Sunday, 10 April 2016

6 Ways to Get Your Fitness Motivation Back #notlambFIT Update No.3

6 Ways to Get Your Fitness Motivation Back on Track | Not Dressed As Lamb
Ohhhh... This is going to be a tough post to write. What was meant to be a positive summary of my progress is now going to be a pep talk to myself! I'll explain...

So we had Easter, and of course the inevitable happened - too much eating generally, large portions, tasty puddings and of course chocolate. We had a couple of family birthdays too, so there was also birthday cake, and yet more puddings. I have no excuse, but a long weekend of too much celebration and not enough exercise turned into about 7-10 days of falling off the fitness wagon almost entirely.

YOU HAVE TO GET RIGHT BACK UP, DUST YOURSELF OFF AND CLIMB BACK ON BOARD AGAIN, AND THAT'S WHAT I'M DOING HERE.

But luckily not enough to give up altogether, which is all too easy to do. I was still clinging by my fingernails to the back of that wagon (otherwise known as a strong desire to get fit), thank goodness. You have to get right back up, dust yourself off and climb back on board again, and that's what I'm doing here.

I need to find new ways of finding my motivation again; whilst being somewhat inactive and being on social media (and the sofa!) more hasn't been such a good thing for this process, it has at least given me the chance to re-evaluate my goals and think about how I'm going to achieve them.

This week I read the most fantastically inspiring post How I Lost Weight Without Dieting by the wonderful Michelle of The Barefaced Chic. As well as the post being a very entertaining read, this is the story of a (then) 49-year-old woman who decided to get her health in order - the before and after pictures speak for themselves. Her advice is incredibly sensible and straightforward, and the fact that she looks 20 years younger is a testament to that sensible approach. (I've met her in real life too and she really doesn't look a day over 35.)

As I haven't actually weighed myself for the last two weeks (I know I'm not losing weight because my trousers are still just as tight), I'm going to assume I'm still the same weight, and maybe even a few pounds heavier. I'm more lethargic than I was at the beginning of my #notlambFIT journey too so that's another thing that hasn't changed that should have.

Firstly, I'm changing my target date that I originally set at May 1st to a more realistic date of July 23rd. There are two reasons for this:

  1. I am not under so much pressure to be at my target weight in what is now less than a month.
  2. It's the date that my husband has also set as the date that he wants to reach his target weight by. It's also my birthday, so it's a memorable date that we both know we're working towards.

So this is my new goal from today: 

15 weeks, 15lbs.


[Update 11/04/2016: Please remember not to judge how much I want to lose on how you think I look - I am still receiving comments that mention how I don't 'look' like I need to lose 15lbs... This is my journey back to FITNESS, and we're not able to tell how fit someone is by judging how they look. Read: Health cannot be determined by what you see on the outside.]

That's only 1lb weight loss a week: I feel positive about it being perfectly achievable. I'll still only weigh myself once every two weeks, and I'll take more notice of how tight my trousers are - and how I feel. There are some new rules that I'm setting myself in order to get out of a rut and get my mojo back. Maybe some of these will help you if you're in a similar rut - this is my NEW way of thinking about this...!

My six rules for getting my fitness motivation back are:


1. Sleep is going to be my number one priority

For too many years I have sacrificed how much sleep I get in order to do "just a bit more work". Although I am self-employed as a blogger and I don't (and can't) stick to traditional working hours, it's essential to my health that I make rest and sleep my number one priority, even if I think I'm not getting enough work done. By being so tired every day, I'm not working efficiently anyway so working late isn't actually helping me.

6 Ways to Get Your Fitness Motivation Back on Track | Not Dressed As Lamb

2. I have to get my working space – and house – in order.

The old adage of "tidy house, tidy mind" is so true… Again, I'm going to blame it on blogging, but all too often I'm working surrounded by my own mess. I do too many things in a rush, like photographs of Instagram flatlays or trying to find an outfit to wear and I end up leaving everything in a mess in order to get a post written on time or meet some sort of deadline. I know for a fact that if I get the house in order, I will feel a thousand times better and therefore be able to work more efficiently. I've bought Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, the irony is I've not found the time to read it... It would be even more ironic if I'd lost it amongst the mess, but it's an e-book on my Kindle app so no more excuses!


