Wednesday, March 28, 2012

You're right.

I've lost count of how many boot camps I've been too and how many are left to go.  All I know is that I keep showing up until I hear "welcome to our last class". 

Today's boot camp majorly kicked my butt.  Today was the first day that I truly didn't want to be there.  I didn't want to get out my bed.  But I did.  We worked our butts off today.  And, my knees were hurting, but I kept going.  Every exercise, every challenge.  At one point, towards the end, I cried.  Not a lot, but my eyes were definitely leaking.  I just kept going and going and going.  Then it occurred to me, I thought by now that boot camp would be a piece of cake.  I thought that all this exercise I'm doing that's making me stronger would make boot camp easier.  So, I asked Coach Steve this very thing.  Coach Steve is a wise, wise man.  He said we always need to push ourselves.  That if we did what we did on the first day, sure, that would be easy, but in order to grow we need to keep pushing ourselves.  And man did I push myself today!  Thanks be to God that I don't have to go back to boot camp until Monday.

You know, the biggest response I've been getting, other than how good I'm looking, is how people are like "I could never do it", or "you're stronger than I am".  And I don't believe that for one second.  I never thought in a million years that I'd be a size 12.  I never thought I'd be enjoying the gym or that I would join a boot camp.  To this day, I don't know what possessed me to sign up for boot camp.  But I'm glad I did.  Yes, boot camp is hard.  Yes, I ache and I'm tired.  All I know is I never stop.  I am the epitome of 'if I can do it, you can do it'.  You guys can do it!  There's a saying that goes "if you think you can, or think you can't, either way you're right". 

I'll be gone for a few days.  I leave tomorrow to head to Montserrat for my silent retreat.  I'll be back Sunday afternoon.  Not to fear, I will be getting my exercise in :D

Until next time,
Thanks podmate for yesterday.  You are amazing!  I'm so glad God gave me you!
Pray for everyone today.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Seven down, five to go!

Today was week four, day 7 of boot camp.

I do a lot of praying at boot camp.   Of course it's a lot of 'Dear God I'm going to die', ' Dear God, please don't let me die',  'Dear God, this man is insane' and, Dear God, please let it be 6:30'. 

Today was the hardest for me in a while.  I started of running and I ran farther than normal before I had to speed walk (yay!) then I speed walked the entire roof.  I was thinking over the weekend about my goal to run the whole roof by the last day of boot camp and if I didn't start pacing myself, there was no way I was just gonna do it on the last day.  So, today I did the whole roof.  Then we got my favorite, the medicine ball.  I don't know why it's my favorite, there's just something about the pain that it brings, even days later, that I know I'm doing something right.

Then, we go downstairs to my tire and the ramp.  But then, we get the sandbags and rope.  We do lots and lots of stuff this morning.  At one point I'm like 'it HAS to be 6:15!' but it wasn't.  The great thing about 6:15 is I know we have only 15 minutes to go.  I worked my butt off this morning.  Thought I was gonna heave at least three times.  My face felt amazingly hot (hey Coach Angela, you probably could cook one of your eggs on my face! lol) and I thought I was gonna die.  At one point, Coach Steve asked if I was about to cry and I put my fingers up to indicate I was almost there lol. 

Along with the prayer today there was a lot of "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you" in my head directed at Coach Steve.  And, I even told him I hated him.  He just laughs and says "you'll love me at 6:30" which is true.  I actually love him the whole time.  How can I hate an evil genius who devises and plots dastardly ways to get me in shape for my own good? 

And, then there's everyone else.  We all have the same dedication to boot camp.  One girl (my burgh buddy) just ran a half marathon yesterday and showed up this morning!  Another one of my friends, this is her THIRD boot camp!  And I thought I was insane!  And, at one point today, when I thought I was going to die, she said to me "think of your size 12's you just bought".   For those of you who live under a rock, or are not my friend on facebook, yesterday I bought a pair of size 12 jeans.  I screamed it from the rooftop all day yesterday.  This is huge because I was a size 16 when I started the fit & fierce competition 12 weeks ago.  AND, I haven't worn a 12 in over ten years!  I was so happy and I still am.

