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Real Women Reveal: "How Exercise Changed My Life"

Exercise often gets a bad rap as something you must endure to lose weight, but these readers prove that being active has great benefits in all aspects of our lives. Check out these amazing stories and you will be inspired to start your own fit revolution!

Alexandra Williams

"It has helped me to show my kids how rewarding and enjoyable a healthy lifestyle can be. And now for them that's the "norm" that's set in their minds." —Alexandra Williams of Fun and Fit

Lindsey Johnson

"When I was a sophomore in college, I was diagnosed with stomach problems. Then I joined the YMCA, and thanks to my increased activity, weight loss, and stress reduction, I don't need to take the medication anymore! Not to mention that it gave me a great group of girlfriends!" —Lindsey Johnson

Michelle Stilley

"Exercise got me pregnant! I was diagnosed with PCOS and tried different meds but after trying for years my husband and I eventually just gave up hope of having more kids. But once I started exercising and eating better, I lost 50 pounds and ended up pregnant. Baby is due in 4 months!" —Michelle Stilley

Quish Turner

"Now that I am much more active and I've lost a ton of weight, I am much more confident. And it has shown in my sex life. Let's just say my significant other is a very happy man!" —Quish Turner

Michelle Gay

"The thinner I got, ironically the more self-conscious I became because I fit into the 'normal' people world. When I was fat I could hide away. I still feel pressure, but I'm learning how to be my own person. Plus, I love that my pulse is super low and I can see muscles in my arms!" —Michelle Gay

Kevin Lynch

"Exercise keeps me sane! I notice a huge difference in my mood when I miss a racquetball session (my workout of choice)." —Kevin Lynch

Jen Embry

"Being active has drastically improved my depression. Running is like Xanax for me!" —Jen Embry

Janette Smith

"My sister dealt with an ugly divorce by training with a friend for a triathlon. One year later and 60+ pounds lighter, she is the athlete she was in high school again: coaching girls' volleyball, running races, and living life again. It's been an amazing transformation!" —Janette Smith

Justine Childs

"I can't say I lost a ton of weight, but more importantly,(to me) being active and going outside helped me love midwest winters and got me off my depression medicine. I am stronger, have more endurance, can run faster, and feel better about myself, even if I am not a size 4 or 6." —Justine Childs

Alyssa Zulueta

"My workout is my 'me' time, away from work, kids, all the everyday stuff that I get bogged down in. Plus, I get to ride bikes, roller skate, and climb on the playground equipment—with my kids, of course—without anyone looking at me funny!" —Alyssa Zulueta

Jess Hodgson

"It allowed me to get better faster during and after a bone-marrow transplant I needed to fight my Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer. Only 12 percent of transplant patients don't have to be readmitted due to infection, and I am that 12 percent! I have more energy and have stayed pretty healthy since. Most of the patients that are at my stage of recovery can barely run a mile at this point." —Jess Hodgson