Good Morning! For those of you that celebrate (read: eat and cook lots of things you wouldn’t eat or cook otherwise-honestly, whoTF cooks an entire Turkey in June) this day, have a Happy Thanksgiving. I’m not going to begin a rant about antiquated pseudo-holidays with a muddled history. That one sentence mini-rant was enough. (See what I did there?) Just know that one day a year will never be enough to express proper gratitude for the people and experiences in your life.
Now, after reading that appetizing title, I’m sure you’re salivating for the big reveal. What’s the mistake that so many people make every year (every goddamned year)!? It’s a mistake that manifests many times throughout the year. But, the day after Thanksgiving kicks this mistake into high gear. The mistake is guilt. ‘Tis the season to eat all of the things. Eat everything that you want from apples to artichokes, kale to kumquats, and pies to pussy & poutine (separately or risk one weird mess). *insert Dave Chappelle’s Rick James* “ENJOY YO SELF!”
When you celebrate (without breaking any laws or jaws) own your pleasure. Guilty guilt is stupid fucking guilt. Dude, you ate a whole pie. Take your favorite book into the library (read: the shitter) and work it out. No guilt.
Here’s where the guilt of enjoying food turns into a fitness mistake. Everyone is quick to claim no regrets, but most people won’t acknowledge the actions they’ve taken out of guilt. I often coach the day after Thanksgiving and there are times when I turn people away. One year, I taught four consecutive exercise classes (because other’s called in sick-I’m not THAT crazy). There were a few people that I turned away for fear of over training. When I asked them why they were trying to workout in a second consecutive high intensity class their answers were both alarming and amusing. All of them expressed some form of guilt around how much they’d eaten on Thursday. They were trying to work it all off by working out twice as hard. WTF!? Yeah, exercise doesn’t work that way. While it may be true that working out more (or with greater intensity) may burn more calories. That doesn’t change the fact that you ate an entire mixing bowl of monkey hips and grits. You run a higher risk of injuring yourself after the most sedentary day of the year, eating, drinking, sitting, talking shit, taking shits, competing with your siblings to see who unbuckles the belt (or finishes the third helping) first, and other gluttonous adventures that you may hold as esteemed traditions.
I often talk to clients about the importance of rest and consistency. If you miss a workout day, don’t guilt yourself into a double workout the following day only to be stuck and stiff in bed the day after. If you miss a day, just stay consistent with the other days of the week. If you consistently miss the same day, change your workout schedule. The same idea applies to the national day of gluttony. Don’t guilt yourself into working harder than you normally would. I’ll be coaching today and tomorrow. I hope that people will be kind to their bodies by not over training. I hope that people will be kind to their spirit and avoid guilt.
Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy! Even though you may feel your abdomen distend, no one has ever gotten fatter due to one meal. [If any sexist family member says, “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”, just punch them in their pie hole.] I’m not going to suggest moderation. You’re an adult, you know not to force feed yourself. Your only takeaway from this post should be that guilt tends to be a catalyst for bad decisions. Own your choices, eat that slice of pie, pick up your training on your next scheduled training day without compensating for guilt.