Category Archives: I Work Out (Boot Camp)

Dear Everyone Who Does Not Suck at Running or Hate Running Like I do. I Need Your Help.

I do not like running. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I hate running. These are all things that I’ve said about running just before running or just after running.

“The thing that I hate about running is EVERY thing.”

“The best part about running is when I stop running.”

“Running is the worst.”

“I don’t trust people who (quote fingers) look forward (/quote fingers) to running.”

That’s how I feel every time I run. My lungs burn, my calves hurt, my boobs feel awkward and everything in me is screaming STOP RUNNING RIGHT THIS SECOND. There’s nothing about running that I like. But I know that running is good for me, and so during this session of boot camp, I’ve been trying to find a way to not hate it. In fact, these are my goals for this session of boot camp:

learn to not hate running.
strengthen my abs.
not feel angry when I run.
lose more than 5 pounds.
not suck at running.
lose more than 3 inches.
not want to punch everyone when I run.
not miss a single workout.
not cry when I run uphill.
push to my maximum every single workout.
To learn to like running maybe just a little bit.

Tomorrow, on Thanksgiving morning, I will be getting up at 6 in the morning to join my fellow boot campers for a 5K run. I’ve only done a 5K once before and it was on the treadmill. NOT THE SAME THING AT ALL. The farthest I’ve run is 2.75 miles. I have no doubts that I can do it, but I have doubts about how good I’ll be at it.

There will be uphill running and uphill running is what KILLS ME. I have both mental and physical issues with uphill running. (I have issues in general, with running, but ESPECIALLY the uphill running.)

Here is where I ask for your help.

Do you have any advice you can give me about running? Do you have any tips that will help me get through the mental aspect of running. Do you have any songs that I can download that will help keep me motivated? Do you have any words of encouragement you can give me that I can say to myself when I want to just stop and lay down on the ground and cry instead of finishing the run?

I look forward to reading what you have to say.

Fitness Boot Camp, Week Eight

This week will be my last week of a 9 week fitness boot camp session. Friday we will test out. (Test out means we’ll get measured, weighed, and tested on our push-ups, sit-ups and timed mile.)

Have I lost weight? I have no idea. After week four, I decided to stop weighing myself. I absolutely refuse to let the numbers on a scale mess with my head. I am putting in the work, five days a week. I am giving it all I have. If the scale doesn’t budge, and with my thyroid condition, that’s a huge possibility– I don’t want it to discourage me.

Have I lost inches? I can’t be sure, but I think so. I can feel my body changing. Clothes definitely fit me a little bit differently. People have started making comments like “your waist looks smaller” and “you have more definition in your legs” or “Damn, girl, you’re ass is looking REAL GOOD. Come over here and let me feel it!” (One guess who said that. He gives the BEST compliments.) But I have not done any measuring of any kind, so I can’t be sure.

Do I feel better? Absolutely! I remember the very first class I attended 8 weeks ago after not having worked out for MONTHS. When it was time to do a run, my instructor sent me with the advanced runner group. (The advance runners always go longer distance than the beginners.) I was stunned– surely I belonged with the beginners! I hadn’t run for months! I was out of shape and huge and no possible way could I run 2 miles, uphill, NO POSSIBLE WAY. “Are you sure I belong with that group?” I asked, while trying not to cry. “Oh, I’m sure.” She said. “You’re stronger than you think. You can do it.” As I was running uphill, I felt like I was going to die. My lungs were burning, my legs were aching, I couldn’t catch my breath. I started to walk. “Come on, you’ve got this!” My instructor said. “No! I don’t. I feel like I’m going to die!” I replied. “You’re not going to die. Just push yourself. You’ve got it.” He was right. I did have it. It hurt and it sucked, but I did finished it, and NOT in last place, and best of all? I DIDN’T DIE. Since then, I’ve improved tremendously. I am running 2.5 miles at a time without an issue. I mean, it still sucks because IT’S RUNNING AND RUNNING IS THE WORST. But I’m doing it. I’m not the best, I’m not the fastest, but I am better than I was 2 months ago.

Do I feel stronger? Last week, I pushed a truck, uphill, across a parking lot, THREE TIMES. Hell yes, I feel stronger.

