Thanksgiving - A Time to Be Realistic With Your Weight
by Wendy Hearn 

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Do you feel you can't enjoy Thanksgiving and manage your weight at the same time? I've found that many people use this 'either or' approach to losing weight, particularly at holiday times. But it doesn't have to be like that. There is a way of enjoying Thanksgiving yet still being aware of your weight and your eating and exercise habits.

When a holiday period such as Thanksgiving approaches, there's often the temptation to abandon the idea of losing weight, probably because at such times you feel you're fighting a losing battle to maintain your weight. However, the healthy eating and exercise habits you've been building up can still be adhered to.

Thanksgiving, like all holiday periods, is always likely to be a part of your life and finding a way to handle such times is crucial to your successful weight loss in the long term.

Think back to last Thanksgiving. If you over-indulged then, how did you feel afterwards? Write down all that runs through your mind about this. Perhaps you regretted eating so much in view of the uphill battle you've had to get the weight off in the first place. Do you want to feel the same way this year? What feeling do you want after Thanksgiving?

At this time of year, if we haven't managed our weight well, then the chances are increased that we'll do nothing about it afterwards. We may say we will but after gaining some weight, it's often difficult to motivate ourselves to start losing it again. This feeling of failure can be a sticking point and isn't helpful to permanent weight loss.
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I encourage you to take a realistic approach to Thanksgiving. I suggest it's not realistic to follow a restrictive diet and nor is going all out to eat whatever you want. There is a middle ground and I encourage you to find this for yourself. Decide what you can realistically do to prevent weight gain during Thanksgiving. What steps can you take which will lead to success? Set realistic expectations for yourself. Heck, you're not perfect, none of us are and it's a waste of energy striving to be perfect.

When faced with eating, ask yourself what feels like a realistic amount to eat? This may vary at different times and you don't want to deprive yourself, because that isn't realistic. What are you willing to do? What aren't you willing to do? What does a realistic eating and exercise plan look like and feel like to you? Being realistic may mean allowing yourself some cake when others are eating it. Perhaps having reasonably size portions of food, or exercising for 20 minutes rather than your usual 6 hours!

Enjoy the success you achieve with your realistic expectations rather than looking at what you didn't accomplish and possibly beating yourself up for it. Are you trying to achieve too much and expect too much of yourself? Don't set yourself up to fail, set yourself up to succeed.

Now that you've decided what's realistic for you this Thanksgiving, I'm going to challenge you slightly. Being realistic is great compared to an all or nothing approach. However, it can also keep us a little bit stuck in a rut. Since the idea is to move forward with your weight loss and health, pick one of the items which you decided was realistic. Decide here and now to stretch yourself just a little, enough so that it's a stretch and yet not too far so you feel you can't do it. The feeling should be "Hmm, I think I could do that". It must feel achievable and this will require some commitment from you to do it. This stretching gives you the opportunity to move forward continually. Perhaps your stretch could be to choose fruit on one occasion instead of cake, or perhaps it could be to eat something for breakfast instead of nothing.

What I want you to have is a successful and joyful Thanksgiving. 

Wendy is a weight loss success coach and author who is passionate about helping people to see that only through sensible healthy eating and regular exercise that weight loss is successfully achieved. 

Click through to her site and read more of Wendy's weight loss articles and find out about her book "What's Eating You?"
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