Thankful for Thanksgiving

Back when I was seeing an eating disorder specialist (Michael Spigarelli), he would always make me book an appointment the week before Thanksgiving so we could create a battle plan for handling the holiday and the food that goes with it. Ever since I've had this blog, I've tried to do the same thing by posting about a week before Thanksgiving as a way to prepare myself and hopefully prepare others to embrace the holiday rather than dread it.

In the hopes of publishing this post before anyone heads off to their respective Thanksgiving dinners, I've decided that it would probably be best (and quickest) if I made "listicle"this year.

Ready? Here we go:

  1. Dr. Spigarelli used to always tell me that "You could eat a full Thanksgiving dinner--including dessert, everyday for a week, maybe even two weeks, and you wouldn't significantly gain weight." 
  2. It is always better to eat, than not to eat. If you don't feel comfortable eating the entire dinner and all its sides, start with what you feel comfortable with--just make sure you eat something.
  3. If you're going through a disorder right now, brace yourself. Your family probably won't understand the emotions you're feeling--that's normal and that's okay. If you have a family member who is going through a disorder right now, watch them, but don't hover. If they seem like they're feeling down, distract them. Ask them about their day. Don't make comments about the food, dieting, or anything like that. If you notice they're struggling more than normal, pull them aside in a non-public area and sincerely ask them if they're doing okay and if there's anything you can do to make things easier for them. Be available. 
    1. If you don't know if you have someone in your family who is experiencing a disorder, avoid talking about calories, dieting, and other negative comments regarding weight and food. Your words have an impact even if you're just saying something in passing--they can shape how someone else sees themselves and their food. 
  4. Food is not the enemy. We need it to survive and it does our bodies good. Turkey gives your body protein and folic acid. Mashed potatoes give your body vitamin-C. String bean casserole gives your body beta-carotene and vitamin-B. Sweet potatoes gives you vitamin-A. And even pumpkin pie gives you potassium. Food is more than calories and fat. It is life. 
  5. It's okay to struggle--don't give up on yourself. 
  6. Try to forget calorie counting. Spend more time enjoying the holiday atmosphere--it only comes once a year. 
  7. If you over-eat, don't obsess over it. It happened, but it isn't going to define you or your waist, and it shouldn't define your day. 
There is so much more that I could say, but I think these seven points summarize my thoughts on Thanksgiving pretty well. If you're going through a disorder right now, I know what you're going through. Three years ago, as I was starting to come into recovery, I was having a hard time imagining a future where I could just sit at the Thanksgiving dinner table and not have to worry about sneaking away to the bathroom to throw up my food or to be able to just eat a Thanksgiving dinner without thinking about it. It is possible though--here I am today, excited and feeling positive about dinner tonight. If you need someone to lean on today, lean on me. Recovery wasn't easy, but it was worth it. Additionally, recovery isn't easy, but it is possible. 

Thanksgiving is a hard holiday for individuals who are going through disorders and women in general--so remember that you're not alone in your struggles. Stay strong and be brave enough to be kind to yourself today. You can do it! I believe in you. 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

P.S. I totally made my first apple pie from scratch
 last night--it totally looks food blog worthy! I'm so excited
to see if it tastes as good as it looks!

1 comment

  1. This is all such good advice for everyone that suffering from an eating disorder or knows someone who is. Thank you for sharing your past with us and giving tips!