I’ve chosen to make this journey all about improving myself, learning lessons, about not being afraid to fail. I want to be healthy, I want to be strong, I want to be fit. Mostly, I want to strive to be better than I was yesterday.

Getting leaner, weighing less than I do now, will just be a bonus.

Boot Camp Results: So Many Inches GONE!

Yesterday was the last day of boot camp. We tested out in the morning. I could not be happier with my results.

I lost 6 pounds.

I lost a total of 11.25 inches, 4 of those inches in my hips, 2 1/2 in my waist.

I improved my mile time by 1 minute 1 second.

I improved my push-ups by 15.

I improved my sit-ups by 14.

I improved my attitude by 100%.

This time around I learned that I don’t like to be uncomfortable and the second things get tough, I want to quit. Because it hurts. Because I’m scared.. This session I learned to push myself– push past the pain, past the insecurity, past the fear. I did things I didn’t think I could do, things I didn’t want to do. I wasn’t always happy about it. In fact, sometimes I was downright PISSED OFF. But I did it and I got results.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Truth.

I’m excited to do another six weeks. To get stronger, hopefully faster, maybe a bit smaller, but mostly healthier.

Six Weeks Flies By When You’re Working Your Butt Off

Tomorrow will be the last workout of this session of boot camp.  On Friday, I will be weighed, measured and timed on my mile run. I have not checked the scale since the second week, nor have I checked my measurements. Although my ultimate goal is to lose weight, I am trying to focus on getting stronger and breaking through my many fitness mental blocks.

No matter what the number on the scale says, I’m happy with my progress. The first week back to boot camp was brutal. I had a hard time keeping up. I said “I can’t” a lot and sometimes flat our refused to do things that I thought were too difficult.

I’ve stopped saying “I can’t” and started saying “I’ll try.”  And I do try. I have been pushing myself and doing things I didn’t think I was capable of.  It feels good. I feel good.  

I’ll share my results here on Friday. If I lost weight/inches, I’ll be happy because weight loss is good!  And if I didn’t lose weight, I’ll still be happy, proud even.

Even if I’ve not shed pounds, I’ve shed shame and self doubt and gained confidence in myself. I’m stronger both physically and mentally.

That’s success in my book.


I Took The 1,000 Rep Challenge and I Have The Blisters On My Hand To Prove It.

Every time that I tell my boys about boot camp, they kind of roll their eyes and say “doesn’t sound that hard.” You see, Ethan is an athlete who does intensive training for basketball and Andrew attends physical training weekly at the Marine recruiting station. What I do at fitness boot camp couldn’t possibly compare to the intensity of their workouts. “You think it’s so easy, then I challenge you to join me for a class!” Ethan promised me he would come to a class during spring break. Today was the day that he agreed to get up early to come with me. Oh boy did he pick a good day.
Today we did a “1,000 rep challenge.”
Ten different exercises, ten times each, for ten rounds. We would have forty minutes to try to complete all 1,000 reps. My first thought as she was explaining how it would work was “I will never complete all 1,000 reps. No way.” Followed by “my son is going to kick my butt.” He’s young, he’s fit, he’s an athlete. I’m forty and not in very good shape.
To be honest, I was terrified. I didn’t want to fail. I wanted to complete it, I wanted to kick ass, but one thing I struggle with is believing in myself, in my ability to succeed. I decided I would do my best and that I would push myself as hard as I possibly could.
The challenge started. I hit it hard. So did my son. He quickly got ahead of me, just like I knew he would. I was okay with that. This wasn’t about me wanting to beat him. It was about me wanting to do something I didn’t think I could do. This was about me not wanting to fail. This was about me believing that I had it in me to complete this challenge.
I completed round one, then round two, then round three, then four. Things got a little difficult. My legs were burning, I was out of breath, everything in me said “take a break! Stop!” But I didn’t. I pushed through the pain, through the discomfort. I completed round five, then six, then seven, eight and nine.
And then, at the 37 minute mark, I finished the last round– round ten.
I did it. I did something I didn’t think I was capable of doing.
I laid on my mat, I moaned for a minute and then I got up and walked around with a smile on my face.
You’re stronger than you think you are.” I whispered to myself.
At the beginning of the class, our instructor said there would be a gift card handed out to the winner of the challenge. She said this person wouldn’t necessarily be the first person to finish, but the one who worked the hardest. After the challenge was over, she congratulated everyone on their hard work. “There is one person who really stood out today.” I waited to hear which one of my incredible boot campers would be named. “That person is Yvonne.”
My fellow campers clapped and agreed with her choice. “Great job!” They said. “You kicked butt!!”
She handed me the gift card and told me she was proud of me. As corny as this sounds, I wanted to cry. I felt proud of myself and I rarely feel the way.
Any time I feel like I am not capable of doing something, I will think back to this challenge and I will tell myself “Yes. Yes you can.”
As an aside, because it’s totally not important at all, I finished before my son. My young, fit, athletic son.

