As a Brit, I have always had pretty ambivalent feelings about Thanksgiving. Even though I’ve lived in the U.S. for 30 years, I can’t quite embrace the spirit of this holiday, which seems to be mostly about consuming vast quantities of food.
Now some Americans are opting out of the chow fest. Here’s why:
1. So Many Unemployed And Hungry
The Washington Post reports that for the first time, Julia Paik will spend Thanksgiving morning leading a 5K team to raise money for SOME (So Others Might Eat), an organization that serves the homeless and hungry in Washington. The teams have given themselves names such as “Huffin’ For The Stuffin.” Paik’s seven-member team is called Shakin’ Jelly, for that Belly!”
2. Americans Are Obese
Maybe opting out of pumpkin pie and stuffing doesn’t sound like much fun. But surely what’s even less fun is a quadruple bypass, diabetes or, perhaps most common, finding that you can’t even fit into your skinny jeans. And since about one third of adult Americans are obese, is it really a good idea to gobble down the turkey and all the trimmings? To combat that tendency, Weight Watchers and other national weight-loss programs hold special sessions on cutting back and finding other ways to celebrate Thanksgiving.
3. Our Hectic Lifestyle
From The Washington Post:
On Thursday, yoga instructor Kimberly Wilson is planning a downward-facing-dog blitz at her Tranquil Space Yoga studios in Dupont Circle and Arlington County, adding more Thanksgiving classes by public demand, with the money going to charity – “so people can spend time in reflection.”
4. We Need To Exercise More
Even if you must eat that turkey or tofurkey dinner, use a smaller, old-fashioned plate, that doesn’t hold as much. After dinner, head outside for some exercise before the end of the day. My book, Get Out! 150 Easy Ways For Kids and Grown-Ups to Get Into Nature and Build a Greener Future, will give you some great ideas of fun activities for 15 minutes or an hour.
And getting outside could also help by removing you from any awkward conversations about politics or religion that might have developed over the course of dinner. There’s nothing like some fresh air to clear the mind!
Photo Credit: eroggenburg
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