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Fat 2 Fit: Susan Michalski: An Uplifting Story

When this busy mom found herself constantly short on time to take care of her health, she thought up strategies to make better use of the time she had. She got organized, stuck to her priorities, and reserved time in her day for the must-do activities, like exercise.

Raising three children and working full time at several jobs, Susan Michalski, of Grass Valley, Calif., didn't find it easy to squeeze in visits to the gym. Only by making it a priority (getting up at 3 a.m. and working out until 6 a.m.) was Susan able to succeed beyond her wildest dreams.

After joining a women's power-lifting team at 55, Susan won international competitions in squat, dead lift, and bench press, along with state and regional awards in Nevada and California. Instead of feeling fat and bad about herself for being overweight, she emerged confident with solid self-esteem.

Susan, now 71, continues to do cardio exercises, body sculpting, Pilates, and yoga. She lifts weights and walks daily. She's also an avid snow skier and hiker. As a printmaker and working artist, Susan has "creatively responded to her body and its needs," she related, and she likes being an example to others.

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