My Haters Are My Motivators is The Perfect Title For This Post.

I was nervous on the way to day one boot camp. It had been months since I had been to a class. All of the progress I had made physically had vanished and I was embarrassed to face my instructor and fellow boot campers.
On the drive over to class, I had a conversation with myself in which I tried to Pump Me Up.
“No one will judge you. Your instructor will welcome you with open arms. She is there to help you! Sure, you had a set back, but you’re getting off of your ass and getting back in shape! Don’t be afraid! Leave the past behind! Look to the future. YOU ARE SO STRONG. YOU CAN DO THIS. BE PROUD!”
The first thing I had to do when I arrived was get weighed and measured. My weight was as bad I thought it would be– I’ve gained 21 pounds. My measurement were just as bad, although I’m not sure how bad because I closed my eyes and plugged my ears while she was saying/writing the numbers. There was no judgement, only a big hug and a “glad you’re back!”
As I was heading to put my things down, a woman who had taken the last class with me a few months back approached me. I had bonded with this woman over our hatred of running. I was happy to see her back!
“Hi!” She shouted enthusiastically.
“HELLO!” I said. “So glad to see you!”
And then, this came out of her mouth.
“Wow– you’ve gained a lot of weight, haven’t you?”
I paused before responding because did she just call me out on my weight gain in front of everyone? Oh, ha ha! She totally did.
“Wow– you’ve gotten bitchier, haven’t you?” I shot back. IN MY HEAD BECAUSE NO I DIDN’T. I just smiled and said “Sure have. 21 pounds.”
She wasn’t finished with me yet.

“Yeah, you were A LOT smaller the last time I saw you.”

I can’t describe to you how uncomfortable I felt with her rude words right up in my face, so I pulled the My Grandma Died of Cancer And It Made Me Sad So I Ate a Lot Card. I didn’t know what else to say to make her shut her mouth. It worked, she said sorry and left me alone.
As I laid my workout mat down on the ground, I couldn’t help but think of how what had just happened was exactly what I had feared about going back. I didn’t want for people to see how I had failed. And within the first five minutes of exiting my car, someone noticed and pointed it out very loudly with words in front of everyone who was there.
I was embarrassed, but only for a minute. She was just stating the truth. I have gained weight. I am bigger than I was four months ago.
Life has ups and downs. So does my weight. I’ve recognized where I’ve went wrong and I am making the necessary adjustments to my life. I’m back to boot camp. I’m planning healthy meals again. I’m taking my daily vitamins and drinking enough water. I’m going to bed at a decent time. My body will get back to were it needs to be and everything will fall back into place. It’s all good. I’m so good.
While I do believe her message was simply the truth, her delivery was rude and uncalled for. I plotted my revenge during the timed mile run. I was going to beat her at running! Except, she was in front of me the entire time. Every time I’d catch up (while she was taking a walking break) she’d start running again and stay a few steps ahead of me. During the last stretch of the run, I used her rudeness to fuel me. “I may be bigger, but I can run faster than you, lady!” I pushed myself as hard as I possibly could. With the end of the run in sight, I did it. My Much Bigger Self passed her up and I beat her.
Can’t wait to see what happens in class tonight.

