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      Casey White: Tackling Thanksgiving

      Well, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! For my family, Thanksgiving is a time we can get together and have a great meal, and have good conversation, and of course some football! Every year in the past, I have let the food overtake me. My family only has most of this food twice a year. Turkey, candied yams, and green bean casserole are staples on the table for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I would go back for seconds and thirds, because I knew that this food wouldnâ??t be on my plate for almost another year.

      So this year, after my son said Grace for all of us at the table, we dug in! But, I knew this time I needed to be a bit more controlled with my portions. A lot of people have asked me, â??was it hard?â?? My answer is â??Not really.â?? Before I started this whole lifestyle change, one of my thoughts was that the holidays would be torture for me. But at this stage, food hasnâ??t taken control of my life anymore. I now know that itâ??s okay to enjoy food, but in moderation. So for Thanksgiving, that didnâ??t mean I denied myself anything. In the past I could have easily gone for a third helping of candied yams, a family favorite, but this year, I put two teeny little bites on my plate, and that was enough. My mom, who cooked the whole meal, was great. She changed the green bean casserole to simply green beans, and she even made the two of us a special, healthier option dessert. I made sure my plate was healthier, smaller portions, and I didnâ??t go back for seconds, and I was fine with that. In years past, and I know Iâ??m not alone with this one, I would stuff myself until I couldnâ??t move. This year, after dinner, I didnâ??t feel like I was sick after I was done. And thatâ??s the way our bodies are actually supposed to feel. I donâ??t miss the times when I would eat so much I was sick. I like feeling good about what I ate, and feeling like I can actually walk after I eat.

      This year, Thanksgiving went from being all about the food, to being about getting together with the family. Iâ??m definitely not saying I didnâ??t enjoy the meal, because I did, and we should. But Iâ??ve noticed that it took less than a month for me to adapt to the fact that food does not rule my life anymore; itâ??s simply something I need to fuel my body throughout the day, not something I need to engorge myself on.

      What did I learn from all of this? I learned that while it was hard to say no to the apple pie, it wasnâ??t impossible. Itâ??s true about anything we work at in life. Just because something is difficult, doesnâ??t mean we should give up. I am proud of the way I dealt with myself, and I know that I can do this!

      Happy Holidays,