Friday, November 30, 2012

Think Like an Alaskan. // Jen J.

It is not easy to try something new.

Especially when that something new involves the cold and dark.  And exercise. 

For the longest time I’ve wanted to meet up with this running group that gathers at a local specialty running shop. Finally a few weeks ago, thanks to Fit Camp, I stopped pussyfooting (shout out to Kate M. that spitball of an Aussie) around and got off my vajazz and went for the first time. Why I waited until winter to pursue this, I have no idea.

The first night I went all by myself, which I will add, is also not easy. I wore all black. Everyone else was all decked out in neon and reflective gear. Immediately, the organizer comes up to me and hands me a flashlight and tells me I need something to light my way. That was nice. There was another girl, Julie, also dressed in all black. I approached her and said, “you must also be new”.  She said yes, and we had a chuckle at our rookie mistakes. Julie also got issued a flashlight.  Safety first, gals! 

The leader informed us that we’d be running a four mile hilly course. Oh joy, I think to myself. Mind you, it was 30 something degrees and typically I call it a day at three miles. Julie and I started out together but the hills got to me. And soon I was on my own, absolutely the last person in the pack. I was probably a good quarter of a mile behind everyone else. I had to strain to see their lights so I that I could stay on course. It was not easy, I don’t know that it was fun either. But I did not stop.  Did I mention it was cold?  Again, I did not stop.   I was the last one to get back to the shop. But I did it! And you know what, Julie was there waiting outside for me, making sure I made it.

I’ve now ran with the group four weeks in a row. Three Wednesday night runs and a turkey trot. It is still freezing, dark, and hard. But I kind of like it.  It makes me feel macho and tough.

Here is a picture of this Wednesday’s run dubbed the Stash Dash. As you can see I still haven’t invested in any cold weather neon, but it’s going on the Christmas list.

That's me on the far right. 
I want to stick with this. Julie has shown up every week too. And we agreed that we’d both be back next week. Yay! Could it be a budding friendship?!

Cold weather blows. Literally. I’ve seen a lot of posts in the group regarding cold weather running. Girls, you just layer up and go.

You know what I say to myself, when I am dreading the cold? I say, "self, what would an Alaskan do?” I swear, I really do. Those Alaskans are bad ass people! All tough and stuff.

In July 2011, I had the fortunate experience to travel to Alaska for a family vacay. We saw some of the land and also did a cruise. I shared a ship cabin with my BF and sister. We slept on bunk beds.  My parents were in the next cabin over.  How fun does that sound?? I digress.

As you all know, Alaska can be freezing and wet (insert your own dirty thought here). Even in the summer. Unfortunately, it was cold and rainy for a good portion of our trip. But what could we do. We spent all that money, came all that way, and it was a once in a life time opportunity.

 I’ll tell you what we did. We made the most of it.

Pausing on a rainy hike to photo bomb this moose.
 We got in our rain gear and hiked five miles in the pouring down rain looking for moose.

BF & I at Mendhall Glacier. 

We put on hats and gloves and got out there and saw what there was to be seen.

My sister and I, freezing our tits off at Hubbard Glacier.
What was the alternative, sit in our room and miss out on this majestic place? I think not.  Seriously, this trip changed my perspective.

I challenge you all to adopt this philosophy.

We are not bears. We cannot hibernate.

Get out there, get some fresh air. Bundle up and run or walk, that's cool too.  Just move. Admire the Christmas lights or the freshly fallen snow. Every season has something to offer, you just got to toughen up and give it a chance.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The World’s Longest Weight Loss (at least it feels like it!) //Jessica S.

I finally hit the 30 pound lost mark HIP HIP HOORAYY!!!! So it took me 14 months to do so. So my initial goal was 50 pounds in a year. So I feel it’s the world’s longest weight loss. I FINALLY GOT RID OF … well, SOME OF IT!!! 60% of it!!! I suppose I am not the only one in this boat, so this goes out to my fellow boaters!!!

As a little kid, I was your loud mouth, spunky, middle child. The joke in our family is out of us three girls, I waited the longest to start talking and once I started, I never shut up. ☺ (I apologize for the world’s longest blog entry; I type too much like I talk too much!) My younger sister and I played outside every day and were constantly on the go. Things started to change when I hit my teen years.

