As I lost weight and learned to stop thinking about food every single minute of the day, I also learned something really important about the holiday season. I learned that the success of the holiday isn’t about what food is on the table, but rather who is sitting at the table and what kind of experiences we all share. Additionally, I learned that holidays are more than one meal.
Of course an “eating” holiday like Thanksgiving does center around a meal, but in our house, it also centers around vocalizing what we are all thankful for. It also is a chance to pull out of wedding china, use fancy glasses and the nicer flatware.
Before, all I thought about was the food. I thought about when to buy the food, when to start preparing the food and how much food I could get away with eating. I started baking days in advance. Dozens and dozens of cookies, brownies by the pan and enough pie for each member of the family to have their own was standard prep for me. I was so busy thinking about the “food” that I often failed to notice anything else.
By the time I had obsessed over the food, just sitting at the table was exhausting. I just wanted to be done with the whole thing and have some pie.
Perhaps it’s because I’m older now, but these holidays are now about simplicity. What’s the simplest way to make delicious food that we all enjoy without stressing myself out. What other events do I want the kids to remember – sitting down for 30 minutes eating a gigantic meal, or spending the days ahead doing crafts and hanging out together?
I choose the family memories over the food frenzy.
We still have a great meal, but it’s easy to prepare and I don’t focus on how much food, but rather on what else is going on around us.
I know all of you are working on the same types of things this time of year. How to balance food, fun and family times while staying true to your goals.
I promise you that you won’t miss obsessing over the food – I sure don’t!
Happy Healthy Thanksgiving to all of You! Diane