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About Bodies in Motivation

Bodies in Motivation is a website where readers can gather and become inspired by real-life health and fitness stories. Instead of touting the latest diet fads and offering perky tips on Losing Belly Flab in Three E-Z Steps, Bodies in Motivation is a place to share our fitness successes, challenges, and help each other achieve our goals.

Interested in sharing your story, sending us feedback, or just saying hi? You can email us at bodies.motivation@gmail.com.

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You can also follow Bodies in Motivation on Twitter.
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Bodies in Motivation Editor:

Katherine is the owner/editor of Bodies in Motivation, and also writes Will Run for Food. She is the frazzled mother of two girls, working part time at a homeless recovery center in Portland, Oregon. She spends most of her days trying to keep herself from drowning in unanswered e-mails, baby clothes, and large gobs of cat hair.

After struggling with bulimia and anorexia for over ten years, Katherine finally decided to change her life after her oldest daughter was born. Dishes and jewelry are the only things she hopes to pass down to her daughters.

Katherine now focuses on health and fitness, not weight. She loves running, baking, and meal planning (seriously!). She is hoping to run a half marathon this fall.

Katherine sometimes blogs at Internetfruit.  You can email her at internetfruit@gmail.com .

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Bodies In Motivation Creator:

Linda finally got sick of wearing maternity pants around the house “because they’re comfy” when her first son was 18 months old, and began a fitness routine for the first time . . . well, pretty much ever. She successfully lost the weight, gained a bunch of muscle, then promptly got knocked up again. And, um, spent nine months with her face buried in a container of Ben & Jerry’s.

In 2008, after the birth of her second son, she managed to lose the weight again, and has developed a long-term commitment to eating well and working out. She ran her first marathon in May of 2010, and likes to stick her fingers in her ears and yell LA LA LA LA when people say Splenda isn’t healthy.

In addition to her software marketing day job and the ongoing duties of wrangling two small children, Linda has written for Gather.com and is currently contributing to The Stir. Her Bodies in Motivation blog is called Body Talk.

Bloggers:


52 Weeks Without Sugar, written by Shalini

Shalini is a librarian and book reviewer turned stay-at-home mom to two little boys. Alternating between the stresses and boredom of motherhood, Shalini found herself eating any and every sugary snack in the house. Realizing her unhealthy addiction to sweets, she’s attempting to go sugar-free for an entire year. And since she’s the opposite of an athlete, she also started the Nerd 5K, so she can make herself a paragon of health and fitness (or maybe just not die while running up the stairs).

She blogs at Reading (and chickens) and is also on Twitter at @booksnchickens.

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A Fistful of Carrots, written by KellyAnn

KellyAnn isn’t going to list all the injuries and illnesses that made the last six years a bottomless pit of suckiness, because detailing all her aches and pains makes her feel like she’s eighty years old. She will tell you that they took their toll on her fitness and health, and with the end of her thirties looming in her future, she decided it was time to boost the asskicking a notch or two. She upped the intensity of her workouts (hello, hilly runs!), cut even more crap out of her diet (bye bye, white flour!), and started setting some serious goals for herself (that first 5k registration is a nail-biter!). Her absolute favorite workout is riding her horse, Logan, and her overarching priority is fostering her strength, endurance, and confidence on horseback.

When she isn’t working out or at the barn, she’s a voracious consumer of pop culture and internet wackiness. She likes olives, hikes with gorgeous views, and comic books. She dislikes mosquitoes, brown pants, and those frosted animal cookies covered in candy dots. She LOVES comments, and the exchange of ideas and experiences with total strangers on the internet, as long as they do not disabuse her of the assumption that they are wearing pants. You can follow her on Twitter if you like.