I started packing on the pounds by grade 6. I was not athletic in the slightest. I am one of the least coordinated people you will ever meet. I would come in dead last in any race in phys-ed class, never picked to play on the school’s basketball or volleyball team, and I was the kid chosen DEAD LAST EVERY time in sports in gym class. (To the other kids defence, I was terrible at all sports.) I knew I wasn’t good at sports but to have it rubbed in my face every gym class made me shy away from them even more.

Thanks to some choice words from certain classmates, I viewed myself as a huge, fat cow when in actual fact I might have been about twenty pounds over weight. I was loud and outgoing throughout most of my elementary school career, and though I would hear people’s comments and pretend they didn’t matter, they hurt. I think my favourite comment over all, repeated to me through a friend, was from a guy in my class who said “She would be pretty if she wasn’t fat.” Why can’t people be pretty and fat? There is just more of me to love!

By grade 8, I was 165 pounds. (I WISH I was that weight now.) A rude family member nastily said to me “You don’t want to go into high school fat, do you?” Awesome. Thanks. Oh and did I mention BOTH of my sisters are tall and skinny?!?! (I am 5’3”) To add salt to the wound, my youngest sister loses weight and gains in her boobs. I would hate her if she wasn’t so awesome. My younger sister has always been incredibly supportive of me and encouraging. She never sees me as her “fat” sister.

High school was rough in that I couldn’t handle the change. I became the quiet, little wall flower, something so shockingly different from the big mouth kid in elementary school. Every day I would go home and eat the potato chips I bought with my own money. By the time I graduated high school, I was 190 pounds.

I eat my feelings. Flat out, I know I do. When things get stressful, my face hole opens and I proceed to shovel in, anything that is within my reach that is edible. Growing up, my Mom cooked healthy meals. I would never blame my parents for my weight, they truly supplied healthy foods, I just snacked and ate far more then I should and I NEVER exercised as a teen. (I have to add my parents are my best friends and two of my biggest supporters. My Mom herself had lost 80 pounds and managed to keep it off for 15 years. She stress eats too. She never lectures, but she is always there if I need to vent or discuss. She is amazing!)

After high school, I would spend the next 12 years of my life staying around the 190 mark. (I sit at a desk all day, sedentary was my middle name.)

August 2009 my husband/fiancĂ© at the time had our engagement photos done. I thought he looked great, the background looked awesome, but all I could see was my big, fat, dough boy face in the pictures. I weighed 195 pounds. For the first time in my life, I made a conscience effort to exercise. By the time we got married in February 2010, I was down to 182. I got the wedding photos back and all I could think was “OMG! Look at my sausage arms.” Seriously, I am my own worst critic. Married life was/is so easy and awesome for us. I married my best friend. He is always there for me. I love to cook/bake. He loves my cooking/baking. On the weight piled. He never made me feel bad for it, but I made myself feel bad for it.

I turned 30 in June 2011, I panicked; 30 seemed so old. I haven’t had children yet, which is something I thought I would have done by at least 27. I weighed 204 pounds on my 30th birthday. I had talked to my doctor about family planning and he kindly told me that I should think about loosing some weight as it will be easier to get pregnant and safer for me and a baby. I took what he said, and did nothing about it. I would have thought that would have been powerful motivation, and it should have been, but it just didn’t click for me. I created a formal bucket list; life is short, and what if I couldn’t have kids? I shouldn’t wait around to see if I was going to get pregnant.

In the mean time both my younger sister and my husband joined a co-ed ice hockey league for beginners. Every Saturday night I would go and watch them play. I love to watch hockey, what Canadian doesn’t? I couldn’t skate and am the least athletic person ever, so I just assumed I would be a spectator my whole life. The fun thing about the league my sister and husband belong to is that they have the moniker; “Hockey for Dummies”, people aren’t at a Gretzky level of play. In fact, the whole league is based around fun. If two opposing team members collide, they help each other up laughing; if you score a goal, the other team comes over to congratulate you. It looked fun! I decided I was stepping out of my comfort zone; I was going to play ice hockey. I added it to my bucket list.

I signed up for the 2011/2012 Winter season. I couldn’t skate so I had my husband take me to public skating so I could learn the basics. By my first game, I could skate (without too much wobbling) and sort of stop (without using the boards). I was terrible. I played defence and I was out skated by the other team the entire game. I went to the dressing room after the game wondering what the hell did I get myself in to? I was back to being that fat, little 12 year old who disappointed her team. For the record, my team never let me feel this way, they were incredibly supportive, it was me and my own personal demons.

