Two Thanksgivings ago, I was about 15 pounds underweight. I was trying to regain the weight, seeing a therapist and a dietitian. I was pretty committed to recovery and gaining weight on schedule, but that didn’t make it all easy all the time. For one thing, I was counting calories obsessively–a habit I’d ironically started in an effort to try to gain weight–but it was really starting to grate on me.
This Thanksgiving, I ate (mostly) according to my intuitive hunger and fullness–with the exception of a few treats here and there. I’m now at a place where I never weigh myself, I can tell my size and shape doesn’t fluctuate much, and I do my best not to count calories, although it is very hard to forget the numbers I memorized and I’ll admit, it does sometimes make me anxious when I feel I’ve gone over what I consider “normal.” Still, I consider myself largely recovered.
Two Thanksgivings ago, I wasn’t exercising outside of swing dance and yoga, as part of my effort to try to gain weight.
This Thanksgiving week, I went to two spin classes and a sweaty yoga class and got to see some old friends from the gym where I went for six years.
Two Thanksgivings ago, I had perpetual stomach cramps, bloating and constipation that I didn’t recognize as constipation because my sense of normal in that department was so skewed.
This Thanksgiving, I did not have any unusual bloating or cramps and did not have to deal with constipation at all. Thank goodness for the modified low-FODMAP diet and probiotics!
Two Thanksgivings ago, it was just me and my dad. My mom had gone to help my grandpa, who was considering moving out of his house and wanted help packing. I didn’t want to cook a whole Thanksgiving turkey just for me and Dad, even though Mom had bought us one, so instead, I made chicken thighs roasted with sweet potatoes and a couple of side dishes. Plus pumpkin pie, of course! My brother and his wife also stopped by to keep us company and nibble a little pie.
This Thanksgiving, more members of my family were together: my parents, my brother and his wife, me of course, my aunt, uncle, cousin, and grandma.We had the full spread: appetizers, turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, rolls, a few bottles of wine and Bellinis, and two kinds of gluten-free pie, including this cranberry-raspberry beauty that I shared on the blog.
Last Thanksgiving, I was still in the elimination phase of the low-FODMAP diet. I don’t remember what was served at our meal, but I remember I was still avoiding lactose, wheat, onion, garlic, fructan veggies, fructose, and more.
Since last Thanksgiving, I’ve been able to re-introduce a lot of foods. I skipped the rolls, and the pies were gluten-free, but I was able to enjoy most other items on the table without worrying too much about what was in them.
I did, however, do some low-FODMAP cooking during the week, including trying another recipe from the new low-FODMAP cookbook I ordered a few weeks ago and making this spicy macaroni bake from my own blog for my folks.
Last Thanksgiving, I flew home. It was my first time flying solo.
This Thanksgiving, I drove home. It was the longest drive I’ve ever done solo–8 hours.
Last Thanksgiving, I was convinced that fall break counted as a grading week and that I therefore had to grade through the break in order to get my students’ papers back on time.
This Thanksgiving, I now realize that fall break does not count as a grading week and my deadline is a week later, so I took a more substantial break from work. I met my brother and his wife for tea and treats at a local coffee shop, put up a post to the blog, visited my cousin and her baby girl, went shopping for new blue jeans, and did a lot of work on a puzzle I started last time I was home for Labor Day.
All of these changes have been for the better. It’s not that I wasn’t, in many cases, doing the right thing for myself at the time; I definitely was. But in the spirit of the season, I’m very thankful to look back and see how I’ve overcome past challenges, despite some new challenges that have arisen.
Finally, if you haven’t had the chance, be sure to check out the No-Shame November I put up on the blog yesterday, featuring the lovely Chelsea, author of the healthy living blog Lil Miss Fitness Freak.
Thanks also to Meghan for tolerating all of my funky spins on her Week in Review linkup.
What challenges have you overcome since Thanksgivings past? Or, what other kinds of changes can you recognize from your life when you compare past holidays to this one?