A Rough Start

When I finished boot camp three weeks ago, I made the decision that I would sign up for another session.
After a week off, we would begin a two week session, immediately followed by a six week session. I was so thrilled with the progress I made in the first six weeks, I wanted to see what kind of success I could have with another eight weeks.
I only made it to three classes the first week (Monday was a holiday, no class. Friday was my 40th birthday. I gave myself the day off.) I was excited to start the second week the following Monday. But that didn’t happen because I got sick. I’m not talking about a hangover from my wild 40th birthday celebration, I’m talking chills, fever, congestion, body aches. I didn’t start to feel better until Thursday. And even then, I wasn’t 100%.
I missed the entire second week.
I wasn’t happy about it– waste of time, of money, but I also know that it was out of my control so I didn’t waste much time being upset about it. I was looking forward to getting well and getting back into the swing of things on Monday.
Yesterday was my first day back. I was feeling pretty nervous about the workout after having had so much time off without any type of exercise whatsoever.
I felt it as soon as we started warming up. My legs felt tight and sore (but not the good kind of sore. The I’ve Been Laying Down Too Much kind of sore.) I began to feel upset with myself. I had been doing so well, I was getting so strong! And now, there I was, feeling weak and tight and sore. I tried to shake it off, to stop focusing on My Feeeeeelings and my get my mind and body completely focused on the workout.
Because it was the first workout of a new six week session, we had to do a timed mile run. The minute I started running, I wanted to stop. I just didn’t feel right. I felt weak, I felt tight. I felt defeated. I immediately fell behind the group. I came in second to last place at 11:01. (Which was faster than my first timed mile, but slower than my last time mile, which was 10:52.) After the run, we completed the workout. Squats. Crunches. More squats. More crunches. For the first time since doing boot camp, I thought “maybe this isn’t for me. Maybe I’m not cut out for this after all.” I was completely frustrated.
During the cool down, the instructor asked one of the newbies if she had enjoyed the class. She responded with “yes!” Then, the instructor was all “You guys, she just had a baby!”
I kind of felt like someone had just kicked me in the stomach because a woman who had JUST HAD A BABY runs faster than me. Not only had she just given birth, but she was also new to the class. Double Gut Kick.
After the work out was over, I grabbed my mat and bag and headed to the car without saying good bye to anyone.
I drove home feeling pretty down about myself, about my progress, about my ability to do this.
“How was your workout?” My husband asked as soon as I walked in the door.
“It sucked. It was awful. I’M SO PISSED AT MY BODY.”
I used to be athletic. I used to be able to run. I used to be strong. I used to be fast. I used to be the picture of perfect health. And then I got sick. And then I had a doctor who didn’t listen to me. And then I ballooned to 237 pounds. And then I was so unhealthy. And then I tried to lose weight and couldn’t. And then I couldn’t even walk on a treadmill without feeling like I was going to die. And then I took charge of my health care. And then I got the proper medication and was able to lose 59 pounds. And then I started to feel like myself again. And then I gained 11 pounds back. And then I joined boot camp to get back on track and try to lose the last 50 pounds. And then I lost 10 pounds. And then I started to feel strong again. And then I RAN THREE MILES. And then I got sick. And then I had one really bad workout and suddenly I felt weak, scared and angry with my body all over again for betraying me. For getting sick. For not working the way that it should, the way that it used to.
I know that one bad workout doesn’t erase all of the progress I’ve made health wise nor does it erase the success I’ve had with boot camp thus far. But I wanted to write this down to keep an honest account of the next six weeks. I want to be able to know that even during my darkest moments, I have what it takes to keep going and come out stronger and hopefully SO MUCH FASTER. At the very least, I want to be able to keep up with WOMEN WHO JUST GAVE BIRTH.
That is officially my new fitness goal.

Boot Camp: The Results!

When I first joined boot camp, I did a series of timed tests as well as had my weight and measurements taken. Today was the last day of this session of boot camp and we did the same series of tests and measurements. I have to say, I am totally impressed with the results.
Before I share the results, I should mention that I missed eleven days during the six week session. That absences were due to traveling to Vegas, to BlogHer and possibly to My Period. I’m not happy about missing so many classes, but it is what it is. Next time, I will do better.
(There will be a next time. I’m committing to eight more weeks.)
Now, onto the results!
Day one: 7
Today: 27
Sit ups:
Day one: 15 in 46 seconds
Today: 30 in 1:30 seconds
1 mile run:
Day one: 12:00
Today: 10:52
Day one: 189 pounds
Today: 179 pounds
Total weight loss: 10 pounds
Total inches lost:
8 3/4 (most of those inches came off of my hips/butt 4 3/4! That, like, NEVER happens.)
Body fat loss:
Just under 2%
BMI went down by 1.7

