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How to beat the 'too's' and get the fat off

Losing excess weight begins with moderate exercise and a better diet.

It’s 2015, and The Fat Nag is back, with a story on how to beat the “too’s.” That’s the endless stream of excuses that keeps us from getting the fat off.OPINION

It’s too early. It’s too late. Too hard. Too boring. Too much to do. The food is too good.Yet too many of us suffer from obesity, and its related ills.Margaret G. and Solomon A. Murray are Chicago South Siders who are tackling the too’s. Since June 2012, Margie has lost 64 pounds. Solomon has knocked off 76.The Murrays are a striving couple in their 40s, with three children, a house and busy jobs. They can’t borrow Oprah’s personal chef. Their way to healthy fitness is simple, and inspiring.“The formula is really easy,” Margie declared recently. “Eat more of the better things, and less of the bad things, and move,” she said with a laugh.We met at their regular stop, the South Side YMCA at 63rd Street and Stony Island Avenue.In June 2012, Margie recalled, she was planning for her sorority homecoming. She did not want to take her 235 pounds with her.A friend suggested she could lose 20 or 30 pounds by October.“And something about the way she said it to me, I just believed her,” Margie says. “And the very next morning, I got up, and I started walking.”First, daily, hourlong walks around Jesse Owens Park, near her home. Then, she bought a “one month special” Groupon for dance classes. “Between doing the walking and doing the Zumba and West African dance two, three, times a week, the weight started coming off.”She kept moving. Winter came. She fought with her husband on who would go outside and shovel the snow.Solomon, 47, chuckles now, but back then, he was working three jobs, ignoring his heath, and weighed 240 lbs.Did Margie inspire you? “That has a little bit to do with it, you know,” he said. “You know, I can’t well, I can’t, you’re not going to make me look, make me look …”Margie finished his sentence. “Bad?” More laughter.They are having fun, and inspiring others. Margie gets her fat off very publicly, sharing reams of low-cal recipes, dance tips, and weighty wisdom on Facebook and Instagram.Friends and strangers show up at the dance class she teaches, join her for walks in the park, and send her digital thank you’s.A sorority sister “in-boxed” her one day. “She said, ‘I’m so despondent, I don’t know what to do. This is the biggest I’ve ever been in my life. I don’t know what to do.’ ”Margie told her, “If you get up tomorrow morning, I will walk with you tomorrow morning. . . . And we got up, and we walked.”The power of social media is “amazing,” she added. “To know somebody’s watching you, you are having a positive influence on people. It’s a snowball effect. It really is. You’re paying it forward.”Are you captive to the “too’s? Have you already broken the resolution?Take it from the Murrays. Start with a walk in the park. Join the Y. Have fun. Broil the chicken, don’t fry.Margie is just a click away. Her Facebook page posits: “Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.”