A series by Green Mountain alum Jacki Monaco on her journey to overcome binge eating. Follow her every other Thursday as she blogs about the victories and challenges of recovery.
Thanksgiving is just around the cornucopia. A time to celebrate, rejoice, and overindulge until we loosen the top button before it pops off. For most people, Thanksgiving is purely celebratory. But for those of us with food frustrations, it can be one of the hardest days of the year as we sit surrounded by family and overwhelmed by food options and abundance, portion sizes, and number of helpings.
This year I have a proposition. Let’s make our choices the thing that we honor, not the turkey or the can-shaped cranberry gelatin that they call sauce. Instead of being scared of the smells that cause us to salivate, let us be in the moment and soak them in. We can mindfully use all of our senses to override what some of us may think we want to do: overflow two plates and hide in a room, away from the company who won’t understand what Thanksgiving means to a binge eater.
Let us not cry inside at the sight of a genetically gifted cousin who can devour without shame because he/she is merely following the holiday rules and overindulging, not binging.
Let us not push our food around in the face of an audience and then overcompensate in the dark when the party is over.
Let us not sneak bites while we cook, but taste for taste when the recipe calls for it.
Let us not hate ourselves for a slice of pie or punish ourselves the day after if we have two.
Let us enjoy the food that is calling our taste buds and ignore the foods that we know we don’t really want.
Let us believe in ourselves more than we believe in a turkey and its trimmings. It has no hold over our self-confidence and determination unless we let it.
Let us love ourselves, the people around us, and put food third on the list.
Let us take the day one hour, one minute, one bite at a time.
It is just one day and whatever happens in your home, your kitchen, or on your plate – it will be okay.
We will be okay.