Linda W: 205 lbs is Not Her Weight, It’s What She Dead Lifts!


Sometimes there’s more to getting fit than just losing weight.  Sometimes you may just want to get strong!  Meet Linda W the strongest lady at Boot Camp pound for pound.  Linda has been attending Boot Camp for approximately a year and she has blown up the dead lift.  She currently dead lifts 205 lbs. and could probably lift more.  In the process she has built muscle, gotten stronger and positively changed her body.

So Linda I could tell the first day you dead lifted that you had done this before.  Can you tell us about it? 
Yes, I use to weight lift in my 20’s.   I got married and started having a family and gave up on my lifting.  After turning 40, I starting gaining weight slowly. I tried every diet there is out there, from Jenny Craig, weight watchers, 17 day diet, I can go on and on with the diets. I would lose 5 lbs and gain 10, I was lacking in exercise and had no motivation to get out and do anything.

Did something specific happen that caused you to start training again?
Getting older has made me realize I need to be as healthy as I can get.  I want strong bones and health to take me into my later years.  I don’t want to be one of those people who fall and break a hip.  My goal is to be at my physical best by 60, I only have 3 more years to get there.

Do you have a favorite type of training?
I love weight lifting, it is challenging for me to see how much I can lift.  I also run with a friend, but I do not like running for long periods.

What have been some of the toughest challenges for you so far?
I find the weight loss for me and other ladies over 50 is very hard.   Even now with working out since October the weight for me as not been that much.  I have seen a lot of change in my body size.  I’m one of those people who carries their weight all over, from head to toe.

What can you tell me about your diet strategy?
I typically have 2 egg omelet for breakfast or a Greek yogurt with granola on top.  For lunch I love to eat a grilled chicken on a salad.  I use lettuce, carrots, cucumbers and tomato’s.  For the dressing I just use balsamic vinegar.  For dinner, I have a meat and vegetables, either steamed or grilled.  Oh and I have 1 Dr. Pepper a day.

Do you have a favorite meal?
My favorite is Chicken coated with Parmesan cheese, fresh green beans, or frozen when they are not in season and beets.  I typically have to cook my family, some pasta, potatoes or rice to go along with the chicken or they think they are being abused.

How do you measure fitness/weight loss success?
I measure my success, by not giving up on my exercise and sticking to eating properly.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t cheat once in a while, because I do, but I pick up and do the best I can the next day.

Do you have advice for people contemplating starting a fitness journey?
I would tell them to never give up on getting fit.  It gets harder and harder the older you get.  Also, don’t get discouraged when the weight doesn’t fall off as fast as you think it should.  If you eat properly and work out, you will see changes in your body and it will all be worth it.  I have.

Seeing your scale weight decrease is the Holy Grail for most people on a weight loss journey, however I encourage everyone to look at things other than scale weight.  Don’t measure fitness and health success by a number on a scale.  Measure success by how strong you become, measure success by how well you move, measure success by how your clothes fit.  Most important is measure success the way Linda W does, measure it by each day you work hard in the gym and by each meal you eat the right type of food.  Thank you Linda for sharing YOUR story!

Inspiring You To Take the Challenge,

Linda B: Improving My Race Walking With Strength Training!

Over the next several months I will be doing a series of articles on YOU, and how success can be measured on more things than just the scale or measuring tape.  Linda B is a competitive walker and works very hard to improve her times.  She started doing strength training and eating differently about a year ago to see if she could reduce her times and lose a little weight.  This is her story.

So Linda was there something specific that made you adopt strength training as a part of your program?
Yes.  I was using walking as my exercise for the previous 2 years. I was walking 3-4 miles 3 days during the week and much longer on the weekends, depending on training for half marathon or other races.  I was maintaining my race times, but not losing any weight and staying the same size.  It didn’t seem right.

Has strength training improved your performance?
Yes.  I shaved 15 minutes off my half marathon this past March!  The walks I do the mornings I don’t go to Boot Camp have a much better time.  (I either go to Boot Camp or walk so I wake up the same time each morning)

How important is diet to your training?
VERY IMPORTANT!!  I really didn’t start losing the weight until I embraced the Meal Plan.  That was after 3 months of strength training and I was gaining muscle but not yet losing weight.  It was very life changing for me (and my grocery list!).  My husband and I call it a change to our eating lifestyle instead of “diet.”  Using that perspective and not “banning” anything has helped to stay on track as we don’t beat ourselves up if we have an occasional piece of cake or something.

