Hey friends! It’s a beautiful day in Brandon, Manitoba and I just enjoyed a weekend filled with family and friends to celebrate my husband’s grandma’s life as she passed away a few weeks ago and to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. North of the border, this holiday is celebrated earlier than it’s counterpart in the States and has a few differences:
– Parliament called for a “general day of thankfulness” rather than the holiday representing a specific event in time (like with the pilgrims being thankful for food from the Indians in the U.S.) – I think that’s neat that it’s just a moment to pause and be thankful!
– Canadian Thanksgiving is a holiday on the Monday, not Thursday.
– In the States, you know that EVERYone will be eating turkey on the last Thursday in November each year, and most meals are quite traditional and involve family. In Canada, you might go to one meal on Friday night, one Sunday and even meet with friends on Monday too! It’s less structured and many families don’t get together or necessarily “do” the whole shebang. In Canada, the big time to get together is definitely over Christmas, so it’s a bit different than the family-centered time that Thanksgiving is in America.
Just a few differences. Celebrating Thanksgiving is something that I miss terribly by not being in the U.S. – especially the family time. We always get together with American friends in Calgary and have a fun feast that has come to feel like family, but this year it was fun to be with more family because of the event going on in Manitoba. Although we got together for hard reasons, there was still an element of celebrating all weekend, which finished with a fun meal and lots of us all together.
On Thursday night my sister- and bother-in-law, Catherine and Dave, flew in from Vancouver and spent the night with us. We picked them up after I had time for a quick shower at home post-Train the Team, a fundraiser at our gym for the village we support in Ethiopia, Belo.
For 10 minutes, members can pay a fee to train a trainer or member of the staff and make them do whatever they want! Lots of revenge going on here. 😉 The event was great – we raised over $11,000! Many people donate without training someone, but most of the trainers who participated were full for four 10 minute slots with a short break in between each one.
I LOVED this event! I was worried about the 11 hour drive the next day, but I wasn’t sore at all until the FOLLOWING day when I tried to do some push ups and felt like my chest was ripping. 😉 All my clients did some creative and challenging things, although they had a harder job than most as they ALL told me they weren’t sure what to make me do since everyone except me hates burpees. 😉
One of my clients even googled “exercises worse than burpees.” Love it!
That was my only activity all weekend long. Friday was a deserved rest day (and 11 hour drive to Manitoba!) and the rest of the weekend was focused on people – and the road trip (both ways) was so good with Dave and Cath.
We were up until midnight every night and the days were full of planning and prepping, concerts by our cousin, Dylan, and his band (and often his sister Katie too – a talented family!) and moments sharing memories. We all went for a beautiful fall walk in the leaves on a fun trail, had a graveside service, went out to eat several times and had a wonderful memorial service and Thanksgiving meal at the end of the weekend.
One thing that was in the back of my mind before we left was my Holiday Hustle via Janetha from Advocare’s 24 Day Challenge. I knew we’d be spending time on the road, eating a few meals out and sharing a Thanksgiving meal together. I was nervous to have to say “no” to stuffing and pumpkin pie! But everyone was VERY accommodating. I didn’t miss my supplements, kept drinking my daily water and had tea instead of sweets when everyone else was having dessert. I passed on coffee every day (going strong on no coffee for 8 days now!) and opted for hot water with lemon instead and there was no stuffing or pumpkin pie (Saskatoon berry and apple pies instead) for me to have to turn down!
I grabbed salad before dressing and cheese was added, snacked on veggie/bean quinoa chilli and kept it honest every day. I feel great and it’s wonderful to actually exercise willpower!
(Didn’t indulge in any of the Tim Bits, brought my own food for the drive and even filled my honey container (harvested by my aunt & uncle in CA from their home!) with Angela’s pink power detox smoothie!)
And you know what? I didn’t miss out on the food or extras at all! I’ve learned that I am able to stick with something, have discipline and not eat mindlessly just because I’m with people and hanging out. I was also reminded that moments with family and holidays are not about the food (although tradition certainly does center around celebrating together with food, which is great!) but about the time with people.
I’m looking forward to getting back into my fitness routine again, and although I often workout while on vacation and traveling, this weekend was different. It was great to not wear workout clothes for once (said every personal trainer ever!) and to get good sleep and just be present with others. Eating well with help with weight loss and maintenance, but not burning calories, so I can’t wait to add that back into the occasion – mainly because I love to sweat! 😀 Above all, I cherished the time with family and was truly reminded of the brevity of life and that mine must be lived all for Jesus, loving people well while I’m here on earth in this temporary home.
Anyone else celebrate this weekend? What did you do on both sides of the border, and how are YOU doing with your discipline with food right now? Remember, it’s just where I am right now – consistency is the most key for your health, and there are times to indulge and times to scale back. RIght now I’m enjoying the discipline and structure of this program and eating well to fuel right and feel amazing!
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians and have a great week to everyone. Live well * be well, friends,