We all have much to be thankful for

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

I started thinking a few weeks ago about my next article. I had several ideas but the thought of sharing some of “My Favorite Things” kept coming back to me. These are some of the small yet important items in my life that keep my workouts and diet in check. My favorite things aren’t as fancy as some of Oprah’s, but they are mine just the same. Here goes (in no particular order ... except that the best is last):

  1. OATMEAL: It’s good for you. It lowers cholesterol. It can be made low-fat and still tastes good. And it feels you up. I’m not talking about the little packets that you mix with water. I buy the big cardboard container of Old Fashioned Quaker Oats. One serving has 150 calories and 3 grams of fat. I love it for breakfast.

  2. NIKE TEMPO SHORTS: These are the best shorts ever made for female athletes. They are comfortable, come in a huge variety of colors and patterns, and have a liner! They are perfect for walking, running, working out or just running around town. If you’ve never tried them, trust me on this one. Get a pair.

  3. CHIK FIL A GRILLED CHICKEN SANDWICH & DIET LEMONADE: 310 calories; 4 grams of fat; 29 grams of protein. That says it all.

  4. A GOOD MASSAGE: I work out a lot, and my muscles get sore. After a hard week in the gym or on my bike, nothing is better than a relaxing massage. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the world and give your body a little TLC.

  5. BUTTS N GUTS: The name alone says it all. I created this class back in 2004, and I still teach it today. It’s a tough class that works just what its name says ... squats, lunges, sprints, deadlifts, planks, crunches. I still get sore from this class, and I love that.

  6. REDUCED FAT JIF PEANUT BUTTER: We all have our weaknesses. Peanut butter is one of mine. It does have a good bit of fat, but there is nothing better than a peanut butter & jelly sandwich on really soft bread. MMmmmm

  7. KETTLE BELLS: So convenient and easy to use. You can get a great workout with nothing more than a pair of kettle bells. I use them all the time in my classes, and there are tons of exercise options that hit every muscle group. Buy a pair and have a mini gym at your disposal!

  8. A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP: This is probably one of the most important items on my list. Sleep does a body good. Sleep is so important for so many reasons. Sleep deprivation causes fatigue and a decrease in your metabolism. Lack of sleep also causes a breakdown in your immune system which makes it harder for your body to stay healthy. I love climbing into bed on a Friday night and not setting the alarm. Waking up on your body’s schedule is wonderful. I should have put this item as No. 1.

  9. LEAN BODY PROTEIN POWDER: I make a mean protein shake. My shakes are so good that my kids drink them! I am picky about my protein powder. There are so many brands out there that just don’t taste good to me. I love Labrada Lean Body Protein Powder in vanilla ice cream flavor. I order the individual packets on line and use them as meal replacements. Each packet has 330 calories; 8 grams of fat and 40 grams of protein. I usually split the packets in half, mix them with some skim milk, throw in some reduced fat Jif (See item No. 6), a banana and ice. Blend and enjoy!

  10. MY AGOSTINO: My bicycle. She’s a carbon fiber frame, all black with red and white accent colors (looks really cool!), SRAM components and some really sweet Reynolds wheels. Weighs in around 15 pounds. She has been my companion through three years of racing and group rides. She has seen me through five pretty bad crashes, and she’s still hanging in there. I love cycling, and without her I wouldn’t be able to ride.

  11. GLUCOSAMINE & CHONDROITIN: The debate has been out about the benefits of these joint supplements. The claim is that they relieve joint pain and restore cartilage. I haven’t been very nice to my knees over the years between working out in the gym, running and cycling, and I’d like to still be able to get around when I’m 60. I like Spring Valley’s orange cream chews. Three chews provide 1500 mg of glucosamine and 1200 mg of chondroitin ... tastes good and not expensive.

  12. HANGING OUT WITH AUSTIN AND HARRISON: I am very active. I teach five aerobics classes a week ... I have a full-time job as a state auditor ... I am the PCP Race Team captain ... I stay busy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I guess I am programmed like that. But, my absolute favorite thing in the world is the time I have relaxing and hanging out with my two boys, Austin and Harrison. We throw the football in the yard, ride our bikes around the neighborhood, watch “The Biggest Loser” under the comfy red blanket, go get ice cream. ... There are lots of good things that life has to offer, but none of them can beat the time spent with your children. My boys aren’t going to think it’s cool to hang out with me forever, so I’m enjoying every minute of it while they still think I’m all right.

Sit back and think about it. What are some of your favorite things? As Thanksgiving approaches, take a moment to say thanks for them. I know I will. Happy Thanksgiving!

Michele Moulton has been a fitness instructor for over 21 years and is a certified Spinning instructor. She teaches at PT Gym and is an avid cyclist. She is an accountant and a mother of two boys, Austin and Harrison.