Did you think diet could make such a big difference in your performance and weight loss?
No, I did not.  But losing 35 pounds in 5 months and keeping it off now for 4 months is awesome for me!  I really liked that I lost 1 to 1.5 pounds a week so it was gradual and makes me think I’ll be keeping it off (as long as I stay away from those carbs, of course!).  I dropped 4 dress sizes and am transitioning my large shirts to mediums.  Of course, some of that is due to the sculpting of my muscles from the weight training.

I used to eat almonds by themselves, chocolate kisses by themselves, and raisins by themselves in large quantities at my desk and not really be satisfied.  Now I put them together (but use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of kisses) of one cup each per the trail mix recipe and one or two handfuls satisfy! I couldn’t believe the difference it made to eat them together like that.

And I can’t believe how my taste buds are changing to actually like vegetables!  It’s a challenge to find new ways to cook them and to even discover what some vegetables are (my daughter helps a lot in that department!).

What kind of support system do you have?
I couldn’t do either the training or food plan without my husband’s support.  It helps that he gets up a few minutes before I need to (he has to be at work at 6) and that he has embraced the new meals we plan for each week.  (Jeff’s barbeque chicken pizza recipe won him over and it is rare when it doesn’t make it in our list of meals planned each week.)

I’ve passed my one year anniversary now of strength training and feel healthier (besides the weight and size loss).  There’s a difference in my day when I occasionally skip the training or walking.  I don’t feel as energized or get as much accomplished. That is an inner support system that gets me up in the morning because, when the alarm goes off, I think I can sleep in an extra hour but is it really worth it?  And the answer is, Get Up!  That is more worth it!

Also, I have friends and made new friends at the time slot I usually go to.  If I miss, I’m asked why just like I ask them.  We all like seeing each other there and new faces, too!

Can you physically do things now that you couldn’t do prior to strength training?
Yes.  I can lift a box of paper onto the cart now (I think there are 10 reams in a box).  I can also push the cart with 5 boxes of the paper instead of just 3.  My upper arms have always been weak and shapeless but now they have defined muscles.  When they started to shape and I would brush against one, I couldn’t help making my family laugh by making comments out loud about the fact I had muscles there.

Also, I was really scared of the dead weight bar when I first started.  Now it is so easy to get on my shoulders to add weight to my squats or to use the right position and my hips to lift the bar correctly.

Do you have any advice for people thinking of adding strength training to their walking program?
Yes.  Do it!  You will be surprised at what muscles you are not using when walking.  Also, if you walk at a fast pace like I do and experience constant pain in the upper hamstrings like I did, strength training really helps.  My upper hamstrings still let me know they are there, but only occasionally.  That is one side benefit you wouldn’t even think of!

I would like to thank Linda B for sharing her fitness story with us.  I hope everyone looks at her story and see’s two important things.  There is more than one way to get fit and food matters.  I look forward to sharing more of YOUR stories in the future, because YOU guys are the ones who inspire me everyday.

Inspiring You To Accept the Challenge,

Sharon: Age is Just a Number, Strong is How You Stay Young!

I’ll never forget the first day I visited with Sharon and she asked if she could participate in my Senior fitness program.  I told her she was too young and would have to do boot camp. Since that day she’s done an amazing job increasing her strength, improving movement and losing weight.  Over the course of her transformation, she’s even convinced her husband to improve his strength as well. 

So Sharon what specifically made you decide to improve your strength and get fit?  
I had high blood pressure and wanted to get off my blood pressure pills so I needed to lose weight and start exercising. I also wanted to be able to stay active with my three young grandchildren, and to overall just feel better physically.

So what did you feel like prior to beginning your fitness journey?
Like a couch potato and a slug! Slow moving, body aches, weak upper body and no energy.

How do you feel a year later?
I feel great! I have energy, I can get up and down from the floor so much better, I am off my blood pressure meds, and I have increased in muscle tone and strength, especially in my upper body.

What have you learned about yourself?
I’ve learned that age is just a number and exercise is a big key in how I can maintain my health and overall wellness.  It’s how you stay young!

What grade would you give your diet?
Probably a C.  Diet is something I need to work on.  It needs to be more important to me and I know I would see an even bigger difference in my weight and overall health if I buckled down and eliminated all the foods that contained the bad carbs.  I have good weeks, and then some bad weeks.

What kind of support system do you have?
The best ever, my husband Bob, who is controlling his diabetes with his diet and exercise! He is constantly trying to motivate me to eat the right way.

Can you physically do thing now that you couldn’t a year ago?
Yes, I can get up and down from the floor so much better, I can carry heavier items, including grandchildren and my endurance is so much better.

