Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, I am thankful.

I am thankful for family.

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Furry and otherwise.

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Photo by Ben

I am thankful for good food.

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For great friends.

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Both old and new.

Ladies

And for more than my fair share of guilty pleasures.

I am thankful for being able to conquer my fears and set new goals.

Errrrr.

And for progress, no matter how slow it may be right now.

Gazebo 2<

Have a wonderful, love-filled, delicious Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for today?

Pre-Thanks

It’s happening! It’s finally here! Well, it will be here tomorrow, at any rate… THANKSGIVING!!

Who's the Turkey?
Thanksgiving 2009 – Photo by Ben

I love this holiday. Yes, Christmas still holds the #1 spot in my holiday-lovin’ heart, but Thanksgiving rings in at a close second. After all, it’s an entire day dedicated pretty much to food! And to being thankful… but also, FOOD!

Buffet

Goodness knows I do love me some turkey (I’ve used Alton Brown’s Good Eats Turkey recipe for the past two years and it’s been a delicious hit each time!), but Thanksgiving dinner for me is really all about the sides.

Taters

This year’s feast will include smashed potatoes, green beans, roasted butternut squash, bacon & maple roasted brussels sprouts, homemade cranberry sauce, gravy, and maybe some sort of healthified stuffing.

Dessert doesn’t hurt either. Ania‘s got dessert covered for tomorrow, and this year’s celebration may be scaled down a bit in terms of size ’cause it’s just the two of us (or not! After all, it’s about the leftovers too!) but there will be no scaling down the flavor! Mmm, so much epic goodness, both for us and for these moochers, who will be getting a Thanksgiving Feast of their very own:

Day 297 - Guard Dogs
Photo by Ben

Okay, for realsies though. All talk of pumpkin pie and delicious side dishes aside, I do have a lot to be thankful for. I have a good life, great friends, amazing dogs, and I am about 300x healthier right now than I have been during any holiday season since the age of 10. Despite my lackluster month so far, things are getting better. I recognize that the holiday season tends to be a weight loser’s worst nightmare, but I’m just trying to keep it all in perspective and remind myself that a few pounds are never worth being miserable over.

Chillin
December 2009

Enjoy
November 2011

I’m trying to remind myself that it’s okay to take a break, to need to take a step back and just breathe. That I’ve already come a long way, and even though I’m not “there” yet, it’s really only a matter of time. The weight loss will eventually progress, my goals will be met, and my heart will go on. Right now, though, I can just be. Call it my mental reboot, temporary and guilt-free. This doesn’t mean I’m charging into the holidays with reckless abandon, or that I’m going to backslide. It just means that I’m going to stop beating myself up for not wanting to try so hard right now. Hopefully, even if you are someone who doesn’t agree with that, you can respect it.

Clear Shot w/ Old LensRed
November 2009 vs. November 2011

Last Thanksgiving I ran my first 5K. It was the furthest distance I had run since… um, ever. I was still hovering around 220 lbs, and it was a feat I didn’t think I was capable of completing. Luckily, I (as usual) was wrong! I ran those 3.1 miles and here I am, only a year later, gearing up to conquer a 15K in a week. I’m not going to be able to run the entire thing, I know that. But I’m going to be able to say that I finished a 9.3 mile race and that I have lost 60 lbs and I am thankful for that.

What’s one thing on your Thanksgiving menu this year?