Why You Shouldn’t Count Calories at Thanksgiving

So, I accept the fact that one precious day a year I can eat gravy and pie and mashed potatoes made with real cream. This is the day that I can pick the marshmallows off the top of yams and eat only that sugary sweetness. This is the day when one meal leads to another and the only required exercise is walking to the television to watch football.

While many of you may have restricted diets, please feel free to stick to those at the Thanksgiving meal. Just don’t sit next to me and spend all of your time discussing it.

I can’t tell you the number of Thanksgiving meals I’ve had marred by my well-intending friends and family members who saunter around in size 2 jeans and prepare to tell my size 10 jeans why they are so much smaller. What they don’t know is that I don’t care. That’s why I’m a size 10.

For most of us, Thanksgiving is the day when you try to remember the gift of gratitude brought by the Pilgrims and Indians who later slaughtered each other. It’s the day you are kind of like the Kennedy’s and you play a little football in the grass only to realize that you have on expensive shoes and you snagged your sweater on a twig and you don’t really enjoy your head pounding against the dirt when a good tackle is made. At least that’s what my sister said when I tackled her.

Thanksgiving is the day when Dallas will play the Redskins and my niece’s toddler will learn new words from me that will get him kicked out of his daycare in the near future. It is the day when our screams will wake up her newborn but we will refuse to be quiet because screaming at a team upon whom our opinions will have absolutely no impact seems temporarily critical.

Thanksgiving is the day when I watch my mom and sister cook the meal because they’ve banned me from the kitchen due to cooking skills that my mother still swears is simply because I don’t want to do it. I beg to differ. I burned boiled potatoes one Thanksgiving. My sister removed my hand from the pot and never handed me another one. I am now relegated to ice and cups.

Thanksgiving is the day when we relive family stories that have been told a thousand times and embellish just a little bit more to keep them interesting. Then we talk about them on the way home and get frustrated by the exaggerated story and start a series of phone calls that will encompass the rest of the year trying to get the story straight.

But, most of all, Thanksgiving is when I personally stuff my face without apology. So, if you’re on a medical diet or trying to stick to your diet plan, I admire you. But please take note – this year, the only cardinal sin I will not forgive is if you sit beside me at the dinner table and start any sentence with . . . “Do you know how many calories are in that?”

The sentence alone could get your head driven into the dirt during the family football game.

 

Donna Highfill
Donna Highfill has over 25 years experience in helping Fortune 500 organizations and leaders through times of change. In addition, she's a humorist who enjoys helping baby boomer women deal with the big change of life with laughter. She published a book called "Real People, Real Change: Stories of a Change Warrior in the Business World" in which she shares stories and lessons to help others lead change. Donna is currently working on advanced coaching certification and her next book about being a preacher's kid.
Donna Highfill

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