November 26, 2008

Happy Almost-Thanksgiving

It's the Day Before Thanksgiving!

All Ready? Gettin' Excited?
Photo: Plan59

So it's a day early for a Thanksgiving post, but heck, it's close enough, right? At least I'm not blogging about Christmas yet, be thankful for that.

I'm mindful that it's traditional when writing about Thanksgiving, particularly if one is female, to pick one of these tried and true topics:

  • How to Prepare a Sumptuous Thanksgiving Feast
  • How to Not to Eat 15,000 Calories in One Meal and Subsequently Explode
  • How to Avoid Becoming Psychotic With Stress and Killing All Your Annoying Relatives
  • How to Rationalize the Fact That Decades After the Advent of Feminism, Women Still Pretty Much Slave Away in the Kitchen While Men Get to Sit on Their Asses And Watch Football
  • Or, most traditional of all: Time to Feel All Thankful and Shit.

If you had to guess, which one would do you think I’d pick?

So, did you pick "Time to Feel All Thankful and Shit?"

Yes, this is Cranky Fitness, but even the Crabbiest of Crabs has to occasionally acknowledge some Awesome Things to feel grateful for. But don't worry; this will be gratitude with a lot of swear words mixed in, because why the hell not.

Gratitude is Good for You!

First, a bit of science to class up the blog:
(I know, I use this picture all the time. I just like it.)

Gratitude research (yes, there is such a thing--doesn't that almost make you want to go back to school?) says that:

  • People who kept gratitude journals exercised more regularly, had fewer physical symptoms, felt better about their lives, and were more optimistic than those were were told to record "hassles" or neutral life events.
  • The Grateful Group was also more likely to have made progress toward important personal goals; and,
  • Self-guided gratitude exercises (no, sorry, not a euphemism for masturbation) increased alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness and energy.

I used to keep a mental gratitude list, and then got out of the habit. But I gotta get back to it, especially with such cool bonus benefits like better health and energy and goal attainment. Selfish Gratitude? Sounds like a concept I can get behind!

Making a Gratitude List

I think the trick here is to do it often, so you can make it short and mix it up a little each time. At least that's my theory. Because if I tried to be comprehensive my list would run 97,023 items long. (I'm one hella fortunate Crab). You'd all get bored and go off to watch tv or pick a fight with your in-laws or something, and I'd never get to hear what you're grateful for. So I'll try to keep it short and maybe save up some gratitude for next year.

So here goes a very personal, abbreviated list of things I'm grateful for:

1. The Lobster
Always number one.

2. Family and friends

This totally includes "online" friends. Y'all rock!

3. Merry Sunshine, who Single Handedly Saved Cranky Fitness from Obscurity, Abandonment, and Ill Repute.

Besides teaching me all kinds of interesting things, totally cracking me up with her great posts, and being a blast to work with, Merry's joining up as a coblogger kept this blog going! I would have seriously quit by now if I didn't have her to pal around with. Or I would have turned it into a lucrative fitness porn site or something. (Seriously, we get googled for "fitness porn" all the time, there must be some money there).

By the way, Merry's One Year Cranky Fitness Anniversary was this weekend! Dang, I shoulda organized a surprise party.

Photo credit: amy_b

Three cheers for Merry!!!!

(And speaking of blog anniversaries, another favorite fitness blogger just had one and wrote a Very Special Anniversary Post).

4. Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate, Olive Oil, Red Wine, Avocados, Eggs, and Coffee
And all the other yummy foods we were warned away from by the "experts" that turned out to be good for us after all.

5. Good health!
I know how much pain and disability some people are afflicted with. Even though I may whine about a runny nose or achy knees, I do get how lucky I am to be in overall great health.

6. Great Blogs to Steal Ideas From! Read and Admire!
I can't even begin to list all the awesome blogs I read and enjoy or we'd be here until next Thanksgiving. (And I know I am horrible about linking, commenting, blogrolling, and otherwise properly acknowledging all of them. But I hope you know who you are!)

Just as one example: if you're a fan of thankfulness as a concept, and think it's useful for more than one day a year, then Leah over at the Goat's Lunch Pail serves up hot fresh gratitude every Monday!

