Thanksgiving eating and losing

When I went back to Weight Watchers in 1990 it was just a few months before Thanksgiving. I didn’t look that far ahead when I decided it was time to take off the 40 pounds I’d gained since reaching goal and becoming a Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers in 1987.

I just thought about right now and my thought about right now was, “Im tired of weighing this much and I think Skylark, my horse, is tired of it too.

I was highly motivated to get back to goal. Highly motivated for me means I’ll follow the plan closely, but not so closely that you could say I’m doing it perfectly. I made a few changes to both customize the plan and make it livable for me and I lost weight.

I didn’t lose a lot of weight, but each week I weighed in at a little bit lighter than the week before. Sometimes I weighed exactly what I weighed the week before, but that didn’t bother me. The pounds and tenths of pounds were adding up and I was making noticeable progress. Then I realized Thanksgiving was about a week away and I got a little worried.

Past history told me that I loved Thanksgiving and all the traditional dishes that go with it. I also knew from the past that Thanksgiving started on Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve, and continued until I went to bed on Sunday night. Even after Thanksgiving weekend officially ended for me, it was hard to reel in the overeating behaviors.

If Thanksgiving was just about the turkey I'd be fine. It's all the "fixings!"

If Thanksgiving was just about the turkey I’d be fine. It’s all the “fixings”…

...and the special desserts...

…and the special desserts…

Understanding my history was key in making a plan to enjoy Thanksgiving and continue to make progress with weight loss. I wanted to confine my Thanksgiving feasting to one day. I figured out a plan that would work, but I’d need cooperation from my family. I asked my husband and kids if eating a Thanksgiving meal at home was important to them. Lucky for me, that was more than okay.

We made reservations for a restaurant that offered a Thanksgiving buffet. It was great. I ate what I wanted and as much as I wanted. When we left the restaurant I was full and since there was no leftovers in my house, Thanksgiving was officially over.


My weigh-in day was Tuesday. When I stepped on the scale the Tuesday after Thanksgiving I was weighed a pound and a half less than the previous week.

If you want to eat Thanksgiving dinner and continue to get thinner follow these steps:

  1. Decide what you want for an outcome
  2. Examine past holidays and behaviors
  3. Make a plan to get what you want
  4. Get support from people who may be affected by your plan
  5. Keep your eye on the goal


Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. She is a Weight Watchers success story. She's a weight loss expert with 25 years of experience guiding women and men to their weight-related goals. Her articles on weight management have been published in health, family and women's magazines. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news, FOX network morning program Good Day Maine and 207 on WCSH.