Like all of us here in America, I’m just coming back from Thanksgiving weekend. I know Thanksgiving is supposed to be about the Pilgrims and being grateful and all that (at least that’s how we learn it in school), but fundamentally I think it has devolved into a holiday where we say, “oh to hell with it” to all those health promises we made to ourselves earlier in the year. In healthcare we so-called professionals are all chatting about the move from volume to value. On Thanksgiving, we are still squarely focused on volume.
Yep, all bets are off and we’re laying it all on carbs. We are even ironically stuffing ourselves with something called “stuffing”, which makes me feel like one of those cute furry toys after the dog gets a hold of it. “Oh no!” we say, “the stuffing is coming out of the squirrel toy where Stella chewed on it.” We may as well say the same thing about ourselves except it is us who chewed on it. Lordy.
Actually, my favorite joke about stuffing comes from comedian Jim Gaffigan’s book called Food: A Love Story, where he discusses how weird and somewhat disgusting it is to cook stuffing inside the carcass of a dead animal. He writes:
TURKEY:” You guys are going to kill me?”
HUMAN: “Oh, it’s going to get a lot worse.”
And it’s not just the food, it’s the activity. By which I mean the entire absence of activity unless you count reaching for snacks while firmly planted on one’s rear end watching football. Why exercise when college students are doing it for us on television and the couch is so comfortable? My family actually did take a long walk one day during the Thanksgiving weekend; we were strolling along the Long Island Sound on a sunny November day in Connecticut with hundreds of others doing the food walk of shame. You could almost see the thought bubble over each person’s head which said, “It hurts to move…are we there yet? I hope there’s more leftovers when we get home. Did someone say pie?”
Did you know that November is National Diabetes Month? I think we all know why. December 6 is actually National Put On Your Own Shoes Day. No, really, check HERE. I am convinced that the reason this holiday exists is that it takes about a week after Thanksgiving to be able to bend over to tie your own shoes again. Next year I’m going with flip flops.
And of course, for many people Thanksgiving is the stress pinnacle of the year. I’m pretty sure that the trifecta of salty carbs, lack of exercise and having to spend prolonged lengths of time with family members and alleged friends you spend most of the year avoiding is the direct cause of 94% of all chronic disease diagnosed in the last 30 days of the year. December 1st should be “National Call a Therapist Day.”
I’m very lucky because I got to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with family members I love and adore—ones that actually mitigate rather than cause stress and who I’d want to be with any day of the year. I have to say that I am very thankful for that even though we ate as though we may never see each other, or food, again.
I am thankful for an amazing group of friends, some of whom I have known since childhood and yet they still choose to hang out with me, go figure. I am thankful for wonderful work colleagues, partners and clients and a very exciting business opportunity on which I’m working, as well as the new colleagues that come along with that. I am thankful for all of you who read my blog and listen to my podcast.
I am thankful for Stella, the aforementioned stuffed animal-eating dog and my entirely psychotic cats and that Thanksgiving Day itself was a generally peaceful affair, free from horrific news stories about anything exploding. Macy’s did not even lose a Thanksgiving Day parade balloon this year, thank goodness. Thanks to all of you who enriched my life this year.
As for good health habits, there’s always next year ☺