So, let’s just get this out there right now.
One week from today, at least one of us will gorge themself (or selves). I’m not naming any names me.
I know I should probably follow suit like a good little health-blogger and write up a bunch of healthy tips for avoiding the extra calories on Thanksgiving Day. Tips like eat breakfast, fill your plate with veggies, cook “lighter” versions of the full-fat stuff, take the skin off the turkey (what!?) and skip all those empty-calorie appetizers like the cheese cube (it’s the devil!) plus a million zillion more. That is where I was going to go. Because this place is supposed to be a place about weightloss and living healthy and supporting each other’s (new and renewed) healthy habits. And it is! It really is!
But I would be a faker faker faker if I didn’t say out loud to everyone here that I have 364 other days this year to not eat gravy.
Because mostly, I don’t eat gravy. It’s sad because I had just had a breakthrough as a cook and learned how to make a great gravy when all of a sudden I had to stop. (In fact, it is quite possible that the gravy-making itself could have been one of the very reasons I had to stop making it. Ironic?) So I no longer make gravy.
Except for the third Thursday in November.
What I am doing differently, however, is making new traditions. Instead of counting calories on that day, I plan to burn them.
I’m running the 10k Turkey Trot with my husband again this year. Last year, 6 miles was the furthest I had ever run and I ran it while my mother-in-law watched the kids and babysat the turkey in the oven. It was cold outside, we had a great run, and I came home after burning 700 calories to a house filled with that wonderful turkey aroma. Plus I got the coolest dri-fit tee-shirt that came in my race packet and since the Turkey Trot around here is one of the biggest runs of the year, everyone knows you ran it when they see the shirt. Last year, I remember standing at the top of the hill at the starting line with all the other runners, looking down at the sea of heads, the thousands of runners running with me, and it gave me chills. Runners of all shapes and sizes and ages. Running on turkey day.
This has become our new Thanksgiving Day tradition and this year, we’re adding my dad to the list. He’s running the 5k. His first 5k was with me two weeks ago during our Sisterhood challenge, the first time he’d ever crossed a finish line ever and he had tears in his eyes.
And there is a kid dash and next year I plan to add my son to the list! (He’s excited already — but for now he just does laps around the kitchen island.)
Thanksgiving Day is not going to break my (basically) healthy habits for the rest of my 364 days. Because the food that we are preparing is the same exact food we have had every Thanksgiving since I was teeny tiny and I’m such a traditionalist that I have to have every single thing cooked the same way every year, and nothing can be missing, because I put a little of each food on my fork (for the perfect bite of course!) and relish in every single yummy bite.
Once upon a time when I lived in New York and couldn’t get home to Florida for the holidays because my job made me choose between Christmas and Thanksgiving off and I chose Christmas, a bunch of us from work ended up having a big Thanksgiving together. Would you believe that a fight broke out? Because so-and-so wanted to bring her favorite kind of potatoes and so-and-so was mad that the yams weren’t the way her mom made them and well, we were all so homesick that we wanted everything in just the right way, the way we were used to at home, during the holidays! I’ll never forget how sticklery everyone was about each food and its preparation and how violent everyone got about it! All because of traditions.
And I’m a traditionalist. I need things a certain way.
This year, along with all of the wonderful things in my life that I am thankful for, I’m thankful for my health. I’m thankful that because I have changed my habits for 364 OTHER days during the year, I can enjoy my Thanksgiving guilt-free. And start the day on a calorie deficit.
So now that you’re on this journey of health and wellness, running-walking and calorie-counting, what is your plan for Thanksgiving? Do you plan to be a calorie cutter or calorie burner? Or neither? (There is no wrong answer!)
PS. Looking for a Turkey Trot in your area? Go here and search using key word “Turkey Trot”. There are at least 400 results!
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