Thinner Thanksgiving feasting

This isn’t about reducing calories in the recipes for Thanksgiving favorite dishes.


This is about preparing your head to successfully overcome the challenges that come with Thanksgiving and the rest of the weekend that follows the big day.

Like Steven Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said, “always start with the end in mind.” Identify how you want to feel on Monday morning, November 30th, and then figure out what you’ll do to get that winning outcome.

Based on history (past Thanksgiving weekends) consider the challenges you are likely to face.

Is it the food or the emotional stress, or both, that drove you to eat too much over the Thanksgiving holiday in the past?

Is it the food or the emotional stress, or both, that drove you to eat too much over the Thanksgiving holiday in the past?


Visualize yourself responding positively to your challenges. Do this it with as much clarity and detail as you possibly can. The key to achieving your “winning outcome” is practicing the behaviors that lead to success with the use of visualization.

Some people literally are unable to visualize.

Is it hard to "see in your mind's eye"? You may have aphantasia.

Is it hard to “see in your mind’s eye”? You may have aphantasia.


They cannot see an image in their “mind‘s eye”. For the 1 in 50 with aphantasia, you may be able to get the same result by drawing a picture of yourself celebrating your success on Monday, November 30. You don’t have to be an artist and create a perfect rendering. Stick figures will do, but do draw as much detail as possible so that you’re more likely to achieve your “winning outcome.”

Keep your winning outcome close. For the people who have visualized their success, look into your mind to see it often. For people who have drawn their success, keep it with you, take it out to look at it often.

Make full use of your inner resources. Don’t underestimate your inherent qualities that you have used for non weight-related success. You were born with eveything you need to get what you want.


As an example:

  • Learning to drive and getting a driver’s license took bravery when you first took the wheel.
  • When you discovered driving wasn’t as easy as it looks, you used your tenacity. You could have said, “it’s too hard. I’ll never be able to do this,” but you wanted your license so you became tenacious.
  • You used your preserverence to keep developing your skills so that you could become more confident and tackle highway driving.
  • When it came time to schedule the road test you refused to let fear of failure prevent you from getting in the car with the inspector from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Maybe driving came easy to you but there is at least one thing you accomplished that you had to use all of those inner resources and more, such as imagination, and creativity to succeed. Those resources are inside you. Use them!

It’s not the food that surrounds you, it’s the thoughts you have that govern how you act. Change your thoughts to improve your actions.


Thinner Thanksgivings aren’t about deprivation. They’re about making choices that give you everything you want!

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.