The Big Event
The tall bouquet of red, orange, and yellow flowers may be the centerpiece of the table, but we all know that Thanksgiving’s main event is 16 courses of yum… that, for some of us, is served with a side of fear.
During the years when I have company for Thanksgiving, I find myself getting a familiar feeling before sitting down for the big dinner.
The butterflies start to swarm and a tornado of anticipation rises in my stomach.
Food, food, food… yay, yay, yay!
But as I steal looks around the room, I’m unable to see in others what I feel inside of myself…
Is everyone else this excited? Am I TOO excited? Once I start, how do I know if I’ve eaten too much? What if I’m actually binging but don’t realize it!?
Over the past few years, this is when my strong alter ego Jace would chime in…
No, no – I’m not trying to fix anything with food right now. This is not a binge. I’m around people I know, (some of whom I actually like), and I’m partaking in a holiday meal. I’m here in this moment and I want to stay in this moment – I’m not trying to escape. Looking forward to a Thanksgiving meal is something that everyone does!
After talking myself down, I’m usually able to start with a few mindful bites. I feel in control and content.
You got this!
But on some occasions, the conversation, alcohol, and the excessive portions start to work their black magic… and in hindsight I realize I’ve swapped tasting for chewing.
As I start to shovel mouthful after mouthful, I pop in and out of awareness.
I’m not alone, this is weird… people can see me eat and I’m not sure I like it.
I slow down so as not to embarrass myself, but the slower I eat – the more time I have to think in between each bite.
Eating AND thinking? Oookay, now this is uncomfortable.
I time reaching for my second helping based on those around me.
Should I take smaller portions and go back for more, more often? Or mound my plate so I don’t have to get up, stretch, reach, or look like I’ve had more than one plate?
Everyone else at this table looks so calm, so content. THIS ISN’T FAIR!!!
Well, I’ve already had too much, I might as well have more. I’ll just be better tomorrow. And if I’m going to be better tomorrow, it means I can be really, REALLY bad right now…
Break The Cycling Thoughts – This is Not The Last Supper!
There is no good or bad in this situation. (You’ve “heard” me say that one before haven’t you!?). There’s what you choose to do, what you choose not to do, and what you can choose next time.
This Thanksgiving, if you start to listen to the judgment devil on your shoulder instead of the brave voice inside your heart, remind yourself that This is NOT the last supper. There will be food tomorrow!
If you start feeling like this holiday is the last day you can EVER possibly eat ANYTHING wonderful EVER again – give yourself some reassurance. You WILL eat tasty things again.
And believe it or not – you can make “Thanksgiving food” on any day of the year that you like. (Stuffing on a Wednesday in July?? Well, I think I just might!)
The more tangled up in food thoughts we become, the less we are able to enjoy the other elements of this occasion– the decorations, the company, the conversation. (But you are not the only one who’s got a case of “food feelings”, I promise you.)
If you start to feel overwhelmed, go ahead and excuse yourself from the table. Head to the bathroom or take a breath outside – replant yourself somewhere safe. Giving your eyes, ears, nose, and pallet a second to regroup can help you reset and reload.
You’re doing great – YOU just have to believe it.
Until Next Time,
P.S. Did this post resonate with you? Please feel welcome to share your thoughts and any of your secret Thanksgiving prep tools with us in the comments section below.
P.P.S. Looking for a little extra help? Click here and scroll to the bottom of this post to print out your B.E.D. Support Card. You can bring it with you in your pocket wherever you go this Thanksgiving.