Holiday Weekend Leave You Feeling Stuffed? Dieting Isn’t the Answer

Jodi Davis (kneeling, with dog) with family members after their post-Thanksgiving dinner walk.

I’m wondering how many times the following statement was said aloud this morning: “Okay, I’ve really got to cut down on the calories and start exercising today… my pants are getting a bit too tight!”

Yes, we’ve all been there before. The Thanksgiving meal that we enjoyed last week is just a small piece of the problem — the majority of it was created by the several pieces of pie along with the numerous leftovers that were just too difficult to say no to on Friday, Saturday and maybe even on Sunday, too.

Dieting Alone Doesn’t Work

A large portion of the population will begin a diet today because of their tight-fitting pants, but I also know that a portion won’t be. How do I know this? Because not everyone is encountering that problem today, and I’m happy to say that I’m one of them. But there are thousands more out there too. All of us have learned that dieting isn’t the answer when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off. It may have taken a few years for some people; I’ll admit that it took me two and a half decades to discover that diets don’t work.

And that is when my entire life changed — and I no longer have those tight-fitting pants after every Thanksgiving holiday weekend. When I began living a healthy lifestyle, it included daily exercise, something I had never considered doing during my dieting days. Now I know that just because it is Thanksgiving Day (or any other holiday for that matter), it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to exercise by taking my daily 1.5-mile walk. In fact, 16 of my family members took one with me! It’s just what we do now that all of us focus on healthier lifestyles. I can basically blame walking for why my pants still fit fine today!

Strength in Numbers

I’m not alone here; there are other Michiganders who share this same understanding when it comes to daily physical activity and living a healthier lifestyle. They’re probably just as happy as I am knowing that their pants fit comfortably after the long holiday weekend. Suzanne Paquette, a Holland resident who lost 80 pounds and Mike Eckert, a Traverse City Record-Eagle reporter who lost 200 pounds are just two of the people in our great state with whom I’ve been honored to become acquainted, share weight-loss successes and healthy-living tips, walk, and the best part, become good friends. They are focused not only on living healthier themselves, but they also care about helping other individuals to do the same.

On Wednesday, I’ll revisit some of their amazing stories not only to motivate you but to encourage you to honor someone who is dedicated to a lifestyle of good health for a Governor’s Fitness Award.

What did you do to counter all those Thanksgiving calories? Share your tips here.

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