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All Kinds of Average, written by Jessica

Jessica is an aspiring writer, former teacher, prior construction company owner, recent almost-lobbyist, and mom to three kids who spend their days devising ways to steal her Cool Ranch Doritos.  She has never, ever, not one time in her life been in shape, and decided recently after having her third child to workout every day.  Something, every day, no matter what. (She even took pictures of ‘before’, which caused the camera to scream in protest and hurl itself into the river)

Because being Italian, thirty-something, and postpartum means that body parts have shifted and sloped, and she’d like to spend the next part of her life not being quite so mediocre.  She drinks way too much coffee, yells at her kids for sport, and spends her days sweeping the floors obsessively, when not walking around with a camera glued to her face.  She’s Jersey, her husband is hot and Very Southern, and for some reason, even after ten years of marriage, he thinks she’s amazing even though she’s really about as average as they come.

You can find her online at her personal blog.

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All of the Health, None of the Hork, written by Amber

Amber is new at everything this year – a newlywed, a new stepmom and a new stay-at-home mom who works part-time for a company who seems to constantly misunderstand the meaning of “working PART-TIME”. She loves to read, play Scrabble, and nap – none of which can be done with much success on a treadmill, unfortunately. While she would love to be thin for vanity reasons, she is working on being fit for health reasons. The goals are no more eating disorders, more self-confidence, and more energy to play with her two beautiful stepdaughters. Also included in there is finding a work-life-Amber balance and setting a good example for aforementioned beautiful girls. She is also lucky to have a wonderful and supportive husband who loves her no matter what size she is and also thinks she’s the best thing ever.

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As If, written by Sarah Lena

Sarah Lena is Italian by blood and southern by birth, so food has always had a prominent place in her heart.  Unfortunately, it seems to reside in her hips, thighs, and chins as well.  She is married to the fabulously metrosexual Bryan, who would like to say for the record that Sarah Lena is incredibly sexy, and of course all women believe that to be akin to “She’s got a great personality” when it comes from your husband.  Sarah Lena welcomed her first child in December of 2007, and wants to be the fit, healthy mother he deserves.  You can also read Sarah Lena at her personal blog, The Anvil Tree, and follow her at www.twitter.com/sarahlena.

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Beyond the Comfort Zone, written by Hilary

Hilary spent her teens and early twenties trapped in a dreary world of treadmills and diets. One day she decided to get up off her beach chair and onto a surfboard. It wasn’t pretty, but she learned to surf. Then she joined a boxing gym, and with the help of an amazing trainer, spent a few years competing as an amateur boxer.

After the birth of her daughter in 2005 and her son in 2008, Hilary hung up the boxing gloves. Since then she’s been searching for a workout with the challenge and camaraderie of boxing but with fewer blows to the head. Despite being uncoordinated and easily frustrated, Hilary is drawn to workouts that push her mentally and physically—beyond her comfort zone.

Hilary lives in San Diego and works from home as a freelance writer and editor. She loves reading everything from novels to Entertainment Weekly, people who can wink, and the mental clarity that comes from a well-organized desk.

Her personal blog is www.sixminutes-hilary.blogspot.com and her professional site is www.hilaryachauer.com.

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Blood, Sweat & Sneakers, written by Kaitlyn

I’ve always been an active person. I grew up playing sports all summer, swimming all winter. We ate healthy as a family, no white bread, no sweetened cereals, 1% milk, and fruit cups for dessert. It continued into my adult life, I played rugby through university; I ran occasionally and spent some time at the gym.

There was always something missing though, that drive to push just a little farther wasn’t there. I never once pushed myself to my limits.

Two years ago, in August 2007, I was out for a run. My daughter, 14 months old at the time, was home with a babysitter and my husband was at work. I ran my first 10 km in three years and it was really hard. The sun was hot, my legs felt like lead and yet, something clicked inside of me. Instead of my inner voice saying, just stop and walk, I heard a voice say you are strong. You can do this. Keep running.

My life, quite honestly, has not been the same since. And now, here I am, headed back to university, two small children and a husband with long hours. I’m training for my first full marathon because I am strong. I can do this. I’ll just keep running.

