It’s almost Thanksgiving! Holidays can sometimes make me anxious. I know I can eat sickening amounts of food (and I spent years doing exactly that), but I don’t want to do that anymore. On the other hand, holidays are built around food traditions, and I’d like to partake in them.
So I created a simple pledge that gets me through Thanksgiving Day. I first took the pledge in 2010, and I’ve taken it every year since (see my posts from 2011, 2012, and 2013). It allows me to eat whatever I want, without feeling guilty, and without gorging to the point where I’m forced to loosen my belt or collapse into a food coma.
Here’s how it works: You pledge to follow four rules on Thanksgiving Day. That’s it. Easy peasy. So raise your right hand and repeat this out loud (except the italicized parts, which are my added notes):
I, [insert your name], pledge that on Thanksgiving Day, I will follow these four rules, which are designed to prevent uncontrolled eating.
Rule #1: I will exercise on Thanksgiving Day. (Any workout will do, whether it’s going for a walk or run, completing an exercise DVD, visiting your gym, etc.)
Rule #2: I will photograph everything I eat during Thanksgiving dinner. (I’ll share my photos on this blog, but I encourage everyone to do this, whether you blog or not. It’s about accountability. Taking a photo creates a record of your choices. You can’t ignore, deny, or forget about the food you’ve eaten when there’s a record.)
Rule #3: I will not get seconds. I will indulge in a reasonable portion of anything I want, and I will enjoy it, but I will not go back for more. This includes dessert.
Rule #4: I will not graze or pick at food as it is prepared, emerges from the oven, or gets transferred to serving platters or leftover containers. I must place all food that I intend to eat on a plate, and eat it at the table.
Keep it up, [insert name here]!
Some of these rules are easier said than done. I have a hard time with Rule #4, and I can’t imagine how hard that would be if I was the one responsible for getting the food on the table. (Luckily for me, my brother-in-law Justin loves Thanksgiving and tackles most of the cooking.)
I’ve broken a rule or two in minor ways before, and I don’t beat myself up for it. Generally, this pledge has been very successful, because it’s given me a game plan and a strategy, and that’s what I need most on a day like Thanksgiving.
I hope you take the pledge – and drop a line in the comments section if you modify it to suit your situation… your modification may help others!
Come back tomorrow… I’m sharing a super healthy and delicious Thanksgiving side dish recipe!
Moving on… Last week was a slow one on this blog. I only published one post – my Race Recap from the Los Angeles CF Climb – and that came a few days late. There’s a reason why I was so quiet, and that reason is depression.
I fell into a post-race depression that got the better of me for a couple days. The race was on Saturday, and I spent most of Sunday and Monday in bed or on the couch. I’ve had post-race depressions before, but other factors contributed to this one, and I just succumbed. Healthy living went out the window. I ate junk. I didn’t exercise.
Tuesday rolled around and I knew I had to take control of the situation. I had plans that night with my friend Jen, and getting out the house was a big help. I exercised, which was miserable in the moment, but led to feeling really good afterward. And I made good food choices.
The next day included a truly epic hike with my friend Jeff (this will eventually get its own post), and since then I’ve been feeling much better. I’ve exercised every day, eaten well, and taken steps to address some issues surrounding the depression.
I’m sharing this because I want this blog to truthfully reflect my journey. I’ve been blogging about lots of incredible successes lately (like climbing the tallest stairwell in the country), but that doesn’t paint the entire picture. There are highs, and there are lows. There always will be. And being honest about both is the only way to go.
Keep it up, David!