NOT Your Usual Thanksgiving Weight Loss Advice

Love and gratitude and staying out of perfectionismIt’s Thanksgiving week and firstly I want to thank you (so much) for being here, for your interest and emails and the connections that you offer in so many different ways. I am always truly appreciative and grateful to know you.. to know you are there, for the inspiration and feedback and for the trust. Thank you.. from my heart.

In about a week.. I will again be offering a “Love and Service” weekI want to be able to support as many of you as I can via complimentary coaching calls, email support and ways to answer your “burning questions” , help clarify issues, offer fresh perspective or a shot of inspiration.. whatever.. let me know with an email.. I promise to respond.. Dates TBA soon.
And..there are SO many articles out there on the holiday and weight gain and avoiding it.. here is my take..a little different.

Not Your Usual Thanksgiving Weight Loss Advice

There’s nothing wrong with the (countless!) articles in the women’s magazines and on the internet cautioning you either subtly or in big BOLD letters how not to gain weight over the holidays.. but honestly, has any of it really helped?

I’m thinking about a few things that I think are helpful about navigating the holidays. And they may also impact the way you eat.. as how you care for yourself emotionally and spiritually and in all sorts of other ways will always impact the way you choose to nourish yourself, or not.

Here’s my take on what helps keep you connected to your center, your heart, your guidance, and what you really want and need over the next few weeks…

Try to stay out of perfectionism. Whether you are the one cooking and preparing and hosting.. or one of the guests and eaters at the table (!)..keep trying to be “perfect” out of the mix.

As I try to put together a crafty little thing with pine cones from my yard, I have visions of some (of course) Martha Stewart-esque creation emerging.. It ain’t gonna happen. Something will emerge. I’m not sure what yet. I am having fun but the second I go for “it has to be perfect, glorious the best most perfect centerpiece EVER’.. I’m screwed.

If you can relate, back up and get back to the parts that feel good. In this example, getting the fun of doing something creative, time to play and make something, being in your senses is what matters. Don’t let yourself be hijacked by the perfectionism and swirl of self-judgment.Nothing kills fun (or anything else) faster.

Ditto with the cooking. Are people coming to eat the BEST turkey in the world? Are they expecting side dishes worthy of Iron Chef? These kinds of fantasies don’t serve us and suck every drop of joy out of absolutely everything, let alone holidays that are meant for …joy, connection, loving each other beyond the daily grind.. yes?

The most delicious thing you can serve your guests or that you as a guest can bring to the party, is you.. relaxed, happy, open hearted and ready to offer up your most loving  real live self..

Fussing and fighting around how you look, what to wear, what everyone is going to think if you gained a few pounds this year or whatever thought you are using to torture yourself out of connection with your true nature and capacity to love and give and enjoy being PRESENT…please.. don’t.

Find one way to make yourself feel feminine, beautiful and embodied.. If you love your hair, focus on that. If you enjoy making up your eyes.. go there. Pretty lingerie.. all good. It’s not about how you look, it’s about how you make others feel..but do something nice for yourself and then move on.

And just remember.. energy follows thought. If you are flooding yourself with disapproving, perfectionism-driven thoughts (remember these sound like “not-good-enough” and keep you spinning in painful negative spirals),¬† you will suffer.. and probably overeat.

Shift the energy by focusing on even the simplest things you are able to appreciate. This really WILL shift the energy faster than anything else you can do.

Start with these: Did you have enough hot water for your shower? A warm bed? Food in the fridge? A place to gather with friends or family on the holiday? Look outside or even around your home and find one thing to appreciate.. one thing that lights you up with its beauty or other qualities.

Let your attention rest there until you feel the shift in your heart that the act of appreciation will bring.. always. Breathe it into your body.. close your eyes and feel everything else ease up as you fill yourself with the sense of enough. Perspective is a good thing.

Try putting your hand on your heart, and connect with this energy center (Chakra) and feel the love that lives there.. for you, your connection to the Divine.. your connection to humanity and life.. all of it.

I remember a long time ago hearing one of the sayings from the 12 Step programs.. I’m not sure if I am repeating it exactly right but the gist of it was “a grateful heart doesn’t drink/eat/etc”. I love that.

Come back into true love for yourself and what life is offering you right here and right now. Into connection with who is here for you right here and now.. Look around and see. Notice what you could be fully present for and have the holiday that is yours, with the most love and connection you can.

If you can be in this place of connection, presence, appreciation.. the eating, the food issues, will mostly take care of themselves. No tips on what and how to navigate “the food” necessary.

