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Reach Your Better Body Goal: Success Stories

See how a mix of muscles and moxie changed these readers' lives. Then get motivated to go for your next conquest.

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Tricia Singh running
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On Top of the World

"I had no hiking experience -- and hadn't been camping since Girl Scouts -- when I set out to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with my sister and dad last fall: It was his dream to reach the top with his girls. With help from our trusty guides and the stamina I'd built on practice hikes back home, it was mind over mountain. When the sunrise greeted us at the 19,000-foot summit, I could see glaciers on my left, craters on my right, and blue sky above. But best of all was seeing the smile on my dad's face."
--Tracey Coronado, 26, Arlington, Virginia

Bag a peak. At summitforsomeone.org, raise money to give an at-risk teen a peak experience through Big City Mountaineers. As a reward for your fund-raising, you get to scale a mountain with a guide and free gear.

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One Small Step, One Giant Leap

"After conquering an intellectual challenge -- earning a master's degree in marketing -- I signed up for a physical one: a four-day mountain hike in South America with my husband. I could have chosen Paris, but I've always admired people who set their sights high. This would be a feat, all right. Before, my idea of a trek was a day of shopping in heels. I credit my five-day-a-week yoga and Spinning regimen for helping me through it all."
--Jacqueline Berk Babb, 32, Chicago

Hit the Trail. REI Adventures offers three- to 19-day trekking trips around the world, starting at $555 (rei.com/adventures).

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Just Keep Going

"I did something I never thought I'd do: sign up for the Philadelphia Marathon. One year and 16 dress sizes ago, I had failed dozens of fitness classes and got winded walking up a flight of stairs. I finally found a class that stuck, and seven months later I was training for the 2010 MORE|FITNESS Women's Half-Marathon. I ran the whole race without stopping, counting to 32 at every hill -- a trick I learned in class to help take my mind off the pain. Now all I want to do is just keep going."
--Tricia Singh, 31, Queens Village, New York

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Mind, Body, Spirit

"For me, yoga is so much more than a way to get a great body. Ever since I started practicing and teaching it nine years ago, yoga has helped me stay calm and centered when things around me aren't in my control, like living with Lyme disease or losing my brother two years ago. My daily asanas give me strength."
--Karen Dubs, 41, Baltimore

Om at home. Roll out the mat in your living room with streaming classes at yogaglo.com ($18 per month for unlimited yoga).

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High-Energy

"My love of running grew, oddly enough, when I worked in refugee camps in Thailand after law school. To stay fit and sane in a crazy environment, I ran six miles along the Asian Highway every day for six months. I'm no pro athlete, but I've completed nine marathons so far thanks to the sheer thrill of the runner's high."
--Julie Ebenstein, 31, New York City

Lace up. Find running routes all over the world at run.com, or sign up for a 5K and beyond at active.com.

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Yes, I Can!

"When I was diagnosed with diabetes at age 11, I was told all about what I couldn't do. But a few years ago I decided 'I could' and started biking. Spinning wheels became my way of proving that I was in control -- not my diabetes. I've since made it my mission to ride in all 80 Tour de Cure races across the country."
--Courtney Benefiel, 29, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Ride for a remedy. Sign up for the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure cycling event (diabetes.org/tour).

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Never Too Late to Start

"I stepped into my first Pilates class when I was over 50. After being intimidated for so long by instructors with perfect bodies, I was fed up enough with how the years had affected my own to give it a try. Now I teach Pilates to exercisers age 50 and up, and I've never felt stronger."
--Susan Sommers, 57, New York City

Turn back the clock. Find Pilates classes or studios near you at spafinder.com.

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Taking Down Mental Boundaries

"Thinking 'I don't want to be fat' never got me to the gym. It was only when, at 200 pounds, I told myself 'I am thin' that I quit living by imaginary I-can't-do-that boundaries and began dropping pounds. Today I hike and take cardio classes like any other fit girl."
--Nitya Wakhlu, 29, Portland, Oregon

Have your own get-slim revelation while reading more inspiring "I Did It!" stories

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Looking Forward to Fitness

"To overcome a lifetime of obesity, I started dieting and running on a local high school track two years ago. As the miles increased, the weight came off. What first felt like something I had to do for my health and family became something I looked forward to. I'm up to three half-marathons and down 117 pounds."
--Teri Gerardiello, 39, White Hall, Arkansas

Yes, you can run a half-marathon! Check out our eight-week beginner's guide.

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Tri Something New

"I found myself two months away from my first triathlon with almost zero swimming skills. So I sprang for a one-hour session with a swim coach at my local gym and studied Total Immersion DVDs before hitting the pool three times a week. Crossing the finish line on race day is one of my proudest accomplishments."
--Cristina Goyanes, 29, Queens, New York

Wanna tri? Sign up for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training (teamintraining.org), which helps newbies get race-ready as they raise funds for charity.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2010.

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What do you think? Review this slideshow!

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dollkemp wrote:

She has worked incredibly hard. I know it may seem hard to believe what she accomplished in a year, but determination and support from friends and family will help you achieve your goals. I am so proud of her!

8/18/2013 03:52:07 PM Report Abuse
kwesimonyei wrote:

Thats good, i will like to try too

8/2/2012 04:56:24 PM Report Abuse
triciasingh1 wrote:

Thank you so much everyone! Healthy eating and exercise did the trick. I did another marathon this year as well. I took a local group fitness class called Body by Denise classes and ran.

11/30/2011 07:49:11 AM Report Abuse
lisahugo23 wrote:

This is amazing. Definitely footsteps to follow in. For all 26.2 miles.

9/6/2011 02:34:43 PM Report Abuse
lynelda wrote:

Seriously, what class was it?

8/11/2011 09:52:17 AM Report Abuse
nylovesme08 wrote:

WOW!! That's truly magnificent! I would love to do a mini triathlon and I keep finding myself drawn to articles that keep pushing me in the direction that I'm trying to go. Thank you

8/10/2011 01:50:51 PM Report Abuse
FitnessStrong69 wrote:

Congratulations on your weight loss, achieving a major goal, and just improving your health.

8/10/2011 01:11:34 PM Report Abuse
nasettles wrote:

Yeah, what class was it? Great motivation for me and I will definitely try the counting to 32 trick.

8/10/2011 11:12:31 AM Report Abuse
kimberlyzuniga wrote:

She lost 16 dress sizes and ran a marathon within a year? Wow!! I want some of that energy and determination. What is the secret?

6/9/2011 05:09:05 PM Report Abuse
tashatcameron wrote:

Awesome job! What class were you taking?

6/5/2011 05:56:26 PM Report Abuse

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