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Bottomless Fit, written by Amy

In 2005, Amy ran a mile with friends, and in a somewhat ill-advised move, promptly signed up for a half-marathon. Ever since then she’s been setting the bar for herself higher each year, kicking depression in the nads, and for the first time ever, considers herself “athletic”. In addition to running, Amy enjoys yoga and weight-training, and hopes to add snow-shoeing and Crossfit to her routine in 2011. When she’s not doing something sweaty, Amy is training to become a massage therapist, and working as a technical writer for a medical device company. Fancy! Other must-haves include reading, pop culture, dogs and cats, obsessively rearranging her furniture, and bacon.

You can follow her on Twitter at amyrbradley.
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Crossfitted, written by Liz

Liz is an adult onset athlete living in Washington, D.C. and has spent the better part of the past five years geeking out over triathlon and distance running, although lately she’s been thinking there’s a lot to be said for workouts that don’t take two hours. When not embarrassing her 13 year old stepdaughter, she can be found doing CrossFit, justifying bacon, consulting for The Man, loving her family, and blogging at InnerTeub.

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Deliciously Wholesome, written by Michelle

Michelle has always enjoyed food and cooking, but only since her pregnancy with her first child in 2007 has she really begun to focus on nutrition and eating “real” food. Although there have definitely been some fits and starts, taking baby steps toward a whole-diet change has been her recipe for success. From her first step of switching from white to whole wheat pasta to more recently learning how to soak whole grains for maximum nutrition, Michelle and her family are on a journey to eat healthy, homemade, delicious food all while staying within their (meager) budget and leaving plenty of time to enjoy the other things of life.

Michelle is the stay-at-home mom of two precious children and wife of a super-smart husband who is currently in graduate school. She spends most of her time keeping her children out of trouble, experimenting with new recipes, and wishing she didn’t need to clean her house (again). She also enjoys photographing her kids and her food and researching anything that catches her interest.

You can find Michelle at her food blog, Thoughtful Kitchen or follow her on twitter.

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Deserting Dessert, written by Jennifer

Jennie spent most of her teens and early twenties entangled in an unhealthy relationship with food. She would devour an entire large pepperoni pizza and then forgo all meals the following week. She discovered she was pregnant with her first child last June when she was at her heaviest weight (164 pounds) and she gave birth at an even 200 pounds. She’s now at 170 – still the highest she’s ever been without a human life inside her and still much too high for all those cute clothes she owns, hanging in her closet. She plans to document her weight loss, something that makes her feel vulnerable and empowered all at the same time. She hopes to reach 130 pounds, her goal weight, but more than that, she hopes to give her son an example he can really be proud of in addition to all the stretch marks she proudly sports in his honor.

You can find Jennie at her personal blog, She Likes Purple.

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Don’t Feed the Animal, written by Kate

Kate follows her hunger and eats reasonably-sized mostly-organic meals 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time, she gives the animal control and is able to consume half a tub of animal crackers in mere minutes. (And to her chagrin, it still counts as emotional eating even when the crackers are organic.) Discovering the tenants of intuitive eating and regular exercise helped Kate lose 30lbs in her early twenties, but now that she’s a decade older and the mother of two small boys, the demands of adult life sometimes get the better of her judgment. She’s determined to find healthier ways to cope with the drudgery of wiping poopy bottoms than eating jellybeans all afternoon, and hopes to lose 15lbs in the process.

Kate blogged about new motherhood for three years but has ditched the project to focus on writing her first novel. You can still find her on Twitter. (@StateofKate)

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Fat Genes to Skinny Jeans, written by AndreAnna

Graduating college at 310 pounds, something clicked one day and over the course of the next three years, AndreAnna lost 120 pounds through diet and exercise. One husband, two kids, and a cross-country move later, she finds herself a Jersey girl living in Iowa learning to love her body instead of fight it and live her life to the fullest (even if that means having a dirty martini after her daughter duct taped the baby to the cat). A full-time Editor, she tries to counteract her sedentary career with CrossFit, biking, hiking, and just playing with her family who provide endless fodder for her blog Diary of a Modern Matriarch. A believer in clean, organic, local eating, she follows a primal lifestyle and blogs about her journey and shares recipes at Primal Matriarch. You can follow her on Twitter here.