The following Monday, September 19th, 2011, I stepped on the scale, it was 205. One pound more since my birthday but that’s when it clicked. I can’t do this. I can’t let this number get bigger. Most importantly, I am not going to go through this entire hockey season feeling like the fat, little 12 year old who was going to disappoint her team. In retrospect, as I always self analyse myself, I think it’s funny how I made not wanting to disappoint my team, essentially strangers, as my motivation versus my own health. I am too much of a people pleaser, but it worked in this case....

I decided I was going to lose 50 pounds in a year. That day I started counting calories. I created an MS Excel spreadsheet to track my calories. (I am a bookkeeper; I love numbers and am an Excel whore.) I read every article I could get a hold of and made sure I was reading articles from trustworthy sources, Health Canada, Registered Dieticians, etc. I was determined to be healthy, not just lose weight, and I wanted to lose weight safely and keep it off. I started out eating 1200 to 1400 calories a day.

I bought a Groupon for Curves, which is interval, circuit training. I would go to Curves three times a week and played hockey once a week. By December 2011, I had lost 18 pounds. Christmas came and while I was still counting calories I was up to about 1900 a day, I love food, I can’t help it. I was playing hockey still and working out at home. April 2012 I bought Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. This started my weird “Hey let’s stop losing pounds and just lose inches” stage. My doctor told me as long as I was losing something, I can’t count it as a plateau. My husband and I joined the local gym in May 2012; I spent most of the summer swimming at the gym, playing summer hockey (I signed up for my second season!) and doing the 30 Day Shred. I was/am getting toned! Something I have never been!

I found Mama Laughlin’s blog in Spring 2012 when I was at the pinnacle of my Pinterest addiction. I was immediately hooked. I spent four days reading back through every post. I swear I am not a stalker! I was just riveted and inspired. Then the Mama Laughlin Fit Club was created, I got to “meet” others just like me; real people working away at their goals. Real people who understood. More inspiration in others who had succeeded!

I finally hit the 25 pounds lost mark just before my one year anniversary of getting fit. September 19, 2012, I weighed 180 pounds. While this may be the slowest weight loss ever, I felt good. I didn’t achieve my initial goal of 50 pounds in a year, but I didn’t mind so much as I felt good. Now it’s November and I have finally hit the 30 pound mark.

3 bags of potatoes worth! 20 more to go, but they don't feel as daunting as the original goal of 50 did.

Here are the changes (so far):



September 19 2011

November 27 2012

Changes






Weight (lbs)
                  205.00

               175.00....

-30.00

             Inches

             Inches


Upper Arm
                    15.00

                    12.50

-2.50
Waist
                    37.50

                    31.50

-6.00
Abdomen
                    47.00

                    39.50

-7.50
Hips
                    49.00

                    42.75

-6.25
Upper Thigh
                    30.50

26.00....

-4.50
Lower Thigh
                    23.50

                    19.25

-4.25
Calf
                    17.00

                    14.75

-2.25

I never measured my bust; I didn’t want to depress myself. The girls did shrink though, I can tell.
September 2011 // 205 pounds

