Weight loss boot camp – god help me

Growing up, weight was never an issue for me. Even in my mid twenties and early thirties, I wasn’t quite as thin as my teen years but I was able to hang on to a slender self with little effort or focus.

Since coming into my mid-thirties, it’s started to change. Before my wedding in April, I wasn’t at my happiest weight, but I certainly felt okay and comfortable with my body – not quite a slammin’ 10 but I felt a very satisfying 7-8ish. Since returning from our Dominican wedding however, I have put on over 15 pounds – pushing me over the happy/unhappy body image threshold. And I haven’t felt able to get a handle on the situation.

In sharing my latest weight angst with some friends, they thought that perhaps a little accountability might help me get a grip on my weight. So we agreed, by our next dinner date on December 11, I would drop 10 pounds; essentially giving me five weeks to hit my goal. I may be biting off more than I can chew at losing 2 pounds a week (yikes) but I’ll give it a go!

I am excited and hopeful for success because this falls in line with the boot camp strategy I’ve been reading a lot about as of late in regards to National Novel Writing Month where people sign up to write a novel in 30 days. And I was reading about Creativity Boot Camps on the Happiness Project blog. It’s a strategy you can apply to almost any project such as finishing a scrap-book, a gardening project, or finishing up those thank you cards.

The boot camp approach speaks to me because it’s fast, furious and focused! Given that I am prone to serious bouts of procrastination, I think the smaller, attainable goals over a shorter period of time will help me stay focused and motivated. It’s not like I can put it off whereas if I was looking at losing 30 pounds in five months, I’d always be gearing up to start my weight loss program tomorrow.

Here’s the plan – November 5 to December 11:

Exercise. Since I HATE the gym, I moved my Pilates reformer (and cardio bouncer) into the living room where I can’t miss it. Yes, if we have guests over, it will be an eyesore but hiding it in my office means it doesn’t get used so – we’ll go with new decorative eyesore! For cardio, I have given myself the option of cardio bouncing on the Pilates machine for at least five minutes each day or walking the dog for 20 minutes. For strength, I will do my 40-minute Pilates routine on the reformer three times a week.

Eating. I will reduce eating out (restaurants/fast food) to once a week, at most. I will come up with a weekly meal plan every Sunday. I will increase my fruits and veggies, remove all white stuff from the menu – only whole wheat or whole grain, and I will aim to eat less than 1500 calories a day.

Maybe a boot camp is the way to go. I’ll keep you posted.

How do you stay focused on your weight loss and healthy lifestyle goals?



  1. Ugh! The story of my life.. as my metabolism has slowed down with menopause the pounds are shifiting and look like they’re here to stay.
    I have no discipline! Your idea sounds good. I’ve just joined the gym, though at present all I can do are sitting exercises as my broken foot bone heals, but I will go ride the recumbent bike at least 3 times a week and attempt to cut back on calories.

    I met someone recently who’d lost a lot of weight, over a long period of time. She adopted a no white/ no meat/no sweet policy. No white referring to all carbs and other white foods.

    • Good for you – sounds like you are on the right track for making change. They say to start with small steps and build a routine that can last and it sounds like you are well on your way! Your friend must have had some kind of discpline. My step-dad has done the aitken’s diet for years now – no carbs – and lost a pile of weight and kept it off. I think I’d go nuts and I absolutely don’t have that kind of will power. I don’t know what the answers are – it’s frustrating – there is so much temptation out there now and the convenience of eating out with our busier lifestyles is really my downfall. I guess in the end it just comes to down to reaffirming and continued efforts! I’ll keep you posted on my progress – fingers crossed!

  2. Hi Hartford,

    I’ve blogged a little bit about my weight loss journey (started end of January). I’ve lost about 38 pounds so far and am doing it by food modification (portions, more veggies, working out, avoiding trigger foods). For me, building a routine that would last was key. I’ve had the routine rocked a few times, but it is something solid that fits into my lifestyle and that I can easily return to. I knew that restricting foods and other “all or nothing” choices would cause me to fail.

    To answer your question, I stay focused because I finally got that I was worthy of being healthy again. I didn’t have issues with weight growing up, so when I started to I just went into denial. And grew more. You are on the right track and a little bootcamp can’t hurt anyone. 🙂 The pilates reformer is no joke. That is one of my fave exercises now.


    • Hi Barbara – thank you so much for sharing your inspirational post – congrats on 38 pounds, that’s fantastic! I love how you said it was about finally realizing you are worthy of being healthy again – isn’t that the truth! And a great strategy on finding a routine that fits into your life and one that can last. Absolutely key! I agree, the pilates reformer is no joke – I love it because it’s a great work out but it also leaves me feeling more flexible and limber – long and strong! 🙂 Keep me posted on your weight loss journey and I’ll do the same – a cheerleading section always helps! 🙂

  3. Thank you so much Hartford for sharing it.


  1. […] an update November 15, 2010 by Hartford Twelve days ago, I posted about embarking on a weight loss boot camp. My vision: to lose 10 pounds in a little over five weeks. I thought the short-term, intense […]

  2. […] December 6, 2010 tags: weight loss by Hartford Well, with less than a week left in my weight loss boot camp, I thought it was time to just come out with it. The boot camp was a complete and utter failure. […]

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