lleaves
Too soon? Too bad.

I am so excited. It’s September, finally, and despite temps (again) in the mid-90s, I’ve already changed my screensaver to a fall scene, and am going to treat myself to a manicure and luscious, deep red nail polish.

I even created a nickname for this, my most favorite time of year: “The ’Bers” – as in September, October, November, December.

I’m sure my love of fall has something to do with my childhood; something to do with getting away from the house and back to school, where I excelled. Sure, spring is the season most associated with new beginnings, but for me, it’s always fall: New clothes, new classes, new books, new teachers, new challenges. Last year not so great? Fall granted everyone a do-over.

It was with that attitude I practically bounced out of bed this a.m. and headed for the gym. Since I did aerobic work yesterday, today’s emphasis was on strength training. Still, I began on the elliptical, setting the course to “random” and setting the level of difficulty to 10. Mind you, I previously only went to level three. There was no special reason I’d set it to three, other than it wasn’t the absolute beginning level. But like the course I picked, bumping it up to 10 was also random.

Twenty minutes later I was sweat-soaked and a third of the way through my water bottle. I didn’t know I could get such a killer workout on the elliptical without simply adding extra time.

Thursday, I had planned to try a 10:30 dance class, but that was before finding out there’s a Nordstrom Rack opening nearby. The grand opening is tomorrow, and my daughter, friend and I will be there for the 8:45 a.m. drawing. The winner gets to be the first customer, and has 90 seconds to select up to $2,000 of merchandise.

You know what’s weird? I don’t want to win. I mean, what size clothing would I pick? The size I am now, or the size I’ll to be in six months? Geez. I’d waste my 90 seconds just trying to figure that out. I’m still going to enter. Wouldn’t take me long at all to hoover up $2,000 worth of shoes, boots, purses and perfume. Win or no, I plan to do a great deal of walking to make up for missed gym time.

All that to say this: It’s important to have the right motivation to do things you really don’t want to do, but are nonetheless necessary. I struggled with exercise summer, and I’m sure a lot of it had to do with the high heat and humidity. It’s just draining. In fact, rumor has it the summer of 2010 was the hottest ever here in the Raleigh area. And it’s still hot, though the humidity has backed off a bit.

Still, it’s officially September, and in my mind, that’s all that matters. You’ll recall I’ve always said, and firmly believe, losing weight is 90 percent mental. You have to commit to it up here (gesturing toward brain) before you can commit to it here (gesturing toward heart).

I’ll never fully understand why I love the fall so much, but I’ll leave the “whys” to the universe. What I know for sure is that I have a surge of mental energy this time of year – especially in October, which is, hands-down, my favorite month of the year – and I intend to convert the mental to the physical and make up for my slacker of a summer.

I also believe my new, vegetarian diet has boosted my energy level quite a bit. Hmmm. Now that I think about it, my salads comprise my favorite fall colors: dark, leafy greens; deep red and golden yellow peppers; dark red, dried cranberries; magenta salad onions; brown croutons; reddish-orange cherry tomatoes . . .

My favourite poem is the one that starts 'Thirty days hath September' because it actually tells you something.  ~  Groucho Marx

Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.