That's the great thing about boot camp, and the studio as well.  They are so encouraging.  It's not like going to a gym where you get on the treadmill and watch tv or read or even listen to music.  It's not like having a personal trainer work with you and pretend to push you.  Which I think is why in all the gyms I've joined in my life (3 or 4) nothing ever stuck.  Here, at the studio, there is no treadmill, no machines only you (and tires, and medicine balls, and ropes and a few weights).  The owners who are coaches (Coach Steve and Coach Teresa), and all the other Coaches genuinely care about each and every one of us.  AND, if that wasn't enough, the members care about each other.  The studio is it's own family.  It is one of the most amazing places I have ever been.  I have never felt so supported at a gym.  They push me to my limits and beyond.  They see what I can do, even when I can't.  I think having a 'I'm not gonna quit' attitude is it's own curse and a blessing.  Because they know I won't quit (no matter how much I want to), they push me and help me to become a better me.  Be it through Zumba, the fit & fierce competition, or boot camp.

It would be easy for me to say the fit & fierce competition is over, boot camp is over, I'm done.  It's just me and Zumba.  But why?  In twelve weeks, thanks to fit & fierce competition and 3 weeks of boot camp (almost done!) I have lost almost 20 pounds.  I have lost countless inches off my body (I'll let you know as soon as I find out), and I have lost TWO pants sizes.  I have changed my eating habits (not because I was made to, because I wanted to).  It would be silly for me not to continue.  So, I know for a fact I am going to do round 2 of the fit & fierce competition.  The next round of boot camp, I don't know yet.  I'm sure it would be beneficial and I could make a gazillion excuses (kid graduating, it's summer, etc).  but I haven't made any excuses so far, so why start now?  But, I think I'll play that one by ear.

My goal when we started the program 12 weeks ago?  I didn't have one?  Now?  My goal is to see how far I can go by my birthday in July.  Why not?  What have I got to lose?  It's just weight.  And, I have everything to gain.

If you can read this, I would love for you to come dance with me at Zumba, or come do one boot camp class with me!   Sure, your bed and couch are comfortable.  But one hour at the studio and you will feel amazing!

Until next time,
Please pray for the repose of the soul of my friend.  Her funeral is today.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

God is like GE

He brings good thing to life!  He's actually better than GE.

That thought occurred to me this morning as I was having my peanut time.  I was going through my bible looking for something to chew on.  Something to carry with me through the day that I could go back too.  Just one sentence.  I looked in Acts, 1&2 Peter, and others.  Everything I read was all about my light being extinguished.  One of my favorite scriptures talks about not hiding your lamp under a bushel but letting it shine for all to see (forgive me I don't know where it is in the bible, but it's in there).  Then the more I thought about it being extinguished, it occurred to me that our light is like a light bulb.

Show of hands how many replace a light bulb in a room immediately?  Okay, now how many are like me and think 'well, there's three other bulbs in the ceiling, I'll replace it later'?  Currently, in my family room, there are four lights in the ceiling.  Only three of them have working bulbs.  The ceiling fan has four lights, only one has a bulb in it.  My light is like that.  How about yours?  There are times like my retreat where I put in a new bulb and my light is just shining bright as can be.  When I'm with my new bible study friends, bunco, zumba, and yes, even work sometimes...the light is just shining.  Then, there are times when the light starts to dim.  My kids get to me, work, the outside world, etc.  And, not only does it dim, sometimes the light actually burns out.  Not completely though.  There's always that little flicker of light that stays.

So I was thinking this morning.  I'm glad the flicker always stays.  I cannot imagine life without even the littlest of flickers of light.  Sure, I need to replace the bulb more often, but that's what life is all about right?  A good friend will help you light your candle, a great friend will help you change your light bulb!  And, thanks to all of you, I am richly blessed by those who will help me change my light bulb, even when I am content to sit in the dark with just a small flicker.  Yes, I changed my light bulb last weekend and it is still shining bright.  Yet, I cannot wait until next of my great light bulb changing, spiritual guru friends of mine and I are going to Montserrat to bask in the light and word of God.  I cannot wait! 

Let me help you change your light bulb.

Until next time,
Please pray for the repose of the soul of my dear friend Sheila who past away yesterday afternoon.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The end of an inning

Know what three up, three down mean?  The end of an inning (It's a baseball reference from Good Morning Vietnam).

