From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

September 19

As I approached my fortieth birthday, I was tired all the time, weighed about 200 pounds, and was becoming more and more depressed. I made an appointment to see a doctor.

My blood count was low, my estrogen level was really bad, I was 60 pounds overweight, etc., etc. I started taking what I called my “turning 40 meds” and wanted to start an exercise program. “Not until we get all this other stuff in order,” my nurse practitioner said.

Months went by before I was able to start an exercise program. I signed up for kickboxing and Tae Bo and bought all the equipment. By week three, I had worked myself up to a half-hour before I left the building wheezing and decided this wasn’t going to work.

Then I had an idea. In college I had been an aerobics instructor, so I thought about getting together with a few friends to work out. I found a space and placed a small classified ad offering FREE aerobics classes to encourage people to keep their fitness resolutions. Seventy people showed up.

So here I am, celebrating one year, forty pounds lighter, energetic and full of self-esteem, and working out with 250 women.

Rita V.Williams

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