November 2012 // 175 pounds ( I have my sassy pants on)
Things I have found that help that I have done or am currently doing:
  • I work in mini 5 pound goals, far less daunting then my ultimate goal.
  • I got an Iphone in the fall and gave up my Excel spreadsheet to count calories, now I am using My Fitness Pal where you can find me as bitemejessica, I always enjoy new friends!
  • I blog, I like to write. It helps me de-stress. (Rather then stuff my face with chips and cupcakes.) Unfortunately, I write a lot about food. I can’t help it. You can read about me here.
  • I play hockey once a week (I signed up for this winter season!)
  • I Aquafit three times a week at the gym. (Sometimes I do yoga or Zumba in place of one of the Aquafits.)
  • I am still Jillian’s bitch. I use her workouts on the days I don’t have Aquafit. I have moved from the 30 Day Shred to Ripped in 30, I love her DVDs.
  • I am now eating a NET of 1300 to 1400 calories a day. After talking with my doctor he recommended I increase my calories as he thought my body might be in starvation mode. I also try to aim for 150 grams of protein a day to keep me full. This increase seemed to finally get the pounds moving again.
  • I talk to my doctor a lot; he is a great resource and is very supportive.
  • I am (still) learning portion control and moderation. I don’t have to finish the entire pan in one sitting.
  • I indulge in treats, in moderation (well… still working on that). I know that if I don’t have a small amount of my craving I go bananas and break down and buy a huge serving of said craving and pile in the junk. Now I buy a small bag of chips instead of the large bag. I like to get the craving done in a moderate amount and move on. (And not beat myself up!)
  • I am learning not to be so hard on myself. I am learning to let go of my personal demons.
  • I like home cooked meals, I try to have one big meal a week. I no longer do a “cheat day”. I can’t be trusted with that kind of freedom; I limit the cheat to “one cheat meal.
  • And most importantly I get my morning fix of the Mama Laughlin Fit Club. It inspires me, it makes me laugh and helps get me through my day.
  • It’s been a slow journey thus far, but my Mom was right: it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. Perhaps I could have lost weight faster if I hadn’t indulged so much, but I was happy and I never felt hungry along the way. I am learning how to take care of my body better. I will hit the 50 pound mark, hopefully it won’t take me another year, but I am going to keep working at it!

//Jessica S.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Figuring Out Who I’m Really Supposed to Be. // Jill C.

I first want to say that all of you ladies have been such amazing inspiration to me and I appreciate every single one of you. I have been with Fit Camp since the beginning and it has been incredible to see it grow and transform into this amazing support system! That being said, its my turn to share what brought me here.

I was always what I like to call a little "thicker". I wasn't fat, but I wasn't teeny tiny either. And even though I felt pretty good about myself, I still thought I was fat. I would give anything to go back to 154lbs now! Anyway, when I was 16, I met my now husband. We fell hard and fast. He was my first love and is still my only love to this day (I know, AWW!) When I was 17 and a senior in high school, I got pregnant. Thus, began my true struggle with weight. After my daughter was born, I felt big, but I wasn't concerned enough to do anything about it. Then, when she was 9 months old, I got pregnant again. When I was pregnant with my son, my weight sky-rocketed. After he was born, I continued to eat like I was still “eating for two”. I knew I was fat, but I still thought, “I'm ok, my body is big, but my face still looks good.” Boy, was I wrong! In January of 2009, I was tipping the scales at my heaviest... 260lbs. Writing that right now, I still cannot believe I let myself get that OUT OF CONTROL!! My mom showed me pictures from Christmas, and there was one of me, ALL OF ME, which was rare because I never let anyone take my picture. I thought I was going to DIE!! For the first time, I saw what I must look like to other people, and I could not believe it. I was completely disgusted with myself and knew I had to make a change. So, I started counting calories and I bought a treadmill, and I lost 50lbs. I was starting to feel good about myself again. I was able to buy normal clothes again. And I vowed to never see 260 on the scale EVER again! In October of 2010, I got pregnant with my third and final baby boy, so I have since started the journey again. This time with the support of all of you ladies! I am only 9lbs away from ONEderland, a place I never imagined I'd ever see again. Through this process, I have discovered a true love and passion for running that I never thought I could have. It has become my outlet and my main stress relief. I could sing the praises of running all day long… but I digress… I'm down 42lbs as of today. And I'm happier with myself than I've been in a LONG time!

And now for the pics...
At my heaviest, 206 lbs in 2008.

At my heaviest, 260 lbs in 2008.



This is me now, 208lbs, about to partake in my favorite activity… running :)



I would do anything for these sweet, sweet babies! I would gladly do it all again to get them!

// Jill C.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

First Annual MLFC Retreat. // Angela H.

A big thanks to Angela H. for organizing and putting together these details for the First Annual MLFC Retreat!  Yay!  GET EXCITED!!  Details will continue to develop so please keep checking the MLFC's Retreat event.  Here's what Angela H. has worked out so far!...... 

Dates: Check-in - Thursday, June 20th; Check-out - Sunday, June 23rd (if you're coming after the 20th or leaving before the 23rd, don't sweat it....or sweat it because we're all about fitness!)


Hotel Room Stuff: We've got a room block at the hotel for $85/night (tax not included). If you're rooming by yourself, that's the cost. If you're rooming with somebody, divide that # by 2. If you're brave and want to room with 2 roomies and one of you crazy ladies are sleeping in the bathtub, then divide that # by 3.  A reservations link will be provided as soon as it is available. 

