Hi there! Melissa was kind enough to let me submit a guest blog as the fall session of her Boot Camp Challenge class commences. Those of you who know me know that I’ve been around forever. I have been a proud BCC’er for over four years now, and if there is anything I have learned to be successful, it is this: Always Listen to Melissa. Now, her mom may be snickering as she reads that, but from a BCC standpoint, I know it to be true. Listening to Melissa will help you lead a healthy and fit life. I mean, the woman knows what she’s talking about!
If you’ve taken BCC, you might know what I mean. For example, when we’re cooling down in the last few minutes of each BCC class, I admit it’s easy to lose focus. Often times, Melissa shares with us some golden nugget (not chicken nuggets ha ha) about nutrition. She has said many times that nutrition is a large part of being successful in BCC. It may be hard to believe after you’ve just sweated like a pig through a challenging workout, but I know from first-hand experience that if you don’t eat clean (i.e. whole and nutritious foods, lots of veggies, olive oil, little sugar, etc.) you’re not complimenting your workouts as much as you could be. When I started BCC four years ago, I was 65 pounds heavier, with a cholesterol level of 230. Bad. As other successful BCC’ers have done, I decided that to be successful, I had to listen—and do—whatever Melissa said. So I did. And I was successful. In addition to the fabulous, challenging and variety of workouts that she offered through Boot Camp Challenge, Melissa told us to journal and keep track of everything we ate. I did. I lost 65 pounds, and my cholesterol went from 230 to 167. Yay! I was even able to train for and run in some challenging road races, including a half-marathon.
Then (cue ominous music) I stopped Always Listening to Melissa. Hubris? Maybe. Laziness? Definitely. I stopped eating clean, whole and nutritious foods. I mean, I ate those, but I added in bigger portions, wolfed down more sugary/refined foods and got lazy on the nutrition. I stopped journaling. I thought I knew what I was doing (heck, I had run a half-marathon…I should have been able to eat whatever I wanted, right? Right?) And 23 of the 65 pounds I had kicked to the curb came home. And I knew why. I had stopped Listening to Melissa.
So this year, 2011, I finally changed my thinking and realized that Melissa is pretty much always right when it comes to nutrition advice and coaching the BCC workouts she and the other drill sergeants devise. You would have thought I learned that the first time through. But, no. We’re human, and sometimes we have to give ourselves a break, step back, and truly examine the problem, address the issue, and tackle it head-on. I started journaling again, my heart went back into BCC and running, and I started Always Listening to Melissa. The 23 pounds left. They are never welcome back. Ever.
So that is my BCC journey (so far) that I thought I would share with you, my fellow BCC colleagues and others out there who have known the long struggle of getting your health & fitness act together. I wrote this to save you the time, effort and consequences in case you decide not to listen to Melissa. Don’t disservice yourself the way I did. So remember that! Always Listen to Melissa! ~BCC’er Val
PS: Some tips I’ve learned over the years:
1) Buy medium eggs. Smaller, less calories, and get the job done in cooking and baking.
2) When getting a bagel sandwich, request that they “scoop” out the innards to save on carbs. A favorite bagel sandwich is a scooped out whole wheat bagel, loads of veggies and hummus. Yum.
3) Buy those “green bags” you see on TV to save your veggies in the fridge…they really work!
4) The 100 calorie guacamole packets are awesome. Guac is easy to OD on, but these serving portions are just right.
5) Brew your own tea, and mix your own vinaigrette dressing. Easy-peasy, saves money and allows you to know exactly what the ingredients are (i.e. artificial sweeteners and sugar lurk in bottled teas and dressings)
6) Want something sweet? A tablespoon of honey! Whole and yummy. The best bees can make.
7) Cut up bananas, put in a zip lock and freeze. It’s like eating banana ice cream.
8) Snacking every 3 hours really helps…almonds/nuts, hard-boiled egg, slice of cheese, carrots w/ guac or fruit are some personal favorites.