This past weekend part of our family celebrated our second annual Thankbirthmas festivities. My husband and I both took a day off work to invest in our family relationships. We drove several hours in frustrating traffic to reach the home of our son and daughter-in-law. We spent the weekend together celebrating Thanksgiving (Thank), our four birthdays, which fall between September and December (birth) and Christmas (mas). As we are all actively involved in ministry, our schedules and the distance normally only permit a once-a-year visit. We make the most of it!
So often, celebrations become so food-focused and this has led me to be stressed out about them in the past. In my weight-loss journey, and now in maintenance, I feel much more in control of my food choices when preparing and eating “regular meals”. Celebrations with extra sweets, or seasonal foods has led me to over-indulge and then feel guilty about it. This time I wanted it to be different.
I do not have any foods that I avoid because they are “bad for me”. I make conscious healthy choices and practice portion control. If I want something indulgent, I plan for it and eat it if I can work it into my food plan. I know eating some things on a regular basis is not wise, but anything once in a while helps me not feel deprived and able to stay on my plan. I keep one of my life verses close to mind.
“Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be mastered by anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12 CSB
Any food is permissible but not always in my best interest. Some foods are trigger foods that may cause me to overeat if I am tired or stressed and so I should put off indulging in them until I am emotionally stronger, more rested, and better able to exhibit the self-control needed.
So how did I work this into Thankbirthmas? I made sure I attended my wellness check-in and weighed in Friday morning just before we set off. I had my current weight recorded and planned on making one conscious healthy choice each day of the celebration. For example, I packed lunches for on the road to avoid fast-food stops. I had fruit and yogurt for breakfast when I knew our celebration meal would be that evening. We went out for burgers one day and I choose to have my lettuce-wrapped instead of having a bun.
Did I have desserts? You betcha. Did I enjoy my holiday favourite of turkey stuffing. I sure did. But I do not feel the least bit guilty about it. I chose mindfully.
The best thing I chose was to feast on the fellowship. Laughing, talking and hugging my family. We went to church and worshiped together. We also went for a long walk on Sunday afternoon and marveled at God’s creation, displayed in glorious fall colours.
When I recall that weekend, what I will treasure in my heart are the sounds of laughter, hearing my son sing as he came in the door from an early morning work shift, just like his father does, the hugging and the conversations. The calories I can burn off, they are so temporary. The feasting, the grabbing of every moment with those I love so much, will never leave me.
Watching father and son together satisfies my soul more than the most decadent dessert ever could. As the occasions come: birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and Christmas…may you feast on the love and fellowship of those around the table more than the plates sitting upon it.