Okay, so I have gained a few pounds over the years. What's the big deal? Well, for me, the big deal is being able to live the next 20 years better than I have lived the last, almost 40. Yes, I did say that didn't I? Forty!
As a young girl, I studied all forms of dance and baton until I graduated high school, competing all over the south and eastern United States. After I graduated, I became a Troy State University Dancer. Not only did I have many dance classes during the week, but I had the chance to perform at all games. I could eat pretty much eat what I wanted and lose it when I needed too. In fact, I remember we would have ballet company weight checks once a week. If I was ever close to being over my weight, I could drop 5 lbs in one week. No problem! Not only did I dance, but I competed in pageants throughout my high school and college years. I guess the constant exercise and contact with the mass public, kept my weight in check. I can remember being a size 2 at 5'7 and thinking that was fat! Those were the days.
After marriage, I really kept my weight reasonable until I had my fourth child. The demands of wife, mother, career and constant moving in general, gradually took a toll on my health. The concept of putting me first was easily forgotten as I dove into survival mode. Sure, there have been times when I have gotten a bee in my bonnet and tried to diet and exercise, and was for the most part, successful. That is, until life got in the way, once again.
It wasn't until six weeks after giving birth to my last child, Weston, that a friend suggested that I do North West Arkansas Fitness Boot Camp. I will admit, that I was scared to death. I knew I wanted to do something. Needed to do something, but wasn't sure that I could do it. For the past 7 years, I have sat on the couch tending babies, and the only exercise received was walking. Well, not literally, but you get the picture. I am sure that many of you have been there before. The thought of getting up at 4 a.m. to get ready was not exactly something that I was thrilled about doing, let alone the fact that this was going to be hard core. Begrudgingly, I signed up, and in doing so, discovered something about myself.
You see, the reason that I had let myself go and gained weight, was not from lack of effort or desire, but rather in the lack of consistency and long term commitment on my part. Notice that I didn't say lack of desire. Come on, who in their right might wants to be overweight or unhealthy? You see, for me, I discovered that the reason sticking to exercise and diet failed in the past, was that life simply got in the way. Someone would get sick, would need to be picked up, teacher conferences, church responsibilities and so forth would slowly creep into my daily routine. The consequences would be me missing my workouts in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Here and there at first, but after missing a few, I would slowly get out of the routine and give up all together.
For the past 4 weeks, I have been getting up at 4 a.m. in preparation for my early morning workout. Five weeks have past, and I now find myself signing up for another session. Why you might ask? Four in the morning is crazy some would say. I could not possibly function if I did that, others would remark.
Well the answer is simple. I am a wife, a mother and a daughter. I have responsibilities that I can not put off if I am to do those jobs well. By getting up at 4 a.m. and exercising, it reminds me, that not only am I all of those things, but also of the girl that I used to be. The girl that had no other obligations, but to put herself and interest first. By getting up, for me, I am able to carve out time for myself, long before the rest of the world wakes up.
Okay, so the first few weeks, I was probably the heaviest and the most out of shape person there. Each day, I would come home exhausted and drenched with sweat. Yet, something during the 3rd week finally clicked. I have gained a new found confidence in my ability to do this long term and to take care of myself better. In the last 6 weeks, not only have I lost all of the weight gained while pregnant, but lost an additional 16 pounds. During boot camp specifically, I lost 5 inches in the waist, 3 inches in the hips and legs, 2 in the arms, and 1/2 inch in the bust. If you went to one of my classes, you would see that the intense work out sessions will enable those results from just about anyone really trying. You see, during that third week, I found myself actually being able to do those exercises and not being the worst one there. I constantly have to remind myself that I am not competing with anyone there, but ME!
I know I have not met my goal and have a long way to go, but find myself each day, on the right path to do so I have more energy and my clothes are getting loser. I also love the fact that I am able to accomplish by 9 a.m. more than I was able to accomplish by noon! So to those of you who say, I just can't get up that early. Hello! I started this when my baby was 6 weeks old. We all know the sleep patterns of a 6 week old. I have 7 children that have me spread out all over creation with different activities. And if that isn't enough, I teach dance at KDA! Did I mention that I buy nothing "instant." Every meal at my house except pizza is from scratch; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So, if I can do it, so can you! It is all about carving a time where life doesn't get in the way or a time when you are not worn down by the events of life to do it.
I guess my reasonons for posting this are selfish. I am not looking for a good job or pat on the back, but rather a forum where I can keep my goals, accomplishments and even setbacks recorded. For me, if the world knows about it or can see it, just like those pageant days, I am more apt to keep doing it. I need all the keep on, keeping on I can get! Go me! Oh, did I mention the fact that I love having the world wake up to me?
For those interested here is a sample advertisement about NWA BC and what typical results from the program can be:
• 3-5% reduction in body fat• 5-12 pounds weight loss• 25% improvement in strength• 100% Gain in self confidence• 1-3 inch decrease in the midsection• 25% improvement in endurance• Greatly improved posture• Better relaxation
We will be starting the next session at the end of October. It is Monday-Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. I usually get home by 6:40 to get the kids off to school. I will need a partner. Anyone interested? For those of you who live away, look up ladies bootcamps in your city. This bootcamp is all over!