For me, the week leading up to this Thanksgiving was nothing short of terrifying. As much as I would try to not let it show, I'm sure that it did. Any time plans were being made for food, my anxiety levels would skyrocket. Not only do we do one large Thanksgiving meal, we do two. Sarah's family for lunch, my family for dinner. LOTS OF FOOD (and not just any food, a lot of my favorites).
The night before Thanksgiving I got very little sleep, agonizing over the thought of what I was going to eat, sure that I was going to eat far too much. I woke up that morning, and did my best to occupy the time by baking a dessert, picking up the house, and doing my best to be helpful to get ready for lunch. Then the meals came, anxiety at an all time high. But I ate lunch, and enjoyed it, and didn't overdo it.
Then we moved on to dinner with my family. This is when all of the family staples that I grew up with come out and I always used to look forward to. Going in, multiple times with Sarah's help, I had to remind and reassure myself that "You know what, it is physically impossible for someone to eat 'too much' in one day." Even throughout the evening I would feel the anxiety start to bubble up, but I was able to overcome it. So I did eat, and actually ate until I was comfortably full. And then I also had dessert, and actually ate until I would consider myself uncomfortably full. And guess what..... THAT'S OK!! and that's without doing anything that would be considered "intentional exercise". No walking, no running, no weight lifting, nothing to make me feel like I had "earned the right" or anything.
So that brings me to today, the day after Thanksgiving... I woke up and I wasn't hungry. I did end up skipping breakfast, but not because I was trying to convince myself that it wasn't ok to eat or that I needed to make up for eating so much yesterday, I just really was not hungry. It's honestly been a really long time since I could say I really have not felt hungry. And it's really quite freeing... My mind feels so much more clear. I'm not hyper focused on convincing myself to not eat, or worrying about what I am going to have for lunch or dinner when I do finally allow myself to eat some small calorie restricted meal.
I know that this is just a small step in the right direction, and there will still be ups and downs but I can definitely say that today I'm really feeling up and want to build off of it. It's just important to remember that as much as I didn't need to exercise or restrict other meals to "earn" the right to enjoy a big meal, I don't need to anything today or tomorrow or moving forward to "make up for it" either. So today, I hope to continue breaking up my routine and my rules by eating and enjoying another one of the best parts of the holidays... the leftovers. And yes, that will hopefully be including even more dessert.