So today is officially three weeks down of boot camp.  Three more to go.  You know, coach Steve was talking this morning about reasons how we all have different reasons for coming to boot camp.  And, on the way home I started thinking about it.  The main question I get about boot camp is what made me sign up?  So, I really thought about it.  The boot camp answer was the easiest answer.  Answering why I joined the fit & fierce 12 week program 10 1/2 weeks ago is a different one.  Let's start with the easy one.  I joined boot camp a) because it was only six weeks and b) because I figured it would give me a huge push at the end of the fit & fierce challenge.  Now for the harder answer.  The stock answer I give everyone, even people at the studio on the day I signed up is because I'm too young to have arthritis in my knees.  But, pondering the answer this morning, that's not really why.

I can't put my finger on it.  I can't tell you that while I was stuffing my face with pizza from Joe's Italian Bistro (YUM!) that I got disgusted with myself, because I didn't.  I can't tell you that it was December 31st and I had yet to make a resolution for the new year.  That wasn't it either.  There was no ah-ha moment.  No, it's time to do this.  Nothing.  Simply put, I signed up because of Bob (for those of you new to the blog Bob is the Holy Spirit.  He and I are on a first name basis :)  I signed up because one day, all of a sudden I just felt compelled to sign up.  Sort of.  I had been looking at the website for a while.  Weeks.  I figured I'd start out with a class or two.  Then, I saw them announcing the fit & fierce competition and knew it was something I just had to do.  Then, boot camp came along.  How could I say no?

Today was one of the hardest boot camp days I've had.  And, again, I loved every second of it.  Even though I told coach Steve I hated him (I really don't, but in the heat of the moment and pain...yup).  Coach Steve is awesome.  Not only does he have a full time job and works a gazillion hours there, he shows up twice a week for us boot campers.  How can you not love a guy with that much dedication!  Today was hard for so many reasons:  Medicine ball, running, tires, weights and my new favorite that I hate...ropes!  See, you tie the rope to your 12 pound weight.  Then you tie the other end of the rope around yourself.  Then, you run up the ramp pulling the weight.  At first it's not so bad.  Then, it kills.  Sure, it's only 12 pounds, but like I said to coach Steve, "Hey, I'm pulling 179 behind me too!" lol  Yes, that's how much I weigh now.  I started the fit & fierce competition at 196.  When I got home today I was so happy.  I walked in the kitchen and went to take my medicine and my hands were dirty.  All I could do was smile.  They were dirty from the tire.  They were dirty from the asphalt.  They were dirty from all the hard work.  I was blissfully happy.  See, I'm the type of person that needs results along the way.  And, sure, the scale moves occasionally, but my body has been moving and reshaping itself.  And, the dirty hands are just another sign that I'm changing.

I got the best compliment this morning.  My friend Danielle says something to the effect that she came because she knew I'd be here and that I never miss a class.  That made me feel so good.  I'm glad she came.  She's one of my favorite people :D  I also told her what I told my friend Emily...first off, I paid for this, so how can I not come and secondly, I have all these other people there who show up and 'I was too tired' is just not a good enough excuse to not go.  So, I will continue to show up for the last three weeks.  For the glorious last 6 classes.  And, I know I will be a mix of sad and elated that it's over.

Here's what I've been wondering myself.  What's next?  The fit & fierce competition is over in a week and a half.  Boot camp is over in three weeks.  What will I do next?  I thought about boxing.  Looks like we'll be having those classes in April.  But I don't know yet if it's something I'd like to do.  I know I will continue with my Zumba with Lori!!  Those make my week.  While it is my favorite class, everything I do there from Zumba to chisel to boot camp make my week.  I will continue pushing on and pushing myself and getting stronger.  I love the studio.  All of the instructors.  Teresa is just a fireball.  She and coach Steve as well as the other coaches are so supportive.   Pilates with Amy.  Please, there is nothing better.  Between Pilates with Amy and Chisel with Teresa you will not find a better more jam pack 30 minutes where you want to die and feel awesome simultaneously!  Zumba with Teresa is great.  I just am not there yet.  Zumba with Lori, that's me time.  That's my time to dance and dance and sweat.  It's my time just to be and I couldn't be happier.  Lori has rules for newbies which are a) modify what you need to b) have fun) and c) smile!   My favorite part of the class is when I leave and I am just dripping with sweat.  I know I worked hard :D

For those of you sitting on your couch wondering if you can do it too, you can.  If I can do it, you can do it! And (especially for my guru Sharon) I may be the slowest, but I'm lapping everyone on the couch!  You got this!

