woman working out ellipticalNow that we've sufficiently rung in the new year, the resolution-fueled weight loss and fitness frenzy is upon us. Suddenly, if you're not doing at least one new thing to be healthier in 2013 you're probably going to feel like a slug. At the same time, you're probably thinking that being forced out of bed first thing in the morning to get to the gym and claim your treadmill or spot in Zumba class is the last possible thing you're motivated to do during this darkest, coldest time of the year.

I wouldn't blame you. But I am here to tell you that resolving to work out in the morning is completely worth it.

Yup, I used to be one of those people who would rather gouge her eyes out than have to roll out of bed with enough time to work out before work. I knew people who were like that, who were obsessive, and while they were skinny, they also seemed miserable. Why put myself through that? I'd rather get my ZZZs thankyouverymuch! But in the last month, that's all changed.

I got a Groupon for a new gym membership, which included two complimentary sessions with a personal trainer. Because I said I was available on Saturday mornings (you know, like, after 10 a.m.), I got paired up with a trainer who only works mornings (starting at 5 a.m. -- OMG). As it turns out, she's amazing. And I know she's going to help me see real results -- including, but not limited to, weight loss, more energy, and getting my body stronger so as to avoid injuries and, hopefully, a couple of years from now, a healthier pregnancy. So clearly, I'd be a fool to not make every effort to work out with her, even if that means getting my butt out of bed to be at the gym as early as 7:30 a.m.

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So, okay, sure, on one hand you could chalk up my success with becoming a morning exerciser to being accountable to a trainer. (Which I admit is a luxury I'm treating myself to as a bride-to-be.) But being accountable to her hasn't been the only thing getting me to the gym; it's just what I needed to get the ball rolling. Seriously!

Somehow, once I started working out in the morning on a regular basis, I actually started to crave working out first thing in the a.m. Every a.m. Maybe because it was starting to become -- gasp! -- habit?! Because it started to feel necessary to stretch and move and warm up my body before starting the rest of my day? Because I feel so amazing afterward, really do have so much more energy through the day, and above all, feel like I'm checking a major "to-do" off my list -- before 9 a.m.!

Still, I confess: Many mornings -- especially the ones when it's below 30 degrees, windy, and I'm snuggled up under my comforter with my warm fiance snoozing at my side -- it is a battle to get out of bed. But once I do, I am so, so glad I did. And the days I've put off going, I find myself feeling antsy and frustrated, wishing I hadn't. Sure, I love those ZZZs, but it's a sacrifice I'm thinking my body will thank me for in return.

When do you exercise? Why does that particular time work for you?