What are you thankful for?

by Ali on November 26, 2008

In the US tomorrow, it’ll be Thanksgiving, and although I’m in the UK, I think having a day focused on gratitude is a great idea.

Whether or not you’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, it’s worth taking a few minutes to think about what you’re grateful for – especially when it comes to your body, your physical health and your diet.

These are just a few areas you might like to think about:

Being thankful for your health

I don’t know what your personal circumstances are. You may be reading The Office Diet because you have a medical condition that predisposes you to being overweight. You may be suffering from stress or depression, or you may have severe food allergies. But I imagine that, on the whole, you readers are a pretty healthy bunch. You have access to medical care, you get sufficient nutrients from what you eat to keep you well, and you’re knowledgeable enough to know how to take care of your body (even if, like me, you sometimes slip up in practice!)

Even if you’re not currently as healthy as you’d like to be, be thankful for what you do have – and be thankful that you have the power and self-awareness to take positive steps to improve your health.

Being thankful for your physical ability and strength

If you’re like me, with two left feet and a distinct lack of co-ordination, you might feel rather a long way from being the world’s best sportsman/woman. Notice the way your body feels after exercise, though: do you have a satisfying glow of strength and achievement? You might not be as fit, strong or active as you’d like – but your body is an amazing piece of equipment, resilient and with an impressive ability to get fit and strong through a moderate amount of exercise.

What activities can you do now that you perhaps couldn’t do, through lack of physical ability, a year, or two years ago? I’m certainly not claiming any great prowess in the gym, but compared to myself a few years ago, I’m a lot fitter and stronger!

Being thankful for your job

One of the focuses of The Office Diet over the past year has been on the “office” part – I know that many of you are employees in 8-4 or 9-5 type jobs. As a former full-time office worker myself, I know that it’s sometimes hard to be thankful for your job! You might feel that without the stress, or the long hours, or the boredom of your job, you’d be much better placed to suceed in your diet.

Thanksgiving is a great time to focus on the positive aspects of your job. That could be simply the fact that you have a job, in the current economic climate.
But if you can, go further, and list some of the things (however small) that you enjoy about your work day.

Being thankful that you’re self-aware

Something I know about everyone reading this is that you’re interested in living a healthy lifestyle that nurtures your mind and body – good for you! You’re not succumbing to the junk-food and sloth-like habits that many people adopt without even bothering to question them. Even if your health, your fitness and your weight aren’t yet what you want, you’re on the right path.

Be thankful that you’ve got this self-awareness, and that along with it, you’ve got the willingness to change. The fact that you’re reading this says a lot about you: you’re someone who cares about your health and who knows that a few lifestyle tweaks are enough to pay dividends for years to com.

What are you thankful for?

Try to find just five minutes this week (maybe during a dull meeting, in your lunch hour, or on a coffee break) to scribble a list of things you’re thankful for. Make sure you include at least one thing about your body, at least one thing about your eating habits, and at least one thing about your exercise. They don’t have to be big (“I’m thankful that I can now walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath” is fine), but do try to find something for all these aspects of your healthy living journey.

If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, I hope you have a wonderful, joy-filled day. And you hereby have my permission to enjoy yourself without thinking once about calories – one day won’t ruin your diet (just get straight back on the wagon on Friday).

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