About three months ago, I came across a post from a young woman on BlogHer who was encouraging women to write letters to their bodies. She was suffering from fibroids and it was taking a toll on her body. It was phenomenal and so inspiring, that I wanted to share the idea with my readers. I know many of you don’t blog so you wouldn’t hear about it unless you were a member or frequent visitor of BlogHer. So I have provided you a snippet of my letter to my body and encourage you to write one, share it with the rest of us and/or pass on the idea to other women. You will soon realize a new appreciation for this amazing shell of skin, bones, organs, limbs and arteries that get you through on a daily basis. One way of truly taking care of our health as women, is really learning to love who we are – both physically and mentally. How we feel about it, can be a determining factor of how we take care of it. Remember, it’s the only body we have and it’s on loan. So, tell me how do you feel about your body? Here’s how I feel about mine:
Thank you for always being strong for me, even when I didn’t treat you as well as I could have. I am trying really hard to take care of you now because I know that without you, there is really no me. You help me get to work EVERYDAY. You help me to breathe, eat, sleep, laugh, cry, feel, love and the list goes on. Wow, what would I do without you? I really don’t know. I think about how helpless I would be without you. I think about how blessed I am that I have two great working legs, two working arms, that I have vision, smell and touch. I think how blessed I am to be able to hear so well (sometimes too well) and that my feet keep me going, going and going. How do you it? How do you stay intact, even when I am not doing what I am supposed to at times?
I have to tell you, I have really turned over a new style of eating to ensure you get what you need, so you can give me what I need. It’s not easy, but I guess being my body isn’t easy either. At the age of 35, I am finally learning to love you and appreciate all of the curves you have bestowed upon me. Yes, my hips frustrate me at times, but I know that they are there for a reason. Oh and my thighs, well I just keep trying to run so those stay toned and firm. Oh yeah, my feet? They are still a tiny bit of an inner struggle, even though I know at 5’10″ I would look awkward with size 8s instead of a size 10.5. But I thank you for those too, so I can stand tall with pride. Well, like I said in the beginning, I don’t know what I would do without you. I have so much more I can say about you, but know that I will spend the rest of my life taking care of you and keeping you healthy. I have to thank my mother though for taking care of her body when she was pregnant with me, to give me what I needed in the womb to have such a strong and amazing body!
So it’s the day before Thanksgiving and my plan was to go and workout at 6:00 a.m. but that didn’t exactly go as planned. As a matter of fact I never made it to the gym. But as a replacement I did walk up all of the escalator stairs when I got off the train this morning. In 3″ heels! Hey, that has to count for something. I am trying to get in some extra activity today, as Turkey Day quickly approaches. I am also trying to keep in perspective what I will eat tomorrow. If you are really trying to be healthy, have you ever really thought how hard that it is to do, the day before a feast? To consciously remind yourself not to overindulge on the yummy food that is going to be placed in front of you? The candied yams/sweet potatoes, collard greens, pecan pie, sweet potato pie, macaroni and cheese (my ultimate favorite) and oh we must not forget Grandma’s homemade rolls dripping with butter!! Oh now you all know that is so hard to do!! But we know it can be done. Right? I can’t hear you! That’s better. So what do we do? How do we resist the temptation of overindulging and still enjoy? Well, I am not a physician nor a nutritionist, but my expertise is in health. I would like to share my personal tips for Turkey Day or any feast. Don’t worry I am going to keep it real!
· Eat breakfast and make sure it has a good amount of protein. This is good for everyone, but especially if you have an early meal time. This will help you curb the desire to eat more than you should because you haven’t starved yourself. So often, we think we have to save up for the big feast and won’t eat anything all day. So not a good idea. All it’s doing is keeping you hungry, low on energy and cranky because you didn’t eat. Who is going to want to sit next to you during dinner?
· Have a couple of small meals/snacks if you are having a late afternoon meal. Again, it will prevent you from going crazy when the mashed potatoes and gravy hit the table. An apple with peanut butter or even a sandwich with some of that freshly carved turkey will keep you satiated until dinner time. That is, if you are allowed to have some of the turkey.
· Attempt to burn some extra calories while waiting for the feast. Go for a walk with a loved one and catch up since they may only be in town for a few days. This a great time for fellowship and to be active as a family.
· Ready to eat? Start slowly and take small portions of food. Remember the saying ” Your eyes are bigger than your stomach?” Keep that in mind. There is nothing wrong with tasting everything, just keep it in moderation. Use a small plate if it will help you from piling food on. You will be surprised how content you will feel and how great it will be not to have that overstuffed feeling. You know kind of like a stuffed turkey! Then you won’t feel so guilty about having that slice of sweet potato pie!
- If all else fails and you get caught up in the wonderful display and aroma of all of the food and lose your mind. Not to worry, there is only one thing to do, put your fork down and . . . STEP AWAY FROM THE TABLE!!! Breathe, rub your ears and say Woosahh! Then try making your plate again with about 3 scoops less of the mac and cheese.
The bottom line is, it’s okay to indulge a little, just don’t over do it. Thanksgiving is about fellowship, gratitude and sharing. And there is something about food, really good food and preparing food that brings all of these together. So enjoy the day in a healthy way!