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+20
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I haven't exercised in three months. Work, family, and other commitments quickly overwhelm me in the morning. By midday I know I have to do something physical, but by then I'm showered, dressed and in no mood for the gym.

Twenty years ago I could of gotten away with it. Sure I still would of gained a few pounds from the lack of movement, but stiff joints were not an issue back then.

I have psoriatic arthritis, which means that I can't afford to miss a day of stretching and replace it with a day of kvetching, but guess what???? That is exactly what I have been doing. A few days ago, when I couldn't get out of bed in the morning, I made a promise to myself: first and foremost, I would actually get up and head for the gym. This way I would not be completely absorbed by emailing, reading and replying to private messages—only to realize six hours later that half of the day is gone and I'm still in my PJs.

So first thing this morning I got myself up and found that I could, in fact, sweat (never an easy task for me) on the elliptical machine. After 30 minutes of cardio and 15 minutes of weights, I felt great. I could have done more, but I always believed in:

 

 

1.  Start Slow:  Getting back into shape and exercising regularly is no easy task.  The key to a successful start is to make it enjoyable and accomplishable.  You don't need to dive in head-first with sky high expectations of yourself.    

2. Warm Up: One of the most important parts of the workout that is frequently skipped and ignored—Not anymore!  Getting muscles warm and blood flowing decreases your risk of injury and will make your workout more enjoyable.

3. Schedule Workouts: Incorporating exercise plans into your daily planner will increase the likelihood that you will follow through and stick to exercising.  Treat your workout time as you would any other appointment.  Making it a habit to be at the gym on time will create regularity and therefore increase the chances that you will continue going.

4. Forget About Weight Loss: Getting healthier by working out should be the top priority.  Additionally, working out will be far less enjoyable since losing weight is not an instant process; the numbers on the scale don't always reflect progress.  Weight loss will come over time if you keep at it.

5. Reward Yourself: Reinforcing the effort to exercise will only strengthen your motivation and make the process easier.  Allow yourself to enjoy a pat on the back for the hard work.

6.  Write it Down: Use whatever method you want: Twitter, email, your journal, Facebook; there's nothing more motivating than public pressure.  Get some positive feedback, keep yourself elevated.

7.  Set Goals: Knowing your goals and going about the right way to reach them will help keep you exercising.  Are you looking to burn fat?  Build muscle?  Enhance your cardiovascular capacity?  Figure out what you're looking to achieve and get a strategy in place.

8. Make it Fun: By no means is the gym the only place to get your workout done.  Hiking, taking up tennis, jogging in the early morning with the quiet and sunrise—whatever it takes to make the experience enjoyable.

9. Fuel Up and Hydrate: Working out on an empty stomach is never a good idea, but you shouldn't eat right before either.  Having a banana or half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich an hour before exercising should do the trick.  Drinking plenty of water is also a must, but again, be careful not to drink too much before going so you won't have a stomach full of water while you're trying to work out.

10.  Get a Workout Buddy: Take someone at approximately your level of fitness and commitment and make arrangements to meet up and work out together every week.  This will help you to keep going and decrease the likelihood you'll cancel or skip your work out.  

It's not impossible to get back on the exercise horse, or so to speak, even after years without exercise.  It's never too late to start getting healthy again, and there's never been a better time to start than now with summer right around the corner.  So, will you join me at the gym? I really could use some company.  

p.s.  What gets you out of bed and motivated every morning? If you have tips that could help, please post them below. It's hard to do this alone, but together the sky is the limit!

+20
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Member Comments

    • +4 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • tongue out ugh! thanks for the beat in the head Yana for not taking my walk this morning lol, joking but thanks for the reminder about my walking routine I need to get back to it.happy



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Candyce Fread-Harman wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • Over the years I have bought all kinds of things to help me get motivated and start exercising but none of them work!!  I still can’t bring myself to the point of actually starting on any one of themtongue out  Every morning it is the same thing - I WILL start tomorrow, but tomorrow hasn’t shown up yet!

