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Dear media, hands off my gravy before I hurt you

[ 2 ] November 23, 2011 |
The table is set for a delightful feast

Image by HeedingtheMuses on Flickr.
Used under Creative Commons license.

Why is it that everywhere I look, there’s a magazine, newspaper, or website trying to tell me to restrain myself this Thanksgiving? If I sign a waiver conceding that I’ll probably die very soon, fat, ugly, and alone, will they get off my case?

Frankly, I do not care how many calories are in a typical Thanksgiving feast or how many miles I’d have to walk to burn it off. I don’t want almost-as-good low-fat gravy, whole-grain stuffing, pie made with skim milk, or citrus-glazed poached anything. Is roasting a turkey really so appalling?

It’s like brownies made with apple sauce instead of oil and eggs—the whole point of brownies is intense, decadent, chocolate-y richness. If you make them with apple sauce, technically they’re still brownies, but they lack the richness and decadence, so why bother making them? You’d save even more calories by eating twigs instead.

What is the point? Are we trying to check brownies, or turkey, or pie off of some cosmic to-do list while experiencing and truly enjoying them as little as possible? I’m tired of hearing about “guilt-free” versions of food. Who ever taught us all to feel guilty about eating in the first place? It’s a cake, not a crime.

Even Patrick Mathieu, the “you’re lucky to be alive today—make the most of it!” guy got into the act by declaring in his newsletter, “You need to make getting into (or staying in) shape more important than letting yourself go wild at holiday meals and parties.”

No sir, I don’t. If anything, I need to stop taking myself so seriously, stop being so uptight, and and stop being so hard on myself.

Can we all just let go of trying to be perfect for one day, please?

Life is short. Yes, if we consume thousands of calories at every meal, it will probably be shorter, but a few outlier meals in a generally reasonable life will not make a significant difference. Let’s have some perspective. Instead of worrying, striving, and restraining, let’s relax. Let’s have compassion for ourselves and everyone around us. Let’s be in the moment and really savor it.

Please pass the joy, with a side of pie.

About Cara Stein: I'm a writer and dreamer with a PhD in self-reinvention. (Or was that computer science?) Whether you're stuck, lost, or just looking to enjoy your life more, I want to help because I've been there!

Comments (2)

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  1. Yggie says:

    Hear hear! Taking good care of yourself goes way beyond low-cal high-fibre food you have to force yourself to enjoy :)

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