Next week we officially usher in the holiday season with our celebration of Thanksgiving on Thursday. It is fair to say that many of us will be sitting down to the traditional Thanksgiving Day meal of turkey, stuffing, and all the dressings and sides that seem to represent this holiday. It is also fair to say that many of us will eat far too much; we will eat way past the point of being sated. Some of us will eat until we are uncomfortably full, even sick. We will shovel in those candied yams and that cornbread stuffing. Heap mounds of mashed potatoes swimming in gravy on our plates. We will sit at that table and just keep bringing fork to mouth, as though we are never going to be fed again. And then, even though our pants are digging into our soft, rippled, protruding bellies, we will wonder just how many slices of pumpkin and apple pie we can manage to consume before we really do pop a button or bust a seam.
Why do we do this? Why do we gorge ourselves year after year on this day and then continue to roll with this gluttonous behavior all season long? Why do we choose to treat our bodies so poorly?
There is nothing wrong with enjoying the foods of the holiday season, so long as it is done in moderation. In truth, if we did apply a little restraint when pulling chair to table, we might actually enjoy ourselves more. Eating should be an enjoyable experience, but our level of enjoyment should not be based upon how much we can cram down our throats. We need to remember that more is not always better, nor is it the only way to celebrate the season. We can still delight in having those Thanksgiving leftovers or that Christmas cookie, but we can also delight in going to bed at night without having to glug that Pepto-Bismol or chew those Tums. We can be thrilled to look sleek in our holiday finest as we arrive to our holiday parties and gatherings. We can be proud that we made getting to the gym a priority, even during this busy time, rather than watching our waistlines grow as we imbibe in another glass of eggnog.
So, just a little reminder, when sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner next Thursday...Let's remember to take the time to really relish what we are eating. The more time we take to savor the experience, the more likely it is that we will appreciate not only the meal, but the holiday itself. And chances are, we will set the tone for a less indulgent, yet more gratifying, holiday season overall.