7. Broccolini
It's apparently a hybrid cross between broccoli and Chinese kale, but whatever. It's good for you like broccoli (full of cancer fighting isothiocyanates, sulforaphane and indoles) but it's much tastier. Plus it's fun to say. Actually, it should be sung rather than spoken, to the tune of "Mona Lisa." Broccollllinniii, Broccollllinniii, I adore you... (I know those are not the actual words to Mona Lisa.) (Also, I would sing the Broccolini song only at home and not when you're at the store asking the produce guy if they have any, which at a normal grocery store, they usually don't anyway).

8. Trader Joe's
They usually DO have broccolini! Plus, TJ's has prepackaged but reasonably fresh pomegranates to keep you from going crazy peeling the little f*ckers. And they have cute little dark-chocolate covered graham crackers! And whole wheat tortillas and tasty blue corn chips and Fage yogurt! I could go on, obviously.

9. Obama and the Democrats winning the election
This isn't a blog about politics but screw it, I'm really pleased about this. I wasn't a big Obama fan at the very beginning (I was for Hilary, as his lack of experience troubled me), but now I'm a big ol' fan. A thoughtful, intelligent, grown-up in charge of the country, hooray! Despite our Supremely Screwed Up Economy, I actually feel optimistic about the future of this country. (OK, maybe not the immediate future... it's gonna take a little while to undo the last 8 years).

10. Running to Cheesy Songs on the iPod.
It's all about the beat, and I will listen to the most embarrassing crap imaginable as long as it gets me pumping. There is nothing that compares to running on a beautiful trail with a motivating tune, a caffeine buzz, and an endorphin rush. Even if it means listening to Mouret's Rondeau (the Masterpiece Theater Song) set to a synthesized disco beat. Seriously, I have that one and it's awesome. It's worth totally ruining your knees over and having to spend the rest of your life using a walker. Um, I think. Check back in a few years, I may have changed my mind on that.

11. Blog Sponsors
If you are a blogger and invest quite a bit of time into blogging with the delusion goal of earning a little income, you know how difficult and discouraging it can be. I'm so grateful to our current sponsors, particularly the independent ones, Fit Couture and Mio! We're hoping folks check 'em out every now and then and that they decide to stay a while!

12. Drag Queens.
And all of the other wonderful things about Provincetown, Massachusetts. Like the Rock Walk, and Tea Dances at the Boatslip (yes, we're probably too old to shake our groove thangs; but no, we don't give a crap and we dance our asses off anyway), Right Whales frolicking off the coast, and inspirational local legends like Mary Oliver and John Waters and Michael Cunningham. Oh, and being able to get legally married and all. That was cool.

13. Cupcakes.

I do not need to explain cupcakes.

14. Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me
If I didn't check in with my buddies at the always entertaining NPR quiz show, how would I ever hear about such, um, innovative fitness inventions such as the SpeedFit?

15. Cranky Fitness Commenters
Truly you folks are the best. Who else would write hilarious poems about fake twinkies? I love reading what you have to say--you always surprise, entertain, inform, amuse me, and warm the cockles of my Crabby little heart.

So is there anything you're grateful for this Thanksgiving?


  1. I agree with so many of yours! Of course the Presidential election is waaaay high on my list, may even beat out cupcakes. Hope is good!

  2. I'm grateful for being able to write posts on this blog! It's great therapy. I love the way you deal with the traditional T-Day blog topics :)

    But I want to protest about all this damn profanity on the blog! Clean this @#$%! blog up, young lady!

  3. Great list, Crabby! Hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving!

  4. I'm also extremely grateful for drag queens. Once upon a time, the Turtle learned about MAC cosmetics and wigs from a very talented drag queen in the East Village. Thank you, Mistress Formika, wherever you are!

  5. Great post, Crabby. And thanks for the link love.
    I'm grateful for Cranky Fitness today and always.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  6. "Time to Feel All Thankful and Shit"

    I just giggled uncontrollably for a few minutes.
    Can I be thankful for that? :)

  7. Happy Almost-Turkey Day to all you Amurikans. And Happy One Year to Merry.

    I'm grateful that we've already had our Thanksgiving last month and that I don't need to worry about all those calories tomorrow.

    I'm with you re Leah. Her regular, beautiful expressions of gratitude are a fine art.

