Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Are you ready for THE DINNER?

Since we are in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle of weight loss, of course we talked about THE DINNER today at my weight watchers meeting.

THE DINNER? Yeah, Thanksgiving, duh! For a recovering food addict, it can either be a nightmare or a success story. Imagine an alcoholic having an entire day centered around drinking. "O just try a little rum, a sip of wine, a gulp of beer- no big deal, it's just one day" said by all your friends and family. You would never imagine doing that to somebody who has been sober for 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months, or 6 years. But remember, you can't just quit food cold-turkey (go ahead, soak up the corny pun. ha ha).

That's what makes beating a food addiction so hard. Sure, I can cut some things out, which I have. I haven't eaten fast food of any kind in over 2 years. Yes, this includes fast food "healthy options," because fast food used to be such a problem for me that it's better to stay away completely. I've had quite a few people tell me that I'm still on a diet because of this fact. To those people who believe that- you can bite me! I have changed my eating habits and chose to live a healthy lifestyle and there is no place for crappy fast food in my life. Yes, I use weight watchers to help me track my food because it works for me, but I have changed the way I look at food.

I digressed...but you get the point. I have no doubt in my mind that quitting smoking, alcohol, or any other drug is very hard to do- some say near impossible. But to me beating this over-eating addiction has been nearly impossible at times.

During the meeting today Joni asked us to share our most memorable Thanksgiving. I shared my most memorable- it was the Thanksgiving of 2009, less than a month after joining weight watchers. For the first time in my life I made the RIGHT choices on the day of feasting. I did enjoy my favorites (I refuse to live without a little stuffing and a crescent roll on thanksgiving) but I had them in moderation. And when those all familiar food pushers started their tirade "O Colleen, you hardly have anything on your plate. Don't you want more? Here have another serving. Don't you want pie?" I said no thank you even though it was extremely difficult and I wanted to scream at them for being so thoughtless by encouraging me to eat. They didn't mean any harm- they couldn't have known how hard it was for me then to say no, especially to my favorite foods. That year though, I didn't feel so full it was uncomfortable- I felt satisfied and not stuffed. Who knew you could do that on Thanksgiving? I SMASHED my next weigh in and lost at least 3 lbs. I still remember Joni jumping up and giving me a hug to celebrate. 100% worth it!

Joni, my fearless weight watcher leader, once referred to the three dreaded food-related holidays of the fall/winter as the The Bermuda Triangle of weight loss. If you think about Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah what are the first thoughts that come to your mind? Candy, turkey feast, and another feast. Family gatherings or parties all centered around the big F word- FOOD. See why so many "dieters" get lost to never be heard from again?

Don't get lost this year- take control of the day and PLAN ahead what you want to eat. Pick your favorites, chose reasonable portions (fyi- a reasonable portion of stuffing is 1/2 cup for you all you stuffing lovers out there), and stick to your plan. Don't let food pushers make you eat things you don't really want because it is YOUR body and you chose what you put into it for fuel. If you need to- tell a friend or family member what you want and ask for their help. Don't be afraid to ask for help to keep you accountable or make your day easier- your body will be thanking you at the end of the night!


  1. Thanksgiving isn't as hard for me as Christmas. Especially our family Christmas Eve tradition of "appetizers for dinner" - wings, mozzarella sticks, cheese, meatballs, cheese, fried mushrooms, more cheese...all of them such good foods. And then there's all the candy and chocolate that is everywhere during Christmas. Soooooo hard. I am hoping that a recent book I read - Eat Drink and Weigh Less - will help me this year. It has a "Body Score" quiz that you can take every day to add/subtract points for eating healthy/unhealthy, getting enough water, exercising, etc. So kind of like Weight Watchers but not just for food, for all health-related habits. It's a good read, science-based, and very positive. Anyway, thanks for the post, I will keep an image of you rooting me on in the back of my head when I am making good choices on Thanksgiving Day :-)

  2. I remind you again that we were over my parents' place for Thanksgiving 2009, hehe. And you are totally right, I'm sure my mother asked more than once why you had so little food on your plate, especially since the guy sitting next to you (you might know him) had probably twice as much. It certainly isn't easy sticking to a healthy lifestyle during the holidays, but you pass with flying colors every year!