3. I have to make myself far more accountable for what I'm consuming on a daily basis.

I think I'll go back to the method I was using a few years ago which was to track all my calories and nutrition with a fitness app (I like My Fitness Pal). I think it will shock me into realising that I'm probably still consuming too much. The app will also tell me when I've reached maximum daily limits for things like fat and sugar, the latter of which I'm pretty sure I need to cut down on. Which brings me onto...


4. I am going to try cutting out sugar entirely from my diet.

Or until my target date, at least. I've read a lot about how people feel so much better after cutting out sugar that I'd really like to give it a try. What could be better than feeling (and looking) amazing? I love reading tweets by @iquitsugar, and with 25.5k followers on Twitter Sarah Wilson must be doing something right - I want to know what she knows, and to feel the way she feels (i.e. amazing for having cut it out).


5. I will go back to writing meal plans for the week.

And making more food in bulk in advance and preparing it for the week ahead. I can prepare plenty of snacks in advance to chomp on in the week to stop me eating too many sweet things: Carrot, celery and cucumber sticks, sugarsnap peas, broccoli, etc. all make good snacks that stop me reaching for too much dried fruit or nuts. While the latter are good for you and high in essential fats, I am prone to gorging myself on them and the calorific content becomes a problem in those sorts of quantities.


6. I will schedule my daily tasks more thoroughly, and every day.

I know that by not using my time efficiently during the day for my work, I'm often behind at the end of the day when I should be exercising*. Therefore having a full day where I've got a lot of work done means I will be in a better frame of mind to want to work out when the early evening rolls around. Liz of What Lizzy Loves wrote a great post this week about How to Do it All and Stay Sane: Time Management and Self-Care, which perfectly sums up what I need to do... Time management is key here.

*I'm an exercising-in-the-evening type of person - I just can't do early workouts. I do go for a brisk walk every morning though to wake myself up, and an evening workout forces me to stop working past the standard 9-5 office hours... It's what suits me.


Positivity is key

As you have probably gathered, there seems to be a common theme of how I need to sort out other things in my life in order to feel more positive about my diet and exercise. I've written before about how you need to get your mind in the right place before any changes happen physically, and without the right attitude nothing will change.

For the next two weeks until the next #notlambFIT update, the six things above are what I'm going to concentrate on. Luckily my husband feels exactly the same way and having a supportive partner, friend or family member can often be crucial in the way your journey back to fitness progresses.

HAVING A SUPPORTIVE PARTNER, FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER CAN OFTEN BE CRUCIAL IN THE WAY YOUR JOURNEY BACK TO FITNESS PROGRESSES. YOU NEED SOMEONE WHO'LL SUPPORT YOU 100% OF THE WAY.

You need the encouragement from someone who either wishes to make the same changes that you wish to make, or someone who'll simply support you 100% of the way.

Although this isn't the stage at which I'd intended to be at this point, I think it's important to be honest about my personal progress so that you can see that I too am having the same struggle with getting fit that many people have... The important point is that we shouldn't give up, our long-term health and fitness is far too important!

I know for a fact that being positive - PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) - is the beginning of a journey like this. Your body can't respond positively to making positive changes unless you're mentally in a good place.

So I hope to have a more positive update for you in two weeks' time :)

DID EASTER AFFECT YOUR PROGRESS, OR DID YOU MANAGE TO STAY AWAY FROM THE CHOCOLATE?! COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!


Catherine

P.S. LIKE THIS POST? YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT TO READ AND PIN 7 WHEAT-FREE, HIGH PROTEIN & HEALTHY BREAKFAST RECIPES!

Linking up to: Let It Shine, Fitness TuesdayBrilliant Blog PostsFriday's Fab Favourites
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38 comments

  1. I hear you loud and clear Catherine!
    I am lying here (back under the duvet after getting showered) on my computer.
    Cup of tea and a selection of biscuits by my side.
    A lazy lump....Motivation is at 0%. I have eaten my entire body weight in chocolate and although I don't really put on weight (maybe a couple of pounds) I am still feeling sluggish, tired, headachey and generally bleugh.
    Time for a motivational kick up the bum!
    It is not easy though, is it?
    I have LOTS of great ideas but never seem to make the time.
    Not diet related, but to do with being more active. I think about going for a run, or walking the dog more, or taking a pilates class. Thinking about it is all very nice but actually DOING it is a little more difficult.
    Even though I know that once you start it is addictive, positive, energising and generally brilliant!
    Curses to my current laziness.
    XXX
    Samantha

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    1. Motivation is really difficult to find, Samantha - even harder to keep a hold of, especially when the duvet is calling!! ;)) I find walking is always the best thing to start off with, it sets me up for feeling like I've moved a lot... you then want to move more.

