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Lorraine Robertson, writer, Atlanta
No More Muffin Top
"I was carrying around 25 extra pounds, and although I'm a mom, I couldn't call it pregnancy weight, because my kids are 10 and 8. So last January, I gave myself a deadline and posted it on my blog: I wanted to feel comfortable in a bikini by my 40th birthday, in April."
Change of Pace
"I had strength-trained before, but my body really changed when I started running and competing in races. Instead of watching TV with my kids, now I challenge them to join me for a living-room workout that includes lunges, dips, and push-ups."
"I was so proud of how I looked in my red polka-dot two-piece -- my waist was four inches slimmer than just four months before -- I posted a picture on my blog. These days I'm in better shape than I was at 30 -- or probably ever!"
Excuse-Proof Your Workout
Lorraine's blog kept her in it to win it. "Accountability helps you monitor your progress while providing extra willpower to stay on track," says psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson, PhD, author of Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals. Try one of these stick-with-it strategies.
Be specific. You are more likely to follow through if you say "I will attend a cardio class on Monday and Friday at 7 a.m." rather than "I will work out this week."
Team up. Plan to meet a partner, trainer, or group. It's easier to make it to the gym when you know someone is waiting for you.
Treat yourself. Rewards provide a boost when your willpower is low, Grant Halvorson says. Give it a try; for example, if you do 15 push-ups every night before bed for 30 days, splurge on a pedicure.