Until next time,
Please say prayers for two friends sons and one friends husband. And, my husband too.


Monday, March 19, 2012

High Five

Hello Everybody (said in my best Brent from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs voice)!

Today is a big, big, big day (as Effie from the Hunger Games likes to say).  Today marks the halfway point for my boot camp!  One of the first things I said this morning when I walked in was "is it wrong that I missed my tire?"  By the end of the session, I said to my friend "the tire was a lot lighter in my head" lol  We did sandbags, medicine balls, and tires today.  We were on the roof with the wind and at one point light rain.  And, it wouldn't be boot camp if we didn't start out with running.  Something happened today.  While we're on the roof, others not in our boot camp came to run on the roof.  Then later, when we were finishing up on the ramp, other came on our ramp.  I found I was irked by this.  This is our roof.  Our ramp.  We've been here since 5:30 in the morning for weeks.  You just can't show up at 6am and do your little running or whatever it is you do.  It belongs to us.   The majority of them were men.  We were all women.  They're running and skipping on the roof.  We do the same with medicine balls and ropes! Clearly, their coaches are nothing like ours.  Our coaches, our roof, our ramp, yea, clearly I'm a little protective.  It's okay, my mama taught me to share.  I may not like it, but I'll share lol

By the end today I was soaked with sweat (which after all is only fat crying) and my right side felt like it was going to split in two.  But class was over and I did it.  When I feel class should be over (in my head) and Coach Steve says "now we're gonna do..." in my head I groan.  I cannot do anymore!  I'm exhausted.  But then, there I am doing whatever he says.  So I figure it has to be the last thing for the day.  Nope.  We do more, and even though I want to stop, my hamstrings are hurting/burning; even though my arms can't lift that high, I still lift, I still do whatever it is until the bitter end.  Why, you ask?  Because in the end, if I don't do it or do it only half way, then I'm only cheating myself.  Don't get me wrong, in my head I'm yelling "Dude, I can't go lower!  Dude, my knee was killing me when I woke up this morning!  Seriously, Coach, I cannot run or jump why oh why do you make me run/jump".  I think those things sometimes (not all the time, I promise!) but I never say them.  I don't say them out loud because in the end they're just excuses no matter how true they are.  No, I can't/don't like running.  But you know what?  Thanks to boot camp I can run half the roof faster than when I started.  And, my goal is to be able to run the whole roof by the last class.  Sure, my knee was hurting when I woke up this morning, but I still jumped.  It wasn't high as other people and it damn sure wasn't pretty, but I did it.  I didn't sign up for boot camp because it was easy.  I signed up to push myself.  Sure, I did it to help give me a push for the final weeks of the Fit & Fierce competition.  But I also did it for me.  And, if I don't do what is asked of me, again, then I'm just cheating myself.

My favorite part of boot camp, if we can have one, is the end.  It's my favorite part because I am soaked with sweat, I am sore and tired.  It's my favorite because I know that while the majority of Allen is asleep, I worked my butt off (it's getting smaller!).  It's a sense of pride and accomplishment.  So, here we are, week five and we are all still going strong.

Until next time,
Do something good for yourself today!  Like they say in Rent "No day but today"!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

1/3 down, 2/3rds to go!

Three guesses where I was this morning...

I wasn't in my comfy bed.  No, I was at my biweekly boot camp.  I decided what I hate most about boot camp, it's the night before.  I don't sleep well (I don't sleep well normally but worse these days).  I'm afraid I'm going to oversleep, miss my alarm, and not show up.  Unless I am reaaaaaaaaallly sick, my butt is there.

This morning, we went back to the roof.  No worries, I got this.  Being zombie food, you think I would work at running faster.  But being out of shape as I am (not as much as I was before) and having arthritis in my knees, running is not one of my favorite activities.  I like to tell some of my friends that if zombies chase us, I'm tripping them.  I realize that's no longer an option.  The only option left is to play dumb so they think I'm stupid and don't have a brain and just keep going, lol.  But, run/speed walk I did.  I run/speed walk up ramp, on roofs, while carrying 8 pound balls.  I run/speed walk while passing said balls to another person back and forth.  I run/speed walk with tires.  Tires above my head, carrying tires in front of me.  Yuck, yuck, yuck.  But I do it.