      Just get started, I'm with you!! x

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  2. Something I find helps a lot is to have consistency goals rather than target goals. So, for instance, I know what I need to do to loose weight, so instead of saying I will loose a stone by a particular date, I set a goal to eat well consistently for a month, and then I get what weight loss I get. Sometimes you can't force your body to loose weight, run more quickly, or for longer, but you can make decisions which keep positive actions which will get you to your goal at some point. It may be before or after you expect, but you will get there.

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    1. Helen that's a really great way to look at it... A bit like forming habits, isn't it. I find routine plays a bit part in my motivation - it's hard when you're self employed!!

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  3. Positivity is indeed the key - I think you look ravishing right now, but you have to feel it. I've never tried eliminating sugar, I look forward to your posts about it. xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. It's definitely all about the feeling it, Patti - and I don't feel it at the moment. Sleep is my biggest downfall, sugar too. I'm hoping changing these two things will be a key factor in getting this thing happening!!

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  4. Catherine, I hear ya! Years of working full-time at a desk job and then caring for a special needs child (now young adult) after work and on weekends have taken a toll on my fitness. I lost about 15 pounds a little over three years ago, and a a few of them (not many, but on my 5'1" frame, they show) have crept back. But I'm also concerned about the health and mobility effects from lack of exercise beyond a daily walk, and I need to do some work on core strengthening and toning. I'm making some big changes in the near future that will free up some time, and my top priority is eating better and getting on a workout schedule. I think your plan to eliminate sugar is a good one and I'll be following suit; not only does it usually help me shed a few pounds but I have more energy and don't get hungry every 3 hours.

    I also like what Helen said above about consistency goals rather than target goals.

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    1. It was a good tip, wasn't it Susan? Like you said you do, I rarely slack off on the walking but a proper strengthening workout is what I can't manage when I haven't had enough sleep. My goal is to be full of energy, and sleep derivation and excess sugar in my diet are the two main culprits!!

      Glad to hear you're making changes too - good luck x

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  5. Oh I can really relate to this! Blog and everything else is on the back burner. Or get everything done and not enough time to concentrate on blogging.I am yet to find a balance. As for dieting 15lb ? No way do you look like you need to loose that much. Be happy that you can eat whatever you wish, just balance it out. You would hate to live by my diet, it's boring and horrendous at times.All this came about from when I was a silly young girl who got anorexia. I sure got what I wished for.

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    1. I mentioned about looking at someone and saying they don't "look" like they need to lose Xlbs in a previous #notlambFIT post, Laurie... Unfortunately that doesn't determine how healthy a person is (or not)! Don't forget you're only going by what you see in my outfit posts, and I of course choose the photos with the most flattering angles. The fact is I know that when I sleep well, eat sensibly and get back into fitness, my weight comes down to about that much - it's nothing to do with how I look, I'm just that weight when I'm healthy. This current size/shape/weight is unhealthy for ME, I'm not comparing myself to anyone else!

      I used to be a lot, lot lighter than even me now minus the 15lb, so for me (a naturally skinny, small boned person) my target weight is healthy for me. You can't judge health by looking at photos...! xx

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  6. Catherine, you don't look like you need to lose 15lb because I think you look wonderful and healthy. However, I do think you're so sensible by not getting weighed more frequently than every fortnight. I also think 15lbs in 15 weeks is realistic and much more likely to keep it off. Perfect that you'll have the comraderie and support of Keith. Good luck to you both. Thank you so much for linking to my post. I think many of us need more hours in the day but we also must remember to switch off and rest our minds. Easier said than done. Lots of love to you my gorgeous friend xxxxxxx Liz, www.whatlizzyloves.com

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    1. Thanks Liz - the trouble is I may *look* healthy to other people but I'm not!! Like I mentioned to Laurie above, I just know that the weight I am when I'm healthy comes down to about 15lbs less than I am now. I do so many unhealthy things (too little sleep, too much sugar, too little exercise) that I know I have to sort out! And yes, thank goodness for Keith ;)) xx

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  7. Catherine I am so with you, your post along with Liz from What Lizzy Loves has struck a chord. I have been well and truly off track for about 18 months and feel terrible, clothes are tight or just too small, I am lethargic and don't feel fit and strong like I did.... All my own fault...I need to lose about 20lbs so will be journeying with you :-), Thanks for a great post xxx

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    1. Kareema it's my pleasure, glad to have you on board! As this series/journey is all about health and fitness (i.e. not just "getting a beach body"), you have described the sorts of things that highlight the fact that you want and need to get yourself fit and healthy, not because you've seen XXX celebrity in a bikini and you want to look like her.

