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Turkey Day Plans

What’s my plan for Thanksgiving? I’m gonna have a big jug of eggnog (let’s kick off the season right). Start munching on chips and dip around 9:30am, and throw some huge black olives down my gullet at 11am. At 1pm the real gorging begins – turkey, mash potatoes and gravy, noodles, bread and butter, and scalloped cauliflower. I might just round the meal out with pumpkin and pecan pie and cherry delight. It will all work if I also plan to explode by 2:15pm.

Someone asked me recently how much weight a person could gain in one day. While I can’t pinpoint a number on the scale, it is miniscule compared to the mental free fall that inevitably follows a meal like the one above. I feel pretty damn good the past few days, and I really don’t want to slide into a sugar induced coma just because I can’t manage to lay down my fork and step away from the maple walnut cake! I may not like it, but I know I will need to set some plans in place to reap the rewards of maintaining weight through the holidays.

The best part of my Thanksgiving plan is that it doesn’t take place at my home. We will arrive at my dad’s house on Wednesday, but not before I stop at the grocery. I bring an arsenal with me when I travel. I’ll begin with some healthful snacks (yogurt, skim milk, high-fiber English muffins, and fruit) and ingredients for my contribution to Turkey Day which will be a huge salad.

Thursday morning while the turkey is cooking, I will throw a sweet potato in the oven to replace my serving of candied yams. I plan to have small tastes of other things that look interesting, and I will enjoy dessert, just not a dinner plate full. The Buddhist will emerge, and I will practice mindful eating. The non-food related plan first involves wearing clothes that fit…no elastic waist bands for me, and I’ll round out the afternoon with a walk.

When I began this weight loss gig, I planned everything – daily meals, special occasions, emergency back-ups. It worked quite well. I experience the most success when I am well prepared and put effort into my endeavors. I know “plan” is a four letter word, but is it really necessary to resent it with such fervor?

I set goals and plan for success in other areas of my life. I cannot ever recall a day when I walked into my place of employment to tell my boss that I was going to just “wing it” from here on out. I’m sure it would go over really well to declare that I no longer had any objectives to my work day. Perhaps I would prepare for the next deadline, but maybe not. I’ll just see how it goes. That scenario wouldn’t end any better than my day that began with a liter of eggnog!

As the holiday approaches, I am most thankful that I recognize the importance of taking care of my emotional and physical needs. I am also incredibly grateful for all the wonderful people in my life. I’m truly blessed!

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