Friday, August 31, 2012

Why ask Why

When I talk about my past in conjunction with my weight, I tell people that I've been "big" my whole life. It's a nice neat explanation. But I'm lying my ass off. The truth is, I wasn't always big. Once upon a time, I was just right.

I had a flat stomach. I had strong legs and arms from swimming and playing softball. I had the exact same body I see on my daughter. Athletic. I was active at a time when kids would be out playing in the streets without parents fearing for their safety. I'd be out until it was time to shower and hit the sack. Then, I changed.

When I was 13, someone close to my family took advantage of me, physically. It wasn't rape, but I've no doubt that's where it would've ended up going had he not been interrupted by his 2 year old daughter. I'd like to think I would've pushed him off. But I just froze and shut down completely instead.

I withdrew from life and just let life happen around me. I became a loner that wanted nothing to do with anyone and specifically with guys. So I ate and got fat. Fat girls weren't taken advantage of. Being fat meant I would be safe.

Fortunately for me, I've always been a strong person. Eventually, I'd had enough of my own shit. I was fed up with letting that asshole impact my life for so many years and empowering him by doing so. I was done with it. I wanted to put him behind me for good. I literally got up one day and thought, "No more."

I lost some weight but was still overweight. At 21, I met my husband, got married, got pregnant, etc. After I had my baby, I was 230 pounds and completely intimidated about losing so much weight. So I did nothing. Then, I turned 31 and my husband took me shopping for my birthday. Size 18 was too tight! I realized that though I took care of my family, I was hiding again by not taking care of myself. Once again, I kicked my own ass into gear.

Three years ago, I began with weight watchers and lost about 10 pounds. Since then, I've lost over 50 pounds by counting calories (which has resulted in almost completely clean eating). I lift and I run. I love to run but I haven't been lately. I think it's making me bitchy, so I'll have to do something about that. I don't see it as running (or hiding) from something, which would be my first guess if I was a spectator. For me, it's running to something and for something. I run for me. I run because I can and because it makes me feel invincible. In the process of running, I've found myself and you know, I'm not really too shabby at all!

I'm doing this anonymously because I don't want you to feel sorry for me. I don't. I hate that this happened to me and that it happens to so many people. I'm convinced, however, that the whole experience has made me more sensitive with other people. It's definitely made me stronger. Overall, my life's been a bumpy and stressful road. But it's my road and now it's of my making. Yes, part of what I do is for my husband and daughter and our lives together. Ultimately, it's really about me. I do what I do for me. I'm proud of that. My future is mine. And it's going to be healthy in all aspects.

When I put that asshole behind me (physically and emotionally), I did it for good. I haven't truly thought of him in years. I just wanted to share with you girls that sometimes, why we do things to ourselves is so much more complicated than we'd like to admit. The important thing is that when we're knocked down, we have to get up, dust ourselves off, (maybe even flip people off) and take care of ourselves. We're worth it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Becoming a Shred head // 30DS - Level 1

I was first introduced to the 30DS when I read about it over on Mama’s blog.  But, I never really thought about taking it on until all of you Campers came into my life – you guys were just yapping away about.  So I figured what the hell; I’ll get on this bandwagon and see what all the fuss is about.  I will add that I typically hate DVD work outs.  I have a membership to the YMCA and practice hot yoga at a studio.  Honestly, I prefer live instructors and I really find motivation in group activities. And what I like even more than the YMCA and yoga is getting my fitness on outside.  I love the fresh air and the changing views of running, biking, and hiking outdoors.  This is especially true this time of year as I live in a northern climate and my time with the sun is really to a handful of months.  
After deciding to get on the bandwagon I went right out to Target to purchase the DVD.  I found Jillian in the fitness section and she cost $9.49.  I threw her in the cart, along with some green 5 pound weights.  The DVD doesn’t give instruction on whether the 30 days should be consecutive or broken up – but since this was a challenge, I decided I was going to dedicate myself to this for 30 days straight.  
In a nutshell, the 30DS is an interval training workout and will require approximately 30 minutes. The video is comprised of three levels of workouts which progressively get more difficult. You start on level one and when you feel you are ready, you progress to level two, and then level three.  I decided that I was going to do each level for 10 days.    Each level consists of a warm-up, three circuits, and then a cool down.  Furthermore, each circuit consists of 3 minutes of strength training, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs.  At the end of this post you’ll find an outline of the first level, just so you can get the gist.  As far as equipment goes, all you will need are some light weights and a mat if you are working on a hard surface.   Also, Jillian has two helpers in the video, Anita and Natalie.  Anita demonstrates a modified version of the exercise for the beginners and Natalie demonstrates the badass version.  
I started the 30DS on August 5th, the very day I returned from my Boston Birthday Extravaganza. So let's just say I gave the 30DS to myself as a 32nd birthday present. I was feeling confident going into it. This summer I was playing in at least three softball games per week, practicing yoga twice a week, doing a step aerobics class on Tuesdays, and fitting in runs and bike rides between all of that.   So although I’m a bit chub, I really thought I was fit.  Notice, I say “thought”……  
Palming my blue balls.
Upon starting, I was flabbergasted at how out of breathe and sweaty I was.  My only saving grace was the mat time during the ab sessions.  For the first level, I was able to stick with the 5lb weights on everything EXCEPT for the anterior hand raises and side lunges.  For this, I used my blue balls : ) which weigh 2 pounds.   For some reason this move was very hard for me.  This move coupled with the squats and lunges had me waddling around like I had a stick up my ass for the first 5 days and I really had difficulty lowering myself down to the toilet seat to pee.  But, I pushed through and it did get better.  