During the last two weeks, I've learned that the things I started out hating, I now like (tires, ramps, roof).  I learned that the hardest part of boot camp is getting there.  I learned that the person I'm competing against is myself.  I've learned that I'm getting in shape.  It may not feel like it during boot camp, but my 'I'm going to throw up' threshold has gotten further and further into the hour.  That in and of itself makes me happy.  I give it my all, every single time.  And, at the end of every class, I hate the coach.  I tell coach Steve today at the end that it's not a good class if I don't hate him by the end! lol  I think that's a good barometer, no?  I will say this, it's a good thing George's car knows the way home, because at the end of each class, it takes great effort for me to drive home. lol

So, here I sit, my bum sore, as well as my arms and my core and every other part of my body, but again, I am blissfully happy.  I love starting my day with boot camp.  I love the feeling of accomplishment that while most of Allen is asleep, I am kicking butt (my own) and taking names.  I love that I am challenging myself.  I love that I am making new friends.  I love my coaches.  There just isn't enough words to express just how happy boot camp and the studio have made me.

Until next time,
What makes you happy?  Make yourself happy.  You can't expect anyone else too :D

Monday, March 12, 2012

Three down, nine to go!

I spent the weekend at an amazing retreat with little sleep (that will be it's own blog entry later!).  I was so over tired, I just wanted sleep last night.  However, it eluded me.  Then, at around 1:30am my daughter called from California.  She's on a high school band trip.  So, not a lot of sleep, 4:40am came way to soon.

I make it to boot camp this morning and finally get to meet Steve.  I say 'please no roof, please no roof''.    He says there will be roof.  I sigh.  We make it up to the roof and my day begins.  We run.  We run more.  We run with weight balls (8 pounds).  As I am running with my ball, on the roof, I realize how much I hate running.  I realize, were there to be a zombie on the roof, he would get me first.  We do more drills and such and I am having a great time.  I am sucking in lots of air.  I am breathing heavy, but I am having the time of my life.  I conquered the roof, thanks to daylight savings time, more working lights, or just a really bright moon.  It doesn't matter.  The point is, the roof doesn't bother me anymore.  Fear of the roof, conquered!

We go down to the ramp.  We grab tires and for fun, sandbags!  My first time with a sandbag.  I have a love/hate relationship with my tire.  The sandbag isn't my favorite, but I do it.  We do tire pulls.  I hate tire pulls.  I'm going to throw up over tire pulls.  However, I am smart and don't eat anything before I go to boot camp, not even my medicine.  I know I'm going to want to throw up at some point.  This boot camp must be working because I don't want to throw up till much later in the boot camp.  Progress!  I slow up on the tire pulls.  Everyone else is on to something else, but I don't give up.  I make it to the top of the ramp and finish my tire pull!  What helped?  I'll tell you, Steve.  At one point in the morning he tells me I have heart and he likes that.  So, as I'm doing my tire pulls the noise in my head that usually is 'you can't do this' all of a sudden becomes 'you can do this' and from the movie Rudy a lot of "Rudy!  Rudy!  Rudy!"  Rudy was small and scrappy and he had heart too.  Plus, I'm not a quitter.  It may take me a little longer, but I am no quitter.  And, the main reason, my boot camp friends.  They are so awesome.  They cheer me on.  They say I'm doing good, or I got this.  They ask me if I'm okay.  99% of the time, I cannot answer as I am sucking wind, I just give a thumbs up.  I am okay.  They are what keeps me going.

Even this morning, when I'm dead tired, I knew I had to show up.  I made a commitment, I needed to follow through.  I have to show the tire whose boss and that it won't get the best of me.  Then, as we are finished, I ask Steve if it's okay that I feel like I want to cry after every boot camp.  He says that means I'm giving everything I've got.  He's got that right.

These Boot camps are a highlight of my week.  Yes it's early.  Yes, it's painful.  Yes, at times I want to pass out, but I don't.   My goal with the boot camp is to finish it.  I've got 4 1/2 more weeks to go.  I got this.

Until next time,
What's your roof?  Face one of your fears today.  You got this!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Two down, ten to go.

Aka I am Jell-O.
Aka I am insane.
AKA Why do I hate myself.
AKA Good Lord it is dark at 5 in the  morning.

