Boot camp diary: Week four

Part four in a four-week series on beauty editor Lesa Hannah’s experience at Best Body Bootcamp (

Monday: Never before has the desire to sleep in been stronger than it is this morning. It must be the result of my True Blood hangover. I consider bailing for a moment, but then fight through my sloth and go. To work our lower bodies, we do duck walks—squatting while taking 10 steps forward and then back. Reps of side lunges and squatting while jumping are broken up with jog-sprint-walk laps around the park and bursts of suicide laps. I imagine that my belly is being blasted of excess as I muster all my energy to tear through the grass. At the office, I flip the bird to the now-broken-for-a-month-elevator as I head for the stairs.

Wednesday: Instead of the usual three exercises followed by a lap around the park, Mike makes us do four. We must be cramming for the official assessment, which is happening on Friday.  The entire focus is on the upper body, so we rotate between assorted types of push-ups and using our resistance bands in curls, rows and extensions. We also do tricep dips on the bench of a picnic table. I make a mental note to do them more often because I hate being able to pinch flab at the back of my upper arms. We end with abs and I’m convinced mine feel stronger. Remember how I mentioned in my first week that Mike was totally laid back? It’s all in his tone—dude is seriously like the fitness instructor version of Spicoli. Only two more days until I find out if all my efforts have been in vain.

Friday: Final day and the assessment
I wake to the sound of my daughter crying out from her crib and see that it’s 5:55 a.m. HOLY F&#@!! I was supposed to be there extra early and of all the mornings of this entire harrowing experience, this is the one that I did not want to miss. I screech out of the driveway, and within 10 minutes I’m ready, with shoes off, to step onto the scale. My loss comes in at three pounds. I officially don’t trust the machine when it tells me my body fat percentage is the same. I’m not as surprised when the measurements for my arms, thighs and calves clock in with no changes. If the numbers are right, the real difference is where it counts: my gut. I seem to have lost two inches in the waistband area. My waist (under my ribs) is also down an inch and my ass has gained half an inch. Some might recoil at that difference on their own body, but to me it means my cheeks are starting to lift back up to their teenage glory. My chest, an area where there’s not much to lose, is down too, but to me that signals less back fat, not boobage (seriously, there’s nothing to vanquish there). In terms of the fit test, my instincts were right about my abs–I can now stay in a V-up hold for double the amount of time I could four weeks ago. I’ve also improved my squat hold and my flexibility, tested by reaching my fingers past my toes. I don’t get any better with push-ups or the lap around the park, but whatever. In only four weeks, I can’t expect dramatic changes. What I do expect, is that I’ll continue to work out in the mornings–the satisfaction of knowing I’ll be done by 7 a.m. has been the best part of bootcamp. With 20 minutes left, Mike has us do a short workout and before I know it, my tour of duty comes to a close. But the battle against my paunch is far from over….


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