RANT: Thankful? Tasty? or Tidy?

As we gather with family on this day of Gluttony to give thanks. I challenge each of us to be mindful of what we are nibbling on.  Are we eating because there is SO MUCH FOOD to taste our curiosity shoves reason aside as we approach the dessert table? Or is it because if we are chewing, we can simply nod as Uncle Eddie tells his high school football winning touchdown story for the 67th time. Or maybe we over-eat because Aunt Bessy, who’s inevitably drunk with lipstick on various teeth, really makes a mean turkey stuffing that you’ve been waiting for all year.

For whatever the reason, I challenge you to take a moment before each fork-ful to silently give thanks, instead of gobbling down more.

For me there’s a level of OCD in my eating habits. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. OCD comes in several forms; for some it’s incessant hand washing because they obsess about germs or have a compulsion to avoid them.  For some it’s double checking everything, did I set the alarm? Is there enough air in the tires? Is my tie straight? For others, and this is me, it’s order. Clean straight lines. Tidiness.

Do you know what I’m talking about? this tendency? stacking your mail, organizing your fridge, folding clothes neatly—re-folding the towel that was not folded as it should have been.

I find calm and security in a neat, tidy, clean space.

Thus, evening off that unsightly, jagged edge of the pumpkin pie, and then getting to eat your delicious trimming is doubly rewarding!  Maybe I’ll do it once more to create a straighter line (and get a better taste).

Really? polishing off that last remaining stuffing, to help tidy? It could just as easily be thrown away. But I can’t bear to waste it. Why?

Perhaps it’s about control or order in this chaotic time of year. Either way, I’ve got some caloric challenges ahead.  And I’m thankful to have a life full of love.  Instead of a stomach full of junk!

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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

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