As I write this, it’s one day until Thanksgiving 2010. Thanksgiving seems to have become watered down into a few elements: good food, potential stressors, and excess. As someone who never needed an excuse to eat in excess of what my body needed, Thanksgiving used to be just another day of excess. Another day I chose to stay chained to my B.E.D. and agree with the nonsense that my inner critic droned on about: “You’re so fat. You don’t deserve to eat anything on Thanksgiving. But I know you’re going to, so you should just stuff yourself until you’re full and then start over the next day with a new diet. You’re such a loser.” Thankfully (the first of many things I’m grateful for), I don’t listen to that inner critic anymore. This is what I’m telling my critic today: “Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I’m healthy enough now to tune into what my body needs. I don’t need you telling me what or how much to eat. So you can have the day, week, month…forever off.”
So, what happens if tomorrow, my inner critic decides to NOT take the day off? Well, I’m armed with food for my spirit (food which will surely put my inner critic into a tryptophan-like coma).
I rarely hear the news media (except my favorite nighttime DJ, “Delilah”) talking about the origins of tomorrow’s holiday or the fact that the big “family style” meal was first celebrated as a way to give thanks to God for their abundant blessings –food, restored health, and new connections with the native peoples. But just because the media isn’t talking about the real meaning of Thanksgiving doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten. I know that giving thanks for all of my blessings (the little (and big) steps I’ve taken, the people I’ve met on this journey, friends, family, education, freedom, and HEALTH) is a great way to shut up my inner critic. There is only so much positive thinking that he’ll stick around for. After a while, he seems to melt into a useless puddle like the Wicked Witch of the West, leaving me with a feeling of wholeness and health which helps me tune into what my body really needs and wants to eat.
So start making your list and checking it twice…not the Christmas list (that can wait ’til Black Friday), but the list of all the people, situations, and progress for which you’re thankful. I guarantee you’ll be well-armed for tomorrow’s big meal. You’ll have one more way to tell your inner critic to take a hike.
Peace, joy, and health.