Today was day two of boot camp.  I wasn't as tired as I was Monday which is a good thing, I think.  All I wanted was to not go back on the roof.  I don't care what we do, just no roof.  NO ROOF TODAY WOOHOO!

Here's what I did today.  Twenty burpees.  I couldn't jump over the bar, so I walked over it.  Tire flips, tire pulls, dips, push ups, squats and I can't remember what else.  Here's what I love about boot camp...everything.  I love/hate it all mutually.  It's a great group of people, so very supportive.  I didn't think I was going to finish today.  I had a Charlie horse at one point.  I wanted to throw up.  I almost cried (too tired I think lol).  But, there was Coach A and a bunch of others cheering me on to finish the tire pulls up the ramp.  And, I finished.  I am proud of me.  It's great to hear my group cheer me on and tell me how proud of me they are (and George.  He's my biggest cheerleader).  More important though, is being proud of myself.  Sure, the group sees me trying.  They don't hear what's inside my head.  Here's a glimpse...
     "This is hard.  This really hurts.  Why am I doing this again?  I got this.  I can do this.  Just think how I'll look six weeks from now!  Hurry up, they're waiting on you so they can go home!  Screw the last fifty pounds.  I want a burger!  ARG"  Yes, I am part pirate.  As you see, it's part cheering me on and part why bother.  So, I love the fact that the coaches will not let me quit.  So, while I am not proud of what is going on in my head, I am proud that I finished out the hour.  And, I will finish every hour.  After all, I only have ten more to go.  I can do this :D

Next up for the day, work, then ZUMBA WITH LORI!!!!  Oh, and in between, 30 more burpees.

Until next time,
Cheer yourself on, whether it's finishing a report, doing the dishes, or exercising.  I'm proud of you!


Monday, March 5, 2012

One down, eleven to go

So today was my very first boot camp.  Ever.
I had deluded myself that since today was the first day, we'd be taking measurements and doing a little bit of exercise.  That did not happen.

First, I must tell you, I was so exhausted last night, I couldn't wait to fall asleep.  Apparently, I was so excited about camp today or I was afraid my alarm wouldn't go off, that I really didn't sleep.  Finally, at 2:30, I begged God and Mary to please let me get some rest.  After all, I did have to work today.  The next time I looked at the clock was 4:40.  So I shower before camp and brush my teeth.  Really, I don't want to show up all smelly.

I arrive by 5:16.  It starts at 5:30.  I'm the first one there.  Soon enough we all get there and begin by...going up to the roof!  It dark.  The sun is hitting the snooze alarm.  Then, I have to run two laps.  Okay.  First of all, I'm not a fan of heights.  Second of all, I'm not a fan of the dark.  And finally, I only run when being chased.  So, I give it a whirl and start to run.  I run about a quarter of the way and start sucking wind.  So as to not pass out, I start walking fast, as fast as I can.  The others are around the turn and just about disappear.  Dear God, thank you for fencing the roof in.  Please don't let me trip over anything, least of all my own feet.  I manage the first lap and Coach T graciously has me go just a bit further and not attempt another lap.   Then, we have to do bear crawls.  You know why bears crawl the way they do?  Because they can't crawl on their knees!

When that's done, we get to go down off the roof (yay!) into the garage and grab a tire.  Tires are fun...not.  Then, at the end we get to go and do suicides.  I didn't know what they were.  I know now.  And, if you're going to kill yourself, instead of doing suicides, take the easier, more humane way out and just jump in front of a moving train.  lol

When all is said and done and I get in my car, I wanted to cry.   No liquid ever came out my tear ducts.  I was so sore and exhausted.  And, I cannot wait to go back.   It's totally awesome.

Until next time,
Please pray I don't die while at camp.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

I know I'm weird to begin with, but if I could have any body, it would be my own.  Mine, or Kim Burts.  I want my own because it's riddled with laugh lines.  It has major stretch marks from my children.  It has marks from a few jobs I've held.  It has a scar or two from surgeries from when I was born.  It has a tattoo on my ankle from a very bad relationship.  All these lines, marks, and scars have formed me into who I am.  Sure, I want to be 125 and have my body a size3/5 and have the tiny butt I had when I was a teenager and they looked so adorable in my Pepsi jeans.  Do you remember PEPSI JEANS?!  But I don't want to loose all my marks and scars.  And, even when the weight finally goes, it will still take me a while to get rid of some of the weight from the baggage that I carry around.

