Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series tracking the progress of Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club resident Maria Smith as she participates in a six-week long pre-holiday boot camp. Her goal is to tone up and shed fat.
LAKEWOOD RANCH — Maria Smith was just waiting for a chance to get motivated.
This time last year, the 36-year-old mother of two was about 15 pounds lighter and feeling great.
“I just lost focus,” said Smith, who had shed the pounds simply by changing her diet. “I thought this would be the perfect solution.”
On Nov. 2, Smith joined about 10 other women at Greenbrook Adventure Park for the first women-only group exercise class of their six-week Pre-Holiday Boot Camp. The class, led by J.D. Doyle, director of the Shape Up Sarasota Boot Camp, will be offered from 9:15-10:15 a.m., Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the park through Dec. 21.
The class incorporates interval, cardiovascular and resistance training in each session.
“This type of training burns more calories per hour than any other,” Doyle said, noting participants can expect to lose one to two pounds per week, assuming no dietary changes.
Smith said she was amazed by the results her sister had seen from training under Doyle and from attending his boot camps. Hungering for a change but lacking the motivation to make it happen, she was thrilled to hear about the boot camp being held in Lakewood Ranch. With the holidays approaching, Smith knew the class couldn’t have come at a better time.
The outdoor fitness program, she said, is the perfect motivator for her. Not only is she getting a bargain on working with a personal trainer (albeit in a group setting) and a chance to make new friends, but it’s also forcing her to put a new focus on exercising and eating healthily.
Instead of dropping her children off at school and running out to do errands or shop, she’ll be doing jumping jacks, lunges and other grueling exercises.
Smith said she knew that if she didn’t make the commitment to the class ahead of time, she likely would have tried it out and quit because it was too difficult.
Allowing The East County Observer to track her progress only furthered her resolve to stick with the program, she said.
“I’m willing and capable to make that commitment,” Smith said. “I’ve got to get that taste in my mouth (for change). I want to get the most out of it. It’s a new beginning.”
At about 160 pounds, Smith said she’d like to drop about 30 pounds in total, and while she won’t shed all the weight at boot camp, it will help change her mindset and help her maintain her weigh-loss goals.
“It’s not really a number, it’s a size,” she said, starting to chuckle. “As long as I can fit back in my jeans, I’m happy.”
And as Smith lingered at a picnic table at Greenbrook Adventure Park Nov. 2, she could barely contain her excitement.
“I’m up for a challenge,” she said. “There’s not an ounce of muscle in my body.”
Although the first workout included some testing of each participant’s physical abilities, Smith said she was sore just an hour after it ended.
“It was so difficult, but I already feel like I’m feeling the results,” she said. “It was great. I’m excited.”
For more information about the Pre-Holiday Boot Camp, visit www.sarasotabootcamp.com or call Doyle at 726-4580.
Contact Pam Eubanks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Body fat: 37.7%
Tricep: 35 mm
Suprailliac: 28 mm
Thigh: 48 mm
Fat weight: 61.5 pounds
Lean weight: 101.5 pounds
As set by J.D.:
Goal for body fat: 33.5%
Goal for weight: 155 pounds