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Aside from walking to work, I was doing almost zero exercise. I feared gyms. My trainer, Amanda, started me off with baby steps: 30-second sets of strength moves, like shoulder presses with 7.5-pound dumbbells, and 15 minutes on the stationary bike. Eventually I did each exercise until failure -- that is, until I could do it no longer. Every time I eked out an extra rep or minute, it motivated me to push on.