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Fixin’ To Get Fit, written by Leandra

Leandra is an almost 38-year-old mother of two, living, working and just trying to stay sane, never mind fit. Growing up in Georgia she has had a life-long love of food, especially food cooked in lard, with real butter, lots of salt and plenty of fatback. While she doesn’t cook that kind of food for herself or her family, it is her kryptonite and she is powerless to resist it when offered. Though she has gained and lost the same 20 pounds at least five times, a regular exercise routine has never been a priority. Until now. Motivated by her upcoming birthday (not to mention her upcoming 20th High School Reunion!), she now wants to get healthy and if she gets thin at the same time, well that’s just gravy (pun intended).

You can read about Leandra’s attempts to stave off her children’s (mostly) bloodless coup at her regular blog Madame Queen.

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Go Go Slow Racer, written by Wendy

Wendy wants to beat you at everything. For reasons she and her therapist were never quite able to sort out, Wendy is one of the world’s most competitive people. For years this competitive drive was funnelled into competitive swimming where, despite having below average natural ability, she managed to have an above average high school and brief college swimming career. Wendy quit swimming cold turkey in college and soon the only traces of that competitive drive was an embarrassing tendency to trash talk and take things way too seriously during board game nights with her husband and friends.

Now, about to turn 32, Wendy is awakening that competitive drive and wants to race again. Still possessing below average athletic ability and now having the added bonus of left over baby weight, Wendy won’t be winning any of the 12 races she plans to do in the next 12 months but she is determined not to come in last.

Wendy lives in Iowa with her husband and two year old son. She also blogs at http://athleticmonkey.wordpress.com/ and can be found on twitter as @wAthleticMonkey

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Hippo in a Tutu, written by Christine

Christine has worked more jobs than she has room to list here, including expert internet surfer (no, really!), photography competition director, and more recently, full-time mom. She spends far too much time watching TV, drinking wine, and googling stuff, and not enough time exercising and putting the fork down. The few times she has gotten her act together have resulted in her getting fit without really getting skinny. This time, she is determined to do both.

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Ironwhat?!, written by Amy

When Amy met the man who would ultimately become her husband, neither of them were in any way active, and by the time she got married, she had reached the highest weight of her life. In an attempt to get active and lose some weight, they bought mountain bikes. One day while tooling around on her bike, someone asked her if she’d ever considered doing a triathlon. She hadn’t.

7 years later, she’s not only done a triathlon, she’s done several Ironman-distance triathlons and half a dozen marathons, all snowballing from that innocent question. She’s turned a scary, unachievable concept into her favorite hobby, one she’s used to lose weight, learn to eat better and get closer to her husband-also-turned-Ironman.

Her personal blog is here and if you like race reports, she’s written one (usually novel-length) for every race she’s done since 2003.

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Mommy, Did You Win?, written by Julie

Julie was a runner in high school who got burned out on it in college and only returned to the sport after a second pregnancy left her a few pounds heavier than she preferred. Competitive by nature, and looking for motivation to stick with her new running routine, she signed up for a 10K in June of 2007 and never looked back. Eight half-marathons and two full marathons later, Julie finds herself in the midst of training for marathon number three: NYC 2010.

Follow along to see how she balances the training with the responsibilites associated with with being a wife, an attorney, and mom to two boys (ages 8 and 5). Here’s a hint: it involves a lot of early mornings and a lot of carbs (what? it’s required for the training!!).

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More Than a Number, written by Holly
As the daughter of an NFL linebacker, Holly has spent most of her life cursing at one part of her body or another. Though never destined to be dainty or petite, at least athleticism came to her naturally. But then again so did the pipe dream that maybe she could just diet herself into the body type of a ballerina/cheerleader and thus the deprivation-flagellation-guilt-binge cycle was born. After about 10 years she took a brief sabbatical to college where she gained Noble Prize worthy empirical data surrounding what years of zero exercise and excessive alcohol consumption can do to the human body.

