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It went a little something like this: Get into a steady, healthy relationship.  Gym! Hikes! Beach! Long walks! Love! Kisses! Happy happy joy joy!  It was during this time I was at the peak of my fitness.

But, then colder weather came.  No more hikes.  No more beach.  Boredom ensued.  More time on the couch.  Netflix! X-Files! Mad Men! Cookies! Cake! 1 pound, 2 pound, 3 pound, 4.

Then, the relationship went south.  Break up befell us.  Then I was on my sister’s couch.  Crying! Wine! Cookies! Ice Cream! Sweatpants!  5 pound, 6 pound, 7 pound, floor.

It was then that I decided I’d had about enough self-pity and that watching Friends and Sex in the City DVDs all day wasn’t exactly going to get me back to my fighting weight.  I was a living, breathing cliche of post-breakup supporting characters in movies like “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.”  Why should I be settling for the body of the tragic best friend, when I should be the leading lady in my life?

I started scanning Pinterest like a mad woman trying to find my motivation for getting fit again.  I created the Operation Skinny Natalie pin board.  Once I had had enough of staring at tight, fit bodies, I logged on to my inactive 24 Hour Fitness account and reactivated it.

Now, after near daily visits to the gym and strictly healthy meals, I’m about 6 Lbs leaner, and about a TON happier.  Exercise for me provides a clear mind, as well as a healthy body.  With still a few pounds left to go, I keep in mind the wise words of Gwyneth Paltrow:

I still have some rough days- when a maple donut sounds better than my usual banana-and-hard-boiled-egg breakfast, or I just flat out do not want to go to the gym.  Whenever that happens, I take a look at the below picture and remember, Lu doesn’t exactly maintain that body without serious commitment and discipline.

I’m also obsessed with the free workout videos on FitSugar (like this one: Minka Kelly Ab Workout).  I try to watch at least one 2-3 minute video before I hit the gym, and then try to work that exercise into that day’s routine.

Have you ever had a ‘fat phase’ or even just a slump in your fitness routine?  What helped get you back on track?