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Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Dear Abby

Aries (March 21-April 19): Your home should be a refuge, and yet you spend an aw­ful lot of time tip­toe­ing around peo­ple and cir­cum­stances re­lat­ing to the do­mes­tic lately. That’s not peace­ful! Make a move to im­prove this before it spoils your well-be­ing. Taurus (April 20-May 20): Don’t hold on to se­crets or shame out of fear of be­ing judged. Half the time peo­ple are so into their own dra­mas that they could care less about yours. Tell, don’t tell — that doesn’t mat­ter. But in your own mind, let it go and be free. Gemini (May 21-June 21): What’s in the stars for you now is a love as pure and all-con­sum­ing as a mother’s love for a child, only not from your mother and not for the child­ish part of you. This is a full-grown af­fec­tion. Can­cer (June 22-July 22): To join an­other per­son’s world re­quires you to leave your own for a lit­tle while. Do you find this scary or ad­ven­tur­ous? Prob­a­bly both to­day, though you might be calmed by your ac­com­pa­ni­ment. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): When you’re in that bub­bly, break-the-ice kind of mood you’re li­able to say the things that bring peo­ple to­gether, make them gig­gle and also pos­si­bly ruf­fle feath­ers. If that hap­pens, it’s par for the course. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Celebri­ties lend their en­dorse­ments to prod­ucts for fi­nan­cial gain, but you have some­thing much more in­te­gral at stake. You only make rec­om­men­da­tions for what you ab­so­lutely be­lieve in, a habit you’ll re­peat to­day. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23): Since you’re in such a hurry this week, here’s a time­saver: Learn as much as you can about where you’re go­ing before you take the first step. See your de­sired re­sult in action. Scor­pio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21): What­ever you want to ac­com­plish to­day, it will hap­pen through net­works. Bonus: You’ll see where you could add a few peo­ple — peo­ple with dif­fer­ent skills who are thrilled to be aligned with your spe­cial­ness. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Your friends might fal­ter. Now it’s up to you to up­hold the val­ues of kind­ness and de­cency, which, para­dox­i­cally, you’ll do in the most hu­mor­ous and ir­rev­er­ent man­ner. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Your whole be­ing leans to­ward one pri­mary aim — to raise the en­ergy around you wher­ever you go. It’s a se­cret in­ten­tion, per­haps an un­con­scious one, and a noble pur­pose for sure. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): How do you get bet­ter? The an­swer is re­ally sim­ple. Live. Live con­sciously. Pay at­ten­tion. At­ten­tion is love. If you seek im­prove­ment, you’ll tend to it, which is the same as lov­ing it, which is even­tu­ally be­com­ing it. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20): Do you know some­one who al­ready has what you want? This will be most help­ful. You need to an­a­lyze the qual­i­ties and know all there is to know about them.

To write to Hol­i­day Mathis, visit www.cre­ators.com/au­thor/ hol­i­day-mathis and click “Con­tact.” DEAR ABBY >> I’m 19, and for the past year I have been out of my par­ents’ house (at last!). I’m re­al­iz­ing now that the years I spent with Mom and Dad were dif­fer­ent than other peo­ple’s. My par­ents weren’t phys­i­cally abu­sive, but they were men­tally and emo­tion­ally abu­sive, and it has scarred me in some ways. Be­cause I was never al­lowed to speak my mind, I shut down if any­body raises his or her voice to me.

When I was growing up, they used ex­er­cise as a pun­ish­ment. If my broth­ers or I were late, it was 10 pushups. They also forced us to go through ex­er­cise pro­grams. Nat­u­rally, as soon as I was free from them, I stopped ex­er­cis­ing al­to­gether.

I now re­al­ize I need to ex­er­cise again as I am tech­ni­cally obese, and I need to lose the weight while I’m still young. My prob­lem is, I’m not mo­ti­vated. I tell my­self I’ll go out and run, signed up for a gym — even got a run­ning buddy. But I find my­self mak­ing excuses and trick­ing my­self out of go­ing. What are some ways I can help my­self men­tally so I can get go­ing on this ev­er­grow­ing prob­lem?

— Chubby in Cal­i­for­nia

DEAR CHUBBY >> Your par­ents may have meant well when they in­sisted that you and your sib­lings get in­volved in ex­er­cise pro­grams, but they were wrong to use ex­er­cise as a pun­ish­ment.

While I can see why you now view ex­er­cise that way, its ben­e­fits are more far-reach­ing than weight loss. Be­ing phys­i­cally ac­tive ben­e­fits your heart and brain, and in ad­di­tion, can be an ef­fec­tive stress re­ducer. It doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily have to be run­ning. Per­haps ten­nis, bowl­ing or danc­ing would be more en­joy­able for you.

“Trick­ing” your­self can work two ways, but while I don’t ad­vise trick­ing your­self to make your­self get off the couch, I think the adage “the way to get out of a jam is not to get into one in the first place” ap­plies here. Some sug­ges­tions:

When you get out of bed in the morn­ing, have your ex­er­cise clothes al­ready laid out. In­stead of read­ing or lis­ten­ing to the news, put them on IM­ME­DI­ATELY. Then eat some pro­tein to boost your en­ergy, and go out and do what you need to do.

Don’t ex­pect to run a marathon im­me­di­ately. Start slowly and re­mem­ber that stamina isn’t built overnight. Even­tu­ally, you will es­tab­lish a rou­tine — like brush­ing your teeth.

I won’t lie to you. It takes dis­ci­pline. But now that you have “es­caped” from your par­ents, YOU have to be your OWN par­ent, so it’s up to you not to let your­self be lazy.

P.S. When you’re on your way out the door, thank your higher power that you are able to do ex­er­cise be­cause many peo­ple are not so for­tu­nate. And if you catch your­self slack­ing off af­ter try­ing what I have sug­gested, then con­sider con­sult­ing a li­censed men­tal health pro­fes­sional to over­come your aver­sion to ex­er­cise.

Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

For an ex­cel­lent guide to be­com­ing a bet­ter con­ver­sa­tion­al­ist and a more so­cia­ble per­son, or­der “How to Be Pop­u­lar.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Pop­u­lar­ity Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 610540447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)

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