Eat and gain now, lose it later

All across the country this Thursday, families will give special thanks for their many blessings, and the food that will be placed before them. Don’t forget to give thanks to the hands that prepare the food.

I love to eat, but better than just eating is eating with people I love. I will stuff myself happy and healthy with lean protein from turkey, heart healthy vitamin C from cranberry sauce, vegetable fiber from steamed beans, and salt with a little fat from the gravy.

My mother told me that since I pursue a sweat-inducing lifestyle, I need to add salt and fat to my diet. I wouldn’t dare disagree with mother, since she has “eaten more salt than I have rice.” It’s a Chinese saying, which means my mother has wisdom that comes with age.

I will fill up on good food and I will not be apologetic for taking seconds and thirds since the culinary austerity of January is just around the corner. Besides, I can work out circling the table with a heavy plate in hand.

Then, in January and February, I get to hear recreation center members tell how much weight they need to lose. It’s a downright heavy couple of months where I work.

The instructors who teach classes at the recreation center are sworn to a professional code of ethics to help you survive the caloric snowball of the holiday season. Their plan is to have members increase caloric output in classes so they have a little leeway for topping up their tank at the next shindig.

Justin Stone, pilates instructor, offers floor pilates classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8-9 a.m.

Now, if you like to start your day when it’s still dark outside, Makaila Hart and Kelly Johnson teach an upbeat step aerobics class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6-6:45 a.m.

Heidi Malano (Ms. Fitness USA 2009-second runner-up) teaches body sculpting on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 7:30-8:30 a.m. On Friday, also from 7:30-8:30 a.m., she throws together a fusion of all your favorite exercise moves in a class appropriately called Fitness Fusion.

Jessica Peart offers a wide array of exercise classes. On Wednesdays and Fridays, from 8:45-9:45 a.m., Jessica puts a little bit of step and strength to help you burn calories. On Tuesdays, 10:15-11:15 a.m., you get to stretch and work out the kinks.

If you don’t care to carry your own body weight during exercise classes, Jessica can take you into the pool for some aqua action in a more forgiving environment. Aqua circuit takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9-10 a.m.

Lynnis Steinert is teaching Qi-Gong on Mondays, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

My mother wants me to stop beating up my body and take up Qi-Gong instead. As an arthritis sufferer, when it comes to exercise, I need to take it easy. Qi-Gong, with its gentle, fluid movements, is just what mother ordered.

The recreation center is just one of many places you can work out at to survive the caloric snowball of the holiday season. There are others — Yoga Pagosa, Curves, Pilates by Cindy Houston, and the Club downtown. There probably are others that I may not even be aware of — opportunities in this town just keep growing.

The recreation center will be closed Thanksgiving Day so you can spend the entire day participating in the Turkey Trot, cooking, eating and watching grown men fight over a ball on television.

We will resume normal hours Nov. 28. Depending on how guilty you feel over Thursday’s indulgence, you’ll have the staff’s full support to punish your overindulgent body.

At this time of thanksgiving, I thank you for being a part of the recreation center and in turn, a big part of my life.