Thanksgiving. The one day of the year where Americans gather to eat huge amounts of food while giving thanks amongst family members and friends. And then, the following Friday (before the internet took hold of shopping) millions of Americans woke at early hours to brave the weather to shop for incredible deals for the holiday season. This shopping extravaganza was, and is, known as Black Friday.
Black Friday always had a different meaning for me. I was usually lying around in agony because my stomach was so upset from all the rich meat and dairy laden foods I’d eaten the day prior. I was cranky, irritable, and just wanted to feel normal. Why could so many people eat all that food and feel fine? Why was I the one that had to plan any shopping events around trips to the bathroom? And have you ever tried to find a bathroom at a store in the mall? It’s not easy friends.
But guess what? This year was different.
If you read my earlier blog post and my “about” page, then you are aware of my ongoing struggle with stomach issues and other autoimmune illness symptoms, and how changing my diet to plant based (vegan), no sugar, no gluten, and very limited processed foods has changed me physically and emotionally for the better.
So this Black Friday? I didn’t go shopping, but of course that’s just pretty much accomplished by the push of a few computer buttons now. But what I DID DO is totally enjoy my Thanksgiving this year. And I’ll tell you why.
I was raised to clean the house from top to bottom before any guests arrived. I also felt it my duty to have every meal planned and the refrigerator stocked from top to bottom with tasty treats. And because of all this work, anyone coming to my home would realize all the effort I had gone through to make this holiday such a special event.
BOY WAS I WRONG!
Kids never notice and why? Because it’s “what Mom does.” Guests? They don’t know if your house was sanitized for their protection or not, they are there to have fun. Remember fun? I had totally forgotten fun until this year. I always worked so hard and got so stressed out to make it “fun” and then was SO disappointed when it seemed that all the cleaning, cooking, and planning didn’t make anyone appreciate or like me anymore than before. Did you see that? “Like me anymore than before.”
With my diet changes (which included not eating turkey and a lot of other traditional Thanksgiving foods) I am so much more relaxed. And the biggest change? I really don’t care what people think. Now that may sound like a bad thing but it’s not. For anyone that has lived the over stressed anxiety riddled life I have then you know how this is a HUGE accomplishment. I used to never leave the house without makeup on. Now? I have actually ventured to Walmart and the gym without makeup. May not sound like a big deal to you, but it is grandiose for me. I still feel a little self conscious but it’s getting better every time. I know it is all tied to deep emotional turmoil, and the awesome part is that my new diet is changing not only how I feel physically, but how I feel emotionally.
It’s not BLACK friday anymore for me.