Thanksgiving used to be the biggest eating day of the year.

"An unbuckle-your-belt kind of a day," said Mary Johnston, 57, of Brooklyn Park.

That changed in 2009, when Johnston had weight loss surgery at Unity Hospital in Fridley. She lost 20 dress sizes and 160 pounds, more than half of her body weight.

With her stomach the size of a golf ball, Johnston no longer can feast on appetizers, go back for seconds or have thirds of desserts.

"I never liked to narrow my pie selection, so I'd have all of them," she said.

Instead of seconds, Johnston now takes two yoga classes daily. In addition to counting her calories, she also counts her steps — even on Thanksgiving Day.

"Thanksgiving isn't really about the meal," she said. "It's about getting together with your family and rekindling the love you have for all of the people in your life you don't get to see."

Johnston looks forward to today's dinner of turkey, root vegetables, hard-boiled eggs and a sliver of pumpkin pie without the crust.

It turns out that eating Thanksgiving dinner off a saucer plate is still Thanksgiving dinner.