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Putting Me First: Week 1 as a Mom at Premier Fitness Camp

Most Tuesday nights you can find me curled up on the couch with my dog, a fuzzy blanket and my two best friends, Ben and Jerry (as in Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream).

We are anxiously awaiting the next installment of Biggest Loser and marveling at the transformations of the contestants.

Every week while watching my favorite show, I resolve to “start tomorrow” to lose weight, exercise, be healthier, and give up my beloved Diet Coke.

I’ll Do It Tomorrow

“Tomorrow” never seemed to actually get here in the busy life of a mom of four kids. One such relaxing evening became a turning point in my life. I decided simply to look up the fitness camp advertised on the television while I dreamed of how amazing it would be if I could spend some time just working on improving my health and fitness levels without all the distractions of home. That simple thought took root and has started me thinking about some of the goals I seem to set every week and would never follow through on.

Of course my reasons for exploring the option of leaving my husband, 4 daughters, and my dog to go to a fitness camp for a month are not particularly unique to me. I remember being at a Christmas party with my husband and feeling so out of place with all of the thin, young doctor’s wives. I felt bad for my husband having to be there with me no matter how many times he told me how beautiful I looked.

In those moments of doubt and insecurity, I resolved that I was going to do something about how I looked and felt about how I looked. As a a busy mom, my fitness and nutrition were not getting any priority at all. I began feeling run down, having no energy just to get through my day and stressed out about how I could change the routine.

So I took this feeling and this idea and did a ton of research like all moms and women do! I knew I had to go away from home and all of my responsibilities and distractions and other priorities and put myself first. I knew that by making myself a priority, and choosing to healthier path, and losing the weight that was ruining my health and energy that our whole family would benefit. I had my husband’s total support and we spent the next six months saving money for me to realize this dream.

Week 1: Live-In Weight Loss Camp

So, here I am Week 1 checking into a gorgeous fitness resort and live-in weight loss camp to begin intense fitness and nutrition training! I feel like it’s the first day of school all over again!

The first day we had orientation starting in the morning at 5:30am. This included our beginning weigh in, body fat percentages, some baselines fitness tests and having our blood drawn. This camp is medically supervised and they do blood work and medical assessments as part of the program. I am terrified of needles so I am thankful I did not pass out! After we received some instruction on the equipment in the gym we jumped right into working out with the other participants of the camp. These people are not wasting anytime! I was sorta thinking we would have some kind of whole day orientation or something!

Quickly I fell into the routine of the workouts. Every morning we meet at the Smoothie Bar to get a protein shake to fuel our first workout of the day at 6:00am. We then travel to a recreation center for boot camp! Boot camp consists of several stations or circuits that we rotate through. Everything from push-ups, lunges with weights, pulling boxing bags across the field, pushing football sleds, and lots of other exercises to torture and tone the body.

Fitness Boot Camp kicking my Booty!

My first day at boot camp, I am not going to lie, was incredibly difficult for me. I noticed I was worn out fairly quickly and even a little dizzy. However; the trainers were encouraging, trying to get you to do just a little more than you thought you could. One of the trainers, Josh, reminded me I was still adjusting to the altitude of Utah and I had to breath through my nose too! The dizzy feeling was gone within a few minutes.

After boot camp we have breakfast, followed by either a hike, power walk, aqua aerobics or sports activities depending on the day. We have lunch at noon and then meet for our afternoon workouts. For these we are split into two groups so the trainers get to work with smaller groups for more one on one attention. My group has strength training first, followed by another class that varies by the day. Including kettle bells, medicine balls, boxing, kick boxing and more. I felt this was very helpful for me because I get proper form and motivation. I am also learning a huge variety of exercises and workouts that I have never done before and some I have never even heard of before.

By the time we finish in the afternoon I am exhausted! It is strange by the end of the week though that I was tired, yet had energy. There are other activities included after these workouts like yoga, nutrition training group counseling/life coaching. On Friday and Saturday there are other activities like walking up Olympic Hill, Zumba class (I love Zumba! Great + Fun workout!) and a group outing on Saturday afternoon. The fitness and activities have become my full time job while I am here!!

Eat What? Spaghetti Squash? Tofu?

All meals are included and prepared for you and are kept within a 1200-1500 calories a day range so while I am here there is nothing to think about. How nice is that? I am a mom of 4 and I have someone cooking ALL my meals for me! This really is putting me first! Knowing that I have to go home and continue this, I was relieved to find there are tools to help me. We have nutrition training twice a week and a cooking class with the Chef Jason Kieffer every Saturday. We learn how to make healthier, more nutrition dense choices and how to prepare a wide variety of dishes each week, along with get the recipes to take with us for home later.

I really enjoy that I am not cooking or doing dishes! It is amazing what you can focus on when that isn’t taking up your time. My favorite meals that I have had here are protein oatmeal with fruit, spaghetti squash served with pesto and chicken, and baked tofu! Tofu! Who knew? I am so glad to see that I can prepare these healthy meals for my family and after tasting them, I know they are things my kiddos will actually eat.

Hiking, Emotions, and Inspiration

Now that I have given you the logistics of my first week at camp, I can’t say enough about the emotional breakthroughs I have experienced here. I love the mountain hikes! It is amazing to hear the forest and see the wildlife.

My first hike was a three moose hike! We saw a mother moose and her calf from about 40 feet away (see picture to the right). My last hike I made a commitment to not stop until I hit the top. I had to slow down, but I made it. The view was awe-inspiring and I felt myself get choked up that I was able to accomplish what I set out to do. I was able to come back down with a camp participant who is 72 years old and 10 times more fit than I am. It was so pleasant to share the experience with her and hear her stories about her family, her stay here, what she has accomplished. What inspiration!

That may be the biggest surprise that I have had this week. I am completely inspired by the people I have met. In such a short time I have made connections with people that I anticipate to continue friendships with for the rest of my life. We feel like a little family here; sharing our stories, talking about our families, challenges and successes. We cheer for each other and encourage each other. When it is a hard day, someone is there to pick you up and inspire you like the awesome trainers and other people just like me wanting to change their lives too!

I am 37 years old and a mom of 4 beautiful daughters. I am a stay-at-home mom who is never HOME! I do some work from home helping my husband run his business. My weight was not a problem until I got pregnant and began having children. I have never completely lost that weight. I have tried different diets and felt like a yo-yo for the past 8 years! (see me on far right of picture)

A combination of things happened in my life to make me decide to make some major lifestyle changes and putting myself first, making healthy choices for me and my family. Please join me on my journey on several blogs: on the Premier Fitness Blog, on the TimeOutMom Blog, on the Mom It Forward Blog, and on the Today’s Mama Blog, as I do five weeks at the live-in camp and get twelve weeks of coaching and support after I return home. This is going to be life-changing! It is already life-changing!

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