A Must-Read Before Thanksgiving

The holiday season is officially here! Whoo hoo!!!

Or maybe it’s not, so ‘whoo hoo’ for so many of us. Coupled with family, food, and fun, can be the additional stress and pressure of cooking, cleaning, shopping, hosting, and managing family. Then there’s the challenge of food. Many of us let our guards down and eat like there’s no tomorrow.

In fact, I read (somewhere) that the average person gains 5-10 pounds between Thanksgiving (American) and the New Year. What’s even more discouraging is that, in most cases, that weight is never lost.

Read these tips for how you can make the most out of your Thanksgiving dinner without feeling regretful or remorseful.

1. Look fabulous!

Take some time and put yourself together. How are you feeling right now about yourself?–Inspired and full of energy? Or frumpy and bloated? I know it can sound a bit shallow, but hear me out. Too often, when we’re not feeling good about ourselves, we do dress down or cover up ourselves or hide behind our clothes.

Taking some care and effort into how you put yourself together can go a long way in lifting your spirits. Chances are,  if you feel good about yourself, you will be more diligent about sticking to your boundaries. If you’re feeling self-conscious, there’s a tendency to say, ‘who cares’ and eat outside of your boundaries. So take some time and put your best foot forward when it comes to your appearance.

2. Planning is the key

Don’t leave everything for the day of. What can you prepare ahead of time? What can you delegate? Who can you ask to bring something so you’re not wearing yourself out trying to do it all? Be sure to have checklists to make sure that you’re not running around at the last minute.

Also, can you make some time to go for a walk after dinner or earlier in the day? Planning some time for exercise can help to alleviate your stress and set you on course for a successful day.

3. Set boundaries

Be sure to go into your day setting clear boundaries on what you will or will not eat. You’re better off planning to have a piece of pumpkin pie, than lying to yourself and saying you’re not going to eat anything. When you know deep down inside you’re probably going to eat whatever you want.

Choose boundaries that will still challenge you, but not leave you feeling frustrated or deprived. This can lead you to binge when no-one’s looking. Maybe your boundary will be to drink 2-3 cups of water over dinner, fill half of your plate with vegetables or to be satisfied with only one plate, no seconds. Choose a boundary that will have you end the day feeling inspired and empowered.

4. Change your focus

The holidays can be filled with anxiety because our focus is on the wrong thing. Take time to discover the wealth of joy and peace that are found in seeking God’s will above everything else. As you wake up in the morning, commit the day to Him. Pray for a spirit of self-control. See the day from God’s perspective. Release difficult family members over to Him and try to see them as God sees them. Let go of everything needing to be perfect and enjoy the day, placing your focus on God alone.

5. Watch your thoughts

We can be feeling great, enjoying the day and then our familiar ‘stinkin’ thinkin’ rears it’s ugly head. “I bet they’re wondering why I’ve gained weight”, “What if they don’t like the food?” “Look at how great my sister looks, I wish I looked like her.”

Just like that, your own mind has sabotaged what could have been a wonderful day/evening. If you have a tendency of always thinking or speaking negatively, choose a scripture that you will say every time you catch yourself saying or thinking something negative.

Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you notice your thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5, Philippians 4:8). As you go into the holidays and as you go about your day, notice your thoughts. You can wear a special ribbon, bracelet, or charm that will be your cue to help you notice your thoughts.

Please share one thing that you’re going to do to make your Thanksgiving more healthy, peaceful, and spirit-filled. Write your comments below. I would love to hear how your Thanksgiving day was.

Happy Thanksgiving !



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Ena Gunnink
Ena Gunnink
7 years ago

Thanks for the encouragement Cathy! I did try a little of everything today but find myself not having supper because I’m not even hungry yet. So no calories to count for supper. I want to try to not be one of those people who gains 5# between Thanksgiving and New Year. No excuses for letting down the boundaries!

Nancy T
Nancy T
7 years ago

I am going to work out in the morning before I start my day. My family has a potluck dinner and I already know most of the menu items so I have an idea of what I plan to eat and not eat. I will enjoy the day with family and friends and not focus on just food.