Summer Beach Body Boot Camp at Titanium Fitness
Blog Submission by: Tam Davis
CSVANW Office Coordinator
Week 1: Just the thought of it is enough to give you chills down your spine, isn’t it? I had a choice about whether or not I wanted to join most of my coworkers in doing this. Normally, I wouldn’t have dreamt of signing up. At least, not in the last many years. Since the last time I spent any time at the gym, arthritis and fibromyalgia have added more pain and fatigue to what were already very low energy levels. Looking at fitness at 55 is a whole lot different than looking at fitness at 40, 45, or even 50.
I believe, however, I’ve freed up the mental energy needed to attempt to undertake eight weeks of fitness camp. My body may be more decrepit, but my brain is in better shape than it has been in a long time. Deleana Other Bull, our Executive Director, offered this opportunity to us and I’m going to take advantage of it. I am very grateful for this little adventure and I’m going to give it my best shot!
I’ve carried extra weight most of my life. In college, I weighed 115. I’m 5’1”. I had body dysmorphia. At 115, I thought I was fat, fat, fat! I wasn’t. In actuality, I was just right. But my dissatisfaction with my body and looks started long before college.
I call my extra weight my depression pounds. I experienced my first bout with major depressive disorder when I was 20. I started gaining weight when I was about 24 and kept adding pounds throughout my twenties and thirties to get to my top weight that I’ve maintained for about 20 plus years. I dipped a couple of times, but rapidly regained the weight.
I have terrible eating habits…sometimes going until 2:00 in the afternoon without eating, gorging on processed junk food, eating late at night, eating lots of sweets, and chugging diet sodas.
Apparently, however, I’m ready to make a change. I didn’t know that was even possible! It wasn’t until I was presented with the opportunity did I even consider myself able to do that. I tried so hard in the past to lose weight, and found myself unable to stick to any modifications in my diet. I exercised! Then I tore my medial meniscus, had it repaired, and went through a very difficult period in my life, my gym closed down, I couldn’t find another I wanted to go to (it was a women only gym). All of that combined made me give up trying to lose weight and eat healthfully.
Deleana opened a door for me, and I walked through it. Sometimes it’s really that simple.
My first week has been eye-opening. There is so much information out there about diet and exercise and nutrition that I couldn’t begin to wade through it to figure out how to start. I don’t have to do that at Titanium Fitness. Melanie has done it for me. Believe me, I was shocked when I got my meal plan. I don’t want to share it, because if anyone is inspired by reading about my journey, I don’t want to scare them with the plan! Melanie asked me, when I went in for my fitness assessment, if I knew what I was getting into. I didn’t, and that isn’t exactly a bad thing! If you’d told me breakfast was four egg whites, I’d have told you that this butter-loving (think Paula Deen before she made the change), state-fair-pie and cake-competition-winning, French-Club-Cooking-Contest-First-Place-ribbon-grabbing, Midwestern-pot roast-making, pasta-loving, global cuisine foodie, former caterer, and desert queen would rather die! I still haven’t wrapped my head around the whole egg white thing, but I have made some discoveries.
First of all, I realized how I’ve been short-changing myself with my eating habits. Sometimes I don’t eat until 2:00 because I’m on a roll with a project. I eat junk food. I don’t drink enough water. I don’t eat enough vegetables. I eat too much meat. I eat too many sweets with refined flour and sugar (think chocolate cake!). Fortunately, I’ve mostly lost my taste for fried foods.
These bad food choices can affect depression. While maybe, by themselves, they don’t cause depression, healthy foods help protect against disease. Secondly, a healthy diet with balanced calories to meet the resting metabolic rate (60 to 70% of daily calories) provides adequate energy and nutrition to fuel and repair the body effectively.I sabotage my health when I eat more than I need to and less of what I need to eat and when I eat too much of foods that are high in fats, sugar, We who are overweight know what extra pounds do to our self-esteem. Eating excess sugar also causes inflammation the joints. I’ve had arthritis since I was 25. It’s a genetic thing, but bad food choices certainly exacerbate the inflammation. Not drinking enough water is bad for the joints also as well as your internal organs, your heart, and even your skin.
Secondly, it’s not as difficult to make changes as I was making it out to be. That said, I have also re-learned that in order to make healthy food choices, I have to be prepared. When I am really hungry at 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon because I’ve skipped breakfast because there wasn’t anything healthy in the fridge, I’m not going to make good choices about food. But if I have hard-boiled eggs in the fridge, and whole grain bread and fresh fruit (maybe even already cleaned and cut up), I increase my chances of eating healthfully by leaps and bounds.
Like anything else—good relationships, education, a career—healthy eating and weight loss requires my participation and commitment. And this venture has mine! I am totally invested in feeling better and getting some relief from my health problems. This isn’t going to be easy, but it’s definitely not going to be as difficult as I’ve built it up to be.