Eat all the food!
Eat none of the food!
Eat a bite of each of the foods!
Run one million miles before eating any food!
Perform 20 push-ups between all bites of food!
Eat all of the bites of all of the foods, relax for digestion, and immediately refuel for all of the resting ahead!
Sometimes I like to think I’m not completely alone in that I have actually considered each of the “holiday survival” methods above. I’ve even considered combining them.
Run one million miles before eating none of the food, and do some push-ups, too!
The truth is, I’ve struggled for years with balance. During most of the year, I can blend in with the common-folk, never letting on that I’m an overly-anxious, painfully analytical fool, never entering any situation without proper planning and preparation.
But then comes Thanksgiving.
And I’m no longer at my house with my food with my gym and my schedule.
Suddenly, I don’t get to play by my own rules.
I can only bring my own groceries and cook my own meals with so many excuses until it becomes offensive to the hosts. I’ve worn out my inoffensiveness.
I don’t know where you stand with all of this.
Maybe you think I’m super strange and you can’t relate at all. In that case, I’m so very jealous of you. Show me your ways? (Write your post below, in the comments.)
Maybe you see bits and pieces of yourself and your experiences in my story. In that case, I’d like to share some tips with you on how I deal (or aim to deal) with the barrage of self-imposed pressures associated with Thanksgiving.
Pat gave very practical “Damage Control” tips to his Inner Circle. If you’d like those, head over here.
I’m going to give you the mushier perspective.
10 Tips for Not Hating Yourself this Thanksgiving
- Meditate. First thing in the morning, take time to yourself to reflect on the true meaning of the forthcoming celebration. Be thankful. Appreciate your family. Have gratitude for the copious amounts of food available. Set an intention to enjoy all of the people and traditions. Love your tribe well.
- Scatter a few brief “meditation follow-ups” throughout the day. Set aside moments of alone time to get back in tune with your intention.
- Try to avoid the all-or-nothing mentality. This can also present itself as the now-or-never approach, or the deprivation mindset. It makes you feel like you will literally never again have the opportunity to eat turkey, mashed potatoes, or stuffing; that pumpkin pie ceases to exist next week. I promise that this is not the case.
- Practice self-trust. You control you. It’s true! Even if you splurge today, you always have the chance to make different decisions tomorrow and the next day. You know you can get back on track. If you don’t know if you can do it own your own, no problem. Pat can help you do it.
- Identify worst-case-scenario. If you eat like a little piggy today and then just sloth around, what’s the worst possible outcome? Will you gain 47 pounds of solid lard that will not begin to budge until the moment you are located to your final resting place? Will you feel lethargic and unenthused tomorrow? Be realistic, and ditch the nagging, hyperbolic hamster wheel of fear.
- Move. That’s right, I didn’t prescribe a mandatory workout. No obligatory sweat-sesh. Just generally aim to move
before and after your mealbefore, during, and in-between your meals. Help prepare it. Help clean it up. Go for a walk. If you like to exercise–really, truly like it–then, by all means, today is a day to appreciate things you like, so feel free to determine your 1 rep maxes or do the 10-minute snatch test! But don’t punish yourself for your eating or try to earn your mealmeals. Involve your family–leg-wrestle, take the kids to the park, challenge the teens to a plank competition.
- Don’t bother with the green bean casserole if you hate it. The nutritional value of this dish in no way classifies it as a vegetable. That being said…
- Eat greens and other veggies today, but eat them in their purest form, preferably before you begin spooning sugar-and-butter-coated sugar and butter down your into your pie-hole. Eat veggies today–and every day–for your health. Don’t eat the marshmallow yams because yams are paleo. Eat them because, for some reason, Americans have decided that they are an acceptable holiday side dish (rather than a dessert).
- Do not let the actions, behaviors, words, or opinions of others affect you. Do what you do. Do it with loving and humble intentions.
- If it helps, remember that Pat’s 20 KB Complexes could be yours, awaiting your return to normalcy following Thanksgiving. I can almost see the gravy pooling beneath me as I snatch my body composition back into submission.
Oh, and here’s a teaser Bodyweight Complex that I threw together especially for me today, as a thoughtful gift for my 27th birthday. (A whole slew of these will be included FOR FREE in the 20-Day KB Complex Challenge for those Inner Circle members who nab that early bird special!)
9 full lunges, R leg planted;
9 full lunges, L leg planted;
Repeat until you feel as old as I do. Or 5 minutes. Whichever comes…second.
P.S. Thanksgiving is ONE day. (Maybe it’s two if you have multiple families with whom to celebrate.) My point is this: You don’t need to “throw away” all the days between now and Christmas Eve. Unless you want to. All I ask is that you minimize regret; and, remember, you can experience regret on both ends of the spectrum–both from failure to enjoy the occasion as well as failure to splurge mindfully.