving

            Unless you’re stranded on a desert island, being held prisoner in Myanmar, or have accidently locked yourself in your storage locker, you’ll be stuffing yourself on the big day. The trick is to give yourself permission to do that without eating more and more every day leading up to it as if you were training for an Olympic event. Not as simple as it sounds. What is simple is your devious brain telling you, “Go ahead. You’ll be overeating on Thursday anyway, may as well eat whatever you want until then.
Sound familiar?
            Use your brain to help you, not sabotage you. Try to remain aware of your eating habits. Don’t starve yourself. Eat sensibly. And get enough sleep! Sound strange? Then you’ve never noticed how much more susceptible you are to food urges on days that you’re exhausted. Someone asked me last week what I meant when I said be gentle with yourself—getting enough sleep is one of the ways to be good to yourself
I came back from my trip to Iowa having overindulged. I must thank you for letting me digress on my own weight problem; the process of writing about it is helping me to stay on track.
My tips for this week are for those of you, and myself, who are going to be doing the cooking on Thanksgiving, not only for the guests. Cooking is an enormous task, requiring more that one tip!
1.                    If your family and friends are used to having appetizers, prepare the kind you can pass up. For me, that means putting out herring, a shrimp plate and stuffed mushroom. I know, it’s really weird not to like those things, but I’m a picky eater except when it comes to junk food. So no chips, cheese, or mixed nuts on my coffee table.
2.                    Have on hand a supply of disposable plastic containers for leftovers. Send the tempting, high-calorie items home with your guests and don’t take no for an answer. This will require determined assertiveness on your part when they all protest. (And they will.) Be firm.
3.                    Again, indulge only in your favorites and pass up the other dozen side dishes. I’ve practiced this one for a couple years now, and believe me, I’ve never been reprimanded by the hostess since I so obviously am enjoying what I’m eating.
Remember, Thanksgiving is one day out of three hundred sixty-five. The free pass you give yourself to eat the things you love on that day is good for one day only.

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