  8. And Happy (almost) Thursday to our northern Brethren and Sistren* and people around the world!

    *Well, it /should/ be a word!

  9. I am grateful that I have a transplanted American (who still wants to have her Thanksgiving) here in my circle of friends, so we are all getting together on Saturday for Turkey Dinner!

    Actually, I am grateful that I have a good group of friends. It certainly makes life more fun.

    And thank-you to Cranky Fitness - you never fail to put a smile on my face! :)

  10. I am thankful for laughter. I just read your post on the pomegranite and got a vivid picture of the shower scene. That will be stuck in my mind when I attack my next one. Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. yay for thankfulness and shit!

    I am grateful for many of the things on your list too, including but not limited to, Obama winning the election and cupcakes. Also grateful for finding Cranky Fitness. These posts always make me smile in the mornings, which is not easy to do trust me. Oh and Merry's avatar. So grateful for that. Is that silly? Probably but nothing makes me giggle more than Snoopy and it does it every time I see that pic. Even after seeing it 100+ times now.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. Happy almost Turkey Day :)

    i'm thankful for Obama winning and having hope again.. the intelligent states that treat gay/straight marriage the same - as a proud statement of LOVE (not that my state of NY is one of them :( maybe that'll change soon?).. molasses cookies, made with my great grandma's receipe..

    i'm really thankful for my baby girl, who just this week started to smile back at us when we smile - not only when she was farty!

    i'm thankful my family (and even the in-laws) are nearby and supportive with our daughter.. and that my FIL drops off diapers all the time!

    and my husband, without whom my life would be *very* different! Love to you :)

    btw, i should probably use my rowing machine after the 2 dinner marathon tomorrow, huh?

  13. After you crack me up, you sober me down a bit with the "science" of gratitude and how it works its magic. I never thought of it that way, but all the facts feel "right." And #4 on the list is sooooo right on! Your blogs are great and this one is super! (Love the video - actually, I want one (but must be - and am - grateful for what I have!) Thank you soooo much and Happy Turkey day!

  14. This is a super post!

    (Even if I was hoping to learn about how not to kill relatives. Damn).

    Number 4 and 5 are givens:) And 9, absolutely... experience is some good stuff, by the way.

    PS Happy Anniversary Merry!

  15. I am grateful for each new day and the ability to still see with these magnifying glasses.
    And tequila.
    And Chris
    and my sons
    and my family
    and sometimes food but it depends on the food.
    I'm grateful for doctors (some of them)
    and grateful for good books
    and grateful for good music and the mp4 converter that I had to purchase to convert all my mp4 to mp3 so they could play on my crappy little mp3 player (boy when they say MP3, they mean MP3 and nothing else)
    and computers as well as other ways to communicate.
    And grateful for friends
    and that I still have a job cuz I was laid off when GWB first took office and started to ruin the country. And I'm grateful for chemotherapy (so far).
    And I'm grateful for redwood trees.
    And I am very grateful for Obama (whom I supported from the beginning because I didn't quite trust Hilary).
    And finally I'm grateful for laughter.

  16. I am grateful for my job (since the architect no longer has one); and for the architect. And my friends.

    Also for gin, cheese, cats, Diet Coke, peanut butter, 5-day weekends, running, and hope for a new administration.

  17. OMG, I cracked up about 8,000 times in that post. I'm grateful for a lot of things, but I'm uber greatful for this blog and it's ability to say things like: "Self-guided gratitude exercises (no, sorry, not a euphemism for masturbation)." I choked on my coffee (reference #4) on that one.

  18. Great post, Crabby. I'm grateful for so many things, and this blog is one of them. I'm grateful for laughter and love and family and friends and My Love and hope and quiet time with my kitty, as well.

    The list goes on and on and I think I just might have to do a gratitude post of myself so I can get all my thanks and shit out of my system. :)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. I just watched that man-powered treadmill and I want to know where you park it when you're not using it?
    The music is bad.

    Also forgot to wish Merry a happy anniversary.
    I'm actually coming up on one year too and I have no sponsors but myself. I'm thinking of talking to Jose Cuervo.

