The Binge Eating Diaries: Thanksgiving Commandments

By Jacki Monaco on 11/15/2012
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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

Thanksgiving is 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 enjoy our meals and stop fearing the food before we 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.

 

3 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Ryan says:

    This is great advice Jacki. I’m Canadian, so we already had our Thanksgiving. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I didn’t get to see my family this year and I missed out on the celebration. Although I missed my family, I was slightly relieved that I was unable to attend because family gatherings of any kind are so overwhelming for me, especially when so much food is involved. I am always so anxious about eating in front of other people. It makes it hard to enjoy anything or focus on a conversation, because I’m so busy obsessing inside my head over what I’m eating, what the food will do to my body, etc. I like your commandment about putting food third on the list. I really need to work on this. Spending time with people you love is the most important part of the holidays. One day of eating won’t make or break you either way, and the best thing to do is just slow down and try to enjoy yourself. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving this year, full of laughter and love….and of course delicious food :)

  • Jace says:

    Ryan,
    You write so eloquently. I look so forward to your comments. Thank you so much for sharing with me. Happy belated Thanksgiving!

  • Ryan says:

    Wow, thank you so much! I really look forward to your posts, too.

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