Busy Lincoln Mom Shares How She Lost 39lbs and 6 Dress Sizes!

Guest post was written by Shelly Jackson who is our Boot Camper of the Month for October!

It has been said that in order to make significant change, you have to first find your bottom. While I don’t know if that is true for everyone, I can definitely see places and times in my life that it has been true. For me, the most significant – or maybe just the most recent – is weight loss.

Over the past couple of years, a busy job, a sick child, a limited amount of time and other, more mundane issues have taken precedence over fitness. I knew it was happening, but I honestly didn’t see the situation for what it truly was. Although in my mind I knew I was gaining weight and not taking care of myself, I didn’t think it was THAT significant. It sounds ridiculous now to say that out loud, but as humans I guess we have an unlimited capacity to lie to ourselves. Gaining the weight, and letting my body get out of shape, happened gradually over a period of time. Finding my own personal bottom though, that came rather suddenly.

One day I was working, reading something on my computer screen. I noticed something in my peripheral vision, near the bottom, that was really bothering me. I kept looking around trying to figure out what I was seeing, when it hit me. Like a ton of bricks. Or maybe like a ton of fatty food. It was my FACE. I could see my face, in my lower peripheral vision, when looking strait ahead at the computer screen. For me, this was so disturbing it was the absolute rock bottom of personal fitness, and I had to make a change. Funnily enough though, I messed around for another nine months, losing a little weight, gaining some back, joining one program, quitting that one, looking for another one, etc. I was getting results, but not very quickly and not necessarily very lasting. I got discouraged, and kind of started to believe that achieving the results I wanted was very unlikely to ever happen.

In order to get real results, and see significant changes, I needed to figure out the reasons I gained the weight, the reasons I was losing it, and take responsibility for both of these things. Figuring out the reasons you gained a significant amount of weight is a personal journey that I can’t comment on. The reasons are as different as humans, and can only be deciphered by the person who owns them. Figuring out how to lose it though – that part is actually pretty easy, once you get serious about putting in the work.

For me, it was a numbers game. I think there are really four steps to this particular numbers game, and I think if we are really honest with ourselves the steps are both easy and manageable. The four steps are:

1.Know how many calories you burn
2.Know how many calories you eat
3.Keep track of your progress
4.Do the work

Know how many calories you burn – I used Hy-Vee for this step. I’m a numbers person, and I needed to know the numbers. As in, number of calories I was burning each day, before exercise. I knew that weight loss was, to a certain degree, a mathematical equation. Calories in – calories out = weight loss (or gain). Karen Hollis, the dietician at the new Hy-Vee on O Street, gave me a simple 20 minute test that told me exactly how many calories my body was burning each day on its own (more scientifically referred to as Basal Metabolic Rate).

Know how many calories you eat – I used a pretty simple program that cost less than $30 for this step. It is called Weight by Date, and it installs on both your PC and your Smart phone. You record what your goals are and what you’ve eaten, the program tells you what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, and if you’re making progress. It also has really good graphs, which appeals to my number loving heart. There are a million ways to keep track of your eating, but for me I needed it to be very specific and measurable and this program was perfect.

Keep track of your progress – See above. In addition to the tracking provided by the food journal program I am using, I also weigh myself every day and take pictures at the start of
every boot camp. I know some people say you aren’t supposed to weigh yourself every day, but I say it works for me. We’re all different, and I think to a certain degree everyone has to figure out which small tips and tricks work best for them.

Do the work – And this is really the crux of the issue. If you really want to change, in anything, you have to do the work. The funny part for me was, once I found the right place, I wanted to do the work more than anything. It didn’t feel like a chore anymore, and I actually started to look forward to it. Thanks Mike! Prior to joining Capital City Boot Camps, I had tried out another Lincoln boot camp. It wasn’t a good fit for me, and I didn’t have good results. In fact, I gained some weight while going there.

Joining Capital City Boot Camps truly changed my perspective. For me, the encouragement, camaraderie and supportive environment were what I needed. Combined with the interval training and nutrition information, I found all the tools I needed to be successful, motivated and able to take control of my health and my weight.

That isn’t to say it is always easy to find the time to fit it all in, but it is possible. It has sometimes been a struggle to find time to keep up with the exercise outside of boot camp. It has required a certain amount of changes in the life of my child and some of my friends as well; like it or not, they often get to do the exercise with me. There are only a certain number of hours in the day, and you have to choose what your priorities are. Also, sometimes you have to get creative to fit it all in. (Fun fact – doing jumping jacks during commercial breaks (instead of fast forwarding through them) burns about 300 calories an hour.) If you want to change though – if you REALLY want to change – it’s possible to fit it all in.

Additionally, and I think this is the real advantage of Capital City Boot Camps for me, once you start to see results it becomes much easier to keep working on it and find ways to fit it all in. The program Mike is offering is designed in a way that brings quick results. I lost 39.5 lbs in the first four months of boot camp. That’s 1/3 lb. per day. Seeing results this quickly makes it much easier to be excited about it at 5:45 am 🙂

To anyone considering the program, I would say this – give it a month. For me, it felt really hard the first week. The second week was better. By the fourth week, I had lost a noticeable amount of weight, and I was excited to keep going. Now, I feel like a lifelong convert. That isn’t to say I have all the answers. I religiously count calories, yet occasionally can’t seem to resist the temptation to eat junk. I don’t think it’s probably OK to use up all of your daily calories on cake, and eat nothing else. What I do know is that I’ve found a place that I can work on it, and the tools to be successful, and that feels like a great start. The fact that I’ve been able to do it with such a great group of people has been the (calorie free) icing on the proverbial cake.

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