A couple weeks ago, I shared my Thanksgiving pledge – 4 simple rules that I follow as a way to get through this food-based holiday without gorging myself. I’m happy to share: they worked!
One of the rules was to exercise on Thanksgiving. So I did the Louisville Turkey Trot in Colorado (where I was spending turkey day at my sister’s place). It’s a 5k run. I’ve done 5k runs before – including the Louisville Turkey Trot twice before – but NEVER in 23 degree weather, while it was snowing!
I’m glad that Coloradans are such a health-conscious group, because there were hundreds of folks that braved the below-freezing temperatures. Organizers shortened the course this year (presumably for safety reasons – it was icy), so there was a 1.4 mile loop through downtown Louisville. Lots of runners did the loop multiple times, but I did it once, and then continued running back towards my sister’s place, which was a couple miles away.
I was wearing plenty of layers, but the cold was intense! I kept running – that was the best way to stay warm. After about twenty minutes, instead of focusing on the frigid conditions, I focused on something else: How grateful I was for my insanity.
I do lots of things that just a few years ago I would’ve considered crazy. I race up stairs in skyscrapers. I ran up a mountain road in Palm Springs. Now I can add running in freezing temperatures to the list. People tell me I must be crazy all the time – and I take it as a compliment!
This craziness is a huge reason why I’ve been able to keep off the 160 pounds I’ve lost. This craziness keeps me on track with my exercise and fitness goals. And I know that if I didn’t funnel this craziness into a worthwhile, healthy endeavor, there’s a good chance I’d funnel it towards unhealthy things, like uncontrolled eating, which is what I did for decades of my life.
My insanity is awesome. It’s why, when I woke up on Thanksgiving day, and realized it had snowed all night and was only 23 degrees outside, I never once considered not doing the 5k. It’s why I ran as long and as hard as I could in those conditions. My insanity keeps me living.
In total, I ran 2.6 miles, until I got to the part on my route where it was all uphill. I walked the rest of the way – another .8 miles, and that brought my total to 3.4 miles. That’s almost a 5.5k – definitely a good workout!
Another rule in my Thanksgiving pledge was to photograph everything I ate during Thanksgiving dinner. I went a step further and photographed everything I ate all day, starting with a pre-5k banana:
I had the rest of my breakfast after the race. A piece of egg casserole (basically eggs, bread, milk, half-and-half, and cheese), a couple pieces of sausage, and fruit.
My brother-in-law Justin handles most of the heavy lifting for the big meal, but I chopped some veggies for him, and made a broccoli side dish (it was broccoli, sauteed in a little olive oil, turmeric, and Italian seasonings). There were appetizers floating around – brie, crackers, cold cuts – but I limited my pre-meal munching to carrots and celery. So I broke one of my rules a little bit – the no grazing rule – but I’m not counting it as a violation because I broke it with vegetables.
(I ate more veggies than what’s pictured.)
As for the big meal, Justin always starts with his traditional oyster soup. It’s oysters, butter, cream, and aromatics. It’s delicious, and very rich, and I didn’t finish my whole bowl.
Another Thanksgiving pledge rule is that no seconds are allowed, and I stuck to that. I loaded up my plate with everything I wanted: turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, broccoli, cranberry sauce, and after this one plate, I stopped.
After dinner was over, I tried a couple things I’ve never tried before: turkey heart (at the bottom) and kidney (the round pieces):
I ate two pieces of each. They tasted like dark meat.
A few hours later, we had dessert. I had a 1/2 piece of pumpkin pie and a 1/2 piece of apple pie, a piece of salted caramel pretzel bark, and a pear.
And that was it. No more food for me! We played games (Risk and Bananagrams), and I was plenty distracted by my friend Karen’s new puppy, Lily:
And my sister, dad and I took a silly selfie while watching some football game.
Thanksgiving 2015 was a success!
Keep it up, David!