By: N.V. Jones
While I enjoy eating turkey and all the fixings as much as the next girl on Thanksgiving, I do not enjoy the after-dinner guilt I feel when I try to put on my favorite pair of jeans the next day. My instant gratification and joy of a well-cooked meal wilts in the face of the un-buttonable.
Why is it that moderation flies out the window as soon as the Thanksgiving feast is placed on the table?
Why can’t I stay the course and stay on only one course, rather than hoover my way through two or three, with a slice of pumpkin pie on the side, please? Or, better yet, why can’t I simply enjoy my gluttony and say “screw you” to the guilt? Well, the answer to all those questions probably can only be found within.
Like many women, I diet most of the year. I diet for many reasons, namely for health and self-esteem. I want to look good and feel good, and if I were honest, in that order.
So, for ten months out of the year, I eat small portions, make good food choices, and while I don’t exercise as much as I should, I do try to exercise at least once a week. Sometimes I fail miserably and can’t say no to the evil food group known as “donuts”, but for the most part, I am a good girl and stay on track.
It is so very hard. I grew up skinny; I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted.
The holidays were my favorite time of year because there was plenty of food to go around. If you grew up poor like I did, you understand what a glorious treat that was!
Now, I am a wife and mother of two teenagers, and although we always have a well-stocked fridge, my own body chemistry has changed and I find myself having to eat less and exercise more. Most of the time, I feel it’s a losing battle, ergo the “After-Holiday” guilt.
So, why do I put myself through this? Is it because I have to control myself for most of the year and then when Thanksgiving and Christmas come around, I have the perfect excuse to release that control and fall back into the ways of my childhood? My self-esteem takes a hit when I feel overly full, I don’t want to put on my jeans, and grab the sweat pants instead.
So, I went seeking answers to help me regain control during the holiday season. Here is what I learned:
As far as the questions I posed above… what can I say? I’m not a psychologist. Happy Holidays!