Registration Fee: $15...here's the serious nitty gritty. This fee will go towards the overall participation fee and is based on 100 attendees. This fee reserves your spot and is non-refundable. This fee needs to be paid by Monday, January 17th. I've set up a PayPal account for you to pay this, so the payment is done safely.  Click here. 

Participation Fee: still up in the air...this depends on the total number of people who go. The more people who go, the lower the participation fee. I'm not anticipating the overall participation fee to be more than $50. (Again, you'll already be paying $15 of this amount through the registration fee.) 

Agenda: Thursday, June 20th - get thee to Dallas!; Friday, June 21st - a free for all, do whatever you want!; Saturday, June 22nd - We'll have one of the ballrooms during the day for breakout sessions for Zumba, Jillian, whatever. We're also planning on having some guest speakers...that evening we'll have a farewell reception so we can get our drink on!; Sunday, June 23rd - head home and recover from all the craziness!

Other Stuff: We'll have complimentary continental breakfast, and ALL attendees will be given VIP shopping and dining discount cards. We're also working on some contests and raffles so you guys can win some fabulous prizes. 

// Angela H.

Monday, November 26, 2012

My New Basement is Awesome. // Jen J.

Forgive me if you follow me on Instagram because I am just whoring the shit out of my new basement and Chevron wall.  I am just so proud of it.


......here's the back story.

In 2007, I purchased a new construction townhouse.  It is one of those townhouses where the house sits on top of the garage so the first level of my house is part garage and part basement.  This setup makes for a tiny basement; approximately 200 square feet.  At the time my house was being built it was a $6,000 upgrade to have it finished.  My dad chimed in that $6,000 was a racket and he'd finish if for me.  At the time I valued (and still do) my parents opinion because I was young, single, broke and buying my first home.  Needless to say, I took my dad up on his offer.

Five years later.........

We just got around to doing it.  Now it isn't like my dad has been sitting idle.  And keep in mind he lives 6 hours away.  Over the past five years he's installed ceiling fans, trimmed my windows, hung chair rail, and helped with the kitchen back splash.  The list goes on and on.  However, over the past couple of years his participation has slowed a little for two reasons.  1) I now have a live in boyfriend and 2) recently he has had some major health issues.

Finishing the basement was well beyond the skill level of the boyfriend.  But THANKFULLY my dad is finally doing better health wise so the time has come to finally wrap this baby up.  Let me be clear I never pushed the issue and finishing it was his idea.  I don't want to sound like a slave driver.  The fact is, he likes to do this stuff and he is a man of his word.

We started in August with the framing and adding of electrical outlets and recess lighting.  Before this picture the basement was just cinder blocks, puffy insulation and was filled to the gills with crap.
My dad said that he would do everything but the drywall work which he hates.  I don't blame him.  That shit is heavy and messy.  I had to find a contractor which was not an easy task even with my Angie's List subscription.   Unfortunately, this took a couple of months and drywall was finally completed mid-November.
After the drywall was complete it was a mad rush to get it primed and painted because my parents offered to come for Thanksgiving and finish the rest up.
So the BF and I dedicated last weekend to painting, priming and making a chevron wall.  Our wrists were both about ready to fall off but we got it all done.
Here are my dear parents working on the floor which - surprise, surprise - I purchased from Costco.  After installing the flooring it was time to hang and trim the doors, and then add the floor boards.  And then boom we were done!  From drywall to finished product in a week.
Mudroom portion of basement.
Fitness studio.
 The bench and hook set is from Pottery Barn and I spent entirely too much on it.  But I wanted it and it seems like really good quality.  However, a cheaper and very similar version can be found at Target.  The rug in the picture is not staying.  I just ordered a 3X5 rug and a runner in this pattern from West Elm.  
Camden Stripe Handwoven Rug 5'x8', Indigo
With the chevron wall, I wanted something simple.  Now I am in the market for something awesome to hang my car keys on.  Any ideas??

In total (sans Pottery Barn purchase), it cost about $2,000 to finish the basement for a savings of nearly $4,000.  Granted, I had to wait five years.  But having the opportunity to bond with my father over the buzz of a miter saw made the wait worth it.  I truly love looking around my house and seeing his labors of love.  On top of that, he gets shit done right.  The first time.  I certainly don't want to leave my mom out either she's the best little helper.