Enjoy every bite and be loving and gentle with yourself, loving and patient with others, and count your blessings. That should do it.

With so much love..and wishes for a beautiful holiday..


PS.. And.. this is the time of year when it’s easy to feel frazzled, overwhelmed, and less clear about what’s what. Relationships become stressed, self-care can dissipate or completely disappear (if it was even there to begin with) and you need a boost of inspiration and some solid strategy, that’s exactly just-right for you.. not one size fits all diet or life coaching. Women are loving my Wise Woman Consultations…come see more here.


  1. says

    I love this piece–it’s sensible and doesn’t encourage the shame spiral like so many articles on the same topic. Letting go of perfectionism was the key ingredient I needed in order to finally lose weight. Mark Sisson (Paleo) recommends and 80/20 approach in which you strive for at least 80% of whatever healthy habit you’re trying to integrate. Sometimes we indulge, sometimes we choose not to exercise–it’s not perfection that counts. I also got rid of my scale–weight fluctuates far too much, especially for women, for it to be a useful tool. I’ve used how my clothes fit and my body feels as my guide.

    As a result of letting go, I’ve also let go of a lot of weight–from a size 16 to a loose size 10 since January. The 80/20 thing was key for me!

    • Lisa says

      Hi Ellen..congratulations on finding what worked for you.. It’s such an intuitive process and following what feels right is essential. Knowing how to come home to your body as the guidance is the best part,plus the shaming is so much of what drives any kind of addictive mechanisms..Thank you so much for reading and commenting, always appreciate it. Many blessings.. Lisa

  2. says

    I am so thankful to be a mom. Having my children has helped me so much to give up on the perfection and just chill around the holidays. They are only going to eat a small slice of that turkey and then go off and play with their cousins and that’s what I plan to do too!

    • Lisa says

      Christie.. love nice to be able to let your role as a mother shift this for seems it can go either way (!). Letting them model a way to move through the holidays happily and playfully sounds just right.. Much love, Lisa

  3. says

    Lisa, this is such a great piece and I so appreciate the reminder to let go of perfection. This year, my mantra is to have FUN! No matter what, to make it fun. Which is absolutely making this a most wonderful holiday!! Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Lisa!! Enjoy your holiday! XOXO

    • Lisa says

      Hey Nona- fun is a great much would change (for me) and other perfectionist-prone types to lead with that..Thanks for the inspiration and perspective..happy holidays to you and yours.. xox

  4. says

    Over here we don’t have Thanksgiving but Christmas sure is coming, so this advice will still be perfect :) This year I might not be able to celebrate with my family so this is something I need to let go of: my idea of perfect holidays. Whatever I will do, I will make it fun, yeah!
    Enjoy your holiday :)

    • Lisa says

      Hi Emmanuelle..I think that whole notion of “perfect holiday” haunts many people.. whether it’s longing for the way things were at another moment in time or buying into some culturally seductive ideal.. I’m glad you’re raising the point because I think so many of us can be vulnerable at one time or another to the idea of a “perfect” holiday and end up disappointed by our own hand (or mind).. Love to you.. Lisa

  5. says

    I love it! I will be sure to remember this and pass it on – what brilliant advice! Happy Thanksgiving.
    This year, I am thankful for finding your blog! <3

  6. Catherine Mills says

    Love this advice ~ it’s perfect!! lol

    Simple, practical, and very doable. I’m in! My grateful heart expands more each passing day. Thanks for the great blog post, enjoy your holiday, Lisa! xox

    • Lisa says

      Hi Cath…I love that “my grateful heart expands more each passing day”.. how beautiful.. happy holiday to you and yours.. With love.. Lisa

  7. says

    Cannot believe how much I love every single thing you post. Timely advice for the whole holiday season. And since I am always a total perfectionist when I’m trying to impress people, I know it’s really best to just relax and enjoy the company rather than trying to be the next Martha.

    • Lisa says

      Amanda.. thank you for that.. truly. The holidays can be so challenging and it’s usually because of the way we set ourselves doesn’t feel good and I know from my own challenges around the perfectionist piece it rarely goes well. Enjoy your beautiful family. Love to you–Lisa

  8. says

    Fabulous advice that I’m taking to heart (teehee and pardon the pun) but seriously, we do need to feel that connection to feel that heart connection to feel good about ourselves. Love the tips you offer to stay in that place.

    Today I am grateful for your gift of reminding me that ‘I am enough’.

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