By Kim Lowman
Wellness Program Manager
It’s that time again. Everywhere you look, there is advice on how to get through the holidays without gaining weight, getting run down, overdoing, feeling blue, etc. And, it all starts with Thanksgiving. The feast of the year. You’ve heard it all before…portion control, moderation, skip the pie, exercise before, take a walk after…blah, blah, blah….
Well here’s a new idea—how about just enjoying the heck out of it! Eat! Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, pie, more pie, gravy on pie, pie on mashed potatoes. Whatever your heart desires. Folks, I am here to tell you that nothing you eat in one day will cause you to suddenly gain those 5-10 holiday pounds. Thanksgiving Day is a feast and a feast is meant to be celebrated one day. Not two. Not a week. Not until January 1st. It is a one-day feast and if you embrace it as such, then you won’t be buying elastic waist pants in early December. It’s not what happens on Thanksgiving that causes the holiday “extra few”… it’s what you do after and moving forward. It takes time to see a difference.
We all understand that positive habits take time to see results. Taking a fitness class one day a year will do absolutely nothing towards a healthy heart or strong body. Putting on sunscreen one day a year will not prevent sunburn and sun damage. Drinking water one day a year will not hydrate us and nourish our cells for the entire year. Working one day a year will not bring us 52 weeks of paychecks. That makes sense to us. If we want to see the long-term results, we have to do things daily or frequently.
That same principle applies with negative habits. One day of overeating will not cause huge weight gain. In most cases, a one-day pass will not cause any long-term harm if it truly is a one-day pass!
I think that if we truly enjoy the events of the holidays as they happen then we will do just fine… it’s when every day from Thanksgiving to January 1st becomes an excuse to over-indulge, over-spend, over-extend and over-react that causes us to start the negative self-talk that is so common around the holidays. To stay positive and still maintain my health as my priority, this year I am giving myself 5 one-day passes—like a coupon book to myself. I’ll use them wisely and I won’t beat myself up when I use them. I may use one a week or I may save some up and go big the week of Christmas. And yes, I probably will exercise on Thanksgiving and take a walk, too; but I assure you that I will not say no to seconds or pie or my mother’s pecan cinnamon rolls! One-day pass!