....wait for it, wait for it.  I am about to make this post fitness related.

As you can see above, I now have a little area for I am dubbing my fitness studio.  (I am going to add a DVD/TV combo.)  Thank you, Jesus! - because this anal bitch just hated doing my videos in my carpeted living room.  I hate wearing shoes on carpet and because of the friction I feel like I can't get a good foot pivot during kickboxing.

For a while now I've debating on whether to ditch my $100 a month membership to the Y.  It costs that much because the BF and I are both on it and I can go to any local Y.  The truth is with all these Jillian challenges, I've been going less and less.  And the BF only goes when I go.  On top of the Y, I typically practice hot yoga at a studio twice a week at $10 a class.  In total, I am spending $180 a month on fitness related activities.

I am a little hesitant to give it up now because it's getting colder.  But in the summer, if it's nice out I am always playing outside.  Hiking, biking, softball, a stroll around the neighborhood.  You name it, I frolic.

So I want to hear from you.  Now that I have my little studio, do you think I should quit the gym?  Have you been successful without a gym membership?  How do you keep things interesting?










Thursday, November 22, 2012

Your Three Words. // Jen J.

We have a lot of beautiful faces featured in our last installment of "My Three Words". 
 Thank you to each and every one of our contributors!

Kortni B. // Feeling good naked!

Sonya W. // Stubborn. Endurance. Worthy.
Brenna C. // Improvement NOT Perfection!
Abbie C.  // Faith, Strength, & Success.
Katie Y., Mama L., Amy W. & Julie M. // We met Mama.
Amy W. // I'm not alone : )
 Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!  Today, I can't help put reflect upon how thankful I am for each of you reading this.  You all have certainly given me some companionship on this journey!  And I will be thinking of you all when I run my Turkey Trot.



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

MLFC is Gaining Momentum. // Jen J.

It’s been nearly four months since the launch of MLFC. I cannot believe what it has become in such a short time. There are so many wonderful women across the globe in one common place, with one common goal. To say this group has grown beyond our initial intentions is an understatement. It is no longer confined to posting and commenting in the Facebook group. People are meeting, completing challenges, and sharing their stories. To this point, just check out some of the great things WE are doing.

MY THREE WORDS: This is a photo project I launched for the month of November, the month I like to think of as the month of gratitude. In doing so, I asked for pictures of you holding signs with three words that represent what MLFC and your wellness journey means to you. I have been featuring the photos in a weekly blog post throughout the month and I would like to do one more installment on Thanksgiving. If you’d like to be included please email your photo to MLfitcamp@gmail.com by Wednesday, November 21st. To see Mama Laughlin and my interpretation, click here.

OPERATION PEN 2 PAPER:
It seems like the word throwback is being thrown around a lot these days. There is everything from throwback pop to throwback jerseys (BTW - have you seen the Pittsburgh Steelers’ jerseys? – YAK!). Well, Operation Pen 2 Paper is a throwback to the days of pen paling. Yours truly used to really be into pen pals back in the day and I still love sending and receiving snail mail.

Operation Pen 2 Paper started when I first announced in MLFC that I might sound like a weirdo but I’d like to get some of your addresses to send out notes or Christmas cards. The response I received from the post surprised me twofold. Number one, I was absolutely floored by how many of you emailed me with your email addresses! To which I kindly responded, that I was talking old school mail – stamp and letter. With the modern conveniences of email and texting, traditional letter writing is becoming a lost art form. Yet, everyone, or at least I do, squeals with delight when they return from the mailbox with something other than a bill.

Number two, I cannot believe how many of you were brave enough to send a stranger your address!!! I’ve received 110 addresses from people from all over the US, Canada, and I even had one person from Australia submit their address. So far I’ve personally sent mail joy to 28 people. In my cards, I include the names and addresses of two other campers and ask that they pay it forward by sending notes to them. I also ask the recipients of my letter to tell the people receiving their letters to email me for an address so they too can pay it forward. So in summary, hopefully the person who I wrote, writes the two people I supplied, and then those two people email me for two more addresses. Clear as mud, right!? I am going to do my best to write to as many people as I can. But, I don’t want my wrist to fall off and we all know stamps are not cheap so I am really counting on you guys to help me get the momentum of this thing going.

