Fitness experts and weight loss coaches will often remind people that joining a fit or fat camp is not an end. This is because many people who do commit themselves to a sudden end to excess fat. Yet, as doctors and coaches will tell you, the road to weight loss and fitness is a continuous journey. Fitness camps should then be viewed as a beginning rather than an end.
It is the beginning of a lifestyle that includes regular exercise, and of treating food as fuel instead of a filler. It is the beginning of a lifelong commitment to developing one’s strengths and physical abilities instead of focusing on how looks.
In this light, the more radical changes one should make when joining a weight loss boot camp is one’s mindset and attitude. Many people who have tried fitness programs say that without these changes, one is bound to gain back all the weight that they lost.
Weight loss camp alumni advise that one maintain or even add to his or her workload after camp. And by workload, they mean household chores and work tasks that require much movement. At the office, take on fieldwork, volunteer for projects that see you talking to many people, and visiting different places.
A change in social interactions is also necessary to keep one’s weight loss goals. Once fitness camp ends, people may find that their friends and family bringing them back to the same unhealthy habits that got them into trouble in the first place such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating junk food. A weight-loss alumni’s friends and family should work to support that person. In the long run, they too could see themselves living healthier and fitter lives. Engage each other in activities centered around sports and exercise routines instead of on food. And when it comes to food, teach each other, especially children, to value knowing different types of food, raw and natural food ingredients, and where they come from.
Psychologists note that fitness camp alumni often find themselves forming new friendships and putting old friendships in the back seat. This is not entirely unexpected as being able to encourage others to take on the new habits mentioned above is never immediate and easy.
And while emotionally conquering one’s demons is a big part of weight loss camps, alumni may find themselves feeling the same as before when they were obese or overweight – shy, scared, lazy, sad, and even angry. As mentioned earlier, fitness camps are not ends but beginnings to continuous journeys. So, don’t be so hard yourself when you still can’t seem to be the life of the party even if you look cooler or physically feel stronger.
One budding young photographer who has documented her own weight loss program comments that happiness post weight loss depends on the ability to let oneself fail and on the ability to not think about how other people are doing or thinking in relation to one’s own weight.