Stay tuned for more on my 30DS adventure.  In the meantime, I'd love for you to share your thoughts on level one for those contemplating getting on the bandwagon! 

Keep on, keeping on!
~ Jen J.
30 Day Shred – Level 1
  • arm crosses
  • windmills
  • jumping jacks
  • waist circles
  • knee circles
  • jumping jacks
Strength = 3 minutes
  • pushups
  • squat and press
  • pushups
  • squat and press
Cardio = 2 minutes
  • jumping jacks
  • jump rope
  • jumping jacks
  • jump rope
Abs = 1 minutes
  • crunches
  • reverse crunches
Strength = 3 minutes
  • dumbell row
  • static lunge w/ bicep curl
  • dumbell row
  • static lunge w/ bicep curl
Cardio = 2 minutes
  • butt kicks
  • punches
  • butt kicks
  • punches
Abs = 1 minute
  • crunches twist
Strength = 3 minutes
  • chest flys
  • anterior hand raises and side lunges
  • chest flys
  • anterior hand raises and side lunges
Cardio = 2 minutes
  • jumping jacks
  • butt kicks
  • punches
  • jump rope
Abs = 1 minutes 
  • bicycle crunches

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Revelation

I feel like I’ve always been a bigger girl.  Maybe not always fat, but never “thin.”  In fact, I remember competing in a singing competition as a 13 year old, and on the sheet of judge’s remarks, I read “You are a healthy, corn-fed girl.”  Who the hell says that to a 13 year old girl?  He meant that I looked chubby.  Or at least I took it that way.
Now, hear me out.  I’ve always thought I was beautiful. I have always been pretty full of myself (sorry, but it’s the truth!).  I dated plenty of boys in junior high and high school and college.  I have felt sexy since I understood what it meant.  I am happy with myself. I think I’m pretty, smart, funny, but I never felt skinny or healthy.
When I got into a relationship in college (that eventually led to a happy marriage), I got comfortable.  We ate out a lot. I baked him goodies (and helped eat them).  I gained weight.  My 5’3’’ frame ballooned to 209 after our first year of marriage.  I got a reality check when I went for a routine doctor’s appointment and she recommended we check my sugar.  It was borderline diabetic.  Hello, wake up call.
I started losing weight.  I joined a weight loss center that put me on a very strict diet (and looking back, I think it was unhealthy, so I won’t promote the center by name). I lost about 40 pounds, but was so burnt out from the strictness of it all.  My eating habits changed, but nothing inside me did.
I quit the center and tried to lose weight on my own. And what I really mean is, I tried to work out enough to be able to eat whatever I wanted. I still went on fast food binges at lunch, ate too many Oreos when my husband wasn’t looking, tried to eat healthy when out with friends (so I wouldn’t be judged when I said I was trying to lose weight).  I did it all.  I gained about 10 pounds back.  Hovering at 180 for about a year.
Then something hit me.  Maybe it was reading Lysa Terkeurst’s book Made to Crave.  Maybe it was being a Zumba instructor and wanting to inspire my students. Maybe it was finally feeling empowered. Maybe it was all those inspirational quotes on my Pinterest fitness board.  I don’t know, but something changed.
I stopped searching for motivation and started depending on determination.  This weight was coming off. I was going to work for it. I was going to (sometimes grumpily) make one good choice at a time.  I wasn’t going to starve myself. I wasn’t going to do anything ridiculous that I had tried before (eating nothing but grapefruit and tuna, taking laxatives after a big meal, etc).  I was going to educate myself and do this the right way.
I read all I could find online. I got books from the library on nutrition. I saw a dietician. I started counting calories and doing more workouts.
I haven’t done anything that inspirational.  I have lost an additional 15 pounds or so since Christmas (yes, I’m a fool who decides to change her life 2 days before Christmas). But I’m down 2 pants sizes and I am headed in the right direction. I calorie count and work out 5-6 days a week. I have days where I overeat, where I don’t feel like working out, where I feel like a failure. But I don’t give up.
My revelation is that I’m worth it. I’m worth the hard work, the sacrifice, the struggle. My happiness is not in a number on the scale, but in the pride I take in myself. And I’m totally full of myself. :)
This is me at my heaviest - 209.

