Surviving Thanksgiving

I’ve been stressing Thanksgiving since October 11th. That was day I walked into Ideal Protein. Of all the days that were to come Thanksgiving gave me the most anxiety. I wrote in my food journal on November 1st to say to myself every day: It’s just another day, not a license to eat.

T minus 24 hours before the first of 20 guests would arrive at my home for our customary feast and my step daughter and grandchildren are over to bake pies. Since she has a family of her own she spends this time baking with us and we can see the grandkids. I love seeing them but for some reason I was in a really bad mood and I was feeling a bit anti-social. I excused myself to my room feigning illness to be alone and I had just purchased some picture frames and I wanted to get the pictures on the wall before Thanksgiving.

I have the printer loaded with photo paper, the pictures in the folder and I just couldn’t get them to print. I call out to my husband (chief cook, bottle washer and resident computer genius) and ask him what’s wrong. As he’s looking at it, I start crying. I took him by surprise. He asked me what was wrong and I told him I had no idea. He assured me that there will be no fatalities if the pictures aren’t on the wall before people came over. I repeatedly said nothing was wrong and I believed it until I really dialed in to what my issue was.

Here I am sitting in my room avoiding people because they are out there cheerily baking apple pies I can’t eat, mashing potatoes I can’t eat, prepping macaroni and cheese that I cant eat, and filling the house with smells I can’t even appreciate smelling because I won’t be able to @#$%!! eat!

Wow.

Why is food so damn important to me? Why does the wafting aroma of apple pie turn me into a cranky, evil person? Why do I give it so much of myself?

Then I started thinking that if I can’t handle the SMELL of today then I am dead tomorrow!!

Thanksgiving morning I awoke with a refreshed heart. I did my affirmations that it was just another day to be grateful to God for all of our blessings. I was determined not to let food - something that really is just fuel for my body - to dictate my mood, my happiness, and my ability to deal with others.

I won’t lie and say that it was easy because it absolutely wasn’t but I enjoyed my turkey breast, rutabaga with sausage stuffing, cauliflower mashed, and Ideal Protein raspberry jello as my cranberry sauce. I followed it up with some strawberry wafers for dessert. More than the food I got to see my twin 3 year old nephews finally realize that my little tiny dog really loves them, my sister in law got to see our new house for the first time, we got to debut how we’ve set things up over the past few months, and we all got to spend time together.

I didn’t have to wear elastic pants, gorge myself, and get comatose on egg nog to enjoy the day. Victory!

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