If you’d like to get your name on the list email me at MLfitcamp@gmail.com. I ask that you only supply your address if you are also willing to pay it forward. After all, it is only fair.

VIRTUAL TURKEY TROT:
A big thank you to Ashley P. and Bridgett D. for this one! On Thanksgiving, they are hosting a virtual Turkey Trot 5k. Seeing as it’s a virtual event, it is super flexible. You can do an organized race in your area or simply take a trot around your neighborhood. You can run, walk, crawl, or skip your 3.1 miles. The idea is for all of us to take a moment that day and honor our bodies by giving them a little attention before we stuff ourselves silly. For more information see the Turkey Trot Virtual 5k event under the MLFC events tab.

MLFC RETREAT:
The details are still being developed on this shindig, but consider this your save the date notification. Angela H. and Kimberly S. are working hard to organize a MLFC Retreat for June - 20th - 23rd, 2013 in Dallas, Texas. The intention is for it to be a giant “girls” weekend where we can finally put faces with names, braid each others hair, take tequila shots with Mama Laughlin, have pillow fights and maybe, just maybe do a few wellness activities together. To learn more information as it develops click on the Mama Laughlin Retreat event under the MLFC events tab.

HALF MARATHON CHALLENGE:
This affair was the brain child of Kara W. Kara has organized a challenge for those of you who want to earn that coveted 13.1 sticker for the back of your car. The challenge is centered on training for a spring half marathon alongside other members of MLFC. More information on the challenge can be found here.

FITNESS UNSCRIPTED:
Obviously, you know what Fitness Unscripted is if you are reading this. The intent of this blog is for it to be a collaborative effort amongst the ladies of MLFC. Whether you have learned something from your wellness journey, want to gripe about something fitness/woman related or maybe you’ve accomplished a goal – chances are a reader can relate. And YOU, yes YOU, can serve as a motivator. Let’s continue to learn from each other and please consider contributing a post here. I really rely on you guys to keep this going. Honestly, I don’t have the time to blog full time nor am I that interesting. Lastly, my grammar and writing ability leave something to be desired. Guest posts can be emailed to MLfitcamp@gmail.com.

I’ll close this summary by saying that the inbox is always open for your contributions, ideas, suggestions, and complainants. I continue to strive to make the group interactive, motivating, and educational. But above all, I truly hope the group continues to foster positive and supportive relationships amongst all of us.

//Jen J.

To continue to be in the know, please consider liking Fitness Unscripted on Facebook. I post all the good shit there. Also, feel free to follow me on Instagram- @passingleft - where I frequently use the hashtags #mlfitcamp and #earnthatsticker. And really hope to start using #operationpen2paper a lot more.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Looking at a Better Me. // Brittany T.

I have been debating doing a guest post on here for a while and finally sat down to write out what I wanted to share…

So the other day I was in Kickboxing class and I was staring at the blonde hottie that seriously looks like she never has to watch what she eats because she is so dang perfect! I was sitting there all sad for myself because “I will never be that tall and sexy.” When it hit me…Why the hell am I always comparing myself to others?

I mean, yeah there will always be those girls who have a better body or someone who is prettier…that’s just how life is! But why am I comparing myself to someone who has a completely different body type than me and as much as I hate to give her any credit (lol) I am sure she works hard for the body she has. I know I have! And instead of comparing myself to her, maybe I should compare myself to the person I used to be…at 190 pounds and only 5’3”.   I was overweight, unhealthy and extremely unhappy with myself.  Now, I am at a happy 155, still trying to lose 15lbs and I feel so much sexier and healthier now. My husband has seen this change in me and my family members have too.  I love when they tell me how “skinny” I am looking now-a-days and how much happier I am now that I have committed myself to a healthy lifestyle.

I know we all compare ourselves to other women, it is just something that we do. And it is hard not to with the super models and movie stars out there that are skinny and drop dead gorgeous but maybe instead we should be comparing ourselves to the person we were yesterday…or months ago or even a year ago!  I am making a decision to stop myself when confronted with that tall, beautiful, perfect blondie and think of how far I have come! How freaking hot I am! I mean not to toot my own horn but look at the progress lol….

And maybe you are just starting your weight loss journey and are saying “I don’t have an old me to compare myself to” but think of it this way every day you are getting a step closer to being able to look back at the old you and compare yourself to the you that you will be one day…how awesome is that feeling going to be?

