“You can’t have Thanksgiving without turkey. That’s like Fourth of July without apple pie or Friday with no two pizzas.”

Joey Tribbiani always had wise words when it came to food. While I don’t eat turkey, I respect his knowledge and I chose this quote for my annual Thanksgiving eating and exercise blog because it’s fitting for what I’d like to share.

As we head into the holiday that’s quite literally all about eating a lot and being grateful for the ability to do so, I have two key reminders:

Food Isn’t Bad and Exercise Isn’t Punishment
Reminder #1 – Food isn’t bad. Please don’t think eating is bad. You’re not bad for eating.


Puppy chow – starting the love early.

Reminder #2 – Exercise isn’t punishment. Please don’t feel the need to exercise to punish yourself for eating. You don’t punish yourself for eating.

Eat All the Food
Let’s all ignore the eating-to-exercise equations. You know, the posts people always share on social media, scolding you about how many miles you need to walk or burpees you need to do to “cancel out” the pumpkin pie and stuffing you ate. People will certainly share them now and forever, but that’s their problem, not yours.

If you want turkey and mashed potatoes and corn and fudge and bread – have it. Food isn’t bad and you’re not bad for eating food. Exercise isn’t punishment and you don’t need to punish yourself with exercise.

So those of you wondering how to eat well on Thanksgiving? You can read my blog from two years ago but I’m still going to give the same advice: Eat all the food. Enjoy it. Savor it. Eat it all. Stop when you’re full – or, when you think you can’t possibly eat another bit, channel your inner Joey Tribbiani and go for that piece of pumpkin pie. Then get back on track to stay true to your wellness goals.

I’ll leave you with one more reminder why food is good for you, it’s not bad for you (fun fact, there’s another Friends reference in that post). Happy Thanksgiving!

How do you feel about exercise-to-calorie charts? Do you feel compelled to burn off calories when you eat more than normal? Or are you okay with a day of indulgence here and there?

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