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Janet White: No Longer Willing to Miss Out on the Fun

Fitness isn't all about body image; it can also have positive effects on mental well-being and family togetherness.

Janet White, 45, of Grass Valley, Calif., is on a spiritual, mental, and physical journey into fitness. Midway through her travels, she'd lost 62 pounds and 42 inches and shrunk from a size 30 to a size 20. I interviewed her on her progress.

Why did you decide to change? I got tired of being mad at my family because they were doing fun things and I couldn't join them. When I applied for a new job, I didn't like the size clothes I had to buy or the higher prices for larger sizes. Lastly, I was facing my 40th birthday.

Did you have any health concerns? Only the aches and pains from not moving much and from carrying extra weight.

Do you feel different? I have more energy. I feel better about myself and like myself more. Most importantly, instead of only taking care of others, I've learned to take care of myself as well.

What form does your exercise take? Walking and a basic movement exercise I do at home watching a DVD. I'm working to incorporate even more exercise into my life.

What changes did you make in eating? A really funny thing happened. I began to eat and began to lose weight. I follow a weight-loss program, and I am conscientious about attending meetings.

What keeps you from quitting? I promised myself I would never be as big and out of shape as I was. Friends and family (husband, Jim, and sons, Steve and Eric) support me, plus I have my Thursday weight-loss group. I have goals to reach, like backpacking and hiking 50 miles with my husband and sons. I've committed to a lifetime of fitness.

Janet is enjoying her adventure into fitness surrounded by her support team. Progress, not perfection, continues to be her goal.

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