Do you have a favorite exercise and/or a least favorite?
No, not one favorite. I pretty much enjoy all of them and the diversity of them with the daily workouts.  Mountain climbers should be banned!

Do you have advice for someone who might be contemplating beginning and exercise journey?
Yes! Jump right in and start! Don’t be afraid that you can’t do it.

Special thanks to Sharon for sharing with us.  She is an incredible woman who epitomizes the fact you can do anything you want when you set your mind to it to include getting off your hypertension medication.  Whether you train with us at Boot Camp or train somewhere else I encourage everyone no matter your age, health or weight to begin or continue to strength train.  Your physical strength is the most important asset you have. Lose your strength and lose your quality of life.  Hope I see all of you moving weight and gaining muscle,

Inspiring You To Accept the Challenge,

Cheryl: Getting Stronger One Day at a Time

Cheryl was one of the first people to join Fitness Boot Camp last year when I opened and she has done an incredible job getting fit and losing inches. Her story shows what dedication and consistency does not only for weight loss but also for total fitness and strength.So Cheryl what made you decide to try Fitness Boot Camp?
After having my son I was determined to get in shape.

Did you try anything else prior to doing boot camp? 
Yes, I tried several different types of workouts over a 2 year period (workout dvds, gym membership, running). I could not seem to stay motivated with any of them. I struggled to find something that would keep me motivated and I would enjoy doing.

What did you feel like prior to beginning your current fitness program?
Before starting at Expect Results Fitness I was tired all of the time and overweight. I would go straight home after work and just be exhausted. I was tired of feeling that way.

How do feel now?
Now I go home after a good workout and feel energized. I am happier with myself physically and mentally.

What have you learned about yourself through your fitness journey?
I have learned that I am stronger than I ever have been. Anything is possible when you put your mind to it and work hard.

Do you have a favorite exercise?  Do you have an exercise that should be banned?
My favorite exercise is battle ropes. I used to hate them in the beginning!  My least favorite is jump rope.

What grade would you give your diet and how important has diet been in your weight loss journey?
I would give my current diet a B.  Weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise.

What kind of support system do you have?
I have several friends and coworkers who attend Boot Camp and have made several new friends as well. Working out with great people makes it motivating and enjoyable and part of what keeps me motivated to continue training.  It’s like family.

Are you physically stronger and capable of doing things now you couldn’t before?
If you asked me when I first started if I could squat with 85 lbs I would have called you crazy. I remember squats alone were so difficult.  I think I have come a long way with my strength and plan to continue progressing.

Do you have advice for those contemplating starting a fitness journey?
My advice would be to set small goals. Start off with a small goal and once you reach that set another one. You will be able to keep focused on these goals easier than one big one.

I would like to thank Cheryl for sharing her thoughts and story with us.  If you are having trouble staying motivated find a friend or co-worker that shares similar fitness/health goals.  Help each other get to workouts and eat right.  Its always easier to stay motivated when you have an accountability partner.  In addition, focus on improving fitness and strength rather than concentrate on a scale weight.  You have total control over your performance every day, focus on performance and weight and inches will take care of themselves.

Inspiring You To Accept the Challenge,



Brooke: My Wedding is Why I Started My Fitness Journey, Personal Growth is Why I Continue!


Brooke started her fitness/weight loss journey because she got engaged and wanted to look and feel great for her wedding day.  However, along the journey her perspective has changed and that’s what makes her story so amazing.

So Brooke, what motivated you to lose weight and get in shape?
What originally motivated me to want to lose weight was getting engaged. I knew I couldn’t look and feel like I did about myself on my wedding day. Now, what motivates me is how much better I feel about not only myself but my relationships with other people in my life. When I started getting healthy so did everything around me. Mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually I have grown and it is something I want for the rest of my life. It’s safe to say this journey is not about the dress anymore.

Will you share some of the things you do?
I am still on my journey of losing weight but I try to exercise 5-6 times during the week whether that is going to boot camp, running, or both. Also, finding fun things to do on the weekend like hiking help keep me active too. Eating good balanced meals, getting plenty of sleep at night, and keeping my stress at a minimum are all things I am continuing to do to lose weight.

When did you really start seeing results?  Was there something significant you did?
I really saw the most results in about 6 weeks; this was when I started taking my diet more seriously. I learned quickly that I couldn’t just exercise all I wanted and eat all that I wanted too. Jeff’s meal plan’s and smoothie recipes are what keep me in line but another thing I will say helps me is not being too strict on myself. For me, there has to be a little room for exceptions or I will feel like I am forcing myself to do something that I don’t want to do. It’s okay to have a piece of cake every now and again or to give yourself a day of relaxation. Little things like this are just as important and keep me going!

