Ryan Chartrand

In the era of skinny jeans and endless summer weather, being healthy seems to be the newest trend.

Everywhere I go people are lacing up their jogging shoes and laying out their yoga mats, testing out the trendiest and most effective way to shed pounds.

It has gotten to be such a coming fad that even magazines and television stations are changing their customer outreach plans to fit healthier lifestyles.

As I was going about my biweekly shopping routine at the grocery store I stopped by the magazine aisle – a habit I can’t resist – and I picked up the three that interested me the most.

When I got home I started my journey through the 143 pages of how-tos and the hottest trends; I noticed that every section focused on how to beat the holiday weight gain.

The articles covered every topic between “How to Full Proof Your Thanksgiving Feast from Fat,” to “Beating the Holiday Weight Before It Begins.”

Now, it’s understandable that these are valuable tips for anyone looking to add a little bit of healthy to their lifestyle. Not to mention, we all know how much easier it is to pack on a few extra inches during the beach off-season.

But it even goes as far as to tell you the perfect Thanksgiving Day workout and provides suggestions for “Turkey Walks” you can follow within your city.

All of this was recommended to take part during your actual feast time so you wouldn’t consume as much food.

I decided to take these tips into consideration but not to count them as my holiday vow, however, until I turned on the Food Network the very same day.

What was the theme of the day? But of course: how to avoid calories, carbohydrates, saturated fats and cholesterol.

They might as well have called it “How to Take the Fun and Taste Out of the Holidays.”

Now, I am sure if we could all afford a high-priced chef to come and cater our holiday parties then we would all have healthy and delicious in the name of a five-course meal.

Unfortunately, how many of us can actually do this? Truthfully, who even wants to?

Isn’t Thanksgiving all about stuffing yourself so full that you pop?

It is Thanksgiving, the tradition of celebrating through food to give thanks. We are supposed to pile on the mashed potatoes, stuffing and biscuits all just to smother them with freshly made gravy and that’s just the first round.

This is our one time of year to eat like it’s the end of the world and to ignore the five to ten extra pounds we manage to add on. It is our one chance to indulge in something we love guilt free.

However, seeing that this day in particular wasn’t the one day a year I could hide away the health-nut version of myself, I decided to head to the gym.

It could have been all the talk about working out and getting active but I like to believe I went because I would have anyway.

When I got to the gym a sign read “Thanksgiving Day Hours: Open Thanksgiving Day from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.”

This is where I had had enough.

It was all in my head, but that was the icing on the cake. First the magazines, then the Food Network, and now this, the gym’s way of telling me to get my butt in there on Thanksgiving and work off my pleasures.

It wasn’t a deliberate message but it was clear. If the gym’s employees have to sacrifice a feast and time with their families to go I sure could make some time.

The sign should have read: “CLOSED Thanksgiving Day; go eat lots of tasty treats and forget about the treadmill!”

So why are magazines and the Food Network trying to ruin our fun? Could it be that the world has become so entirely health crazed that they are ready to sacrifice such traditions as Thanksgiving?

Now, I am a health freak to the fullest, but even I cringe at the thought of changing a perfectly fine holiday into another health day just like the other 364 days of the year.

To imagine my turkey stripped of all its delicious golden brown skin, pouring fat-free gravy (if such a thing exists) and eating jiggly Jello for dessert instead of pumpkin pie are chilling thoughts.

We must stand up, put down the dumbbells and pick up the turkey leg.

Megan Priley is a journalism junior and a Mustang Daily reporter.

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