skinny-on-swankyIf you’re new to Skinny on Swanky, be sure to check out my first post here! Skinny on Swanky is my weekly posting series that allows me to share my real life with my readers and includes my Skinny Saturday posts.

Happy Saturday!

Did you guys read Skinny Saturday last week? If you haven't read it yet, be sure to take a moment and click over. It explains the new direction I'm taking Skinny Saturday and introduces my newest contributor, and personal best friend, Shanna! Shanna has written an awesome post today all about side-stepping some of the common Thanksgiving feast pitfalls (good news: one of the tips is to “always eat seconds,” heck yes!).

Before we get there, I wanted to check in with you and let you know how things are going for me in the realm of health and weight loss. Halfway through this year, I decided to stop focusing on weight loss and to first try to mend my fraught relationship with food and body image (regardless of whether I lost weight or not). It's an ongoing battle, and there are good days and bad days (of course). Lately, I've definitely had more bad than good. But I'm trying to be more honest with myself about the reasons I fall apart on the days that I do (and not punish myself over them), and I'm making a conscious effort to enjoy the way my body feels on the days I do well.

That's really all I have for now. But I just wanted you to know that I'm not abandoning my goals or focus. This process is just taking a lot longer than I anticipated when I started this series. Which is okay. It'll be worth the wait I'm sure!

Of course, with the holidays approaching, I'm a little nervous thinking about the upcoming encounters with all of my favorite calorie-laden foods spread out in front of me buffet-style. Which is why I'm super glad Shanna decided to write about the topic that she did: Surviving Thanksgiving Dinner.

Shanna's an expert when it comes to little mental tricks, and this list really shows it. I know I'll be working to memorize this list before Thursday!


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Well darlings, it’s time again. The sugar high from Halloween barely wears off before we are thrown into full blown holiday season. And holidays inevitably mean….FOOD. There’s a reason that like 99.9% of people’s New Year’s Resolutions involve losing weight, because we gain so much in the last few months of the year.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. Family dinners and work parties and friendly neighbor treat plates don’t have to spell self-sabotage for our weight loss goals. With Thanksgiving looming this week (and starting today for one side of our family) I thought I’d share my best tips for coming through the one holiday centered on a giant meal unscathed.

9 tips for enjoying Thanksgiving dinner even if you're trying to lose weight.1. Don’t panic. When I know that a big event is coming where I have to eat food in a pretty uncontrolled environment (as in I didn’t make everything and count all the calories) I go into high anxiety mode before the day even comes. I start treating myself like I’ve already eaten thousands of extra calories just from thinking about them. So if you’re like me, just calm down. Don’t punish all that pie out of yourself without enjoying it first. You do have control over your eating destiny.
2. Be grateful. The fact that we are stressed because there is SO much to eat is the epitome of a first world problem, folks. When I pause long enough to think of how fortunate I am to even have the ability to be overweight, I am less inclined to go overboard on the eating.

3. Eat breakfast. Good breakfast. Not donuts or cinnamon rolls, but something substantial with protein and fiber and even some veggies if you can manage it. Sometimes we’re tempted to “save up” our calories by skipping meals, but I don’t think I need to tout the virtues of what eating breakfast does for our bodies and metabolism. You will feel better if you eat some worthwhile calories at the beginning of your day.

4. Do something physical. There’s lot of 5K runs and football games to join in on Thanksgiving Day. You don’t have to do something crazy (unless you want to) but try to at least get out for a walk. I always make better decisions about the calories I’m putting in when I’ve just sweated a few out.

5. Have a plan. I am a planner. A list making, detail crazy, plans A-N planner. My husband refuses to travel with me anymore. But having a plan serves me well in many ways. And this is my number one most effective technique for not overeating in any circumstance that I come across.

An eating plan for me involves anticipating my temptations and therefore making allowance for them. For example, I loooove Ashton’s grandma’s sweet potato soufflé. {LOVE IT} I know I’m going to eat it. I can pretend I’m going to resist, but that’s just crazy talk.

So to make up for it (because it has like 3 sticks of butter in it) I don’t eat {insert less gratifying calories here}. For me that’s something like green bean casserole, which is usually very rich and calorie dense. I like it, I don’t love it. I’d RATHER have the soufflé. When you make these kinds of decisions beforehand, you are not making them in the heat of the moment when the food is in front of you.

6. Always have seconds. If you know you’re allowed to go back for more, you’re less likely to pile everything on your plate in a desperate attempt to get your share immediately. And mentally it feels very indulgent to go back and get another {small} helping of something you really enjoyed your first {small} helping of. And it gives you a chance to sample things and make sure they are as yummy as you are hoping and that they are worth having more of.

7. Don’t count your calories. This sounds a little scary, and like your diet will be thrown into chaos. But for big meals like Thanksgiving, you will just make yourself crazy trying to guess all the calories or points in things that you did not make, and you won’t even enjoy all the amazing food. Use some other techniques to keep things in control, but leave your calculator at home.

8. DON’T SNACK BEFORE MEALS. Oh my goodness, don’t do it. I can almost guarantee that ALL the weight people gain during the holidays is because of snacking before the big event. It’s the kind of eating that “doesn’t really count”. I’m sorry, I could snack away 3,000 calories, easy. And STILL eat dinner. Just stay away from the Ritz crackers and cheese. The giant bowl of salted nuts. The tin of peanut brittle. Don’t mindlessly eat away for hours. Munch on some carrot sticks or try one or two small appetizers, and then leave it be.

9. Let your body be your guide. This could be an entire series of posts by itself. But if you feel sick, stop eating. I know that’s hard, and it happens to the best of us. You’re totally stuffed but you really wanted to try the {such and such dessert}. DON’T. Your body is telling you that it’s time to give it a break, and you will end up making yourself regret everything you ate that day if you force something down and end up feeling wretched.

These tips may not be earth shattering news for anyone, but sometimes we just need a good reminder. Trying to practice these simple things has helped me tremendously for all holidays and events centered on eating.  And hopefully I’ll be able to follow my own advice this afternoon! But I definitely have a slice of pumpkin pie with my name on it. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!