About This Book

No one likes to diet, but the personal stories in this book will encourage and inspire readers with its positive, practical, and purposeful tales of dieting and fitness. Readers will find hope, help, and hints on getting fit and staying healthy in these 101 stories from those who have been there, done that, and maintained it. Stories about wake-up calls and realizations, moving more and eating better, self-esteem and support, and lifestyle changes, big and small, will motivate any reader looking to start fresh or needing a boost. This is a great book for anyone embarking on a healthier lifestyle.

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Five Tips for Getting in Shape and Finding What Works Best for You

Inspired by Chicken Soup for the Soul: Shaping the New You

By Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Amy Newmark

Foreword by Richard Simmons

We all need some help when it comes to taking care of ourselves and being healthy. We want to eat well, we know how good it will feel to be in shape, but sometimes, we need that push to do the hard work necessary to get there. Nothing is better than hearing the success stories of others and learning what worked for them. Here are a few positive, practical, and purposeful tips:

1. Take it one step at a time. Douglas Brown was 80 pounds overweight and was rejected when he applied for life insurance. This spurred him to action. He started simply — taking the stairs in his four-floor office building every day. Over time, this led to a complete change in his fitness and diet and he is a much happier and healthier guy today. Small changes made over time can really add up.

2. Exercise can be fun. Fran Signorino got in shape in the privacy of her home working out to Richard Simmons tapes (and, after a fairly aggressive perm, she even had his hair). You really can learn to love exercise by finding things to do that you enjoy, whether it’s walking alone or with a group, biking, exercising to DVDs, or taking classes at a women’s-only gym and enjoying the conversation.

3. Enlist a buddy. Friends and spouses can work together to get in shape and strengthen not only their bodies, but their relationships as a result. Stefanie Wass describes how she and her husband walk every day to combat osteoporosis and how they are more connected than ever due to their daily time together. Having a partner lets you be "accountable" to another person as you each journey through your programs. Consider having a food diary and sharing it with your buddy to keep you on track.

4. Have a realistic target weight. You deserve to reach your target weight and get fit! Some people struggle with too little weight and some with too much, but the key is to enjoy who you are, accept your body type and realize that you are beautiful inside and out, as Thurmeka Ward learns to do in her story about self-image called "Wonderfully Made."

5. It’s okay to fall off the wagon; just get back on. We all have our bad days, and that doesn’t mean your diet and fitness program is over... it just means that you will do better the next day. Lots of people have their weak moments, including Rebecca Hill, who tells a funny story about working on a fitness video shoot in Hawaii with a super fit staff. She was so embarrassed about ordering hamburgers from room service that she left the empty tray outside someone else’s door every night! She has since made many changes and works daily to make better choices.

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