I know it’s going to be hard but life is too short to be anyone but the healthiest, happiest me I can be and I am so glad this journey is changing me not only on the outside but on the inside too!

// Brittany T.

For more of Brittany's journey, check out her personal blog, One Hot (almost fit) Mama.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Your Three Words. // Jen J.

A big thanks to this week's "My Three Words" contributors!!  If you are interested in showing gratitude for MLFC and participating in this photo project, send your photo to MLfitcamp@gmail.com.

Michelle F.  // Confident. Worthy. Happy.

Jill C. // Finding Me Again.
Nikki P.  // Desire. Drive. Determination.
Traci H. // Faith. Hope. Love.


To see photos from previous posts, click here

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Half Marathon Challenge. // Kara W.

I am so thrilled!  You ladies are really pitching in to keep the momentum of this group going. Fit Camper, Kara W., has offered to pitch in and organize a little something-something for those looking to tackle 13.1 miles and complete a half marathon.  A big thanks to Kara for her time and pro-activeness and a big good luck to those of you joining her in the challenge.  And now for Kara in her own words.... 

Okay Hookstars, if you have been wanting to train (or if you are already training) to run a half marathon, here is your chance! This challenge isn’t to see who can lose the most weight or run the fastest time. It will just be a place to vent, gain/give encouragement and support from those who are doing the same thing as you, with the same goal in mind. So here are the rules:

(1) Join the Half Marathon Challenge Event under the MLFC events tab.  This will be our little sanctuary to discuss all things 13.1. 

(2)Pick a race, this challenge will start December 3rd, 2012 and end on April 30th.
Here is a link to locate a race, if you haven’t already picked one!

(3)Training for a half-marathon can take anywhere from 12 weeks to 20 weeks.  
 (4) Then print off this training calendar, write in your training plan and sticker away!

(5) Next, check in on this spreadsheet with your name, target race/date and desired finish time.

(6) Finally, after race day put your finish time on the spreadsheet, and post a picture of you holding your medal in our group and event on Facebook.

It is best to register early to get the best price and it makes it easier to train knowing that you don’t want to waste your hard earned $$!

Best of luck and be sure to check the event page to get extra encouragement, advice, and support!!!

// Kara W.

The BEST Kind of Before and After. // Brenna C.



Hi, remember me?


(NOT a current picture.  I wish.)

You may have read my earlier post , featured on this wonderful, Mama Laughlin-inspired blog when it was first created.  Well, I’ve come a long way in a not-so-long period of time, and I am thrilled to share my results with you.

I.  AM.  AT.  GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!

And damn, does it feel good.

(You know...it only took 5 years to get back here...but that includes two pregnancies, so let’s just forget about that, shall we?)

I could give you a list of foods that I ate (everything in moderation, and lots of veggies) or of the exercises I did (running, Zumba, Body Pump), but do you want to know the REAL secret to my success?  Really and truly?

It’s this:  something just “clicked”.

That is the only way I can describe it.  I mean, let’s be honest.  We all KNOW that eating less and exercising more will help you drop pounds.  That’s not a surprise to anyone.  I think we’re all starting to realize that the TOUGHEST part about losing weight - for most people - is the mental aspect of it.  Being able to motivate ourselves to get in more activity.  Being able to say no to those extra portions.  Having the confidence to know that we CAN succeed...all of that is HARD!

And to be perfectly frank, it wasn’t clicking for me.  It just wasn’t.  For five years.   Until I found Mama Laughlin’s blog.  She had the same start weight as me, kids around the same age, and suddenly, it hit me: if she did it, I could too.  Sure, I had lots to lose, and yes, it would be difficult due to having two young kids at home.  But there, in front of me, was proof that it COULD be done.  And in that moment, I realized what was holding me back for so long: fear.   The fear that my journey would become too hard, the fear that I would fail, the fear that I was doomed to be heavy forever...so many self-defeating worries.

And once I realized this, and even more importantly, realized that I was WRONG about all of those things - I was able to shut off that awful, negative voice inside of my head, and start on the road to success.

And succeed I did.  I went from 198 pounds......

 

......to 155.8 (my goal was 157)
 
....dropped many inches and pant sizes, and gained SO MUCH self esteem.  I feel like myself again.

What a great gift to give myself!



// Brenna C.
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