Why I’m Thankful (and You Should Be Too)

Regret having that second slice of pie at Thanksgiving dinner? Want to erase the leftovers you devoured on Black Friday? Avoiding the scale until Monday? You deserve better. Don’t let these insignificant things take you hostage this holiday season.

The holidays are a time for happiness, family, and warmth. Instead, many girls and young women like me tend to focus on every morsel we eat and how we look in our clothing at the holiday party. How much more happier would we be if we took a step back from what is wrong with our appearance and legitimately celebrate and be thankful for the holidays?

Instead of chastising yourself for eating that extra bread roll during Thanksgiving dinner, how about truly cherishing how delicious that handmade roll was? Or celebrate how much fun you had baking the bread with you mother, grandmother, or siblings? The true and innocent childhood mindset during the holidays has been lost once we started to pay attention to trivial things.

Here at Play Like a Girl, we want young girls and older women alike to find themselves this holiday season. The person you are is not defined by your waist size or the number you read on the scale. We are each defined by the degree of thankfulness for what we have and the grace we extend to others.

Instead of worrying about how many grams of carbs you consume this weekend, be thankful for the ability to eat those carbs. If you happen to have missed a couple of workouts because you weren’t feeling it, be thankful for the ability to be able to kick a ball, chase after your little sister, or even being able to walk. Pants don’t fit as well as they used to? Be thankful you have a little extra junk in the trunk and aren’t fighting for your life due to malnutrition or starvation.

The first thing my family does when we sit down at the table for the big Thanksgiving meal is share a list of things for which we’re most thankful. The thing that my mother and father always say that resonates with me is: “I am thankful for having a beautiful and healthy daughter.” When I was younger, this never really struck me. Now that I am growing up and maturing, I am able to take this to heart and truly realize that this is one of the greatest things for which to be thankful.

Sure, I may be gradually gaining more weight as I age, but the weight I’ve gained is not a hazard to my health. Small things like how much I weight or the fact that, at age 22, I still have acne do not diminish the fact that I am beautiful and healthy–especially through the eyes of my family, friends, and boyfriend.

I am not saying that since it’s the holidays that there is no reason to workout or stay healthy, but it is the time to slow down and appreciate the small things. We as women like to be overcritical of our bodies and how we look, but deep down inside, things are far better than they seem. Be thankful for who you are and what you have, no matter how small it may be.

Do you have something that you’re thankful for? Did you just get a new job? Buy a puppy? Get a house? Please comment below and the PLAG community can cheer and be thankful for the positive things that are happening for you!

Originally published at iplaylikeagirl.org on November 28, 2015.