And this is me now at 167 - heading to 150

So join me.  Kick motivation out the door.  Get some determination.  You are worth it, you just have to believe in yourself.
A little about me: I’m Brittney.  I’m a 25 year old wifey (married about 2.5 years) living in Arkansas.  I am a doggie mom who is utterly afraid of birthing a child someday. I am a corporate copywriter for a national moving company. I teach Zumba (6 classes a week) on the side, and for my sanity. I blog about my life, Zumba, weight loss, my dog, and our crazy country life at Razorback Britt. Follow me there or on Twitter. Hit me up, yo.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day ...

Or as I more lovingly like to say:  Shitty things went down yesterday like it was going out of style.  We’ve all been there.  It was the kind of day that makes you want to go home, lay on the couch, drink two bottles a bottle of wine, and stuff your face with oreos dipped in wine.  What?  You don’t dip your oreos in wine?  Whatev.

Simply put:  Yesterday was awful.  It was the kind of day that derails diets, halts exercising, and crushes healthy living in general.  Here is a short synopsis of my emotionally fueled, anxiety-driven day.  Thinking about it makes me want to pop a Xanax.  I kid…sort of.

I was set to have lunch with my mom before she traveled back home.  It was supposed to be our goodbye lunch and I am h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e with goodbyes.  It doesn’t matter who I am saying goodbye to, I cry.  We decided on lunch at a Mexican restaurant.  Great.  How am I supposed to eat something {semi} healthy at a Mexican restaurant without my emotions taking over and ordering for me in some weird out-of-body experience?  Somehow, and I’m not sure how, I ordered the chicken fajitas with no cheese.  Good choice number one.  I ate two and took the rest to go.  Good choice number two.  I said my tear-filled goodbye to my mom and drove back to my office sobbing.  I tried to pull it together before walking in.  I was struggling with that part, so I wore my sunglasses inside for the next hour.  I knew that if any of my co-workers asked me what was wrong I’d lose it and they just might think I had taken my final journey on the crazy train.  Sunglasses seemed like a good way to camouflage my red, swollen eyes at the time, because you know it’s not weird to wear your sunglasses inside your office at all.  Sigh.   

So, I made it through the afternoon.  I was still pretty upset and I had to work that night also.  Here comes my second goodbye for the day.  Last night was my final night working for a family that I had been working with for the past two years (I helped take care of their young son who has Cerebral Palsy).  Who has this many goodbyes in one day?  Apparently I do.  Again, I was totally dreading this and just wanted to go home and nap before I had to be at their house.

But what did I do?  I logged on to Facebook and checked out the Fit Camp and I knew I had to go to the gym.  So, off to the gym I went.  I logged 45-minutes of intervals on the elliptical and I was feeling pretty damn good about myself.  Yes, the day was shitty, but I just made my third good choice for the day.  Who was this person?

So, I went to work, said my goodbyes to the family, and cried some more.  As I’m driving home I’m thinking, “I made it through the day and now I can go home and just go to bed.”  Not so fast.  Just as these thoughts are escaping my pretty little mind, my phone rings.  It’s my sister.  She’s calling to let me know that she’s in the ER with my adorable 18-month-old niece who has a 105-degree temperature.  Really?  Could this day be any worse?  Now I’m even more upset and anxious then I was before and I really want those oreos with wine milk.     

