Happy Thanksgiving! It’s almost Turkey Day here in the US, and I am headed to Pittsburgh to spend some QT with the fam (and to see my 5 nieces and nephews, who I can’t wait to squeeze 🙂 )

Thanksgiving is one of those times when even the people who are “normal eaters” find that they eat WAY too much and struggle to pass on the 3rd piece of pie.

So for those of us who have “food struggles”, it’s often a very triggering, crazy food obsessed kind-of day.

So, here is a little trick that’s really useful, for all the “crap, I want that 6th piece of pumpkin pie” kind-of eaters. When you are in your head, terrified of gaining and obsessed about what you’re gonna eat/not eat, I invite you to participate in this little Thanksgiving Challenge.

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Your Thanksgiving Challenge: 

(And even if you aren’t celebrating Thanksgiving, see if you can incorporate this into your weekend)

I want you to see what NON-FOOD things you can ENJOY tomorrow. 

Sounds simple, huh?

Shifting out of the food and into something you enjoy is a really awesome way to get yourself out of your head.

Here was how I used to be on Thanksgiving: 

“I want another helping of stuffing, but I know I shouldn’t, but I really want it…”

“Whatever you do, keep the apple pie at the other end of the table”

“If I eat this second plate of food, I definitely won’t have any desserts for the rest of the weekend (and I’ll work out extra)”

I was not even present at the dinner table, because I was having a war in my mind of all the swirling thoughts of food-insanity.

And then, I decided to shift my mindset. AWAY from food. And INTO enjoyment.

What could I enjoy other than food? Because I knew all the mindful eating, slowing down, listening to my body stuff was not going to work during this time of insanity.

When food is combined with family dynamics + out of routine eating + travelling + chaos and stress, it calls for extra vigilant and extra strength tactics.

When you are focused on things you ENJOY (that are not food related), the pie, the cookies, and the stuffing begin to lose some of their power. (Click to tweet!)

Instead of getting irritated that your Aunt Judith won’t stop talking to you, frantic because all you can think about is sneaking off to eat more candied walnuts, annoyed that dinner is 2 hours later than expected and you’re starving, or frustrated that you didn’t get to work out like you wanted, let it all be the crazy, chaotic mess that it is.

And ask yourself: What can I enjoy?

Maybe it’s the beautiful way the table is decorated. Can you appreciate the fact that the host took the time to use her best china, laid out the most festive tablecloth, and created handmade place cards?

Perhaps you slow down enough to listen to your grandmother’s stories.  Can you take the time to really listen and soak in all of the stories/wisdom your grandmother has in her 80+ years?

It could be taking a walk before or after dinner. Can you enjoy what is so awesome about late fall and really see the leaves changing, hear the wind rustling, and feel the chill in the air?

There really are so many hidden gems we can enjoy, without making it all about the food. It’s just taking the time and making an effort to really notice them. (Click to tweet!)

Appreciate the work it took for your mom to put together this beautiful Thanksgiving meal. Relish the loud and crazy people you’re related to. Enjoy the chaos, the smells, the sights, and mostly…allow yourself to focus on all of the non-food things you are lucky enough to have in your life 🙂

Are you up for the challenge? I’d love to hear what YOU can enjoy for the rest of the week in the comments below 🙂