Tag Archives: thanksgiving

Thankful for my Online Sisters

At this time of year it’s natural for us to be thankful.  And there are so many things to be thankful for.  I have a wonderful husband and family who are all doing pretty well (including my geriatric doggy who is still begging for walks and treats.) I have a roof over my head and good food to eat.  I have access to medical care and a car to drive.  And by and large, I have my health.

But at this moment, I would also like to say a special thank you to my online sisters.  Some of whom I know well in real life (like Ragen Chastain and Marilyn Wann) and others that I know mostly from my internet connection like Golda Poretsky, and Virgie Tovar and the militant baker and Hanne Blank.  Some of these women, like Marilyn Wann, I’ve known for decades.  Other online friends are brand new.  For example, I just met Elly Kellner online last night.  She wrote in to More Of Me To Love last night to tell us about an incident where some folks confronted her after a musical performance to let them know that they loved her music but were deeply concerned and distracted by the clothes she chose to wear.

Two strangers told me they were very distracted by my dress, was the back of the dress longer than the front!? And what sort of a legging was that!? And those shoes!? They assured me they only bothered to tell me all this because they thought my music was really good. But if only I wore a small heel, spike heels weren’t necessary, but a small heel and a sleeve then I would have been so much bigger in music already. The way I was dressed now distracted them too much from my music. I could take Ella Fitzgerald as an example. She was a big lady too and she wore beautiful garments!

In the finest tradition of concern trolling, these strangers assured Elly that they had her best interest at heart, and they just wanted others to not be distracted from her music.  Well Elly’s response was simply EPIC.  She created this music video to document her reaction:

I am continually encouraged and inspired by so, so, so many people who are doing amazing work to help make acceptance of body diversity more real in our culture.  From all of the powerful and wonderful speakers we had in our Fat Activism Conference, to the thousands of people who support each other daily on the Fit Fatties Forum, to the thousands of people who read this blog, I am thankful for you.  I am thankful for ALL OF YOU.  I am thankful for the way you make the world a better place for EVERY body.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

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More Steps Towards Awesomeness: Thanksgiving Edition

All that holiday activity makes me tired!

Well it seems I have the jump on the competition when it comes to holiday travel.  I’m flying out to New York City tomorrow for some super secret fabulousness.  I’ll tell you all about it as soon as I possibly can.  But as I frantically stuff things into a suitcase, I thought I’d give you just a few MORE ideas about how to rack up more steps on your pedometer–HOLIDAY STYLE!

1.  The Airport or Train Station: Is a great place to walk.  After you’ve spend endless hours snaking through lines, stripping nearly naked for security and dragging a metric ton of luggage on and off the shuttle bus, you may have some anxiety to walk off.  And given the delays so typical during this season, you will probably have a lot of time to kill.  So why not spend some time getting extra exercise trotting around the terminal?  You’ll have plenty of time to sit very still, nay crammed like a sardine when you get on the plane!  One thing I’ve started to do to ease this process is to always wear exercise clothes while I’m traveling.  If you want to walk down the jetway in 4-inch heels then I say get down with your bad self.  But I travel in a nice pair of athletic pants, a sweat wicking top, a sports bra, an athletic jacket and tennis shoes.  This way, I’m ready to bust a move whenever the urge strikes.  And given all the other ways travel is uncomfortable, I figure I can at least get around wearing comfortable clothes.

2. The Grocery Store: Thanksgiving is the mother of all grocery shopping holidays.  Unfortunately, everybody in the known universe seems to go there at the same time.  Why not do yourself a favor and stock up on groceries this week?  You might not have time to formalize your list, so grab a cart and go up and down all the aisles.  (Just be careful not to pick up too many impulse items!)  Grocery stores have gotten bigger and bigger.  So carefully carting down all the aisles can really add up to quite a distance.  Don’t forget to park further from the door for extra steps.  And for heaven’s sake, be polite and walk the ten extra steps to return the cart to the rack.  I’m talking to you.  Yes, you!  I can see you trying to cantilever that cart up to the light pole to save yourself 15 extra steps of walking.  I can see your cart rolling loose across the parking lot and terrorizing little old ladies and shiny cars and their new paint jobs.  Seriously.  Return your cart!  (Rant ends.)

