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Happy Thanksgiving! It is getting to that time of year where we reflect where we reflect on what we are thankful for. As a disabled person who lives with a lot of challenges it can be easy to get focused on everything that is hard in your life and focus on everything that you don’t have and forget about what you do. During the holidays there is a lot of food which can be stressful for disabled people who have difficulty with certain food or anyone struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating. In the past I struggled on Thanksgiving because I didn’t have a healthy relationship with food like I do now and go overly stressed about things I cannot control. Holidays that involve a lot of food can be a struggle for a lot of people because there is a lot of information about what and how much to eat and diet culture want us to believe that if we don’t eat perfectly 24/7 that we will never be happy with ourselves. In this post, I am going to talk about a few things that I remind myself on Thanksgiving for a less stressful holiday.
It’s okay not exercise- On Thanksgiving there is a lot of food and sometimes people get it in their heads that we have to exercise to “earn” your Thanksgiving meal. There is nothing wrong with exercising on Thanksgiving Day and most years I do it myself because anytime there is a lot of food it increases your likelihood of constipation and I have found exercise helpful for preventing severe constipation. If you are exercising because movement makes you feel good, it can be very healthy to exercise but if you are only running a marathon to “earn” that extra piece of pie it’s disordered and you should probably consider healing your poor relationship with food. You don’t need to “earn” your food because our bodies need nutrition whether you exercised today or not, and I think we should stop putting food on pedestal that it doesn’t need to be on. It is okay to exercise on Thanksgiving Day if you want to but it’s also okay to skip your workout and still eat three pieces of pie. Thanksgiving is one day out of the entire year and it’s okay if you don’t exercise because you can always get back on track to
It’s okay to not count calories– On Thanksgiving there is a lot of food that is not always low calories sometimes you may be tempted to start counting. There is nothing wrong with counting calories if you have a medical condition and have to keep track of your calories, but most people don’t have that and only count calories because they are worried, they will eat too much and lose any progress they had in their fitness. It is okay to eat three pieces of pie on Thanksgiving and have no idea how many calories you consumed and as a matter of fact I think it can be healthy to not know because in my experience when you obsess over calories it ruins any enjoyment you had in your food. If you want to count calories, I am not going to tell you not to but also know it’s totally fine to not know how many calories you ate. Diet culture wants us to believe that we need to count calories 24/7 but I don’t agree with that and think that you shouldn’t count calories on holidays unless you have to because it can make the holiday less enjoyable.
It’s okay if you ate a little too much– As a disabled person I try really hard not to overeat on holidays because it triggers constipation that will negatively affect me more than most people and it doesn’t make me feel great. When there is a lot of food most of the time I do well with controlling myself but if I am having a good day with minimal stoma problem sometimes there are too many temptations and I eat more than I planned because it happens. Some people get overly stressed when they eat too much and think that they have to fast Friday morning to undo all the food they ate the day before. If fasting makes helps make you feel better and reduces bloating there is nothing wrong with doing a short fast, but you don’t have to fast every time you a little too much. I fast almost single day and I intend to do it on Friday, but I am not going to fast longer than I normally would if I ate more mash potatoes than I planned to. You don’t have to put yourself on a juice cleanse or fast the day after Thanksgiving if you don’t to and as long as you don’t have a feast every single day you will be fine.
Holidays can be stressful if you try a little too hard to control your food choices and can take the joy out of holidays because some things in life you do not have full control over. As a disabled person, I am more mindful of how much food I am consuming because every food choice I make can contribute to constipation but at the same time I try not to create a bunch of food rules on holidays because I don’t want to turn holiday celebrations into a diet. There is nothing wrong with limiting certain types of food if it doesn’t make you feel good but the intentions behind it matters because it can be very unhealthy if you are avoiding something because the Internet told that eating more than half a banana is basically poisoning yourself. If a food doesn’t make you feel good then you don’t have to eat it, but don’t buy into diet culture and get into the mindset that you have to always count your calories because there are going to be sometimes when you shouldn’t do that. If you are celebrating Thanksgiving enjoy your time with family and try not to overthink everything you are eating because you will enjoy yourself that way. What you are some things that you think people should remember on Thanksgiving Day?
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