Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude. Our house was no exception. Indeed, I made the executive decision to lead a ceremony at our house for everyone in attendance. I filled a glass with grape juice and had everyone stand with me, forming a circle. Each person was to share what they were grateful for during the last year, then they were to drink from the cup and pass it to the next person. I went first, followed by my wife, my children (adopted and the like), and friends. Everyone shared. I told each person that was present that I was ultimately grateful to be able to say, “I love you,” to all of them and be sincere with my words.
Other families share words of gratitude at Thanksgiving. We are not unique. We then show our humanity and behave inconsistently. Instead of remaining grateful, we betray our words and begin the process of over indulgence. We overeat, and we justify it, in the name of American culture, habit and spirit of the holiday.
I bucked the trend. I ate small portions and consumed lots of water…more than I usually do. The motivation was simple….there are competitors in other countries…countries that don’t have Thanksgiving, and they are not overeating this day. They are out riding, running, stretching, lifting weights, doing yoga and swimming, while I am eating Turkey, pumpkin cheese cake, and lots of butter.
They aren’t overeating today, so why should I? They are moving their training forward as they prepare for the World Championship. Repeat…WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. Hello, this isn’t Kansas anymore.
That said, the history of the day remains real. In our household, I normally run the 8K Turkey Trot, eat Thanksgiving dinner, take a nap, and watch lots of football. This year, my son ran the Turkey Trot, while I watched. I had a protein shake for breakfast instead of carbs and tea. I ate samples at Dean and Deluca, instead of treating my son and father to Waffle House. Our Thanksgiving meal was beautiful, but I took healthy choices instead of unhealthy ones. Sweet potatoes, instead of white potatoes. Water, instead of wine. No gravy. Beans cooked in coconut oil, instead of casserole. No breads.
Even before dinner, I worked outside, moving dirt with a tractor, burning wood and hauling firewood. Football didn’t happen as it normally does. I woke up this am, sharing with Linda that for the first time since we have been married, I woke up not feeling that I had overeaten the day before. First time.
Had a funeral to go to today. That is most certainly an opportunity to be lethargic and ignore healthy behavior. Not today. Instead, I did a detour on my way to the funeral and got in a run…a real run, nearly 5K, the longest run since I began therapy after the National Championship. I was so happy be carrying around a body that felt no shame or guilt from overeating. I was strong, fit and healing. I stretched both before and after the run, and drank copious amounts of water.
I am not the biggest loser this weekend. More importantly, I am not the biggest gainer. Even if that doesn’t help me against Swiss, Spanish, Australian and British athletes who had no Thanksgiving, I’m better off and don’t feel that I have missed out on anything, other than a nap on the couch with the TV blasting.