It was only after taking up residence in Los Angeles (the Plastic Surgery Capital of California) that she had a grand epiphany that forever changed the way she looked at herself: The whole is more than the sum of its parts! Ok so maybe that was Aristotle’s epiphany, but something about living in a city surrounded by Heidi Montags made her broad shoulders and Conan the Barbarian thighs seem like not a bad problem in comparison.

After moving back to Northern California, she is still searching for her own physical ideal that she knows must exist somewhere between Heidi and Conan. But now in her early 30s and ready to have a baby with her sweetheart in the next year or two, the health component of all of this process has become supremely important. She looks forward to sharing that journey here, or you can find her at her personal blog Holly Would If She Could or on Twitter.

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Mrs. Bachelor Girl, written by Kelly

A dancer for nearly half her life, Kelly is no stranger to doing whatever it takes to keep her body in tip-top shape. After a decade that included college (forget the Freshman 15 – she gained the Sophomore 25), budget-induced Ramen noodle dinners and a few too many chocolate martinis, she finally got serious about health and fitness last year and lost 25 pounds.

She’s gained back a few, though, and wants to slim down in time for her October wedding. Plus, she and her fiancé plan to start a family within a year of marriage, and she knows her future small fries need her body to be in optimal health.

She faces a few challenges, though, like the fact that she’s pretty gym-averse, and she goes out several times a week for social and networking events. On top of it all, her job is about as sedentary as they come – she gave up dancing for freelance writing because she wants to be able to walk when she’s older with joints made of organic material.

Follow her journey in which she tries to get her Bachelor Girl body in shape as she goes from Miss to Mrs. You can also find her at Bachelor Girl and on Facebook and Twitter.

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My Inner Lion, written by Tara

Having been a non-exercising, food-loving, thin person all her life, Tara has not adjusted gracefully to her life as a big girl since having kids. After trying a multitude of diets and exercise regimes, Tara has finally decided that this whole thing is really an inside job. Circumstances and situations will come and go, but Tara’s commitment to herself needs to be unwavering. Instead of her inner child, Tara has decided to get in touch with her inner lion.

In addition to mothering two of the cutest girls on the planet, Tara is a wife to Brian and a full-time graduate student – just to keep things interesting. She has committed to running a half-marathon in March and is a Weight Watcher’s regular. She spends most of her days trying not to bury herself in Reese’s Cups.

Want to contact, Tara? You can email her at tarabulger@bellsouth.net , or follow her on Twitter.
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Not a Diet, written by Jess

After being overweight for as long as she can remember and trying every diet known to man (the most successful of which involved losing 75 pounds on Weight Watchers, then plateauing spectacularly before, alarmingly, beginning to regain the weight), Jess had lap-band surgery for weight loss in May 2009. Now she is working to lose the weight the healthy, sustainable way through a combination of good eating choices and lots of interval and weight training at the gym. To distract herself from her standing date with the elliptical trainer, she focuses on her day job as an editor, her fun macro lens, and trying to decorate and organize her house without going broke. Although she is highly skeptical of BMI, her goal is to get her own BMI below 30, and possibly (maybe?) below 25.

You can also find her over on her personal blog, Du Wax Loolu.

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Now Panic & Freak Out, written by Valarie

In 2005, Valarie was stricken with heart palpitations, cold sweats, insomnia, vomiting and loss of appetite that came out of nowhere and lasted several months. She was sure she was dying, and became a “frequent flyer” at the local ER.  Her family doctor and a team of cardiologists ran every test under the sun, and she was finally diagnosed with Panic Disorder and given a prescription for Zoloft.  It took several more months for Valarie to accept that she did not have a dread disease and for the Zoloft to kick in.  Those months were the darkest time in her life.  The silver lining was the conversations she would have with other women who had gone through the same thing, and the amazing feeling of someone understanding what a terrible thing a panic attack is.  Before then she did not know how powerful the words “Oh my God, me too, doesn’t it suck?!” can be.