I get home.   Exhausted.  On the verge of yet more tears.  I swear I usually don’t cry this much, but jeez the day was killing me.  I’m still debating on those oreos.  Yes. No. Yes. No.  And then I start to have a pep-talk with myself.  Yes, I do talk to myself.  A lot.  Why would I throw away all of those good choices I made during the day?  My {half-way} healthy lunch and the working out.  At that moment I make the decision that I, skinny girl in training, do not need those oreos to fill better.  The wine?  Yes, but not tonight.  

I climb in to bed.  I’m still worried about my niece when my sister calls to say she will be okay.  She has a virus and they don’t need to admit her or give her any fluids.  Of course, they didn’t escape the ER without her needing a catheter or finding out that the patient in room 27 had testicular pain.

As I fell asleep last night, I felt truly proud of the decisions I had made during the day to continue forward with my healthy lifestyle journey.  I felt at peace.  In that moment I knew everything was going to be okay.  Will there be other terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days?  Yes.  Will it be a struggle to make healthy decisions on those days?  Yes.  Am I better person because of that?  Definitely.

I hope you all have found this journey leaving you feeling stronger and more confident, because believe me you all inspire me.  Every.  Single.  One.  Of.  You.  


Lindsay W., your fellow fit-camper

And because every post really does need a picture, here is a picture of my adorable niece: 

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Worst Kind of Before and After

I've been mulling over the best way to start off this blog entry, and have literally racked my brain to come up a creative way to do so. Unfortunately, I'm a bit lacking in that department right now, so I've decided that a simple "allow me to introduce myself" will suffice. So hi! Allow me to introduce myself (that's repetitive and redundant, loser). I'm Brenna, a 28-year-old mom of two: a daughter who is three, and a son who is a little over six months. They are my world, and the reason I get up in the morning. And also the reason that I first wanted to lose weight, get fit, and start setting a good example.
This is me: (excuse the lack of makeup)
Oh, eff. Screw it. Let's be honest. That WAS me. The first time I lost weight, got super active - BEFORE I got married, had kids, and let myself go. Eff that as well. Could it be worse? Of course. But nonetheless, that has GOT to be the WORST kind of before and after! At 5'9 and with a wider skeletal structure, I must say that I feel pretty foxy when I get into the low 150s (the first picture was taken at 153 or so). But, after I had my son, I was sitting pretty (chubby) at 198. I was NOT digging being so close to the 200 pound mark, so I knew that I had to get things under control.
I went from that, to this:
(I apologize if you get distracted looking at the world's cutest baby)
I started following Weight Watches again (the old Points program, not the new one that everybody hates) one month after I had my son. I lost 15 pounds over the course of a few months, and then my weight loss stalled...because I stopped trying. Despite having successfully lost weight in the past, I just had this annoying voice in my head that was telling me I just couldn't do it. It would be too hard, what with two kids and a house to keep up and a husband, blah blah blah. Then I discovered Mama Laughlin's blog. *cue music* After spending an embarrassingly UNREASONABLE amount of time combing through her every word, it hit me – if she could do this, so could I! And I've been doing it ever since. (Okay, so it's been, like, five weeks. But it feel likes forever.) I'm currently sitting around 174. I joined a gym, started running again, and kicked my Weight Watches into high gear. And I have been thrilled at the results. I have set a goal of 157 pounds, and then I will re-evaluate once I get there. I may decide to lose more. I may decide to eat an entire pizza. I'm just not sure how I'll feel. But I DO know this: I can't wait to get into the 160s, at which point the Body Mass Index will stop calling me overweight. (And yes, I know that the BMI is a jerk and that I should ignore him, but I'm so close that I feel like he's mocking me...) And when I make it into the 150s, well, I just might faint. There is a lot I have to work on, both physically and mentally, but I finally feel that I am once again up to the challenge.
Here is a recent(ish) picture of me, compared to one of me at my "start weight":
Here's the other thing: I really truly like to help people. So, if you are struggling with your weight loss or fitness goals, feel free to ask me anything I'm not a fitness expert, or foodie, or some kind of magician. What I AM is someone with experience in being at least a little bit successful in the weight loss department, often because of the encouragement of others, and I can't wait to pay it forward. So, that is me. What's your story?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Teach Them Well

Kids. I have 'em and I love 'em. A lot. And I don't just love my kids... my kids' friends? I love them immensely too. Random kids I see in the grocery store? Yep, love them too. My goal with my own children is to give them great experiences which, in turn, will fill them with great memories to last their lifetime. I want that for all children... whether it be a fleeting moment or days upon end, any interaction that I have with kids is intended to enrich their world, if only for a moment.