      Good luck, we can do this! thanks sweetie x

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  8. I'm in the same place as you and it helps so much to hear your honest thoughts! Thank you! By the way you look fabulous! But I understand wanting to feel fit and healthy! Peace! Cheryl

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    1. Thank you Cheryl - yes this journey is all about my long term health and wanting to feel fantastic :))

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  9. Well done. I really recommend "time management for manic mums", it is a really approachable read for anyone who is trying to manage their most precious asset, time. There are lots of useful and practical tips for just getting stuff done, explanations of " time leaks" etc, ahem yes, guilty there! I actually lost Marie kondo's book (under all themess, oh dear) but thankfully found it and it was really helpful too..... Good luck, you will get there! I think it is often a case of drawing lines in the sand and saying "I'm giving myself 20 minutes to complete this task" in order to put the wind up ourselves! X

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    1. Haha I love the irony of you *actually* losing Marie Kondo's book amongst your mess, Sonya... I wonder how many other people have done that?! I don't know the book you recommend, I shall check it out - thanks for the tip! My trouble is I can't use the excuse of having a family, I don't have kids, just a very domesticated husband!!

      I've also heard that 20mins for a task thing as well - it's a brilliant use of time and have done it before but must utilise it again. Thank you for your comments! x

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  10. Oh Catherine, you look absolutely beautiful as you are, but I do get that weight is a personal thing. Just because we look OK to others, doesn't mean that we are OK as far as our health and the way we feel about ourselves goes. I think you have a very sensible approach to weight loss, and I know you will do it!!
    Thank you so much for incorporating my weight loss story in to this post. As you know, it was a bit of a journey for me and I wasn't sure whether to share it or not. I'm so glad I did!
    Stay happy and stay positive my lovely lady.
    Michelle xxx
    http://www.thebarfacedchic.co.uk

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    1. Michelle it was my pleasure to include your post - it was absolutely flippin BRILLIANT!! You such an inspiration, and if you can do it at 49 then I can do it at 44. I don't want the way I look to change drastically, but I do want to feel better...! Thank you my lovely x

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  11. Hi Catherine, I'm in the same place as you. Having put weight on at Christmas I still haven't shaken it all off but I'm working hard at it. I'm going to give you a counterpoint to your plan though. If you're going to use MyFitnessPal or similar to track your weight it would be worth having digital scales like Withings that link up to it and weighing yourself daily. I looked at my read out online this morning and could see exactly which food last week caused my weight loss to slow down (actually it was the Prosecco afternoon with my friend - no surprise there)! However the week before showed me clearly that bread alone has a huge effect so I'm cutting it out. Just a thought - 15lb seems like a lot for you to lose, you honestly don't look as though you need to lose anything like that amount but as Michelle said, it's personal. Good luck, we'll all get there in the end xxx

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    1. Thanks Nikki - I do have digital scales but they don't link up to anything... I have tried weighing myself daily in the past and I found it had a negative effect on my mindset. Some days you go up a bit and that made me so cross, especially if you've worked out like a maniac the day before! I'll stick with every fortnight - that way it should also "disguise" any weight fluctuations that you inevitably get once a month. Boo to them, but hooray to us for getting ourselves back on track!! x

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  12. I was 'lucky' not to have been given any (much) chocolate this Easter - just a little box of After Eight sticks which I gobbled up quite quickly (there weren't that many in the box anyway lol) but other than that I've been pretty good. Having said, we've been out to dinner a lot lately and although I often manage to give dessert a miss, it's the wine that's my downfall! I know it has crazy calories in it so I'm trying to be 'good' now. As for exercise, I'm still keeping up with my yoga five times a week, although I really need to do something a bit more aerobic to get the heart pumping. I hate running though and I'm not much a fitness class sort of person either. I'll find something, I'm sure! (I hope!).
    Suzy xx
    www.suzyturner.com

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    1. Going out to dinner is evil, isn't Suzy?! I don't drink so I'm okay there - my problem is the starters (hmm I love bread) and puddings. Can't resist them. Yoga five times a week sounds amazing - well done you! Thanks for your input, always good to hear what others are doing x

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  13. Great post! Holidays always throw us a curve ball don't they. I actually have great progress to report from my last comment on this subject. I have been following a low carb/no sugar diet the past two weeks and I've lost a substantial amount of weight. There's hope for me yet!

