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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Boot camp helps women lose weight

Monday, January 28, 2008  
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By Alana Duffle

Early mornings, sweat, push-ups, crunches, healthy eating and whining are all part of a new fitness boot camp. 

Elizabeth Mullins is leading 16 women to their goal of changing their unhealthy lifestyles and getting in shape for the summer. 

“We were all really scared to do this because it sounded horrifying, but together we made it,” Student Activities Coordinator Summer Lashley said.

This isn’t a typical boot camp because it’s not a punishment.  These ladies actually wanted to attend the boot camp. 

They wanted to get in shape, eat healthier and stick to an exercise regimen, so they decided to hire Mullins as a fitness instructor. 

Mullins, an Oklahoma Christian University alumna, is a local fitness trainer who has created a fitness plan for the women. 

This plan includes but is not limited to cardio, weight training, strength training, basketball drills and customized food plans. 

When some employees at Oklahoma Christian heard about this plan, they looked into it and decided to sign themselves up for boot camp. 

The women include Summer Lashley, Risa Forrester, Addi Panter, Amy Kelly, Darci Thompson, Crislyn Ward, Tiffany Buck and Jennifer Wright.

“I had looked into many other fitness plans, but Elizabeth’s boot camp had better prices and better methods,” Lashley said.  “There isn’t a specific diet for the entire group, although Elizabeth can customize eating plans for us.”

The ladies weighed in and calculated their body fat and body mass indexes the first day of boot camp. 

After the six weeks is up, they will weigh in again so they can see their improvement.

These eight ladies, along with eight other Oklahoma Christian alumnae, work out Monday through Friday from 6 to 7 a.m. in the gym. 

Many of these women have previously tried diets and work out plans, but they were unable to stick with it. 

As a team, these women are sticking with the diet, and getting through it together.

“There’s a lot of camaraderie and motivation when you’re working with a group as opposed to alone,” Lashley said.  “We all decided we wanted a team type of atmosphere to keep us motivated and accountable.  It makes it a lot more enjoyable to do it with others.”

A few of the women have also experienced pregnant together, so they decided to work out and lose the excess baby weight. 

Those women then encouraged their friends to join them in getting fit. 

The program is going well so far, and a great deal of the success is because the women encourage each other to stick with it.

Kelly has done 6 a.m. work outs before, but they were not the same as this program.

“When you put these women together, it’s fun and exciting.  You forget you’re working out because you’re having so much fun,” Kelly said.  “You walk out feeling like you actually did something and accomplished something.”

Kelly also enjoys the amount of encouragement the ladies provide for one another. 

The women hold each other accountable to the work outs.  Often times, they even call to remind each other to be there at 6 in the morning.

“I love that I’m actually doing it; there are other girls relying on me to be there,” Panter said. “I wouldn’t do it by myself.”

Although accountability is a large part of the boot camp’s victory, it isn’t the only reason they are having so much success; Mullins also deserves credit.

“Being able to work with a professional is probably something none of us could have afforded to do for this long on our own,” Lashley said. “The advantages of having a professional are amazing. You are taught the correct way to do things, and there is a huge difference in the effectiveness of the workout.”

As the boot camp is coming close to an end, the women are putting out a challenge to the Oklahoma Christian campus. 

They want everyone to strive to be healthier, even if it’s just passing up that second bag of chips or saying no to dessert.

Kelly said being healthy should be of spiritual, mental and physical importance and priority to everyone on campus.

It shouldn’t be something that is taken lightly.

This is just part of being a well-rounded person,” Kelly said.  “Find what works for you and do it.”

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