That's why I feel so strongly about writing this post dedicated to our food choices and how we pass them on to our children. So often I read "my kids were eating McDonald's and I wanted some!" or "my kids were having ice cream but I'm proud that I didn't have any!"... my question is WHY?! Why are they eating those foods?! I'm not talking about a treat here and there, heck, we're all entitled to a treat every now and then... I'm talking about everyday choices that we make that don't set a good example for our kids despite our best intentions. 

Time to get honest people. Go ahead, take a deep breath, and be honest with yourself... 

Do you repeatedly make bad food choices for your children? I sure did. Hot dogs? Frozen chicken nuggets? Check and check. Those were staples in my house. They were quick and as a busy single mom, fast and easy are my best friends! But that's changed now and I hope after reading this post you'll make some positive changes to your kids' diets too.

Here's the good news that will make your job easier... kids listen. Yes, they really do. They listen to what you tell them and even better, they emulate the choices that you make. Include your kids in discussions about food and let them come to the conclusions about what's best for their bodies. Don't lecture them and don't tell them what they'll be eating... have an open discussion and explain why it's important. Will they instantly ask you for asparagus and grilled chicken for dinner? Of course not, but with time and repetition, they'll make smart choices. My kids do and when I see it happen, those are some of the proudest moments of my day. 

Simple yet effective changes we have made include water instead of sports drinks (yes, they actually choose water 90% of the time), no Pop-Tarts (my son used to eat them almost daily!), and their choice of snacks has drastically improved. Instead of fruit snacks, chips, and cookies, they now choose pretzels, string cheese, yogurt, and fruit. Notice the word 'choose'? Repeated discussions about why it's important to make those healthy decisions have gone a long way with my kids. Of course I'm not perfect and neither are they. My son loves those sugar cookies you can buy at the grocery store that are topped with frosting and sprinkles (*gag*) and his grandmother buys them for him. I don't tell him that he's not allowed to have them, but I explain why they're not a good food choice and I hope that he won't have more than 1 / day when he's at her house. And guess what? He listens. He loves the cookies but he loves his mama more :) Sure I have to remind him every now and then not to overindulge, but the bottom line is that he listens.

My Emily getting fit with Mom!
Another healthy habit that it's easy to teach kids is exercise and the importance of taking care of your body. As a busy single mom, I always found an excuse to not go running... we live on a busy street, I couldn't leave the kids home alone and I sure as heck couldn't expect them to keep up on a run... but as they say, where there's a will, there's a way and we have found that way. There is a beautiful running park cemetery down the street from our house that takes us only 2.5 minutes to get to by foot. I walk, the kids ride their bikes or roller blades, and once we're there, I get my nightly run in while they're safe to ride around at their leisure as long as I can see them. We just started this routine 3 weeks ago and every single day my daughter asks me if we're going to go running... I don't know what it is that she likes about it so much but there's really no downside to it. We're all getting exercise, fresh air, and time together.

When my kids ask me why I'm getting healthy, I never tell them "because I'm sick of being fat"... the last thing I want to do is implant an unhealthy body image in their minds. I always tell them the same thing... that I want to get healthy and take care of my body. It's as simple as that. With these changes that we've made with food and exercise, I know they'll continue to make the right choices to stay healthy too.

Share some of your thoughts in the comments section. Make great choices for your kids? Share them. Need advice? Ask the questions. Tips for having healthy kids? We'd all love to hear them!

An aware parent loves all children he or she meets and interacts with - for you are a caretaker for those moments in time ~ Doc Childre

This blog post was contributed by Erin, fellow Fit Camper, and you can read more by Erin at her personal blog.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Girl In My Reflection

I don’t want to say that I’ve struggled with weight my entire life, because I don’t think that’s accurate.  I can say however, that weight has been in the forefront of my mind for as long as I remember.  Looking at photos of myself as a kid, I was definitely not fat.  None of the kids were fat back then.  That was before highly processed foods for breakfast and video games after school.  I wasn’t fat, but I wasn’t one of the skinny kids.  Never was.

