12/20/2012 08:14 am ET Updated Feb 19, 2013

Keep Moving!

I know it is hard to stay committed to any behavior change like exercising daily. I also know how much better you'll feel if you exercise, stay fit, and eat right. Not only will you feel more alert and have more energy, but you'll be healthier too -- and that's the ultimate goal!

Try to think of exercise as movement rather than a strict regimen. Make a list of some physical activities that you enjoy or would like to try, such as trail hiking, mountain biking, swimming, swing dancing, golf, and skiing. Guess what? Doing any of these things regularly will get you in shape.

In the meantime, do little things regularly to ensure that you reach your fitness goals. Take the stairs whenever you can, and when you're shopping, stroll the entire mall or shopping center at least once. Think about it. A 20-minute brisk walk around the entire mall burns up 150 calories. Do it twice! That is 300 calories, plus it is fun, and you get to window-shop and people-watch all at the same time. Be creative, find an exercise that you like, and do it.

Simply knowing how much better you will feel if you eat right and stay fit should be enough motivation. But if you need more motivation, consider taping pictures of your kids or grandkids to the bathroom mirror. Seeing these precious children and knowing you want to watch them grow up is great motivation to eat healthy and be active. Believe me, when you devote yourself to leading this lifestyle, you'll be healthier, happier, and more energetic. When you have those moments when you overeat, or days when you miss a workout, don't let it throw you off track. Return to your routine the very next day and keep up the good work.

Of course, there are days when I overeat and don't exercise. I'm not perfect! Come on ladies, I'm human, too. I don't go around eating carrot sticks and running hours every day. If I have a slip-up and eat a sugar cookie (or two!) I don't harbor guilt about it; I forgive myself and I get back on track the next day. Just don't let it go too many days without getting back on track. Go out there and work out, because it is the workout that will keep you going.

Adapted from Side Effect: Skinny, exclusively available for purchase at

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