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Health editor turned ‘Miss Fit:’ One and done? By: Jennifer Reed

Jennifer Reed, an editor from San Diego News Network took the MISS FIT boot camp challenge with Fitness Quest 10’s Anna Renderer.  She has been writing about her experience since day one . Below is her last and latest entry about her MISS FIT experience! ENJOY!

Day eight: December 14, 2009

The end is here.

I can see it, I can taste it and I can feel it in all of my worked limbs.  I had come a long way already, and as I exhaustedly entered my fourth week of boot camp, I knew it would all be over soon.

Then again, would it, really?

I couldn’t help but think of the other ladies.  There were only two rookies, myself and another woman.  For a handful of others, this was just Round 2 – and they showed no sign of stopping.  To the rest, boot camp was simply a part of the morning routine.

Although I never felt any pressure along the way to commit to any more than these four weeks (though Anna would nudge me gently with maybes), I was slowly beginning to realize that this wasn’t meant to be a one-time thing.

Fitness, for me (and probably so many others) has always been kind of a one-time thing.  I tried yoga once.  And another couple of times after that.  I received tennis lessons once.  I took dance lessons once.  And once upon a time, I occasionally used the elliptical at the gym.

Nothing ever stuck, but I could feel that this time was different.  I wasn’t exactly excited about another round (or seven) of boot camp, but I knew that working out, in some way, shape or form, was something that I needed – and probably for the first time, wanted – in my life.

Would I continue boot camp?

I began to feel more and more weight on that question as time went on.  Sure, I was doing this for a story.  Journalists will do just about anything for a story.  But I was also doing this for me.  Didn’t I owe it to myself not to give up?

Almost every morning I had to get up before the sun, I cursed the day I signed up for this endeavor, counted down the days until Christmas and promised myself a post-work nap.  But every morning when the sun rose over our stretching bodies, when I could feel the burning in my muscles and cooling sweat on my back, I thought, God, this feels great.

My conscience was in full working mode as I pondered my decision.  The devil on my right shoulder reminded me of the sleep – and the pudding cups – I’d get back.  The angel on my left told me I’d lose my newfound energy and strength in no time.  I’d come so far, she reminded me.

Last week, I missed Wednesday’s class.  I jolted awake in the dark and looked at my cell phone.  5:16 a.m.  Forget it, I said, and happily slept in.  When I woke, I was thrown.  There was no sense of time or energy.  Something was missing from my body.  I felt guilty for skipping class, but the strange thing was, I really missed it.

Would I miss it after this week was over?  Could I really keep it up?  Could I make this a permanent part of my schedule?  Would it make me lazy if I didn’t?  Would it kill me if I did?

There were so many questions and not enough answers.  Trying out the boot camp was a challenge.  It was a chance for me to really look at my health.  It was an opportunity to be honest and a time to laugh at myself.  But anyone can do that for four weeks.  The thing was, would I continue?  And the truth was, I really wasn’t sure.

While I may have gotten on board with this whole thing to ditch my muffin top, the reality was that it wasn’t that simple.  Muffin top would find me again.  So would flabby arms and jiggling thighs.  Slowly, but surely, I knew that I would no longer feel guilty for hitting the late-night drive thru or indulging those brownie cravings.

This was going to be a lifestyle choice, and to be honest, it wasn’t really one I thought I’d ever make.  It just didn’t sound like me.  Getting up at 4 a.m. wasn’t me.  Running wasn’t me.  Even the words “boot camp” weren’t me.  Those who knew me in my previous life must have found the whole thing laughable.

I was never a jock or a sports enthusiast.  I had never really even cared about fitness at all.  I went to high school football and basketball games because the guys I liked were on the team.  And let’s face it, I hadn’t really worked out since 2001, anyway.  If you would even call trying to avoid the ball at all costs in third period gym “working out.”

Left to my own resources, I might never work out again.  I would likely try here and there, make a New Year’s resolution or two, but what I really needed was the accountability.  Anna kept me honest about my fitness goals and those women who showed up with me every other day were a part of my team.  It was clear that I wasn’t good at encouraging myself – but they were.

I should stay, commit, continue.  I knew that much.  But where would it end?  Would I be in boot camp forever?

What started as an experiment had turned into a real life challenge, one that I will be considering heavily in my last week as a first-time “Miss Fit.”

If you like what you read…Check out these Related articles: Health editor turned ‘Miss Fit:’  Time heals all lapses in nutrition judgment | Health editor turned ‘Miss Fit:’ Feeling good, eating bad | Health editor turned ‘Miss Fit:’  Feeling the burn – and the burn-out | Health editor turned ‘Miss Fit:’  Addressing my inner emotional eater | Health editor turned ‘Miss Fit:’ Getting out of the ’skinny’ state of mind

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