I was often singled out as a young girl.  One of my earliest memories, I was made fun of for falling.  I was probably in first or second grade.  You see, there was a huge divot in the asphalt on the playground.  Almost like something was sitting on it when it was drying.  It was there for years, but one day I fell on it on accident while playing.  A few of the girls started laughing at me and pointing out to the other kids that I was so fat I made that divot in the ground when I fell on it.

Yep, that’s one of my very earliest memories.  Shitty, huh?

I didn’t tell you this to feel sorry for me.  I told you this to paint a picture.  You see, as someone who was made fun of throughout my childhood, the image of myself as an adult was effected.  Greatly.

It’s funny, because I’ve always (or for the most part) portrayed myself as confident.  And I am.  To a degree.  I’m confident in who I am and what I stand for.  That, my friends, is because my parents raised me that way.  Thankfully!

What I haven’t been confident about was how I looked.  Even when I was actually thin, I still felt like the fat kid who made divots in the asphalt.  I am 27 and I can honestly say that I have NEVER felt 100% good about the way I looked.  EVER.  I could sit here and blame The Mean Girls, but in reality, there comes a time when you need to buck up and take responsibility.  Sure, might make it harder, but still – I’m responsible for me.

My weight loss story dates back a few years.  But I’ve recently re-committed myself (after losing/gaining the same 30lbs for 3 years).  I’ve been on Weight Watchers and working with a trainer for about 6 months weeks now.  I’ve lost 27 pounds.  And have gained an entirely new version of me.

I caught a reflection of myself and had to do a double take.  I didn’t even recognize what I saw.  I looked like me, but different.  For the first time ever, I saw me.  The real me.  Not the girl who was picked on about weight.  I saw Jennifer.  I saw the fighter.  I saw the lover.  I saw the woman who is taking charge and making a change.  And let me tell you, it was nothing short of AMAZING!

yeah, I think I'm a rockstar...don't burst my bubble ;)

Here's the Bio & Photo I used when we first launched in case you missed it...

Hey! I’m Jen S., the other Fit Camp Counselor, and I’m on a mission to prove you can lose weight, look great, and still drink beer while doing it. Weight has been in the forefront of my mind for as long as I remember. It wasn’t until I started dating my husband nearly 7 years ago that I kinda stopped caring and before I knew it, I was 220 pounds (I’m 5’8”). Over three years, I lost/gained 30-40 pounds. It wasn’t until March 2012 (at 191 lbs) that I finally decided that enough was enough. I joined Weight Watchers and stopped making excuses about working out.

My Goal: Ultimately, to create a healthy skinny lifestyle combined with working out and eating right that is maintainable. My goal weight is somewhere between 135-145lbs.

Other tidbits: I am a 27 year old newlywed with 2 rescue doggies, building my photography & design business. I believe in hard work, determination, love, faith, local brews, and a really good glass of wine. I think I’m a comedian, am super sweet, but I don’t tolerate bullshit. Excuses, while legitimate sometimes, are still excuses.

peace & love
jen s.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mama Laughlin's Fit Camp Birth Story

I came across Mama's blog at the beginning of the year, via Pinterest, and it was love at first read.  From the get-go I was drawn to her weight struggle as it is a struggle that I am all too familiar with.  Specifically, it was the demeanor to which she faces that struggle that hooked me - she is so honest and so crass.  I just love it.  Not to mention, she is absolutely gorgeous and although I've never met her - it seems she is just as beautiful on the inside.  This is why her blog is and continues to be the only one I follow religiously.  

Anywho.  I saw how many people were following Mama and posting weight and fitness related comments and questions to her blog and facebook page.  It dawned on me that what all these people needed was a forum to connect, discuss, encourage, and motivate amongst themselves.  I thought about it for a few days and ran the idea by Jen S., who by the way, I only know virtually.  A little background on that - I tagged Jen S. - who is a creative, to help me with a design project approximately 16 months ago.  We've kept in touch since working together because we've discovered that we have a few interests in common - including following Mama.  Jen S. gave the idea her approval and offered to help.  Someone else being on board was all I needed to reach out to Mama.  I explained in an email to Mama that we would like to start a facebook group inspired by her, it would be closed, explained some of the content ideas, and that Jen S. and I were willing to moderate it.  Mama responded the same day and was on board!  (Mama:  if you are reading this, thank you so much for partnering with us and letting us run with this.  I think the masses like it.)

