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Bethany Hughes' testimonial (cont'd)

By Bethany Hughes, LYBF co-founder and boot camp participant
This time when I started, I had one pair of black slacks that fit me! Sweat pants were my friend! I knew I had to make a change. After a good long cry, I headed out to buy a new pair of running shoes and hit Memorial Park the next morning. I could not even run around the three-mile loop one time! As I jogged that first month, I began to evaluate my nutrition and exercise. I knew I had missed the boat on both. I started to change slowly. I began pushing myself more every day. By April I had worked up to running six miles every other day. The weight had begun to slip off but I realized I had to change my nutrition and take care of my body. I began to be hungry in the mornings, and I tried eating fewer carbohydrates at night. I focused on fruits and vegetables and lean proteins. But that soon became boring! I also had to appease my sweet tooth. I admitted to myself that I would never permanently cut out sugar, so I instituted the three-bite rule. I could have three bites of any home-baked goodie or bread. I found this was very satisfying. I also tried all the protein bars until I found one that tasted as good as a candy bar and several types of healthy foods to satisfy my craving for sugar. Because I found I was not good at depriving myself, I changed my lifestyle rather than going on another “diet.”

I was down to a size 10 by May and a size 8 by August. Armed with a new IPOD, I ran everywhere. My husband encouraged me to start weight lifting and to hire a trainer. I began working with Vince Grbic in September of 2005. For the first time in my life I had my body fat checked. I was more than 30 percent. Now this was after I already had lost 20 pounds and had been exercising for eight months! I have no idea what my body fat was when I started, but I hate to even think about that.

Vince discouraged me from running four or five times a week as I had been doing. He showed me how to use the cardio machines and how to really challenge myself as I progressed. I started to change my speeds and added strength training to my routine. The weights changed my body and I lost another 20 pounds over the next six months. I went down to a size 6 and then a 4. I gained more strength all the while. Vince also had me write down what I was eating –- so I began keeping a food diary. With more tips from him, I found it easier to stick to good choices meal after meal.

I upped my strength training to three times a week. We took one of those workouts each week either outside or to the basketball court -- boot-camp style. I sprinted, ran horses, and lunged! I was amazed at all I could do and Vince was always so encouraging. After eight weeks of going it alone, I asked if I could have some friends join in on the workouts outside. I knew we would all have more fun if we were exercising together. Our idea was that no matter where someone was in their fitness level, they could join the boot camps and benefit. This was going to be a kinder, gentler boot camp, but still very challenging. I had friends from all over asking about it because they had seen such a change in my body and in me.

By the summer, we had two classes. Today, we have lots of classes each week (and there are friends of friends in it). I am not surprised at how quickly it has grown because it really is a great workout. I try to make as many classes per week as I can, both for the exercise and to help encourage others. I love going because it adds such variety to my cardio workouts. The workouts go by so quickly with all the chatter and laughter.

I still challenge myself every day. I realize that my exercise routine has to be interesting enough to keep me going for the rest of my life. Change is good.

The other day my husband said that if someone had told him last year that his wife would be getting up at 4:30 a.m. to make a 5:30 boot camp class, he would have told them they were crazy. I certainly would have agreed with him. I did not change overnight. I hit plateaus and have worked hard to blow through them. It took me a year and half to become who I am today. I am down to a little over 17 percent body fat. It has been hard work, but the rewards are worth it.

Bethany Hughes, LYBF co-founder and boot camp participant

Check out Bethany's success story in Health & Fitness Sports Magazine!

Read the full story in the magazine and see Bethany's "before" and "after" photos.

 

Look for the Book

LYBF co-founders Bethany Hughes and Vince Grbic have written a easy-to-read quick-start guide to exercise and nutrition. Look for it soon on this Web site!

 

Bethany:

"Our idea was that no matter where someone was in their fitness level, they could join the boot camps and benefit."

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