Success Story – Helen B

I am so honored that my shy and private client, Helen, is willing to share her story of inspiration to you. I must preface her story with a huge shout out to her. She doesn’t realize how she inspires my other clients with her tenacity and work ethic. She’s not afraid of hard work while at the same time, she’s smart about not over doing it. Helen is well on her way to meeting her long term goals. Be sure to leave an encouraging comment for her!



My name is Helen, and I have been attending Shawna’s boot camp for about 4 months.  Normally, I don’t write about myself like this, but Shawna mentioned that there are others like me who are older, overweight, out of shape and think it’s too late.  Well, I’m living proof that it is NOT too late!


I was always skinny like a pole (well, maybe not a pole, but a pole with curves). I could eat anything I wanted and not gain an ounce.  Then I hit 40, had a hysterectomy, quit smoking and re-developed a thyroid issue that affected me in my 20’s.  All of a sudden, perhaps within 5 years, I had gained way too much weight.


This is NOT Helen! (It’s just how Helen felt!)

Then I plateaued and didn’t gain any more, thank goodness.  But I could tell there were problems with carrying this much weight around.  My husband (the jock) would sometimes say to me, on the rare occasion when we would discuss my weight issues, “Find some sport that you like, and do that”.  Well, I like to read a good book!  But, not much physical activity there.



So finally, after way too many years, I decided to do something about this.  I wanted my self-esteem back and to wear all my wonderful clothes again.  I wanted my husband of 26 years to think of me as sexy again.  I wanted to wear a bathing suit and great outfits when we went sailing in the summer.  On a friend’s recommendation, I emailed Shawna and asked if she could help.


After being checked out by my doctor, I went to boot camp in June for the first time.  I was not sure what I had gotten myself into.  I had signed up for 5 days a week, figuring it was better to blast my poor body than ease my way in.  I managed about 4 days a week, and for the first two weeks, I would get in my car after the workout, and cry for most of the way home.



However, I kept coming back, and somehow made it through the month.  I fully intended to continue the workout during the two months of summer when we were on holiday (I work in a school), but as soon as I relaxed, my body said ‘enough’ and I promptly became so sick I was on my back for two weeks.



After the summer was over, I determined to keep going.  So, sure enough, September saw me back at the Soccer Centre at 6:30 am to push myself as hard as I could.  (But, realistically, only for three days a week.) It is now near the end of December, and I can say that I have gained in strength, endurance, and stamina.  I began by using no weights or 2 lb weights, and now use 5 or 7 lbs.



I can now jog around the field once without stopping.  My first goal was just to achieve a ‘downward dog’.  Not pretty, but I did that before the end of June.  My next goal was to do a spider crawl.  Egad – I managed that in October!  I have even had a personal best of 26 assisted pull-ups in one hour.  Then, I figured the hardest thing for me would be a burpee.  Well, guess what, I did four of them today!  Again, they were not pretty, but I can say that I did them.


I have lost about 12 pounds, and still have a long way to go.  (I’m not ready to reveal my weight until I have had significant success!)  Since I also have severe sleep apnea, there are days when I haven’t had enough sleep to just make it through the day, let alone go to boot camp.  So I roll over and get another two hours of sleep before work.



However, I don’t chide myself for missing a day because I know I am in this for the long haul.  It may take a couple of years to lose the amount of weight I want, but I will eventually get there.  My long term goal is a 5k run before I turn 60.  (By the way, next week, I turn 58.)



So, the moral of the story is:  If this sedentary, book-loving, activity-hating, 57 year old can do this, ANYONE can!  Shawna and Tracey have literally saved my life.  I now have more energy than before, am sleeping slightly better and feel better about myself.  There are days when it is a huge chore just to get up, get dressed and drive to the Soccer Centre. But Shawna’s mantra is: “Just show up and I will do the rest.”  She’s right; I don’t have to think; I simply show up and put myself mindlessly through her routine because I can see results and I feel better through the rest of the day, and, YIKES, I think I am actually becoming addicted to this!


My invitation, to anyone like me, is:  try it for a month.  You will see results and be motivated to continue on the road to health.


If you’re in the Calgary area and you’d like to try my boot camp for a week, head on over to my Facebook page and sign up. I’d love to have you test drive camp, I know you’ll be just like Helen and find the supportive fitness community you’ve been looking for. See you in camp!