After getting the go-ahead, Jen S. and I tossed around name ideas - my first suggestion was Mama Laughlin's Fat Camp - but we eventually settled on the more PC Fit Camp.  Jen S. then designed the little Fit Camp logo, I set up page, and we posted our little bios and that was that.  We told Mama we were ready for launch and she mentioned Fit Camp in her blog post the next day.  From there an EXPLOSION ensued!  An absolute explosion of people requesting to join the group.  Honestly, when I first pitched the idea to Jen S., I was thinking maybe 25 people would be interested.  Never, ever, in my heart of hearts did I think over 1,000 people would request to join the VERY first day!  People, it was like fireworks on the screen!  Honestly, Jen S. and I were like holy f*ck!

And now here we are almost a month later and we are approaching 5,000 members.  This number is another motivation for starting this supplemental blog.  According to the research I've done, facebook cuts a group off at 5,000 members.  And frankly, I think we all have a great thing going and want to share it with the world.  I also hope that you  all consider contributing to this blog by providing a guest post!  Contact us at if interested.  I really want this to be a group effort.

Now that you now know the birth story - I'll share the original bio and picture I posted on the first case you missed it.

Jen J.

"I’m Jen J. and I’m one of two Fit Camp counselors.  Welcome to the group!  Here’s a little about me to kick things off.  
Approach:  I've always been a little husky and have tried diet after diet. I had the most success with Weight Watchers - having once lost 30 lbs with it. But, I gained it all back and tried time and time again to re-lose the weight. In the process I've become so sick of "dieting". While seeking relief from Ulcerative Colitis, an auto-immunize disease I was diagnosed with a few years ago, I watched two great documentaries, Fat, Sick and Dying and Forks Over Knives (both on netflix).   After watching, I decided that I really wanted to put the kibosh to traditional counting calories and really focus on a healthy life style. A life style based on limiting processed foods and red meats while focusing on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and lean meats. I also regularly exercise (run, yoga, softball, and fitness classes). I've been doing this since the New Year, starting at 199 pounds, and I currently weight 181 (I’m 5’8”).   It's not a ton and it's been slow going, but it's nice to feel like I'm not on an official diet or depriving myself.
Goal:  My goal is to lose another 20lbs and be near the 160 mark.  If and when I do, I am taking my next tax refund and buying myself some diamond studs.  After all, I believe a girl can buy her own damn diamonds. 
Other tidbits:  I am 32, a working professional and live in sin with my boyfriend and rescue cat.  I love designer purses, vodka, and the outdoors."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fit Camp now has a Blog. Yay!

I've been mulling over creating a little blog for our Fit Camp for a while.  Today, I decided to put that thought into action and settled on the name Fitness Unscripted.  It's inspired by the random posts I've read from the group over the past few weeks.  One minute chub rub, boob sweat, and constipation is being discussed, the next someone is posting about the tears they shed after reaching a running goal.  It just became very apparent to me that fitness can be beautiful and ugly or in other words, "unscripted". 

So my thoughts for this blog is for it be a place where we post the important stuff (which is always getting lost) such as weekly challenges, the results of the Wednesday Weigh-ins, and Food Love Fridays.  I also want you guys to contribute.  Honestly, I have no idea how I am going to find time for this so I am counting on you guys to help contribute content.  I really want this to be a group blog.  How it would work:  you write a blog post and maybe contribute some pictures, send it to me, I'll post and give you credit for the content, and then people will read.  Simple as that.  I can also give a shout out to your personal blog.  So if you have a blog post idea, please message me.  Ideas for potential posts include:  managing motherhood and fitness, clean eating, product/DVD reviews, things you learned along your journey....etc.

I will close by saying that I really don't know what I am doing.  My boyfriend does web development for his job but I don't want to ask him for his help because I don't want him to see some of the stuff I am posting!  I would die if he saw the 30DS pictures I posted yesterday!  Just die!  It's that crazy?  I can open up to you guys, but not the man I've been sharing my life with for the past 3.5 years.  Anyhow, this is going to be raw and sloppy - not to mention my English and grammar are for shit.  But it's time this old dog learned some new tricks.

Closing here because I need to do the 30DS.  FML.  Also, including a picture of me on my motor bike (my dad's really) for shits and giggles.  Keep on, keeping on!  ~ Jen J.  

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