Vallerie H.
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September 2006

Before
After

My story of change begins about two years ago. I have always been on the thin side naturally. I was not in shape, just naturally thin. I got married at 19 and over the next 24 years, I gave birth to nine children. For most of this time, I really didn't notice too much change in my body. When my last child was two, I turned 40. I began to be less active, and started enjoying good food more. I didn't really pay attention to the fact that I was putting on weight and sitting on my rear end most of the day. When it came to buying new clothes, I HATED it. I never had trouble finding something I liked all these years. Now it seemed I could find nothing I liked, because I didn't look good in anything. I had the dreaded "muffin top" over my pants. I started finding ways to buy clothes to "cover up" my body. I justified all this because, after all, I was 40 and I had given birth to nine children.

The summer of 2003, my oldest daughter invited us to a hike up the mountain. I had never done this before, but thought that would be a fun thing to do. I nearly died! I had to be pushed and pulled up that mountain. My leg muscles were trembling coming down, and I could hardly keep from falling. It was at this point that I really had to be honest with myself—I was out of shape. I had put on pounds that made me look dumpy. THIS was not who I was or am. I decided to start working out, but I had no idea what to do. I bought a stationary bicycle and started doing crunches. I did this for a year. In all honesty, I think it did me some good, but NOTHING that I could see physically. It wasn't taking me where I wanted to go.

My oldest daughter has always been into fitness. Over the years she has brought home many workout videos, which I have tried. Most of them I just did not like. They had too many dance steps, and I felt like I was spending more time trying to get the move right than anything. In November 2005, she came for a visit and brought her newest workout video, Slim in 6. She wanted me to give it a try. So I did. It was great. It was the first video workout that I really enjoyed. I decided to get my own video and really work with it. Since I had no idea about calories, I also began to study food nutrition. I kept a careful record of what I ate, and what I did for a workout. The hardest part about the whole program was taking that "before" picture. There were no "carefully chosen" clothes in which to disguise myself. I began working the program. I remember a line Debbie uses in the video: "Come on, it's worth it when you have to go to the store and buy a size lower." I began to watch my clothes start to hang on me. I could put on a skirt and have it fall off. It was SO worth it to have to go to the store and buy a size (or sizes) lower. THIS was the real me. The person I grew up as. Another surprise . . . not only was I back to being thin again, but even better—I have muscle. At 43, I feel better and more in shape than I ever have in my life.

I love Beachbody and Debbie Siebers for giving me a better life than I had before. I am inspired to keep up the active lifestyle now, watch what I eat, and be healthy. I do a daily Burn It Up! with Slim in 6. This summer I plan to take on that mountain hike again, but not die doing it.

Thanks so much,

Vallerie H.

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