A more fit, and leaner, me.

Yesterday morning, I ran 2.5 miles. Then, in the afternoon, I went to Pilates. This morning, I woke up and went to a kick-ass spin class.

After class, as I was getting in the shower, I couldn’t help but think, “Who the f@$k am I?”

I’ve had that thought a lot in the last couple of weeks.

Because I have this totally new lifestyle going on. One that has me exercising six days a week. Spinning, running and doing Pilates.

I know how it all started. Over the summer, as I was packing for a trip, I had a hard time deciding what to bring. Because all of my clothes were tight. And I knew that I was going to have to make some changes. Buying a whole new wardrobe was out of the question.

It took me a few months to get started but at the beginning of October, I went to my first spin class. Because my friend Erin made me. (Sometimes, it’s good to have bossy friends.)

Then the next month, I started to run a little bit around my neighborhood because I liked the way I felt after spin class but couldn’t make it there as many times a week as I wanted to.

From that point, things started snowballing. I was buoyed by how I was feeling. Stronger. More fit. And a few pounds lighter.

Being around fitness minded people at the spin studio also helped. I liked the camaraderie and the support of the people I was meeting. The focus on fitness. They emboldened me to decide that I was going to run a 5K. Not just run it, but run it at a 10 minute mile pace. So I downloaded the Couch to 5K app and got started.

Phew. I was doing a lot of aerobic exercise. Which was great. But my husband had started to do Pilates and loved the classes and how they made him feel stronger. And I felt like I needed some strength in my core. So last month, I started taking Pilates too. And I love the way it makes my upper body feel. I’ve always had weak arms. And I love the way I feel stretched out when I’m done.

Three weeks ago, I ran my first 5K. I didn’t meet my goal but I came pretty damn close.

And now here I am. Over five months since I took that first spin class. I’ve changed. Mentally and physically. Permanently, I think.

I’m really surprised by the appearance of my competitive nature. Competing with myself. Challenging myself. I’m not sure where that’s coming from. I don’t remember feeling like this before.

I’ve learned that I like to be told what to do in class and by the running app on my phone. And I need to be pushed. I’m also more results oriented than I thought. I love seeing the number of miles I’ve run or cycled and how fast I did it.

I’m so proud of my body, not because of how it looks but because of what it’s proving to be capable of doing. It’s weird. When I’m exercising, I feel as if my body is a separate entity. A living machine. And when I feel like slowing down my running pace or lowering the resistance on my bike, I remind myself that I am a warrior. (No laughing.) And that’s enough for me to press on.

So I’m spending a lot of time, and some money, on exercise. But it’s worth it to me. It’s an investment in me.

But this time spent exercising means that something has to give.

Most mornings, my bed is going unmade. I’m occasionally leaving dirty breakfast dishes in the sink when I run out to try to make it to work on time. I’ve let wet clothes sit in the washing machine long enough that they need to be run through the cycle again. And I’m definitely not writing as much.

But it’s worth it. I feel good. I haven’t lost a ton of weight. Just a couple of pounds. But my body shape is changing. I’m getting leaner and stronger. My muffin top is getting smaller. And my upper body doesn’t have that middle aged lady look to it. Where your boobs seem to spread across your whole chest, almost to your armpits.

Plus my clothes are no longer tight. Yahoo! It’s like I have an almost new wardrobe. So all the money that I would have had to spend to get clothes in a larger size? I’m still spending it on me. It’s just that I’m spending it on fitness.

I have a new goal now. Actually, I have two new goals. The first one is to run a 10K. That will definitely happen this year. My second goal is to run a half marathon before I turn 50. Which happens in 22 months.

I also need to start making better food choices. All the exercising has made me carbohydrate crazy. Pasta, pretzels and pizza. So I’m going to work on that. But not until after I get back from Las Vegas, my home away from home. Because it wouldn’t make any sense to start before then. I haven’t completely changed.

Bachi Burger

Bachi Burger’s Ronin Burger (caramelized onions, Japanese cole slaw, Miso Goma dressing, fried egg, Katsu BBQ with a Yuzu citrus aioli on the side) with an order of edamame stir-fried with garlic, chilis and ginger.