Number of times I farted out loud:

Confidence Gained:
I can’t wait to do another session and see how far I can push myself.
This experience has been life changing. I’ve always thought of myself as a “fitness wimp.” I say “I can’t” a LOT. I don’t like to feel uncomfortable. The second it starts to feel bad, I want to stop. I DO stop. That is why boot camp is so good for me. There are people there pushing me to keep going, telling me YES YOU CAN. And you know what? They were right. I absolutely can do it– whether the “it” is push-ups, or running THREE MILES. I can do it.
I DID do it.
I have to thank my fitness instructors– Thank you Monique and Sean for pushing me, for helping me start to believe that I am strong and capable. Love you guys! Cant wait to do it again. (Except next time, can we lay off the Animal Exercises a little bit? Because we all know those ARE THE WORST.)

Breaking the Awkward (For Me) Blog Silence

A lot has happened since the last time I posted.
Ethan joined a competitive basketball team and played in his first ever basketball tournament in Vegas. It was a thrilling experience for him and a heartbreaking one for me. I watched him sit on the bench, minute after minute while his coach walked passed him over and over again. He would look up, with hope in his eyes as his coach would turn his way. I imagine he was thinking “put me in, coach. I’ll knock a three down and tie the game like I always do!” But the coach would just walk past him and put the same player in he had just taken out. I wanted to punch that coach in the face. I wanted to grab my son off of the bench and scream “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE HERE, COACH!” and storm off with my son. Instead, I got up, stood in the corner of the room where no one could see me and I cried. I cried so hard because I know how much my son loves the game. I know how excited he was about the tournament. I know how badly he wanted to help his team out. One thing I’ve learned is that life isn’t easy, sometimes you have to fight hard for what you want, so I let my son sit there, as painful as it was for me to watch. The next game, the coach finally took my son off the bench and gave him a chance to play. In the very short time he was given to play (less than two minutes) he scored four points. I couldn’t have been more proud.
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My Grandmother was taken to the emergency room because she was experiencing pain in her abdomen and hadn’t been feeling well for days. While she was there, they discovered a tumor in her colon and spots on her liver. The doctors were able to remove the tumor. The next day, we were told it was malignant. A few days later we were told she had stage 4 liver cancer. Last week, she was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. She’s refused chemo and says she’s at peace with whatever happens next. I hope I can feel that way soon about the fact that I’m going to lose the strongest, most wise, loving, hard working, loyal women in my life to cancer.
My daughter turned seven years old. She had been counting down the days since May. “Mommy? How many more days until August third?” She’d ask, every single day. Sometimes, I’d get annoyed. “I just told you yesterday how many days!” “I’m sorry mommy.” She’d respond. “I’m just SO EXCITED to be seven!” She couldn’t fall asleep the night before her birthday. She tossed. She turned. She giggled. It was well past midnight by the time she finally fell asleep. I greeted her that morning with a kiss on her cheek. “Happy Birthday, sweet girl.” I whispered in her ear. She opened her eyes and smiled the most joyful smile. “Oh Mommy.” She said. “I feel different. I feel seven.
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Seven. It’s hard for me to come to terms with seven. Maybe it’s because I know how quickly seven turns to eight to nine, nine to ten. Then, one day you wake up and they’re eighteen, graduating from high school and never home because their are more important things to do than sit on the couch and talk to mom or go for a walk with mom or play a game of Trouble with mom. I don’t want to get caught up in the sadness of how quickly she’s growing because the truth is, I’m enjoying my daughter now more than I ever have. She’s blossoming into the most precious young lady, so full of love and life and humor. She reminds me each day how blessed I am in life.
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Not as important, but something worth mentioning… I ran 2.5 miles in boot camp. Four weeks down, two weeks to go. I haven’t lost much weight, but I have gained confidence, strength and a desire to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I guess you can say boot camp has been a success and everything I hoped it would be.