Ten weeks ago, I ventured into the unknown and out of my comfort zone.  I joined the Fit & Fierce challenge at Leading Cast Rhythm & Fitness as part of my new years resolution.  It's a twelve week program where I was planning on losing weight.  During these last ten weeks, I've lost 18 pounds so far.  I've lost clothes sizes.  I've lost part of my shyness in unfamiliar territory.  I've gained the me who was lost for so long.  I've gained most of my self confidence back.  If I was happy before, now, I'm deliriously so.  I've gained not just knowledge about nutrition, but about myself, but I gained great, lasting friendships.  I gained me back.

When I first ventured into the unknown in this challenge, I wondered how much price gouging was there going to be?  Buy these supplements for this part of your body, buy these powders and bars.  We have our own line of clothing, etc.  It never happened.  The studio is not about making money.  There is no price gouging.  There's not even a contract to sign when you join.  If it's not about making money, it isn't about weight loss either.  What kind of gym is this!  Sure, they want to make money and they'll cheer you on as you loose weight, but it's about being/getting healthy.  It's about being the best you, you can be.  Better than the Army.  These people care about you.  On the first day of the challenge, I was being measured, and when Teresa was measuring my thighs, I said they were my sequoias.  She said "that's why you're here".  And, so far, at last measurement, I lost an inch of my thighs!  They're on there was to being mighty oaks instead of sequoias! lol

I've found that I need to go to the studio.  I find that even on my worst days, once I go to the studio, I feel blissfully happy.  It's not about talking with friends.  If you can talk during a zumba class, you're doing it wrong!  I work out the frustration of the day, of my family, of the kids, of it all.  It really bums me out when I have to miss a class.  Between kids activities, family, friends and the like, it's hard to chose me over them, and that's exactly what I'm doing.  It's easy on the days when the kids are workin my last nerve and I say I'm going to the studio.  It's different when I'm at a bowling match with my older two and not at the class where I want to be.  I want to be at both places.  This past Friday, I had a huge headache that just wouldn't go away.  I had to stay home from Zumba.  I was sad.  Very sad, but the music which I love (FUA FUA FUA) and all the exercise would not help my head.  So, later in the evening, when feeling a bit better, I hopped on facebook and there was a message from Lori, my favorite Zumba instructor saying how she missed me that evening.  I looked at George and I showed him.  This place noticed I wasn't there.  All the other people were there, and I was missed.  It wasn't money either.  It's not a pay as you go place where if that were written, I'd feel 'oh, they missed my money'.  It made me feel loved.

What kind of place is this!  No price gouging, no supplements, and the actually care?  They care more about me being healthy than losing weight.  They don't balk when I say I don't like certain foods.  In short, this is heaven.  In the past ten weeks, I've learned so much about myself (and nutrition).  I learned I love green beans.  ME, green beans.  I'm trying new foods.  This week, it's kale!  I bought kale yesterday!  We're having it for dinner tonight!  And, cauliflower.  I actually put cauliflower in my cart and bought and paid for it myself.  On purpose!  lol  This is the greatest gift I have given myself.  And, that my husband has given me.  He sees the changes in me.  He doesn't balk when I go to the studio.  In fact, some days, he says I need to be careful or just rest so I don't push myself too hard.  My kids and George are my biggest champions.  Them and of course my Coach Angela.  She is amazing.  And, when I tell her of my pipe dream goal weight by my birthday, she laughs and says that's not healthy.  I'll get there, just not by my birthday.  We'll do it together.  With each new food I try, each pound lost, each burpee or push up added, they are cheering me the whole way.

Whats next you ask?  Well, I only have two weeks left in the challenge and I've learned that I like a good challenge so, starting this Monday, I will be doing a boot camp twice a week at 5:30 in the morning!  Yes, I'm crazy, but this should not be news at this point. 

And, finally who is Kim Burt and why do I want her body.  Well, first off, she is my friend.  She is incredibly beautiful both inside and out.  And because her body is just sick (in a good way!).  So amazingly beautiful!

So while I'm keeping up with my resolutions (I'm even flossing now!) I've changed for the better and I could not be happier.

Until next time,
Come Zumba with me!