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The 12 Days of Thanksgiving

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving
    Photo credit: jdolenga (CC BY 2.0)

    Nordstom’s is getting a lot of publicity this year for their stance on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Namely, they are going against the decorations trend and are choosing to wait on Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving is over. People everywhere are enjoying this and re-posting their signs.

    This past year, I saw Christmas decorations in WalMart before Halloween was over! It seems the New Deal stimulus idea of extending the Christmas buying season has worked all too well, and like many others, I feel it is time to fight back.

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    But how will we fight back?

    With gratitude, thanks and remembering why Thanksgiving comes before Christmas:

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    The Proposal – The 12 Days Of Thanksgiving

    Starting on Thanksgiving, post on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. something you are thankful for. For the next twelve days, continue to do this every day!

    The Concept:

    Every Thanksgiving families give thanks and show gratitude for something in their lives. There are many families who will even go around the table and have everyone name something. Then the day after Thanksgiving, they wait in long lines for those black Friday deals. They clamor to buy. They spend time worrying about costs, decorations and tinsel; they forget what they did at the start of the holiday season – give thanks.

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    I believe people see the nonsense in this insanity. I believe people truly are grateful that they can even stand in line for an hour for a gift. I think people are even more grateful when they don’t stand in line, and instead make hot chocolate with their families and loved ones at home. Let us all work together to remind each other of the small things in life and the big things. By spending 12 of the holiday season days giving thanks, we may find it is a habit to continue well past the 12 days of Christmas. We may find it isn’t the gifts, the lines, the perfection that matters. We may find it is OK to smile, and let someone go before you or maybe hold open a door for someone else. We may find the truly great thing about the holidays is the reminder of gratitude and love all humans are capable of showing.

    Some Ideas:

    Here are some ideas of what to look for and post about in your feeds. They are all things I am thankful for, though not in any particular order.

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    • I thank the farmers and ranchers who work to provide food for our nation. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I thank my wonderful family for putting up with me. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I am thankful for the roof over my head. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I thank the person who smiled back and said thank you. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I thank the teachers who teach my children. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I thank the bagger who bags my food at the store. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I am thankful for the air I breathe. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I am thankful for the sun at my back. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I am thankful for a cheerful smile. #12daysofthanksgiving
    • I am thankful for the ability to share these gratitudes. #12daysofthanksgiving

    Needless to say, there are many things in the world to be thankful over, and I encourage us all to find one thing – every day – for twelve days.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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