Today, the Panic Disorder is under control with Zoloft, and the palpitations, which were diagnosed as benign but were a trigger for full blown panic attacks have subsided…unless she tries to exercise.  And therein lies the rub…Valarie’s doctor feels that her panic disorder and depression may be tied to her weight and the hormonal imbalances obesity can cause.  But, as soon as she gets on the treadmill, her heart starts skipping around like flat rocks on a still lake.  And don’t even talk about a group exercise class, unless you want to hear about the hurling episode on the floor at the back of the kickboxing class….good times.

With 40 looming and her weight at 178 (a really crappy amount for a 5’2″ frame) Valarie is ready to conquer this thing once and for all. Valarie’s blog, “Now Panic & Freak Out” (a play on the ubiquitous “Keep Calm & Carry On” posters), will be her vehicle for documenting her progress with getting and staying in shape with the unique challege of Panic Disorder.  If someone else is helped by this along the way…bonus.

Valarie lives with her husband, three kids (ages 18, 5 and 2) and a cat just outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but likes to remind everyone that she is originally from California (sigh).

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Ooh Shiny!, written by Chelsea

Chelsea started out life as that adorable baby with the uber-chubby cheeks. It’s stayed that way for a quarter of a century. Newly determined to stop making excuses and own up to the bad decisions in diet and execise made thus far, she’s changing the way she lives her life. She’s always been one to be easily distracted (OOOO SHINY!!) and is using the discovery of new types of ways to sweat to keep her attention on this new change in her life. Already down 30lbs, Chelsea is looking forward to gleaning better, healthier recipes from the readers of Bodies In Motiviation & keeping them abreast of the ups and downs of trying to lose 60+ lbs. Upcoming challenges include: learning to cook decently and a Groupon-purchased Pilates class.

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Operation Bikini, written by Lisa

Lisa is a married, working mother of an adorable 2-year-old little girl. She has tried every type of exercise from boot camp to jazzercise. She generally enjoys exercising but would rather spend her time sharing a bottle of wine with friends. Lisa lives in the mountains of North Carolina, prefers the beach just not wearing bathing suits. She has a weakness for massive amounts of Mexican food, Mexican beer and cheese puffs. In adulthood, she has been every size from a two to a 12. Lisa has not owned a scale since college and doesn’t really care about the numbers. What she does care about is being comfortable in her own skin and being healthy. She is tired of keeping three different sizes in her over-stuffed closet and the flap of flabby skin that hangs under her belly button since the birth of her large baby. She no longer wants to spend her day tugging at her clothes and feeling guilty for not exercising more or eating less. Lisa has made a commitment to herself to become fit and loose the flap. The challenge is finding the time for exercise between working full time, commuting over an hour each day, being a wife and spending time with her toddler.

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Self, Meet Control, written by Emily

Emily loves food — cooking, cookbooks, grocery shopping, meal planning, restaurants, baking… the list goes on.  If she’s planning a trip out of town, you can bet she’s already thinking about where to eat while she’s there.  Her interest in food probably borders on obsession and she’s ready to make a change.  Emily was at a healthy weight through high school and most of college.  Marriage unleashed her inner baker/cook/wannabe Food Network Star and the unwanted pounds made their way onto her hips (and pretty much everywhere else, too).  Having her first child added even more weight.  After a couple of years of trying out different diets (and quitting each one within the first week), she is ready to buckle down and lose weight.

The goal is to lose about 50 lbs through diet and by becoming more active.  Although she has an aversion to exercise, she is subscribed to Self, Women’s Health, and Shape magazines because she would love to love exercise.

Emily lives in Texas and works in accounting.  Besides crunching numbers and complaining about the heat, she loves to read blogs and chat with her best friend and partner in crime about the diet of the week and newest fitness regime.  Weight Watchers Online seemed like the perfect thing for the food/diet/blog obsessed mother of a toddler and wife to an unquestionably fit guy.

