Recently Karla and I were with some friends and someone asked, “What are your Thanksgiving traditions?” Great question. The most important thing we do is gather and talk about things we’re most thankful for. We tell each other something we appreciate about each other. Then we give thanks to God. Everyone has a few minutes to prepare so they can share some way they would like to express thanks – like a picture they want to show us, a YouTube clip, or a song they want us to listen to. Last year we had a nice array of poetry, journal entries, scripture, and worship music which helped us share in a collective gift of thanks to God. We read some scripture direct and talk about happy thanks and hard thanks (see previous post).
But we have other, less noble traditions. For example, we put a scale out and everyone weighs in BEFORE and AFTER the meal – something only Americans would think up. We began it as a way of marveling at God’s provision at the table. Unfortunately, because my wife and kids are so competitive, it’s become an all-out competition. Everyone wants to have the biggest weight gain differential. We’re so weird. We have to have referees at the scales now to prevent cheating. No one in the family is capable of being a fair judge – this year we’ll probably have to call in the neighbors to arbitrate. Kids mysteriously don heavy coats during the meal, thinking we won’t notice they have on a jacket with rocks in the pockets when they come for the post-meal weigh in. We’ve had to factor in the weight-gain to body-weight ratio, which gives an edge to the littler people, I might add.
All this silliness is actually a good thing, because we’ve all figured out the real weight gain is in the fluid intake. My kids want to win, so they pass on the turkey and stuffing and drink 8 glasses of water for Thanksgiving Dinner.
Another tradition I have is to run in the 5K Turkey Trot in the morning with several thousand of my closest annoying friends (and I say annoying because who else gets up early on Thanksgiving in order to put on running shoes and ruin an otherwise perfectly good holiday by sweating before noon?) Then I play some football after that with a bunch of guys. In the past I used to think these physical activities somehow offset the gorging that would take place, with logic that went something like this: jogging at a snail’s pace for half an hour and trotting around a chilly field for a while easily cancels the sweet potatoes, layers of gravy, and 4 pieces of pumpkin pie I eat later in the day. Never mind the fact that I’m so sore I can’t move for a week afterwards.
But according to this info graphic, I need to plan on about 3 hours of rigorous exercise just to get me back to the out of shape-ness I started with:
I find this type of info graphic terribly depressing and completely unnecessary. Just when we were starting to feel thankful…
What about you?
Will you consciously use some restraint at the table this year?
Will you do some exercise to offset the intake?
Will I see you at the Turkey Trot?