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Operation Boot Camp - Day 1

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June 30, 2008

Operation Boot Camp - Day 1

Before I describe the class, I suppose I should describe myself. I'm 36, 5'8" and weigh about 150 pounds. I walk about a mile daily, and visit the gym about (this is embarrassing but...) twice a month for weight training. I moved back to Oklahoma about five years ago. When I moved here, I was a size four or six, depending on the clothing line, and weighed about 130 pounds. I was toned and felt great!

Last year I took up baking as a hobby, and sampled a little too much of my own work - and did zero exercise. In the last year alone I've gained a solid fifteen pounds. I feel sloppy and lethargic. It's time for change. While I don't expect a miracle in just 28 days, I do expect to lose at least a few pounds and inches. I haven't taken measurements yet, but I will do that and post it later. Today I weighed in at 149 pounds.

Now, about the Operation Bootcamp. There are several classes to choose from, but my particular location starts at 5:30 a.m. Since class is about 15 miles from my house, I got up around 4:15 a.m. to get there on time. Getting up early isn't much of a problem for me. In fact, I rather enjoy it when it's for a special occasion, and I think this qualifies as special.

Today wasn't terrible. It wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible. Then, again, it was just the first day.

Although I've been walking a lot lately for the News9 get-fit initiative, I found out today there's a difference between walking and running. The instructors wanted to find out where we all stand from a physical fitness standpoint, so they timed us as we all ran one mile. I was one of the last to finish, with a time of 10:56. Then they had us do as many sit-ups, push-ups and tricep dips as we could do in one minute for each exercise.

I did a whopping 11 push-ups, and even those were modified (I could use my knees instead of toes as the fulcrum). What made these push-ups so hard was that our hands were placed directly under our shoulders, not spread out wider like the ones I'm used to doing. I faired better on the sit-ups with a count of 30. As for the tricep dips, I did 41. On each of the exercises, the last 15 seconds felt like 15 minutes.

After the orientation, the class regrouped and we finished with core exercises, something we'll do daily. We do quite a few crunches, but they're kind of fun. It might not feel so fun later this evening, but for now the slight soreness feels pretty good, like I accomplished something.

While the return campers were off doing what was called a "pushup marathon" (something I do not look forward to ever, ever doing) instructors Tracie and Jenny gathered the newbies and explained how Operation Bootcamp works and what is expected of us. We'll be exercising 28 days without fail. We don't have "class" on weekends, but we do have homework. We'll eat six meals a day. Yes, six. It sounded exciting at first, but Tracie explained they have to be small meals, and we're encouraged to eat 3-4 fist-sized portions of protein daily. Add to that 4-5 fist-sized portions of carbs (that means grains and fruits) and 2-3 fist-sized portions of veggies each day. With all that expected, it's easy to see why 6 small meals is necessary. The emphasis is on the small.

There was some bad news for me, though. I'm big on sweets. BIG on sweets. I love just about anything with sugar in it, and baking is a big hobby of mine. Now, though, sugar is a no-no. So is alcohol. So is anything fried. So is pizza. So is bacon. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO? At least they've given us peanut butter - but in moderation.

It'll take some meal planning, but luckily they gave us a handy-dandy booklet (our "diary") where we'll document our daily food intake. The diary also has helpful tips and encouraging words. Today we had to write in the front of the booklet what our 28-day goal is. Mine is to tone my stomach enough to see some muscle, and when we retake the PT test on day 28, to finish it in six minutes.

I have no idea what fun stuff they have in store for tomorrow, but I guess I'll find out soon enough. 5:30 a.m. comes quicker than you think.

--Paula Morrison

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