Thanksgiving is COMING my friend.
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE thanksgiving. In fact, I am having TWO Thanksgivings! One with my family, and one with my husband’s family.
I love to know what the plan for Thanksgiving is early, not just so that I can plan my food, but also because I can look forward to everything that Thanksgiving is!
Before I lost my weight for the last time I used to be so in my head about the holidays.
I was determined to enjoy them, and was already freaking out that I was going to gain a bunch of weight even before the holidays rolled around.
I would stuff myself pretty much from Thanksgiving to January 1st, and then feel all sorts of disgusted with myself and determined to do some kind of crappy diet or exercise plan that I would never be able to sustain.
Fast forward to today, and I have learned how to go into Thanksgiving with confidence. It’s a couple weeks out, and I already know that I have a plan, and that I will not be gaining weight unless I do it on purpose.
Curious how I go about NOT gaining weight over thanksgiving? Read on for all of my best holiday biking and weight loss tips.
Tip #1: Remember That It’s Only ONE Day
Thanksgiving is just one out of 365 days a year. Yup. Just one. We build it up to be so much bigger, and so much more than that, but it’s truly only one day a year.
In other words, if you come out of the day feeling like you “blew it” and ate too much?
That’s OK! Tomorrow’s another day. Just tell yourself, “It was thanksgiving. I ate more than I wanted to, I am not feeling great about it, but that’s OK.”
It’s when we think something along the lines of “I ate a ton, I am going to gain weight anyway, so I might as well eat copious amounts of leftover pie and gravy,” that we start to see the results we DON’T want in our body.
Tip #2: You Don’t Need to Earn Thanksgiving Dinner With a Bike Ride
Don’t do a freaking turkey trot, or a road race, or a 100 mile bike ride on Thanksgiving morning because you feel like you have to.
If you want to? Awesome! DO IT.
But if you feel like you have to do it in order to “earn” your thanksgiving meal, you are going about weight loss and Thanksgiving in a pattern of rewards and punishment. Instead, try being honest with yourself and doing and eating what you love.
We sap all of the joy out of moving our body by making it some kind of prison sentence. Do NOT do this. It sucks, and it feels BAD.
If you want to ride a bunch of miles on Thanksgiving morning, you do you, but if you would rather relax or focus on meal prep? Do THAT. You can always ride your bike or run or whatever TOMORROW when you feel like it.
Tip #3: Decide in YOUR Plan for Thanksgiving in Advance
This is possibly the most important tip I can share. Have a plan for Thanksgiving. This plan should include what you’re going to eat, and what you are not.
If there are thanksgiving foods you don’t really like? Don’t plan them. And, don’t eat them.
If Auntie June is always pushing her green bean casserole on you and you hate green bean casserole? You don’t HAVE to say yes to Auntie June.
Even if you are going someplace and you don’t know what the specific menu is, you can probably get something of an idea in advance.
Unlike what the diet industry tells you, I would much rather you just eat mashed potatoes and gravy until you are satisfied, if that’s all that you like, than overeat a bunch of veggies and turkey that you don’t really want or need.
I personally love green beans and will absolutely eat them, but am kind of meh on peas so peas are out.
This goes for sweets too! I don’t love pumpking or chocolate cream pie nearly as much as apple pie, so I usually just have apple. And I usually only have a small piece because I like mashed potatoes way more and am getting full when dessert roles around.
If I am feeling crazy I will have a small piece of each, but again, I will stop when I am full.
Tip #4: Stop Eating When You’re Full
I also plan to NOT stuff myself. This is a huge departure. I used to eat on thanksgiving until I could barely move and wanted to take a nap.
That just didn’t ever feel good, so I don’t do it anymore.
Now, if you want to plan to stuff yourself that’s FINE. I just want you to do it INTENTIONALLY and on purpose.
There is a big difference between deciding in advance that this is the one meal that you are going to eat so much you have to unbutton your pants and being OK with this.
If you are thinking “I only do this once a year, and it’s just one meal, and I am going to enjoy all the things and be ok with being a little sick after” then that’s your choice.
It keeps you feeling like you are in the driver seat, and that you are in control. This is much different than feeling like you have no control over what you are putting in your mouth because you didn’t have a plan, and feeling awful about it after.
Tip #5: Have a Post-Thanksgiving Plan
Finally, I want you to have a plan for what you are going to do when Thanksgiving is over. This is kind of a “re-entry” plan, if you will.
For example, you may decide that you are going to only eat thanksgiving food on thanksgiving and forgo all leftovers.
Or, you might decide that you will have one meal of leftovers a day, and your usual choices the other three meals.
You might decide that you are going to eat the leftovers until they are gone, but you are only going to eat amounts of leftovers that satisfy you and feel good in your body.
Again, it matters way less what this plan is than the fact that you have one in the first place.
You can always alter the plan to suit your needs, but when it’s your plan YOU get to be the one that’s in control.
A Final Note
At the end of the day, we should never lose sight of what Thanksgiving is.
It’s a day to be thankful for our friends and family, and, if we choose, have some great food at the same time.
When we get super anxious about what we are going to eat, and if we are going to be able to control ourselves around all of the food, we can easily end up being stressed when we are supposed to be having fun.
Whatever Thanksgiving ends up looking like for you, if you are intentional and plan how you are going to approach it in advance, YOU are the one who is control.
When you make that plan, whatever the plan is, it is so much easier to release any of the stress, anxiety, or rules you have made for yourself in the past.
And finally, remember, it’s just one day. If it doesn’t go the way you want it to? That’s OK. Forgive yourself, and move on. Each day is another opportunity to make a different choice.