Today is my last day at Booty Camp Fitness (*sniff*). I probably should have been blogging about this challenge all along, (sharing my progress) but I was on such a sewing rant for the longest while... Perhaps in the new year, I will keep you all posted on my weekly progress when I re-enlist.
I had joined Booty Camp Fitness back in June and have been faithfully participating ever since. I have always been moderately active, but my exercise really only consisted of brisk walks or boring treadmill and elliptical programs. Sure, I dabbled here and there with a few resistance workouts, but it was hard to stay motivated and I inevitably fell off the wagon. I had no one willing to work out with me and little motivation. Having jobs that placed me in a cubicle for 9 hours a day did not help matters either.
I had seen the poster for Booty Camp Fitness several times on my regular routes around the city. One day particular day in May however I stopped to read the information: Women's only...outdoor...just 2 nights a week?! Why not? I checked it out online and after some thought, I signed up for 4 weeks. Couldn't hurt, right? If I don't like it, I can just stop going once my sessions are up. I must say, it was one of the best decisions that I have ever made, really. I am on the petite end of the size spectrum and I am slim. I did not join for the sake of weight loss, but because I wanted to be fit, stronger, and in shape.
My class was every Tuesday and Thursday evening for one hour. It was nice that it was outdoors, the fresh air pumping through your system... I was unsure about the idea at first, for fear of rain or cooler temperatrures. But I have come to prefer that setting to the smell of rubber and body odour that one may find in a gym. I loved that I never knew what to expect. Our instructor, Courtney, was awesome! One day we got our derrieres handed to us as we were put through what felt like a sequence of endless (but challenging) lower body exercises. The next day, we were doing a number on our triceps and biceps. Lunges, cardio, squats, push ups, resistance...you name it, we did it. I felt encouraged each day and it was great to be surrounded by other strong, positive women. The soreness in my entire body was alarming the first week, but I soon came to look forward to the feeling. It was as if it provided me with satisfaction in knowing that I had put in 110% each class.
Between sessions, I used my Booty Camp DVD at home (provided to you when you join). I also managed to include in a few Yoga and Pilates DVD's that I already owned, ensuring a minimum 5 days of some sort of physical activity. Aside from the active lifestyle, common sense was applied in watching what I ate. Yes, I treated myself to the odd little treat once a week (shhh!), but I was never overboard. The way I see it, If I completely deprived myself of any tasty, creamy, sugar filled treat, it was only a matter of time before I would just freak out one day and down 2 pounds of candy in one-fell-swoop. Why negate all of the hard work by slipping off the rails completely? I was never a horrible eater in the first place, so it was just a matter of improving where possible.
In my first 8 weeks, I had only dropped about 2 pounds, but lost 1.5" off my waist, and a whopping 3" off my hips. That was major to me! I also went from 23% body fat down to 17%. My arms, legs, shoulders, back--all incredibly toned and in the best shape I can remember. I have not been in this sort of shape since I was in high school! No sessions were held in August, but our awesome instructor held running clinics 2 nights a week for those that were interested. I surprised myself here as well. Not having run since high school, I expected to fizzle out after the first 2K. On our first night, we ran 5K, and I was able to keep up with almost no trouble. As the weeks passed the distance increased as far as 8K and I managed quite well. Again, my level of fitness catching me off guard.
Aside from the incredible physical transformation, I have been able to push myself far further than I imagined. Push-ups were my least favourite thing to do because of my chicken wing arms that provided zero strength. I can now easily churn out a series of 100 on my toes before dropping to my knees. I can hold a plank for well over 2 minutes and my endurance over all is surprising. I also make an effort to run a few days each week. There were only a couple of day on which I was unable to get a workout in (outside of Booty Camp), for whatever reason. I was really surprised to see that I felt so guilty for missing out. I am hooked!
Classes began again in September and I was happy to see that I was able to more or less maintain my progress from the previous sessions. I had actually lost another 2 pounds in the 4 weeks since the last class. Today being my final class, I am really going to miss it. I am anxious to see my results thus far and I want to do my best to at least maintain it. Booty Camp runs through to the end of October and officially breaks until January, at which point it is held indoors until the Spring. The reason I am not attending the final 4 weeks of classes is simply due to the fact that I am starting a new job next week. My schedule is such that I anticipate missing too many classes in the next little while. That said, it would be wasteful to join and I will not be able to manage make-up sessions, not now anyway. I will only be short-changing myself in the end. Once I figure out my groove I will re-join for the next available sessions for sure!
Is it possible to become addicted to exercise? Who would have thought?