Tonight is an Otter night.

I wear pants to Scout meetings, but my work black jeans had crossed the line from loose to unflatteringly big, so I pulled down a pair of H & M gray dress pants that date to 2007…

…and then zipped them comfortably (Obviously, I don’t care that they’re flares from eight seasons ago)

And then, I admit, I cried a little.  I don’t think I’ve fit into these pants comfortably since a brief period in 2010. 

For those of you not in NYC who havent had to hear about my Adventures in Gym Time lately, I invested in a trainer for the first time ever. I finally accepted that if I was able to get to a goal size (not weight, size) on my own, I’d have done it already. So I started working with a trainer twice a week and going back to the gym two or three additional days. 

Then something happened that I’ve never experienced before.  As I got stronger, I started to see training not as an obstacle to weight loss, but as a series of accomplishments. Like being able to run a mile, or hold poses in a yoga class, both of which were new to me. Or even just regaining strength I had a decade ago, like being able to kill it in Spin class. Suddenly exercise went from a never ending road of calorie burning to being a path marked with goals and next steps. And I LOVE goals and next steps! 

This changed everything. Suddenly it wasn’t about getting through time on the treadmill but running on it for a mile without stopping, and then doing it a little faster the next time.  It was about doing Insanity class with fewer modifications.  It was about my trainer being able to give me harder and harder work and being able to make it through, even when I thought I couldn’t.

And now, I go to spin class and I no longer think about the fat I’m burning, but I think about how I am going to speed over the Manhattan Bridge this summer, and how instead of being focused on how hard the climb is, I’ll be able to look at the East River and think how much I love living in New York City.  No commute has felt as much like flying to me as my ride over the Manhattan Bridge since I used to drive over the Lions Gate in 2003. 

Today, I’m actually listening to Tiesto and dreaming of that day in spring when I’ll be able to ride to work again.  (I listen to Tiesto podcasts for my bike commute, and then pull my favorite tracks into play lists on Rhapsody.  My 25 year old, club going Vancouver self tends to take over when I bike.)  Despite the snow today, it will be spring in a few weeks, and I can’t wait to challenge myself on the commute with all these newly developed quad muscles. Maybe this year, I can leave Brooklyn earlier and have the time and strength to loop Central Park before work!

But for now, every day is a new day of “what can I do with this new, stronger body?”  Like being able to climb a zillion stairs at the 53rd street B train stop, wearing heavy snow boots, without being totally winded.  Or picking up my fifty pound son without him having to do a running jump into my arms. Or fitting into pants i havent worn in eight years.

And that goal skirt I mentioned last week on Facebook – an animal print pencil skirt – zips fine too. It’s a little too snug, but it FITS WITHOUT SPANX.

I’m going to spend this weekend putting out all my size 14 jeans for donation and trying on all the clothes I set aside in what I call the Thin Box. I can’t wait
for that. I can’t wait for spring.

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