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Sports and Wine, written by Kate

Kate is a teacher living in Alabama. She has always loved running — and cheeseburgers and pizza and french fries and wine. For a while there, she forgot about the running, ate too many cheeseburgers, and ended up finishing grad school about a hundred pounds heavier than when she started. This posed a few problems, not least of which was that she couldn’t fit into her own skin anymore (let alone her jeans). After a few brief dalliances with unsustainable diets, Kate decided it was time to get fit and healthy again once and for all. She went back to the track, started counting calories, and managed to lose the weight.

Today Kate is training for her first full marathon, trying to achieve the record for most flat tires on a bike in one season, experimenting with seasonal vegan cooking, and trying to make sure the healthy changes she has made will stick. She may have switched to veggie burgers, but she still enjoys a glass of wine (or three) every now and again.

You can find Kate’s personal blog at Effing the Ineffableor follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kateodotorg
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Size Healthy, written by Stacy .

Truth: Her body isn’t really that bad, in fact, it’s amazingly strong and has nourished and delivered two children into this world. Determined to move beyond numbers on a scale and a lifetime of muffin-top she has found that changing her life is a lifelong commitment.

Having recently awakened to find herself in her early 30s, the sleep-deprived mother of two young kids is determined to embrace health and fitness in a realistic and enjoyable way. Determined to demonstrate to her baby girl that self worth is not defined by a number on the scale and wanting to be a good role model of fitness, health and positive self-esteem she has decided to embrace a life of sensible moderation in regards to food and exercise.

She is rather miffed about having to lose baby-weight YET AGAIN, but this time she plans to finish what she started and make this a lifestyle by finding what works for her body and mind.

She has contributed at DC Metro Moms. and currently writes when she gets a free moment (yeah, right!) about her life as a special needs mother at The Fabulous Miss S.

Here’s to being Size: Healthy.


Sweat Becomes Her, written by Adrien

Adrien spent most of her twenties as an overweight smoker with terrible eating habits. She and her husband remember with delicious horror the many nights they ate dinner out: deep fried Mexican food followed by a trip to Dairy Queen. Eventually she stopped smoking and started working out but her eating habits didn’t change until she was laid off from her job. She spent most of 2002 learning to cook and exercising like a fiend and in that year lost 40 pounds. Now in her late 30′s she’s stopped worrying about scale weight and started working on gaining muscle, improving her fitness and trying to find a happy balance between eating clean and having a few beers with dinner. She mountain bikes, spins, rides horses, lifts (non-Barbie) weights, and refuses to be a runner no matter what anyone says. She has three cats, a hilarious husband and miles of singletrack yet to ride.
You can also find her at Amblus and Looks Good from the Back.

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Stretch Pants, written by Mary

Though Mary Holland enjoys doing yoga under palm trees, she’s currently a health, wellness, and medical writer in Minnesota. She has tried, at least once, lacrosse, rugby, surfing, skiing, kickboxing and rowing among others, and admits that until last week she thought  Kwando was a kind of sushi. While Mary struggles with wintertime inertia and an urge to cover everything in butter, she’s grateful to have a natural affection for broccoli and bicycles, and for good genes (her granny’s 99). Once Mary jumped off a cliff in Costa Rica because a gaggle of sassy retired ladies told her to. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Scott.

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Takeout Takedown, written by Katie

Katie really likes to cook, and really hates high fructose corn syrup, additives, and the loads of sodium often found in processed foods.  On the weekends she’ll often make bread, or simmer a sauce for hours, or try a complex recipe from an old issue of Gourmet.  But that’s the easy part.  The harder part is sticking to it on those weekdays when the commute doesn’t end until 7:30 p.m. and the siren call of the Thai takeout menu is almost too much to resist.  Takeout Takedown is the result of her efforts to cook healthy, non-crap food on those nights when an hour-long dinner prep just isn’t an option. You can also find Katie at her personal blog pseudostoops.com, and her budget shopping site Live Well Spend Well.

