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Weight Loss Challenge Week 4: Finding Time to Exercise

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Blogger Mandy Dawson, a mom of two kids, has made it her mission to get healthy and lose 50 pounds. Over the next eight weeks, she'll be working with wellness guru Debi Silber to get on the right track to meeting her fitness goals. Check back every Thursday for an update on how she's doing in our Weight Loss Challenge series.

"I think it's time we move on to exercise," Debi said after we spoke for a few moments about the highs and lows of the previous week. I fought the urge to cry "Dear God, no!" and instead nodded, as if she could see me from 3,000 miles away.

My initial reaction, of course, came from the frustrations I've had over the last year in finding time to exercise. I work full-time and have an hour-long commute. I'm a single mom who spends the two-and-a-half hours after work and before bedtime wrangling children, helping with homework, preparing dinner, and cleaning the mess that somehow appears even with no one is at home for the majority of the day. After my kids are in bed, I sit down to write. Novels, it appears, do not just plop out of one's head and onto the page.

While I try to walk three miles on my lunch break several times a week, I'll be the first to admit I spend most of my breaks running errands. On the two nights that my kids are at their dad's house, I tend to collapse in a pile on the couch and stare blankly at the TV.

And here's the other thing: I don't particularly care to exercise. Sure, I love hiking and playing tennis and kayaking, but every day? It's brutal, and, much like getting my teeth cleaned, something I put off as long as possible.

Still, I've committed to this plan with Debi — who is, after all, a wellness expert. I told her I'd find ways to work out every day and even wrote down her treadmill program. While I did keep my promise, working out to online videos, I'm afraid I never stepped foot on the treadmill; it's been collecting dust in my garage for the last couple of months. I don't exactly hate running, but to say it's enjoyable or even fun would be to say standing in line at the DMV while What Does the Fox Say plays on repeat for four hours is enjoyable or fun.

Are you understanding exercise might be my biggest challenge in this challenge?

Despite my aversion to working out, I'm proud to say I exercised every day this past week, even if I did a few of the videos at 10 at night. And while I didn't do the interval treadmill program, I did get my heart rate up, sweat, and do more lunges than I previously thought humanly possible.

I'm even more proud that at the end of the first month, I'm down six pounds. It's slow going, but still faster than usual. I keep in mind that at my current rate, I'll be able to meet my goal weight in less than eight more months. It seems fitting that it would take nine months to birth my new body.