Can you believe we are kissing another summer bye-bye? I just CANNOT believe how fast time flies! It frightens me!

The years they do go marching on! Like sands thru the hour glass, these are the days of our lives. Oh, sorry. I got carried away. But, I think you get the gist here. It's crazy. Just yesterday I was like 16 or something. Today, well, suffice it to say I've passed 16 more than twice and still don't feel a day past 20 in my head. Weird, eh?

I was going through some photos yesterday for the back cover of my new book (which will be available in hard copy as well as eBook format) and it hit me that I really needed to do a "before and after" clip for the back cover.

Then it hit me that I should do it for the newsletter for a couple of reasons.

One: You may not buy the book, so you may not see it.

Two: It would be a great newsletter.

Hence, therefore, and thusly, here it comes. First off, I want to say that I realize that many people who don't really know me or haven't known me long may not realize that I've had my battles with weight too. Just a few short years ago, I took a sit-down job doing medical transcription. One where I was typing for 10-12 hours a day, 6-7 days a week.

Yup. I could feel my butt growing daily. And it grew to the tune of 25 pounds above where I am now. While I still did cardio 4-5 times a week for up to an hour at a time, my energy adjustments just couldn't keep up with the changes that had taken place in my life.

To name a few: I was aging (ouch), I was post-hysterectomy, I went from a reasonably active job to typing for hours, I stopped strength training (I hate admitting that one most) and I was depressed (wonder why?). Did I mention maybe I began to eat a bit less conscientiously during that time also? Another big DUH! So, you do the math.

Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. I went from buff to puff in a couple of years and I wanted to move to a cave in Siberia and hide from everyone.

Guess what I did instead? I joined Anytime Fitness and I got my butt busy. Within weeks my body began to change and my attitude along with it. Funny thing, my depression took a hike and so did the sit-down job. Yeah!

I got my life back. But it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. That weight was very happy on my body, but it was making me miserable. I had to get very serious and be majorly committed to my goals in order to turn things around.

I am telling this story to let you know that I absolutely do understand how hard it is. I get what you are going through my brothers and sisters! And to prove it I am going to post my before and after picture here and now.

On the left is a before shot or a picture of me just before I quit the typing job and got back into strength training and fitness. And on the right is a recent shot for my book cover.

If I can do it, so can you. You've got to keep on keeping on! Never, never, never give up! I BELIEVE IN YOU!! I am sending positive thoughts of success and victory to all of you who are in this commitment with me! I love you and I do understand!

The Moral Of The Story:
Don't move to Siberia, just join a gym! If you are unhappy with your weight, there is hope. You can change your life through fitness. I am living proof.

I was physically sick in the before picture. I'll spare you the details but I felt awful all the time. I was sick and tired and horribly miserable with myself.

Now, I feel better than I ever have and people guess my age 15-20 years younger than my actual age. So take it from me, fitness is an attainable goal. Don't give up, just get busy. Got it? Okay then, see you at the gym!!

Well, for anyone who cares, I've pulled the book from my site and am making changes and improvements. I apologize for the false start, but was just a little too quick out of the gate for my own good. What can I say? It's my first time.

Hopefully, if all goes well, I am going to be re-releasing it in a few weeks and this time it will be available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com (among other dot com bookstores) as a POD (print on demand) hard copy book for those of you who want a book you can hug and squeeze and call George.

I, personally, do enjoy the "feel" of a real book over sitting at my computer and reading one. Therefore, I am in the process of doing all that's entailed to get the aforementioned changes in place and once they are, I will, again, announce the release of the said book.

It will also be available for purchase as a downloadable eBook. I know you are all on the edges of your seats, waiting, not able to rest until you've got your hands on a copy. NOT!!! However, for those of you who do want one, it won't be long and thanks for your patience. :)

This is the part of the newsletter where I will picture an exercise and give explicit instructions on its proper execution. This month’s exercise is one that will whip your bootie right into shape. It's called the triple threat. It is not for sissies. So if you think you are man or woman enough then find yourself a spot on the floor and do the triple threat with me, baby! It goes a little something like this:

Triple Threats
Primary muscle group worked: Glutes or Buttimus maximus. Secondary muscles worked: Total lower body.

Starting Position: Lay on the floor in the supine (face up) position. Place your feet on top of the Swiss ball as shown in the first picture on the left above.

Movement I: Keeping your knees locked in a slightly bent position, raise your hips so that your body is in a straight line (as shown in the 2nd pic from the left above), pause and squeeze your butt and slowly return to the start position. Do not allow the butt to touch the floor between reps. Repeat for 10 reps. But wait! No rest for the weary! You have to go right into the next phase...

Movement II: Immediately move into the second phase of the triple threat. For this you will pull the ball slightly towards your body by bending the knees (as shown in the 3rd pic from the left) and repeat the same move as in the first phase, raising the hips, pausing and squeezing the butt at the top (as shown in pic 4) whilst keeping the knees bent throughout. Do 10 in this position. But wait again! Still no rest for the weary! You have to go right into the last phase...

Movement III: Finally, you will finish with the third phase of the triple threat. To do this you will bring the ball as close to the body as possible (as shown in the 5th picture above). At this point you will raise the hips as high as you can, pause and squeeze at the top (pic 6) and repeat for 10 more.

Tips: Remember to not let the butt touch the floor between reps. Press arms into floor for leverage and balance as shown. You should be able to transition from position to position smoothly, sliding the ball towards you by bringing your feet closer to your butt for each phase.

I told you they weren't for sissies! These may take some practice, but don't give up. They are great for the drop-butt syndrome. Ya gotta love that!

That's about it for this month! Until the next issue, may the wind be at your back and improved health and vitality your new reality!

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please feel free to pay it forward to anyone you think would like it too. That is the best compliment you could ever pay me, and I appreciate it very, very much.

And don't forget to tell everybody about Straightforwardfitness.com where they can get all the free fitness info their heart desires and sign up for this newsletter while they are there.

From my heart to your health,

Linda Burke, CPT

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