Thanksgiving in the US used to be a time of joy for many people. Families reuniting to revel in good times with good food.
That’s good in the sense of pleasing, which often included dishes reminiscent of times past that spurred good memories of enjoyable food eaten in an enjoyable way with enjoyable people.
“Good Food”, “Bad Food”, & the Diet Mentality
Today, “good food” often goes by a different definition. It’s a definition that has arisen out of worries about eating and weight.
Unfortunately, those worries affect a whole lot of people in this country. Just check out Twitter and you can see the caution spread far and wide about what and how much to eat on this day that was meant to be about gratitude.
At the heart of the caution is the idea that food is good or bad, and that often depends on how many calories the food contains. These days, as more health professionals wake up to the diet mentality but don’t quite understand how to move away from it, you’ll hear advice that it’s okay to have “bad food” once in a while.
Related Article: Surprising Reason Behind Weight Gain: Diet Mentality
But you want to be careful how often and how much.
The problem is, research shows that this thinking backfires big time. People who think this way about food — that some foods are bad and that they have to limit them — generally end up struggling with their weight.
It smacks of “can’t have” and that attitude wakes up the rebel in many of us.
Our reaction is to have it and we have it big, either as out and out rebellion — “I’ll damn well eat what I want and how much!” — or sneak eating — “You’re right; I shouldn’t eat this.” But then we go home to closet eating.
Starting a New Thanksgiving Tradition
If this is the case in your home, why not make this Thanksgiving a time to start a new tradition? One of gratitude for the food you have before you, returning to days of old in how you think about it.
Give thanks for the fact that you have food on your table.
Give thanks that it is food you enjoy.
Give thanks for all those who made it happen, from the farmer to the cook to the person whose home you sit in
Give thanks for a world in which a wave of enlightenment is building, one that pushes back against food restriction in the name of body size.
Related Article: Mindful Eating: Eating What We Want and Loving the Result
Give thanks for your right to make your own decisions about eating.
There may be concepts in this post that escape those who don’t understand the non-diet approach to health, which naturally leads to a healthy weight. If this is you, trust that it is the way out of struggles that may have you worrying about overeating on Thanksgiving as well as the rest of year.
Give yourself permission to enjoy and stay in touch with how you feel while you are eating and after. It’s your best guide to truly enjoying eating without weight worries.
We at Green Mountain give thanks to you, our blog readers. We wish all of you in the U.S a happy Thanksgiving, eating what you love and spreading the joy.