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In Response to looking for encouragement by fballfan
I know what you are going through! My husband died 5 years ago and had a lot to handle after his death. I found that stress was/is the main factor in my weight gain (uncertainty, and dealing with post death issues, being alone, dealing with elderly parents issues, unemployed adult son) - I wanted to scream "leave me alone" and run away from it all and didnt have much help from my son through this period. So I started to do a lot of walking to clear my thoughts and just handle what I could. Also had a lot of "running" for my father's illness and so keeping busy and walking helped me to lose weight. Then my father died and I got a break but had other issues to handle. However, I didnt have so much "running" to do and the weight crept back up.
Recently I watched a video online of someone doing the hula hoop for exercise. I enjoyed watching it and decided to go out and get a hula hoop. It is easy to do and if you learn the right technique you can do it as long as you want to strengthen and reduce the core area (muffin tops), thighs and butt. Do it in front of your mirror and have fun! And no gym membership fees!