FEAST, FORGIVE, REFOCUS Strategize a Guilt-Free Holiday Season

‘Twas the day after Thanksgiving, when all through my body, not a nutrient or vitamin sat, 
not even a natural sugar or nutritious healthy fat.
The sweats were pulled from the drawer with haste, 
with prayers that my newly ill-fitting buttoned pants represented a temporary mistake. 
The pies were foiled and put in the fridge, 
plotting their sugary attack with their perfectly formed pastry ridge.
And hubby in his recliner, and I on my chaise lounge, 
began to mentally wrestle with the amount of food consumed for which none we had to scrounge.
When from my body there arose an uncomfortable feeling, 
I bolted down the hallway with a sensation that left me reeling. 
Away to the bathroom I ran without care, 
turned on the hot shower and of my poor Thanksgiving choices I became more aware. 
The face in the mirror, surrounded by steam, 
made it clear that my indulgent food choices and lack of water weren’t a great team, 
When what to my surprise should come into a view, 
but a dancing line of nutrients and vitamins that represented a vivid daydream, this much I knew. 
And even though I realized this hallucination was something for which my sugar crash and dehydration were to blame, 
I smiled as I called each healthy mirage by name: 
“Now, Protein! Now, Vitamin D! Now, healthy fats and Vitamin C! On, Magnesium! On, Calcium! On, Iron and Folate! To the Thanksgiving feast survivors, to those who indulged, now, hurry up! Hurry up! Hurry up all!”

The first half of Clement Clarke Moore’s poem, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’, is the perfect inspiration for ‘Twas the day after Thanksgiving’. Both poems are built on a common feeling: Disbelief.

Year after year, Americans are shocked to discover they consume between 3,000-4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat throughout their Thanksgiving celebrations. Considering most people require only 1,600-1,800 daily calories, depending on age, weight, and gender, the total Thanksgiving calories digested seems gluttonous. But stop right there with any kind of guilt your brain may be trying to wash over you. There is no time machine allowing you to return to your Thanksgiving gatherings to make wiser and healthier food and drink choices. So instead of cursing the amount of food and drink that entered your mouth, focus your energy on getting back on track.

Christmas and New Year’s Eve are right around the corner. There is no time like the present to refocus on your health. As Dr. Seuss says, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose… So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s a Great Balancing Act.”

Focus on your health and well-being in between the holidays so when the next holiday party rolls around, you can indulge in a tempting confection without a guilty conscious. Stop worrying about feasting more than you intended over Thanksgiving. It’s time to forgive yourself and refocus on getting your healthy lifestyle back on track. After all, Mama Lisa’s homemade iron skillet apple pie and Aunt Diane’s brandy slushies are only a holiday away. Start making healthy choices now, so you can enjoy those memory-filled goodies at the next holiday guilt-free.

Author: Evelyn Lindel
Certified Health & Wellness Coach