3. At Home:  Okay, let’s be honest.  We are all frantically cleaning our houses right now, trying to convince our mother-in-law that their son did not marry a pathetic, housekeeping-challenged, slug.  It’s pathetic.  Around this time of year, I tend to wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat murmuring things like, “Behind the fridge.  What if she looks behind the fridge?!”  I could tell you to just chill out.  But this is an awesome time for getting in extra steps.  Put on some cleaning music. (Acid Death Metal works well for this, and has the added bonus of being extremely annoying to any obnoxious neighbors.)  Clip on a pedometer, grab a broom and get to it!  One technique you can use to get in extra steps is to put things away precisely where they belong on the first trip.  Typically, I pile all the stuff that needs to get put away at the bottom of the stairs or perhaps in a large cardboard box that I will ultimately drag into the garage and try to forget.  But if you take each thing and put it away, not only will you have the satisfaction of someday being able to find that thing again, you will also get in some extra steps.  Plus you get the privilege of standing at the door, looking at your domain, and reciting that line from Poltergeist, “This house is clean!”

So that’s three extra sneaky ways to get some extra exercise in and add to your step count this Thanksgiving.  And maybe, just maybe, the walking will relieve enough stress to keep you from being homicidal by Black Friday.

Love,

The Fat Chick

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The True Virtue of the Turkey Trot and Other Tips for Holiday Fitness

Rockin' the turkey trot!

Rockin’ the turkey trot!

Thanksgiving will be here soon (at least if you live in the United States) and we’re swinging right into the major holiday season.  Between the holiday parties and the extra cooking and baking and gift shopping and family obligations, it can be especially difficult to keep fitness in your schedule.  Last week, I explained why the end of daylight savings time might be just the best excuse to start exercising EVER.  In theory, you’re getting an extra hour of sleep and thus, I reasoned, you could trick your body into getting up an hour earlier without too much pain.

So how did that work out for you?  Did you do it?  If not, don’t feel bad.  I’m not judging you.  But if you feel sad that you missed it, guess what: you get another chance!  Today is Veteran’s Day and many people (at least in the U.S.) have the day off.  It’s a perfect day to slide on those tennis shoes and get in a little exercise.  And if you are really especially clever, you can exercise your body and exercise your compassion at the same time by honoring a vet.  You could walk out and participate in a Veteran’s Day event in your area.  You could volunteer at a local Veteran’s Hospital.  You could take a walk and explore a nearby battleground.  You could even walk out to or march in a local Veteran’s Day parade.

You could even use today  an excuse to start training.  I’m training for an event which has become an annual tradition for yours truly–the Turkey Trot.  I usually participate in a 5K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day that raises money for my local YMCA.  The course is short, fast and easy.  There are plenty of aid stations, and a large percentage of the participants are walkers like me.  I can take my time and have lots and lots of fun!

Participating in the Turkey Trot does mean that I have to amend the rules of 1-hour pants day.  I now have to add about an hour of sweat pants to the mix.  But I have found that this is one race that is scheduled on a day that I am not expected to speak or teach or have any professional obligations.  PLUS, I get to go right home, take a shower and a looooong Thanksgiving day nap right after.  Awesome!

And if a Turkey Trot isn’t right for you, how about a postprandial stroll to check out the early birds who manage to get holiday lights up by Thanksgiving Day?  You could honor their industry while strolling by on your way to a post dinner hot chocolate, or antacid.

Or you could always go out with your cousins and play a little football.  Although I should mention that activity is not without risk.

I don’t want to give you the impression that you have to exercise during the holidays or any other times.  That’s up to you.  You are the President and CEO of your own corpus!  But I am suggesting that if you’ve been looking for another little incentive or boost to get your fitness efforts going, you can honor the holidays and give an extra special gift to your body as well in the form of exercise (or the form of chocolate, ‘cuz chocolate is awesome too…)

And speaking of gifts, I’m pleased to announce that the third winner of The Fat Chick’s Great Pedometer Giveaway is Megan Page Montgomery!  Hey Megan, just drop me an email at jeanette at the fat chick dot com with your mailing address so I can ship your pedometer on out to you!  Yet another great excuse for getting started with a fabulous, shiny, new fitness program.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie

AKA The Fat Chick

P.S. Want to get access to FREE STUFF?  Just opt in RIGHT HERE!