What are the big changes you made to your diet?
Cutting out late night snacking and taking on portion control have helped me tremendously. I stopped drinking sodas years ago and went to only water but I upped my water intake and it’s nothing for me to drink a full glass before a meal now. I like to let my fiancé, Kyle in on what I plan on eating. Telling him what’s for lunch today or dinner tomorrow somehow tricks my brain into thinking, “Okay this is what you have to eat!” It may sound silly but I don’t want to go back to him with the bad news of having pizza today instead of a salad that I told him about.

How important is diet to weight loss?
Diet is oh so important! Eat smart and you will be successful. I have days where I fall off track but you have to jump right back on, you can’t just unpack and stay there or you will end up right in the place you were when you started. Diet and exercise go hand and hand. I can tell such a difference when I am eating well because my workouts go good and I feel great. If I ate horrible I can literally feel myself dragging and not doing my very best. This alone makes me put my diet first because in the end I am only cheating myself.

Do you have any advice for people who are currently on a weight loss journey or those contemplating starting a journey?
The best advice I can give would be to find an accountability partner. I have gained so many friendships through this change in lifestyle but the most important is the friendship I have with Rachel. She is such an inspiration to me and keeps me on my feet at all times. Days that I don’t feel like going to the gym or on one of our runs I make the choice to go anyways because I wouldn’t want to put her out of a great workout. New achievements and goals that we reach encourage the other without even realizing it sometimes and that is something that I truly believe everyone needs.

Do you have anything to add that might help someone who’s struggling?
Stay with it! There will be days that you feel down or you feel like all of this is too much and too hard but we are harder on ourselves than anyone else. In 6 months all of those negative thoughts will go away and you will truly feel like a new person. I am just an average person who decided to make the best change for myself and for my life and so are you.

Thank you Brooke for sharing your story with all of us.  You are doing wonderful and I look forward to seeing pictures of you in your wedding dress soon.  You never know who you may have inspired to get up and make a change.  You are an inspiration.

Inspiring You To Accept the Challenge,

Fred: Adding Muscle to Lose Fat, It’s an Easy Equation

I love reading about people who achieve.  The kind of folks that lay it all on the line to achieve extraordinary results.  People who set goals, develop plans and follow those plans through a wall if they must, to succeed.

We have many success stories in our little community.  Over the next few weeks I plan to highlight folks who have knocked it out of the park.  As a matter of fact, if you have a success story you want to share let me know by e-mailing me It can be a weight loss goal, fitness goal, or even a medical goal that you crushed!

Fred has won at least one of the 28 Day Challenge categories over the last four competitions.  As a matter of fact, Fred has lost 60+ lbs. since July of last year.  This is quite a feat because he has put on probably 20-30 lbs. of muscle as well.  That means Fred has probably lost more than 80 lbs. of fat over the past 10 months.

So, what made you decide to get started on your fitness journey?
I was on vacation last summer and stepped on a scale and it said 292 lbs.  That was the closest I’ve ever been to 300 lbs.  I decided right then when I returned I would join boot camp where my son was doing sports camp.

How did you get your weight loss jump started?
I started going to boot camp 5-6 days per week and would go twice a day some days.  I really cut back on carbs.  I still eat fruit but eliminated bread and really limited pasta and potatoes.

When did you really feel like you were seeing results and was there a major change you made?
I made progress the first month and that motivated me to stay consistent and work that much harder.  The real key to success is being consistent with your workouts and your diet.

What were the major changes you made in your diet?
I stopped drinking soda and reduced my carbs considerably.  I eat lots of vegetables, fruit, lean meat and drink a lot of water.  One thing I do is have a cheat day every now and then, but the important thing is getting back on track after the cheat day.  Diet is the most important piece of weight loss and if I cheat too much I can feel the weight coming back quite quickly.

What is your advice for people contemplating change or those currently losing weight?
Drink plenty of water and use the 80/20 rule.  80% of the time eat fewer carbs and really tighten up on your diet.  20% ease up, have a good time and eat something you really want to eat.

The most important thing you can do is expect bad days.  Don’t QUIT and throw in the towel!  Start over and move forward toward your goal.

A special thanks to Fred for taking the time to share his success story with us.  If you’ve already started your fitness/weight loss journey keep moving forward.  If you’re contemplating getting started the first step is the hardest.  Get up off the couch and start moving or your more than welcome to join us at boot camp.  Either way your fitness story awaits, its waiting for you to write it.

Motivating You to Accept the Challenge,