So let me paint a rosy picture for you. During the days leading up to Thanksgiving, you eat in a health-conscious, normal way. Think foods that would get the all-clear from Michelle Obama, if not our nation’s students. You get in a good dose of daily physical activity, whether it’s walking to work, hitting the gym over your lunch hour, or playing with your kids in the evening.

And then, Thursday! Join me, fellow Americans, in waking up and lazing in sweatpants for several hours. Then, let us get ourselves together enough to greet family or friends, pour a glass of wine at noon (don’t worry: this is Thanksgiving), and head for the table or buffet line. Here, let us load up on turkey — don’t skimp on the gravy — move toward the mashed potatoes, hover over the stuffing, and dollop some sweet potatoes on top of it all.

Still hungry? Me neither, but it’s time for dessert! Whether you select pecan, pumpkin, cherry, or some other variety, be sure to give yourself a double slice, the better to drift into a food coma only slightly alleviated by your competing sugar high. At this point, it’s only about 2 p.m., which means you should settle into whatever square of the couch you can find and stare at your similarly soporific relatives. We’ll do it all over again in a couple of hours.