Navigating a Different Thanksgiving in 2020

Thanksgiving 2020 during COVID


Words of advice and encouragement for those focused on weight loss or weight management 

By Ayotunde Adeyeri, MD, FASMBS

This year’s Thanksgiving holiday is certainly destined to be non-traditional, as we all navigate a different type of holiday season this year.

We will all experience justifiable sadness and disappointment, which is certainly contrary to what the holidays mean for most of us. With that said, Thanksgiving is about gratitude for all the good things we have in our lives, and even during these dark days, we have many blessings.

In my eyes, I am so impressed and inspired by all of you who have taken on the challenge of losing weight this year, especially our bariatric warriors of 2020.

Despite all the stress, worry and discomfort this year, you are still losing weight, fighting the fight against obesity and winning the war against weight.

Controlling that which you can control

While so much of this year has been out of our control, one of the things you can control is your commitment to improving your health, staying on the weight loss track or maintaining your weight.

I recommend one overriding goal this year–

If you follow it, the rest of your healthy living strategy will be successful:

Don’t use food to manage your feelings.

Overeating will not change the course of Covid-19 or other challenges you may be facing, but it will affect your weight and your health.

During our Support Group meetings, we often talk about empowerment. This year, perhaps more than any other, you are empowered to focus on positivity—and staying committed to working toward achieving your personal goals—weight, career, relationships, finances—in spite of the state of the world right now.

Overeating due to frustration, fear and disappointment will not change anything. In fact, it may only add to your negative feelings.

Find positives from the negatives

Here’s an example: This year, there won’t be holiday parties at work or holiday dinners with friends and family. But without these temptations to overindulge, your weight loss path will be unencumbered with less distraction from your goal.

In regard to ‘the big dinner,’ refocus the main objective of Thanksgiving away from eating–

Enjoy celebrating your life, your health and giving extra love with whomever you are fortunate to spend the holiday—even if it’s on Facetime or Zoom.

Take a deep breath; it’s going to be a rough and tumble ride as we navigate the holidays this year.

Life is never perfect, but like all things in life, this too shall pass.

Honor the intention of gratitude this year, for we are all incredibly blessed. Here’s to us all celebrating brighter days ahead.

Happy Thanksgiving from me and our Sterling Surgicare teams in Holmdel and Old Bridge