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Most people who know me probably know that while I am obsessed with food (even healthy food), I HATE to exercise. Not that I don’t exercise. I just hate doing it. Typically I use workout videos at home and just Get. It. Done. But this month, I joined a gym. A GYM!!! I, ColaTownTourist, am a card-carrying member (or at least a key fob-carrying member) of Hampton Hill Athletic Club. And you know what? I don’t hate it.

Breakfast: Flax microwave muffin, green smoothie and coffee

When I go out of town or even just to the lake, I typically enjoy finding alternatives to my regular workout routine: kayaking, hiking, biking, walking on the beach, taking a class, or even just using machines and equipment at hotel gyms.

But after a lot of travelling (both work and vacay), I came back with a few extra LBs. So it’s time to get my butt in gear and start back on a healthy track.

I’ve been enjoying HHAC’s classes, particularly Sh’Bam (which is basically like a cheesy dance cardio class where I feel ridiculous but it’s okay because everyone else does, too…except for that ONE girl who is awesome…). Oh, and now I’m lifting barbells (Body Pump). So there’s that…

This is like the first time in my life that I’m actually trying to come up with excuses to go to

Grilled salmon, corn on the cob, and fresh sliced tomatoes (throw back to South Carolina summers!)

the gym (rather than excuses not to go). Last night I tried out the kickboxing-based Body Combat class, which was so fun, but also challenging, which is exactly what you’d want in a gym class. Whenever I can lift my arms again, I plan to go back…

I’ve also been enjoying Barre Fusion. It usually takes about 5 days after each class before walking is no longer painful! I mean, for real! I haven’t been that sore since the last time I went skiing!

I’m sure the new will wear off eventually, but for now, I’m enjoying my new-found love.

I’ve heard that getting to or maintaining a healthy weight is 20 percent exercise and 80 percent what you eat. Ouch. So I’m also trying to find healthy and delicious meals that pack in the veggies and lean protein. Last night, we made these incredible Tequila-Lime Mahimahi Tacos, and Sunday morning, I whipped up these protein-rich Lemon Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes. Cheers to health!

Don’t worry. I won’t be giving up delicious restaurants (or BREAD!!!!!!!) anytime soon. But I do think there is something to working out on a regular basis that helps me to rethink some of the nutritional decisions I make. I mean, after getting winded doing kickbox cardio, do I really want that second glass of wine?

…Okay, yes. Yes, I do.