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Bootcamp In The Park…It’s No Picnic!

Vanessa and I

So, I’m going to talk about something that goes hand in hand with the New Year, and not really being an expat.  Everyone says they are going to go on a diet and get in shape, right?  Well, my “aha” moment was back in August when my jeans just weren’t fitting the way they I wanted them to fit.  I was going to the gym 3 days a week, but I wasn’t getting any results.  I thought I was eating okay too.  I didn’t eat an enormous amount of food, and I always was eating a lot of fruits and vegetables.  I figured something had to change, I just wasn’t sure how to jump start this life change.  I found some fliers for a “bootcamp in Tervuren park” on the breezeway bulletin board at my daughter’s school.  I thought, what the hell…I’ll give it a go.  I recruited my friend, Vanessa, to take on the challenge with me.  It’s been one of the best things I’ve done for myself in years!

I joined Powerhour Bootcamp, created by Dan Hunter and Angela Thompson.  It’s a health and fitness program that encompasses fitness training and a diet program.  Your progress is tracked…initially with a fitness assessment, measurement sessions throughout the program, and a final fitness assessment in the end.  

I really had no idea what to expect.  To be honest, I started getting some anxiety regarding my initial fitness assessment.  I didn’t think I was that out of shape, so I thought…How bad could it be?  I put on my spandex and headed to the assessment.  I hadn’t met Dan or Angela prior to the assessment, but was presently surprised that neither of them were wearing fatigues and combat boots.  Dan calmed my nerves about the assessment, and we got started.  

Riding a bike, squats, sit-ups, push-ups…I thought I would collapse.  Then came the measurements portions.  I was mortified.  I didn’t believe Dan when he said my Body Fat Percentage was 30%!  30%!!!!  Just for info…I’m a pretty small person…petite with small features.  I was shocked.  I decided that I was skinny fat.  I was on the high side of the “normal” range, but I wasn’t too far from obese.  I was really disappointed in myself.  I just didn’t think that nearly a third of my body was fat.  Next, I went to speak with Angela about my diet.  Turns out I wasn’t eating the best either.  I mean, I know potato chips and french onion dip every night isn’t a good habit, but I thought all my fruits and vegetables had to be doing me some good.  Turns out I wasn’t eating enough protein, and I wasn’t taking in enough calories per day.  Really?  I just thought it sounded so odd.

I was willing to try anything.  I committed to myself that I would attend classes 3 times a week, and modify my diet.  The bootcamp follows The Zone Diet.  I had to decrease my bad carbohydrates (potatoes, bread, pasta…you know all the good stuff), increase my protein, increase my good carbohydrates (particular fruits and veggies) and eat more frequently.  It was pretty difficult for me…I love bread.   I wasn’t entirely ready to quit all carbs.  So, I didn’t follow the entire nutrition plan that was offered, but I did institute some key changes in my diet.  I attended some chat sessions, and did my best.  It’s difficult to stick to a diet plan when you have two little kids who will only eat pasta and rice!  But, I was surprised how well I did…I can’t remember the last time I had rice.  When it came to pasta…I had a really small portion of noodles and really big amounts of bolognaise!  Pizza was the difficult thing…my kids love to make pizzas.  I just had to walk away!

Getting remeasured was supposed to happen every couple of weeks.  I only got measured 2 times during the 12 week bootcamp session.  But, each time I was super surprised.  I started noticing my pants fitting better and my stomach looking more lean.  I had made one personal goal…to see the line down my thigh.  You know where the top muscle curves in?  I wanted it back.  

Well, after 12 weeks, the final assessments were in.  I couldn’t do a total assessment, but I did get my final measurements.

  1. I had lost a total of 27.5 cm (nearly 11 in.) from my bust, arms, waist, hips, and thighs

  2. I had lost 3.6 lbs. (1.6 kgs.)  

  3. I had lost 11% body fat

I was ecstatic!  I couldn’t believe it.  I had exceeded any expectation I’d ever had, and all of Dan’s expectations from the first fitness assessment.  I think I might have shocked Dan and Angela too.  

Bootcamp just started again.  I couldn’t wait.  It’s such an energy release for me.  Even though I moan and complain…I’m loving it.  During the month long break, I was itching to get back.  I just did my fitness assessment again, and I am hoping that I can continue my good progress.  My body is sore (the good sore), and my stress is being released.  I feel better, I sleep better, I’m not as tired, and I’m just happier all around when I’m exercising.  That never used to be the case in the past.

Now, I know this article really has nothing to do with being an expat, but in a way strange way it does.  Most everyone participating in the bootcamp is an expat.  It was created by expats.  It’s taught in English.  And, there is a great camaraderie among the group.  We all want each other to succeed.  I’ve become friends with many of the participants, and I look forward to seeing all of them each week.  I’m so glad I decided to get off my rump…I’ve really seen a change in myself, and in many others too.  Who says change can’t be good?  It is if you are willing to try!

You can check Dan and Angela out at…

Powerhour Bootcamp

Dan Hunter (Trainer)

Angela Thompson

Classes in Tervuren and Waterloo

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