      I have fibromyalgia and other auto immune dis-eases  and would benefit from doing even simple stretches but seldom carry through with it.  All I really need to do is start walking.  I know that, but. . .  I need a buddy?  Someone who lives in Pacific Beach, CA and can walk most days.  Any takers?



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    • +3 votes vote up vote up

      Lazylola wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • Regarding # 4, a good reminder to all women, present company included is that...we don’t gain 5, 10, 25, 85 or how ever many pounds in a week or a month, sometimes we gain it progressively over the years and when we set goals to lose X amount of pounds in a short period of time (and maintain that loss) we are simply setting ourselves up for failure. Our goal should be quite simply to maintain or enhance our health, in doing so and continuing and staying on track the pounds would melt away...now that all being said I should listen to myself...but I have a Turtle Cheesecake waiting for me....estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • Yana, there are three of us who check in every day with reports of our exercise, eating, weight issues. It really helps and gives us accountability!  

      Thank you for the great tips! The older I get the more I realize how important exercise is!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Michel-lee Ortiz wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • I know I need to do something I start out walking and eating right but that only last’s for 3 or 4 days, I’ve been battling a sinus infection this past week so exercising been put on the back burner I need to lose about 40LBS I’m only 5“3 in a half so this extra weight around my middle is pretty bothersome .



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kelvanaken wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • I’m right there with ya ladies!  I have started trying to walk every day and have been successful for the past few weeks (yep, only weeks.  But then the last few days have been packed with work, getting back and forth to daycare, making dinners, bills, squeezing in playtime with my son, etc. and I’ve not walked!  I’m signing off this computer and going for a brisk walk around the block right now!!!! Thanks for the kick in the arse!—Kelly



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kellysh64 wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • Thanks for the reminder! I too have not exercised like I should in the last few months, due to a very busy work and social schedule, but definitely plan on going to the gym after work tonight, even brought my workout clothes with me in the car, to make sure I go!



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    • +2 votes vote up vote up

      Bea Kunz wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • Hi Yana,

      I can’t imagin my life without exercise.

      Moving ( regardless how )makes me feel so much better, and feeling good is what I’m all about.

      We farm so moving is usually not an option !
      But, I walk 3 or more miles 3 days a week between 6:30 and 8:00 AM...sometimes again in the evening after dinner with hubby...depending on my schedule.

      I do some weight bearing exercises at home...I don’t have the time or the desire to do the gym.

      I’m 67, my weight is 129...29 pounds more than when I graduated high school.

      A healthy diet and enough exercise will reward us in so many ways ...but it has to be a personal passion.

      It’s also a wonderful time to think and reflect, get in touch with self and your spirit...there are no better motivations.

      Just do it gals....just do it.

      Bea Kunz



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Susan Green-Davis wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • This was a most excellent message and I so needed to hear it and now I need to act on it. I’ve just recovered from an extended illness, surgery and and underlying problem. While I was ill, I went from being very active to becoming completely inactive. Now I don’t have any excuses and sitting at my computer thinking about it makes the arthritis in my lumbar and sacrum worse. Thanks for the tips as well, I’m going to print them and tape them up on my mirror.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Joyousone wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • What makes me motivated to get up in the morning—- hmmmmmm ... well ... wanting to start a new day with new things to do.  Being still new to this retirement, I have so many things I want to do not only for myself and others, but to my home.  Yes I said home and not house.  For years it was our house because we were working so many hours outside of it.  Now I’m making it comfier, cozier, our little castle since we‘re here most of the time now - retired hubby and me and our kitty.  Now when our son and his girlfriend and my Mom come over for a visit, they‘re coming to our home which welcomes them.  

