Surviving Thanksgiving After Weight Loss Surgery
After weight loss surgery, you’ll likely notice how much of our celebrating is centered around food. Several of our holidays and special events are punctuated by special food and drink. The most obvious of these holidays has got to be Thanksgiving! Your tiny stomach doesn’t allow for a typical Thanksgiving, so you must adjust how you celebrate. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time! And, as is often the case, the best defense is a good offense! Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so read on to help yourself develop a plan to stay on track!
Thanksgiving is literally a HUGE meal for most families. Many traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, rolls, pumpkin pie, etc. None of those are ideal foods for a bariatric diet. But fear not! You can still enjoy a celebratory meal with your loved ones. If possible, grab a smaller plate like a dessert or salad plate. Then, your tiny portions won’t look or feel quite so obvious. Try to take up most of your plate real estate with healthy foods high in protein and low in carbs. Grab a slice of turkey and some green beans without worry! And, hey, a BITE of your favorite sweet potato casserole or grandma’s famous pecan pie won’t derail your efforts. Just keep it small and savor it.
Are there any “food pushers” in your family? You know, those people who will try to keep making you eat despite knowing your journey? If the answer is yes, plan. You don’t want to overdo it and feel sick. Nor do you want a lovely holiday to turn into a tense, awkward confrontation. Practice sticking to your guns politely and recruit help from supportive family members beforehand if you think you’ll need it.
If you’re feeling bold, maybe try to start a new family tradition! Round up willing family members for a post-dinner walk around the neighborhood. Or hit up a few stores to watch (or join in on) the Black Friday frenzy. The goal is to get moving and burn some of those calories. Within a few years, the family walk might become a beloved tradition everyone looks forward to!
Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be dull and sad for us in our post-WLS life. But we will likely have to make some changes. Be proactive. Make a game plan. It will get easier and more natural over time. You got this!