I vowed on my birthday in April that I was going to be 10 pounds lighter by "Bikini Season."  It's now June...and I'm not a pound lighter!  What can I say?!  Story of my life!  So...it's time to get cracking.  

First up: exercise.  It's summertime, so it's a great time to exercise outside.  I recently signed up for my first 10K to get motivated.  Just $45 will instill four months of fear before the race date to get me off the couch and running in preparation.  If running isn't your thing, or to mix it up, grab a friend or loved one and take a walk around your neighborhood, city, or a local park.  Try hitting a new park or town every so often to keep it interesting.  And the more hills...the better the workout. 

Enjoy biking?  Pick up a bike without breaking the bank by checking local classified ads in the paper or on websites like Craigslist.com.  Then, head to a local trail to tone those legs and glutes...and enjoy the outdoors.  You can find trails (for biking OR hiking if that's more your speed) by looking into your state or city government website or by checking the American Trails website at AmericanTrails.org. 

You can do plenty of exercise right from home too.  Enjoy workout videos?  Rather than buying them, why not check out a few from the library.  You can make sure you enjoy the video and check out new ones every few weeks to change things up and keep challenging new muscles.  If you have cable, check out Fit TV.  Buy a jump rope for a few dollars and you can have one of the best workouts out there; jumping rope can burn up to 1000 calories per hour, making it one of the most efficient workouts possible.  Crunches, lunges, squats, pushups and dips are all free-- and very effective! 

Take advantage of resources in your county too.  On hot days, if you aren't lucky enough to live near water, check into county resources, like Parks and Recreation, to see if there are swimming pools in your area.  Play tennis or run around the track at a local high school.   Or, join a club or league for a sport that you love.  I just signed up for a field hockey team in my county.  For $70, I'll play games twice a week at local parks all summer.  Opportunities like this are a great way to meet new people, have fun playing sports, and have a set time when you are expected to show up...always a good way to stay motivated and stick to your exercise goals! 

Next up...the other part of losing weight: eating healthy.