      Yana - thanks for the motivation to get going with rejuvinating exercise.  That’s another goal of mine - to “get thee to a gym!”  Dusting off my bicycle too is another way to get some much-needed exercise.  Already walking with my cat (or trying to train him to-he loves to graze and plop down to watch the birdies) and taking him for a stroll in his cat stroller (he loves that) and I get my walking in around the neighborhood. With summertime almost upon us, it should get me going with this more heartily.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Petula Wright wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • I know that I need to do it. I’ve done it before. Now, I refuse to try and motivate myself so I don’t even have tips to offer. I love about 35 pounds between Jan 08 and Feb 09 and would love to lose another 10 or so, tone up and get the benefits of more energy. I just can’t seem to get motivated. I need a RIL buddy... Enough complaining - hopefully I’ll get out of this mental and physical slump soon.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Anne Lyken-Garner wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • Yana, Darling, I know just what you mean. I’ve had some major health issues and haven’t exercised in months. I just need that extra push to get motivated again.

      I don’t go to the gym. I just run and do sit-ups etc at home. Gotta get back in there. Your post lets me know that I’m not alone.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Frannie1964 wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • I really need to do something about exercising. I was doing really good when I first joined the gym, My friend and I were going 4x a week and then the holidays came and I started eating again. I know thats no excuse, But It’s hard for me to get back In the gym again, I feel like It’s harder the second time around for some reason. I have an Elliptcal machine at home but I have yet to use It worried I just cannot find the motivation. Sometime days I say to myself, this will be the day I start and then poof! I get lazy. Thank you for your tips on exercising and the things to do happy I will try hard to get back to where I was before and when I lost 15lbs, Once I get started again, I am pretty sure I can stick to It, especially sence I know I have friends here that i can talk to and get me motivatedestatic

      Hugzzzz
      Fran



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Frannie1964 wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • Acutally lisa, Dancing Is pretty good exercise also happy It doesn’t sound weird.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Elizabeth Erb wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • Wow.... as I’m sitting here doing the same thing (PROCRASTANATING) You must have read my mind. Thanks Now I have to go to my treadmill & use it!



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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      J Knapp wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • One day at a time. Make tomorrow better.  estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Saylor101 wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • I’ve just been a lazy suzan for YEARS now!  I do faithfully pay my annual membership fees to the gym...but don’t even go in for free tanning...really.

      I think about it a lot - exercise - not tanning! happy and i’m glad for your reminder - and to hear all of you say near the same thing!  Perhaps we should start a “here’s what I do today” listing!! :-_ xooxxo



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • Yana...thanks for the tips.
      I will have to say that I have started back exercising after ignoring it for years.  

      I am now getting up every week day morning at 5:15am...and heading to the gym to walk on the treadmill and later to incorporate some weights.  I love going that early in the morning and I find that when I exercise at that time I feel energized throughout my day!  I’m excited about my new found motivation.  estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rose Nino wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • Wow Yana! This is great and I love reading everyone else’s responses. I remember when I had too many health issues to count and could not lose the weight despite eating well, taking care of myself AND working out. Sometimes my work-outs were 2 hrs long and included weights...yet nothing! I only seemed to get sicker and more tired AND gained more and more weight. It was an endless battle with no end in sight. It wasn’t until I discovered a nutritonal program that all that changed for me. I know I sound like a broken record but I just can’t help being passionate about the changes that happened in my life. I not only got my health back but I also released 2 dress sizes immediately (7 lbs, 8 1/2 inches & 8% body fat within the first few days). This was HUGE for someone with all my problems. And yes, it is super important to eat well, exercise, and use weights for muscle building! There are not magic potions out there. But I’m forever grateful for the nutritonals I use and simply refuse to live without. I feel and look better than I have in over 15 years. And more importanly, I am loving and living life to the fullest.  

      When you find something of value and you benefit from it, you have a moral obligation to share it with others. Chinese Proverb



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Esther Bloom wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • Thanks for that reminderestaticestaticestaticestaticestaticestatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sonnenschein wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • thanks for your tips.
      I started to workout 16 years ago when I came to the USA. I love it from day one. I can’t live without it. I am working out every day. saturday and sunday is only cardio day, 1 hour -1:30 for power walk or jogging. The rest of the week is 30 min. cardio and 1 hour weights. I eat healthy and live healthy too.i feel great and want to do it my rest of my live.
      I would like to say everyone. get moving , it is never to late to start. Ask your doc when you have some health problems, so he can decide what you can and what not.

