Thanksgiving Dinner on My Mind

Thanksgiving is approaching and I’m already trying to wrap my brain around how I’m going to try to deal with the dinner.  Typically, we host so it’s easy for me to sort of control the menu and I can easily sneak into the kitchen and weigh/measure my food so I know exactly how much I’m having.   As you probably know by now, I’m a calorie counter and there is a certain amount of calories that I shoot for each day.  I count my calories not only so that I don’t go over my calorie count, but also so I don’t go too far under.  If I end up to be under, I am thrilled to be able to eat some more to get up to my allotted amount.

So eating at someone’s home is stressful for me on a couple of levels.  First is because I cannot use my scale and I have to eyeball the quantities of most things that I eat.  After all these years of measuring and weighing, I’d like to think I have a pretty good grip on roughly what things weigh by eyeballing them, but it still bothers me not knowing exactly how much things weigh and subsequently how many calories I’m having.  I’m well aware that this control thing is part of my compulsive eating sickness. 

Why don’t  I just bring my scale, you ask?  Because I do not feel comfortable weighing my portions in front of everyone, especially my children.  And I don’t want to draw attention to myself by getting up from the table with my plate, pulling out my scale, weighing everything and writing it down.  Also, as I’m still a closeted compulsive eater, I do not want people watching me or whispering about me.  Perhaps at some point I will come out and I will bring my scale, but until that day…

The second level of eating at someone’s home that stresses me is that it is really difficult for me to be done eating my dinner (because I (stupidly) eat too fast and I don’t eat a lot), is that I end up sitting there with all these serving dishes of foods in front of me.  And while the food itself may not be calling to me, I find it very difficult to just there and do nothing.  I feel compelled to eat.  If there was a bottomless bowl of salad with light dressing for dipping that I could keep shoveling in, I’d be happy as a clam.  However, that is rarely the case. 

If I were in my own house entertaining, I could easily get up and start cleaning up, doing dishes, etc.  I can certainly help out in someone else’s home, but it’s just not the same as being in your own home.

I need to frame this properly and not make it into a big deal.  I need to come up with a game plan of what I’m going to eat.  Those are things I can try to do.  But I’m not sure how to deal with what to do when I get done eating and everyone is still enjoying their dinner.  This happens to me all the time in the almost two years I have remained abstinent.  I have confidence in myself that I will get by again with this meal as well, but boy I wish I could figure out a way to make it easier.  It’s not a pleasant feeling to have some level of dread when going to someone’s house to have a family/holiday dinner.

Suggestions, anyone, on how I can deal with this in a socially acceptable way?

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2 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. innerpilgrimage
    21 November 2009, 3:36 pm

    I totally understand what you’re going through, since I am a measurer, myself, and eyeballing things isn’t that easy for me, yet.

    How about a portion-size dry run before Thanksgiving? I know if I have an awareness of what a half-cup of potatoes or a certain amount of ounces of protein looks like, I should be able to memorize then replicate that for one day.

    Also, to slow down on the eating (I am normally a speed eater, too, so I know what you’re talking about) so you don’t feel pressed to keep feasting, you could always eat a third of what’s on your plate then wait five minutes and be part of the conversation, then eat another third, join the conversation, and eat the last third. The only drawback is that the food may get cold, something that I think is probably the reason many of us speed-eat in the first place.

    Or you can follow a slow eater–emulate how they eat by taking similar-sized bites two seconds after they do. I’ve done that before, especially when I realize I’m slamming a sandwich and the person eating with me is being left behind. I’ll set it down and wait for them to catch up then keep up. Often, I find myself satiated before I eat everything I was served, and I take home leftovers.

    Also, I consider the intent to be an important part of abstinence, If you do your best to portion properly and do not rationalize going back for more or giving yourself overlarge initial portions, then you’ve done your best to follow your food plan. I bet you’ll under-serve yourself rather than over-serve. I know when I’m worried about it, I tend to under-portion.

    To me, the food plan tool helps us find the spiritual intent to live within boundaries so we can learn to live without our food compulsion. I realized, myself, that I initially got compulsive about measuring, which was trading one compulsion for another! If you experience the desire for compulsive overeating at Thanksgiving, that’s what the food plan is for–it’s the safety railing to hold on to while we traverse the dangerous trail of the holidays.

    And, at worst, your Higher Power will come through on the eyeballing portions thing this Thanksgiving. Let it go to your HP right now and every day until Thanksgiving (and especially T-Day!), and I have a feeling you’ll get the answers you need.


    love2eatinpa Reply:

    hi and thanks so much for your great suggestions! i have never heard some of them before and hope that HP will help me to keep them in mind as well as help with the eyeballing. best of luck to all of us for this holiday!


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