Thursday Theater: With a Thankful Heart

Good morning my dear Chicklettes! This Thanksgiving I am grateful for so many things! And, in addition to my wonderful heart, I am especially grateful for the amazing and wonderful gift of my whole mind and my entire body:

  • Feet that step and skip and dance,
  • Legs that have carried me towards my loved ones and all that I dream,
  • Knees that flex under the load I sometimes have to carry, and kneel in awe of the beauty of this world,
  • Thighs that make a lap for holding warm, squirmy, squiggly children and a resting place for the chin of my fabulous dog, Max,
  • Hips that sway and shimmy and shake to the beat of the beautiful old earth, and make a place to rest my hands when arms akimbo, I face the dangers and toils of this world,
  • A round, soft bottom that cushions me when I fall,
  • A warm, generous tummy that creates the energy I need to live and love and shakes merrily when I giggle and gufflaw at the delicious absurdity of life,
  • A broad back that allows me to bend down to help others and help shoulder their load,
  • An expansive chest that swells when I breathe the rich and wonderful air, that powers my speech and my song, that gives me a place to cradle that which is beloved,
  • A powerful neck that allows me to turn my head and see not only that which is right in front of my eyes, but all of the wonder that surrounds me,
  • Lips to kiss,
  • Tongue to taste,
  • Teeth to bite when the need arises,
  • Eyes that convey the beauty of the universe to my mind and allow others to see into my soul,
  • Ears that record the music of the earth from the soft shushing of the surf to the boom of a storm to the whisper of a lover sharing a secret,
  • And a heart and mind capable of recognizing the incomprehensible nature of the gift which I have received.

Here’s hoping that Thanksgiving is full of all that makes you happy and joyfully devoid of the stuff that tempts you to choose to relinquish your peace.

Love,

The Fat Chick

Stuffed

 

Thanksgiving is nearly here.  And even though I haven’t eaten my Thanksgiving dinner or begun to cook the cranberries or season the bird, I’m already feeling “stuffed”.  What is it about the holidays that makes us want to jam and cram every minute and every corner and every bit of our stomach with, well, stuff?  Frantic to relive every holiday tradition, and sample every holiday food and participate in every holiday rehearsal, gathering, performance and event I find myself over-full and completely overwhelmed.  And there comes a moment, when my husband is watching me run around the tenth time, like a chicken with my head cut off, when he just asks me, “Will you please stop?  Just for a minute?  Will you please just stop?”

You think I’d learn.  I mean it happens to me every dang year.  The temptation is sooooo strong.  I can have one more rehearsal.  It’s only one more bite of pie.  I can add just one more person to my list.  But I ultimately find, that when I’m completely stuffed.  If I don’t have room for one more bite in my tummy, if I don’t have time for one more second in my day, I don’t enjoy any of it.  And for me, that’s a real shame.

Look, if you are one of those rare birds who enjoys being stuffed, if it fills you with a holiday glow and makes you feel happy, who am I to judge?  As my dear friend Ragen Chastain always says, “You get to be the boss of your own underpants.”  But since I don’t enjoy it, and I really don’t like being stuffed, I’m exploring alternatives.  Frankly, I’ve only come up with one.  I’m going to have to give up a few things so that I have the time, energy, bandwidth and space to enjoy the others.  I’m going to have to face my fears that the world will end if I don’t do everything, so that I can still enjoy some things.  I’m going to have to live with not trying Aunt Sue’s Pecan Pie, making the shortbread cookies, caroling at the mall and doing the fifteenth office/club/team holiday party.

So my dear chicklettes.  I hope the upcoming holiday is full (but not too full) of everything that you love, that you hold dear and that makes you feel inordinately happy.

Love,

The Fat Chick

Plan Ahead to Deal With Holiday Stress

Thanksgiving is coming up next week, and the holiday onslaught will be here in just minutes.  We’ve all heard of holiday stress.  But few of us are aware of how dangerous holiday stress can really be.  Studies have indicated that cardiac mortality increases by as much as a third between Thanksgiving and New Years Day–even in mild climates.  And scientists have surmised that this increase may be due to holiday stress.

One of the things you can do to help minimize holiday stress is to plan in advance.  Learn how to set spending limits.   Manage expectations and understand that no holiday is perfect.  Prioritize, divest and delegate tasks so you don’t feel completely overwhelmed.  Plan ahead for how you will deal with critical or unkind family members and friends who feel a need to try to “fix” you.  And maintain healthy habits during the holidays–especially exercise.

Lucky for you, the HAES Happy Holidays Workshop, arranged by the amazing Ragen Chastain, begins tonight.  The program is “name your own price” so you can stay within your holiday budget.  And a variety of awesome speakers like Ragen, Marilyn Wann, Golda Poretsky and I will be talking about managing family relationships, looking fabulous, and dealing  with holiday stress.  I’ll be speaking tonight at 4PM PST–7PM EST about maintaining an exercise program during the holidays and setting up a rational New Years Resolution exercise program that is safe and super fun!

Procrastination also increases holiday stress, so don’t wait another minute.  Go sign up for the program and dial on in.  And help make this the best holiday season EVAR!

Love,

The Fat Chick