Well, that dreaded holiday is back. The one that gives us license to eat and eat and eat and then triggers a binge later that night to boot. Crap. Thanksgiving is here again. 

I think it was perhaps 1986, I was in 6th grade, and I’d been dieting. My world consisted of cottage cheese, cantaloupe and melba toast. Because, you know, it was the 80’s.  Anyway, my Mom and I were visiting some cousins or something, I don’t remember, I think it was my Grandmother’s second husband’s daughter’s husband’s parents house. Anyway, that’s where we were. And we ate lots of pie and mashed potatoes and other things that weren’t cottage cheese. Then, I went to the bathroom, saw a box of chocolated ex-lax, took a few and proceeded to eat more pie. Don’t ask me how at 11 years old I knew about using laxatives to purge, or why it even occurred to me to do so. But I did. Then, that night, after we got home, I stayed up all 
night sitting in the bathroom,and after each “purge” I’d step on the scale and watch it go down. I was so excited by the trick that I’d figured out. That was my first foray into extremely disordered eating.  

Thanksgiving is a loaded holiday. 

So, I’ve compiled a list of suggestions that you can use as ammunition to keep you safe. 

1. Allow yourself to eat what you want. Seriously. Eat whatever you want and tell yourself before Thanksgiving dinner that you are allowed to have whatever you want. However, eat portions within reason. One good way of eyeballing portions is to keep them the size of the palm of your hand (fingers not included) or smaller. The reason for this is that if you deprive yourself at Thanksgiving dinner, you might go back at night and binge. Even if you are at someone else’s house, you might just go home and bingeon whatever is in your house because you felt deprived. 

2. Don’t get too full. Let yourself eat, but do it slowly. Getting too full is of course a huge binge trigger. So keep yourself satisfied within reason. If you do happen to get full, tell yourself that it’s okay. That you are not alone in being full or too full on Thanksgiving. That bingeing because you are full would be like finding that you have a flat tire and slashing the other 3.  Just because getting full can be a trigger for many bingeeaters, even if it does happen, you don’t have let it be a binge. You can sit with that discomfort. 

3. Instead of focusing on what you can’t have, focus on what you can and do have. Focus on what you are gaining by not bingeing… strength, vitality, health, peace. 

4. Feed yourself self-loving thoughts and self-loving activities. If you need to get out of the house, get out. If you need to walk around, walk around. If you need to get away from the food, get away from the food. 

5. Book end your meal before and after. Have someone to call before you leave for your Thanksgiving meal and have someone to call when you get home.

6. If you are doing it at your house, send people home with leftovers or bring food in the morning to your nearest soup kitchen or homeless shelter. 

7. If you are dealing with family issues and discomforts there, make sure that you have a support person with you. Don’t go alone. Have someone loving there for you. 


If you have the hypnosis to stop binge eating download, I would recommend beginning to listen to it tonight and listen to it nightly through the holidays to remind yourself that the urge to binge is nothing more than an urge- and that it’s okay to let it pass through you- though it might be difficult, it gets easier and easier and you become more mindful and stronger as the urges become weaker. 

Good luck to all of you! Happy Thanksgiving, may you find gratitude in all things great and small. Find peace and find healing. If you are healthy and happy, may you stay that way, if you need physical or emotional healing, may that come to you easily and if you are hoping for a miracle, I wish that for you too.

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