      Good luck for everyone and stay healthy.

      Enjoy life every day. Look out for posetive things and disregared the bad thing. BELIEVE ON YOURSELF. YOU CAN DO IT.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Musicgal63 wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • I agree about finding a workout buddy—actually mine found me!  A friend asked me if I wanted to join her yoga class...I put it off, but then finally caved and love it!  It’s a wonderful way to stretch muscles long forgotten and at the end, we just lie on the floor in silence—with three kids, I don’t have that opportunity at all!  It has become a special “treat” each week.  I would encourage all to find that special “activity“—no matter what it is; walking, cycling, stretching, yoga, swimming, whatever—just try it and then try it again, and again, and again!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Doreen XoXo wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • Ive been diligent about the gym lately.  I try to go at least three times a week.  45 minutes of cardio followed by weight training for another hour or so.  It just seems that life gets in the way of me caring soley about myself.

      I wish I could get to the gym more.  My pool isnt open yet but even when it is, I dont make use of it.  That would be some great cardio since my pool is 50 ft long!!  

      xoxo



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marlyn Delgado wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • OH YANA THANKS FOR THE TIPS,TRUE EVERYBODY GO THRU SAME THING,AND NOW I‘M OLDER IT‘S IMPORTANT TO WORK OUT AND STAY
      IN SHAPE,EAT HEALTHY,AND DRINK ALOT OF WATER...NOW SUMMER IS
      AROUND THE CORNER,YOU SEE ALOT OF PEOPLE WALKING AROUND THE
      PARK AND WORKING OUT LIKE CRAZY,BUT IT‘S GOOD BECAUSE YOU GET USE TO IT..WE GOT BE IN GOOD SHAPE,TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOUR SELF....THANKS FOR TIPS,



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sherry Woodward wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • Finally, I figured out how to motivate myself into working out regularly...  I keep a food journal and keep track of every calorie that goes into my mouth.  By working out, I have a lower net calorie intake (and that means I can eat a little more).  Since it’s hard to know how many calories one eats at a restaurant, I cook as often as possible.  Results:  I lost 11 lbs. and my husband lost 35 lbs.  We plan to keep doing this as part of our lifestyle routine - we’ve been doing this since mid-February. I guess you can tell I’m proud of myself, but this is a really big deal for me (world’s worst working-out-procrastinator).



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • Gals,

      What if all of us post a picture in a workout outfit, the way we look today, and continue to post our progress every 3 weeks with pics updated?

      That should motivate all of us and give us a kick in a butt that we need.

      What say you?

      Who is with me on this one?



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sherry Woodward wrote Jun 9, 2009
    • oh, I think posting pix every 3 weeks is enough motivation for anyone to kick butt!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Melissak1967 wrote Jun 10, 2009
    • It CAN‘T be a coincedence that I joined Fab40 today, and today was the first day I’ve exercised in many years. After what I felt was a weak beginning, I read all these posts, and now I feel even MORE motivated to keep going.
      I walked 2 miles this morning, going to gradually work up to 5 a day.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote Jun 10, 2009
    • Yana, this post really hits home. It is so easy to take care of the kids, take care of work, take care of the house, your partner, your family and friends. All this, without realizing that you need taking care of too.  

      While I have always put exercise as the lowest priority, a recent visit to my family physician gave me a wake up call. When she asked about my exercise schedule, I confessed that I was often too busy to fit it into my life. That got her going! She asked me who was going to look after everything if something happened to me. She then asked me to commit to looking after myself above all else. When she put it this way it made sense. Taking time to look after myself isn’t selfish, it’s the best thing I can do for all the people I care about.  

