Like almost all Americans, I ate too much yesterday on Thanksgiving! It still bothers me a little that we live in a land that has such an abundance of food and still we fail to use it for the betterment of our fellow humans. We eat too much food day in and day out while we simultaneously fail to get even a few minutes of daily physical activity, resulting in America being mostly a nation of overweight and obese people! It is a national epidemic, and something needs to be done. I don’t know what to say about correcting the problem except to say we need to eat less and exercise more.
Yesterday, I didn’t follow my own advice when I ate a huge meal consisting of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, yams, coleslaw, cranberries, buns and pumpkin pie. Besides all of this wonderful food, my sister Beckie baked me an irresistible pecan pie, which I ate throughout the day. Throw in a little snowy weather, a subzero wind chill, and you have a Thanksgiving where I sat around and ate without getting in any exercise; a doubly bad predicament!
Today was a new day, however, and I knew it was going to be different! I stumbled a bit out of the blocks as I enjoyed a breakfast at Augustana Lutheran Church consisting of French toast, scrambled eggs and sausage, but got back on track when I returned home for a vacation day. After finishing off the last slice of pecan pie with some coffee, I decided to get in a little exercise, so I went to the UND Wellness Center.
The students are on Thanksgiving break, so the Center was fairly empty as I started running around the track. I had planned on getting in 4-5 miles, but as I remembered all of the pecan pie I had consumed, I decided to go a little further. One piece of pecan pie contains 500 calories according to a USDA web page. 500 calories a slice, and I had eaten five of the little monsters! That’s 2,500 calories on top of my normally large Thanksgiving meal.
I ended up running straight for 71 minutes, covering 8 miles in the process. When I calculated how many calories I had used during the exercise session, I came up with a little over 1,200, which only accounted for half of the pie I had consumed in the previous two days. That’s insane! I ate a little over ½ of a pecan pie, and I will have to run 16 miles to prevent it from turning to fat! It will take me days of intense exercise to burn up a few tiny pieces of the calorie rich treat.
Looking at the pecan pie in terms of calories and exercise, I believe I will have to view it a little differently the next time I’m faced with the irresistible delight. I’ve proven to be a fairly persistent distance runner, but a really poor eater of pecan pie in moderation, so I may need to devise a new plan that will maximize my strengths and minimize my weaknesses. Instead of eating five slices and running 16 miles with the pie inside me, I’ll run one mile in a direction that takes me far away from it, and hope Sue or someone else eats most of it before I return home. That’s it! I’ll run away from the pie rather than run with the pie! My legs will take over when my taste buds grow weak and save my entire body from an insane series of post holiday workouts. I’ll finally be putting my new found running skills to some practical use!