Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Day is Upon Us

Yes it's hear once again, already! Thanksgiving Day, the first of the big holiday season days of feasts. The day we all look forward to when we've finally accepted the fact that summer is gone and fall is really here. It's a nice holiday, despite the portrayal of it by television shows and movies, a time when family comes together to enjoy the fruits of their labors throughout the year. At least that's how it got started anyway with the pilgrims. In these plentiful times, the big economic chill notwithstanding, the basic idea still remains the same. So what better way to celebrate than with a big sumptuous feast on this day that has been set aside for a national day of giving thanks?

With the big feast just a few days away, what are the paradigms in your mind? Maybe you view it as a day when you can eat with reckless abandon. After all, what's all that food for anyway, right? It's expected of you to relinquish any reservations you might have about overeating and just let er rip. I mean what the heck, everyone else brought to the table their intentions of really giving it their best shot, why not you too? It's the national day of overeating, well maybe not officially, but unofficially anyhow. So who are you to question that and buck the trend? Well if you are at all concerned about a weight problem, maybe you should be questioning what your position on what it should be, for you at least. By that I mean how you are going to approach it? Are you going to load your plate up with every entree that's been prepared? It's only good manners, and we certainly don't want to offend the host by not eating everything that's been put out for us. I know that's the way I've done it for almost all of my Thanksgiving Day feasts. I want to "sample" everything, and by time I get about half way through the offerings available for dolloping on my plate, there's no room left on my plate! Sound familiar? The irony is I know damn well there's no way in hell that I'm going to be able to finish all that, but I keep on loading my plate anyway to where I build a second tier. Now I have to be careful what I'm loading on top of. You don't want to have mashed potatoes on top of your cranberries or vice-versa! Maybe on top of the sweet potatoes would work better. I've been doing that all my life and, try as I might, can never finish what I've taken. I must have a very short term memory because I keep doing it year after year. Although I will say that as I have gotten older I have gotten my sampling of each dish down to where it is inline with what a sample really should be. No matter, I still can't finish what I put on my plate because there's so many different things to "pick" from, and my appetite is not "major league" anymore either. I definitely am not in good standing with the "Clean Your Plate Club" after the Thanksgiving Day feed-bag! Even though I don't clean my plate I'm still left in a glazed-over stupor of an oppressive and painful fullness. I am a glutton not only for food but for punishment, albeit self-inflicted. At this point in the proceedings I have not even had dessert yet, but, Oh God, do I ever want it! So now my thoughts shift to how long I'll have to wait before my digestive system will have made enough room so I can indulge in a piece of each of those glorious holiday pies that have been calling out to me from the moment I laid my eyes upon them like the sirens calling Ulysses. Like Ulysses, if I go there my ship will be smashed upon the rocks. I don't care. I want them anyway, and at the first inkling of some open space in my abdominal cavity I will be trying my luck with those seductive temptresses of sweetness. I will be loading a smaller plate this time, but with the same mindless abandon and, alas, with the same doomed result. Damn the limited capacity!

If any of this has a ring of familiarity to it, I am not surprised. We all share this common experience, that is those of us fortunate enough to have this bountifulness to partake of. I guess there's an inevitability to it when this much food is put in front of us. The point I'm trying to suggest here is that we need to minimize the damages as much as we can. One way to do that is to scale back our ambitious appetites and just be realistic. Yes were expected to really hit it out of the park on this day, but is that what we really need? Remember that those pounds just keep adding up over our lives if we are not vigilant about how much food we consume even on guilt free days of gluttony like this most revered national holiday of Thanksgiving. Maybe the emphasis should be more on the giving of thanks to our creator than the orgiastic eating ritual that this day has come to symbolize. If we can pause and do that we might be able to gain a greater perspective on why we eat the way we do. I hope this will help get the mental image of how you are going to eat on this day of thanks in check with what you are trying to accomplish in terms of where you want to be with your ideal body weight. Don't get sidetracked by these short term exceptions; it will only set you back!
 Have a restrained, but happy, Thanksgiving.

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