  20. This is great list! Fun. I also like the research link on gratitude.

  21. awww you guys are in blog lurrrve :)

    Kelly Turner

  22. I'm thankful for Crabs (no, not THAT kind) and the hilarious, wonderful, awesome blog that you slave, sweat, laugh and cry over. I truly enjoy reading all your many crabby posts! Here's to YOU!

  23. Mmmmm, cupcakes.

    Oh, wait, what? What did you say? ;)

    I'm grateful that although my sister was an hour and a half late getting home last night after her 7-hour drive, she did in fact arrive alive, after driving through Los Angeles in the rain. Grateful she didn't end up in the hospital. (For those who read this and think I'm overreacting, you have never seen native Californians try to drive in the rain. We get all freaked out about water! falling! from the sky! that we become raving idiots.)

    Also, on the subject of cheesy running music? I need happy, peppy music to run to. So I listen to . . . *wince* Hannah Montana. No, really. LOL, do I win the cheese contest? 'Cause I LIKE cheese. ;)

  24. Totally agree -- when I was younger, I had a mentor-type woman in my life tell me during one of my serious self-analysis paralysis moments tell me to stop thinking so much and go list 100 things I was grateful for.

    Let's hear it for an attitude of gratitude :-)

  25. I can not longer wait for dinner! I intern with the Eat Well Guide. We've teamed up with Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports) to issue the Local, Organic Thanksgiving Challenge this year. Will you join us? And share a recipe? Read more on the Green Fork

  26. I am greatful that you and Merry have decided to keep Cranky Fitness going. It is one of my very favorite blogs, enough so that I direct my good friends to read, read and hopefully comment.

    Have a great long weekend.

  27. Hey Crabby,

    Did you steal the art work for this post from my wife's idea of a happy kitchen? I better duck on that one. :)

    Here's to feeling greatful for those that blog and comment on blogs. It's tough work either way.

    I also want some of POD's tequila

  28. Did someone say Tequila?? And Cupcakes?? I'M IN!!

    Thankful right here for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...Which hopefully soon will lead to a masters degree and a FAT paycheck!!

    Happy Turkey day to all, and be VERY careful if you intend to venture out on Black Friday. You guys are f&#$*(g CRAZY!!

  29. You guys are so hilarious! (And sweet, too!)

    Best wishes for lots of turkey, tequila, cupcakes, molasses cookies, and whatever else you have a hankerin' this Thanksgiving!

    And of course peace and good health and laughter and warm moments with friends and family and all that mushy stuff. I am SO THANKFUL for you all!!!

  30. That is the cutest post! I don't think I have ever read that much about gratitude. I am grateful for a lot of the same things as you...mmmm cupcakes

  31. i'm thankful for boyfriendpants, my parents/family (even though it doesn't seem like it often) and my three jobs, for as much as i whine about them, i have work. and lots of it. those are the top three.

    oh, and as for the women slaving away while the men watch football? the men in my family (boyfriend, brother, dad ... okay, mostly the first two) are trying their hand at frying a turkey. they won't be slaving as much as the rest of us womens, but slaving some nontheless. at the very least, they'll prove how far they haven't come evolutionally as they'll be playing with fire. ;)

  32. I'm grateful for many things I'm too tired to think of, but definitely for this blog and its commenters.
    Tequila cupcakes, maybe? If fruitcake plus brandy is good, then maybe cupcakes plus tequila. They should have lemon icing and little curls of lemon zest on top. (No way am I experimenting with this in the middle of moving. Thanks for the crazy idea, though.)

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  33. Great list, great post! My Mizfit match-up and I swap daily gratitude lists and I think it's really helped us become more positive and focussed. The science works!

    Happy Thanksgiving Crabby!

    TA x

  34. Great Post! I'm thankful for living in Britain this year and spending a quiet Thanksgiving with hubby, puppy, wine, turkey and all that crap!

    Have a safe and happy holiday peeps!

  35. What a lovely post, Crabby :)

    I'm thankful for a lot of things (many of which you have on your list! hooray Obama!) but what I'm most thankful for is the health of myself, my family and my friends. I'm also very greatful for my current financial security in these rough economic times!

  36. Definitely! My baby was induced on Thanksgiving Day, and although he actually arrived at 28 minutes past midnight and so on the 28th, it was still Thanksgiving in the US since I am in the UK, so he's my Thanksgiving baby. :)


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