      Now, I schedule in a workout 3 times a week after getting my kids to school. I try to get up earlier so that I can fit a few hours of work before they leave for school. It means going to bed earlier (and I’m a night person), but when I realize all the physical and emotional benefits I’m reaping, it’s all worth it.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Maggymae wrote Jun 10, 2009
    • Great tips Yana.  I got a wake up call about ten years ago when I found out I was diabetic and so is my husband.  We went to a nutritionist who changed our diet. We ride or walk around the neighborhood as often as our schedules alow. We also go dancing at least once a month.  I have lost about 25 lbs. But as you guys say sometimes it is hard to keep an exercise schedule.  Especially when you are still working.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Donna08 wrote Jun 10, 2009
    • This is great Yana, congrats on getting up and doing it!  I just started again, now I have a buddy who I walk with at work. We both encourage each other and pull each other out of the office to get outside at some point during the day and walk even for 10 mins!  It’s been working.  It got me to start working out again!  I see the difference in my body and how I feel, less achy and tired, and it keeps me going.  Fingers crossed I will continue and not let family and everything else get in the way!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Labelledominique wrote Jun 12, 2009
    • estatic Thank you so much for these wonderful workout tips.  I really can relate to the struggle to work out consistently.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Shopgirl1960 wrote Jun 13, 2009
    • Yana,

      I have been trying really hard lately to eat better and to be more active. I have noticed that my joints ache more than ever. I attribute it to not having enough exercise and spending too much time on the computer for my activities.lol

      I’m anxious to see if I can get my old body back since they say muscles have a memory. I want that “washboard” stomach back!!!

      It’s nice to know we are not alone in our struggle to remain fit. Thankyou for your blog.estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dalia Spurgeon wrote Jun 15, 2009
    • I know that we can easily get distracted since we are women and multitask by nature, all it takes is 1 unplanned event to get you all out of balance, I found out that if I write it as a goal the night before and work towards achieving the workout the following day it works best for me.  Mornings are best since I am a morning person but if not I try to take the kids to the park or try to get some fresh air even if is only 15 minutes.  I pray this helps.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kimberly OLeary wrote Jun 15, 2009
    • i’m discouraged by me working out and not losing weight... my hormones are out of whack and i am having them tested... still doesn’t keep me down though... we will move forward and do it!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Svhotchick wrote Jun 18, 2009
    • I must admit I fell into the rut of not having time to exercise. I am now starting off by walking and it already is paying off. I intend to go back to the gym and combine strength training with cardio. I am determined to lose the weight and if I keep at it, I know it will happen. Thanks everyone for your comments. They are inspirational.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Okie428 wrote Jul 12, 2009
    • Good morning ladies!  I haven’t been on here in quite a while.  I have to admit, I had to make myself start exercising.  The ladies gym I go to got two ellipticals back at the end of October.  Right there I decided I wanted to be able to do the elliptical for a period of time and that I needed and wanted to start losing weight.  I started exercising on the elliptical about 10 minutes 3-4 days a week and adding time daily or every few days.  After a month or so of just cardio, I started adding in weights.  I am happy to say that now I stay on the elliptical 30 minutes 3-4 days a week and weights on some days.  Since November, I have lost a total of 32 pounds.  As of two months ago, I had lost 16-1/2 inches, so I need to be measured again.  My original goal was to lose 40 pounds, but I’ve pushed it to 45 (one goal at a time, of course).  So, I know that if I can do this, anyone can.  I feel so much better.  I have back problems, but this helps me tolerate them so much better.  I’m even at a point, I can tell such a difference if I’m not in the gym and can’t wait to get back.  This past Friday, I actually stayed on the elliptical an hour (mainly to see if I could actually do it).

      So, good luck, ladies!  We can do this together!!  These last 8-13 pounds are going to be the most difficult, but I can do it!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Jul 12, 2009
    • WAY TO GO OKIE428!!!  That is wonderful!!
      I got off the track after going on vacation..that darn vacation!!  LOL  

      I’m getting back on the wagon tomorrow a.m.  Wish me luck!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Frannie1964 wrote Jul 12, 2009
    • Okie428...I love the Elliptical machine, It’s greatestatic I just haven’t had enough motivation to get back on It. But thats how I lost most of my weight and watching my calories.
      Good Luck with your last 8 to 13lbshappy

      (((( Hugz ))))



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