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The Long Run, written by Kara

Kara is currently training for her seventh marathon, her first since taking a “break” from endurance running to start a family in 2006. Two years of trying to get pregnant, one very indulgent pregnancy (decaf venti white mochas with whipped cream? everyday? yes please!), and a hyperactive one year old later, she’s finding it a lot harder to stay focused on her training than it was in the past.  She’s trying to learn how to set a good example for her son by taking care of herself. Hopefully one day he’ll appreciate this, but right now he tends to send her off on her evening runs with dramatic performances which include tantrums that can be heard half a block away.

When she’s not baby wrangling or running, Kara researches and writes about old buildings.

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The Tight Rope, written by Courtney

Courtney hasn’t always had the best relationship with food and exercise. Considering she was forced to play sports she hated as a kid by her [well-meaning] parents in a small, rural Southern Virginia town where bacon grease is king and peanut-butter-and-mayonnaise sandwiches are queen, it’s really no wonder. Courtney realized there was an incredible imbalance in her life after she graduated from college, and she has been working to correct that imbalance ever since. Sometimes she succeeds, and sometimes she fails. And she’s learning to love herself despite that.

She’s a writer by trade, an amateur historian, and is learning to be a dog trainer. Her likes include organic red wine, the smell of horses, workouts that leave her shaky, human-sized dogs, Chelsea Handler’s books, pumpkins, BCBG clearance sales, Alexander the Great, and several of the men who jog through her neighborhood. Her dislikes include Smart cars, Paula Deen, animals that don’t have lips, the month of February, wimpy workouts, and visible fat in her food.

Her personal blog is http://theheinouscanis.wordpress.com/.

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The Weighting Game, written by Lizzy

Liz has battled with her weight most of her life, and for the most part, her weight has won. However, after losing 100 pounds – and gaining 50 pounds of it back – over the past few years, Liz is back on the road to weight loss and is hoping and praying that she has the ability to lose it (and then some) again, and keep it off for good. And also the fact that Liz is also going to be a bridesmaid in two upcoming weddings this fall is pretty motivational in itself!

Liz is a devout Weight Watchers follower and has run several half marathons and considers herself to be fairly in shape (most of the time). She is always interested in learning and reading about new workouts, recipes and advice from others who have a similar goal of being the healthiest and most fit versions of themselves.

Liz is lucky to have a great support system in her friends and family and boyfriend (who she has roped into joining her gym – and he even ran his first half marathon with her this past spring!), and has so much to look forward to, she is tired of her weight slowing her down! Let the games begin…

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What’s in the Box?, written by Julia

Julia Findon lives, loves, and yells at televised sports in Massachusetts. She has worked as a baker, cheesemonger, and food demonstrator for more than ten years. This year, she lost over 50 pounds through a healthy diet and regular exercise. She enjoys fast cars, science nonfiction, weightlifting, and dinner parties. She has many opinions and looks forward to sharing them with you.

You can read the story of her weight loss at I Cannot Has Cheezburger.

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Workout Redux, written by Jennie

In college, Jennie gained 40 pounds, mainly because of her steady diet of Wendy’s, beer, and Jager bombs. She managed to lose that weight (and then some!) after college with the help of Weight Watchers. Unfortunately, years later, the weight is coming back and the wedding planning induced stress eating isn’t helping. Jennie is really good at coming up with workout and eating-healthy plans, but not so good at the follow through. So, for approximately the 87th time in the past few years, she’s determined to make this whole fitness thing work. Again.

Jennie lives in Ohio with her soon-to-be-husband and evil cat. She enjoys reading, writing, volunteering, baby animals, and spending way too many hours on the internet. You can also find her at her personal blog (Wonder Killer) or the blog she writes with some friends (The Collective).

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Contributing Writers:

grew up in the Midwest in a family where dinner meant a casserole full of cream of mushroom soup and a side of jello. She has since married, birthed two children, and taught herself to cook many things that do not involve opening a can of soup. A former teacher, she is now a stay-at-home mom of two little girls, a freelance writer, and an avid runner. She loves reading, shopping at Target, fancy coffee, and her new dishwasher (in no particular order). She writes at (In)significant Detail and begs her children to eat something with nutrients almost every single day.

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