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    1. Wow Amy WELL DONE!!! No sugar really does sound like the way to go - I shall remember that. Keep it up! x

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  14. This is so inspiring darling, I have literally put on 10 lbs over three months with an ill family member and so much stress I jump ate and ate but I need to lose it, primarily for health reasons and to feel good but because I miss the majority of my wardrobe, mostly jeans and fitted trousers as the dresses mostly all fit. I hate how I look right but I'm determined to lose weight. I tend to be able to lose weight quickly when I tend to stick to a low, not no carb! Thanks for this, sorting my house out at the moment too x

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    1. Aww Vicki we feel each other's pain!! The house mess is a major thing for me - I HAVE to start feeling better about the environment I spend most of my time in... I can't go the office every day and get away from it! I miss my wardrobe too - putting on weight affects so many things, and all that negativity breeds apathy about doing anything about it I find. One thing at a time - we can do this together sweetie! x

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  15. Good on you for getting back on track! I have been rock solid with staying on track lately and I find the persistence has lots of mental rewards as well as physical. You can do this! Tracking food is the only thing that has worked for me as well. Let me know if you want a mfp friend :-)

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    1. Thanks Sarah - I haven't yet set up MFP, I think I had it on my old phone. I'll come back to you when I do! Good for you with your progress, always great to hear others doing well as it gives you such I boost I find. Keep it up!!!!!! x

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  16. I have similar goals, Catherine and my weight has been going up and down too. Easter clearly didn't help. And it's so difficult to stick to ones fitness plans with the busy life we have.
    Hope we'll both succeed :-)
    Steffi xx

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    1. Easter always comes at the wrong time, doesn't it Steffi?? I find just as you get yourself back on track after Christmas BOOM - chocolate city!! ;) Let's stick together, lots of encouragement both ways and we can do it! x

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  17. I don't focus on weight more on how things fit. I am back to clean eating, after slacking for 2 months, and feel better already. I have also cut the booze out which always means that I drink more water (perrier in a wine glass throughout the evening.) This doesn't mean to say that I won't drink I just drink less. After many years I now understand that sugar is the enemy. I have a sweet tooth so satisfy it with a little honey and maple syrup and this works just fine. I make my own nutella too which I feed to the little one and use as a dip for when I eat apples. It is easier than you think to cut out processed sugar. Good luck and don't worry too much about what the scales say, especially if you are working out as well. H xx

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    1. Thanks H - the sugar thing is definitely the way to go I think!

      The scales work for me - I know my body well and know that *that* is my weight when I'm at my healthiest. If I don't have a goal to work towards (with anything in life) I veer off course very easily - just my competitive personality I guess! I'm one of those people that needs to be pushed to get anything done, but if I know there's something to "beat" then I work bloody hard to get it and/or beat it. So it's not a worrying about the scales thing, more like a finish line I'm striving for...! It works for me in all areas of my life ;))

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  18. It's so hard but you're doing the right thing. You've set a much more achievable goal so you can allow for a few treats without depriving yourself. After my last pregnancy I had over 20kg to lose and I lost it steadily over 9 months (before getting pregnant again!) For me the key was meal planning and prepping healthy snacks and lunch on a morning so I wouldn't be able to change my mind later in the day.

    Also interval training - running/walking on/off for 20 minutes, combined with resistance training a few times a week are what I swear by.

    Baby no.2 is due next week and I have gained 15kg this time - I'll be starting the health kick 2 months later, giving my body time to adjust first. And like you say, sleep is key so there's no point starting with a newborn :-)

    Good luck getting your mojo back xx

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    1. Wow Ruth that's a lot of hard work to get baby weight off - well done you!! At least this time around you know what to expect. Resistance training is a good one too, I try to do that minimum three times a week too, if not more. Thank you and good luck with the baby, remember to look after yourself as much as you do the wee one! x

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  19. What a brilliant article! Such great, practical tips. Thanks Catherine!

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  20. Great tips.. As fitness lover I would always love to read this type of blogs.. Thanks for sharing :-)
    With love XtremeNo muscle builder

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