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Every once in a while, it’s okay to over-indulge. And what holiday is more conducive to over-indulging than Thanksgiving? Turkey, stuffing, potatoes and pumpkin pie — this Thursday, it’s likely most of the nation will be suffering from one heck of a food coma. Myself included.
Most years, I feel a slight sense of regret after that aforementioned food coma. Immediately after I’ve woken up from my turkey-induced nap, I start panicking about how much fat and calories I’ve consumed. That panic somewhat negates any happy feelings I had while enjoying a nice meal with my family.
In hindsight, this year, I’m going to do Thanksgiving a little differently. Instead of shaming myself for over-indulging on a great Thanksgiving meal, I’m going to give myself a pass. Instead, I’ll be grateful for the fact that I have the means to over-indulge. After all, it’s not like I eat this way every day — so why get emotionally distraught about it?
Although I think we can all relate to a little sense of guilt after over-indulging in any sense, some of your members have a harder time brushing off a bad food day than others — mainly, those suffering from eating disorders. Even though you might be able to brush off a day of over-indulgence with a couple extra days of exercise, for others, that’s not so easy.
In fact, in a recent blog post, Jodi Rubin, the founder of Destructively Fit, discussed how for some of your members with eating disorders, Thanksgiving is a nightmare.
When I asked Rubin if there are any messages gyms should avoid that could negatively impact individuals with eating disorders, she cautioned: “The very first thing that comes to my mind is that it is very easy to focus on burning off your Thanksgiving dinner. This is obviously compensatory and sends the message that we should undo what we eat. [It’s] always best to have balance and to have room in our lives for holidays and other celebrations without feeling confined by ‘shoulds’ or rules.”
Bottom line — keep in mind what messages you’re sending out to members around this time of year. According to Rubin, around 90 percent of people diagnosed with an eating disorder are also a member of a gym.
P.S. I hope everyone has a happy holiday filled with hopefully “guiltless” over-indulgence!
Rachel Zabonick is the assistant editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reach out to her about exciting events or programs your club has implemented, or to share the amazing accomplishments of a member.