Today I found myself searching the internet for yummy do-able Thanksgiving recipes. It will be Grace's first ever holiday season. This isn't the only new thing this year. This will be the first year that I am super excited about Thanksgiving. I got a little teary typing that.
I used to dread Thanksgiving. Every single thing about it, especially the food. It was always so overwhelming for me. The panic usually hit at the beginning of November. I used to come up with a million scenarios in my head of how it would play out and how little I could get away with eating. Even more so,I would try to figure out how I could look "normal" while still following my strict eating disorder rules. The permission wasn't there. Everyone else was allowed to indulge in yummy food but not me.
I obsessed in my head and even went as far as telling myself I was "good" because I had more willpower than everyone else, all while secretly being very very jealous of everyone else's ability to eat what they wanted.
Then there were the times where I was so hungry from weeks and months of starving myself, that my rules went out the window. For this one day I was allowed to eat whatever I wanted. While on those days I felt like I was overeating and out of control, looking back I realize that my body was just desperately trying to fill a major deficit.
This year Thanksgiving doesn't feel so black and white. There will be some more traditional recipes but my eating won't be much different than any other day. The permission is there. The permission to let my body decide what it would like and how much. And of course the reminder that all of the same foods will be available the next day.
This year I am doing most of the cooking, something I have never done before. Recently I have found so much joy in cooking and being creative in the kitchen. I love making food for me and my family to share and am super excited to try out new things I have never done before.
Today, when I think about Thanksgiving, I smile. Instead of obsessing about food, I can be completely present with my family and be thankful for all of the blessings in my life, which is what the holiday is truly about.
You might not believe it now, but with hard work you can enjoy Thanksgiving as well. No matter where you are in your recovery, remember to cut yourself some slack this holiday season, you deserve it!