#MyBootcamp: Losing It … And Loving It

March 30th, 2012 | Shonali Burke | 24 Comments

March 27 - reverse crunch using the TRXIt’s been about six weeks since my last Bootcamp update. And you want to know where I stand, don’t you?

It is Friday, after all. Of course you do!

Here’s where I am:

  • Down around 20-22 lbs total since I started (my weight varies a little, but it’s staying in this range)
  • Down a total of about 22 inches
  • My BMI seems to have settled in (for now at least) at around 22
  • My body fat percentage, which started out at 31.6%, is down to 21.7%

That’s me doing the reverse crunch with the TRX earlier this week.

And since my last update, I have come down another dress size; actually make that one and a half, because I’m midway between my current size and the next lower size (I know, you’re dying to know what that is, but you’ll have to wait a bit for the “final” reveal for that).

Losing it

three bags of clothes... for alteration!Last week I took three bags of clothes to my local seamstress – she’s literally around the corner from me, and I only just found her! – so that I could get them taken in (I literally have no clothes that fit me properly, and it’s cheaper to get them altered than buy a whole new wardrobe).

And while I know she was appreciative of the business, I also know she got tired “pinning” me. I was tired standing there, trying on outfit after outfit, but what a great reason to be tired, right?

I may not be the “biggest loser,” but I’m definitely a loser… in the right way. And I love it.

Gaining it

As I’ve said before, with this “loss” has come gain: gains in confidence, strength, better health, more energy, more focus… all good things.

I’ve been meeting more people in my neighborhood since Grant, my trainer (who is incredible to work with), and I work out at my neighborhood park in the mornings. So we see a lot of regulars walking their dogs), and much to my delight, they call me the Exercise Lady.

They don’t even mind the grunting and screaming I do when I’m pounding the sandbag; in fact, they encourage it. I love that they stop to chat, and if they see I’m mid-exercise, they call out, “Looking good!” Which, of course, spurs me on to do better, since I’m on display, as it were.

To vary my exercise routine, I’ve started running. I’ve been using the Couch to 5K app, and while I’m nowhere near being a real runner – I’ve never been one – my body is slowly adapting to this new form of exercise. And while I still don’t particularly like running, I do like the way my body feels after I’m done with the day’s workout, cranky knees notwithstanding.

My Facebook Bootcamp Buddies are a tremendous source of support, health and food information and suggestions, and laughs (you’re welcome to join us if you’re on a similar journey, it’s a secret group, so no fears of being embarrassed or laughed at, just let me know). We have a Pinterest board, by the way, in case you’d like to follow it.

Changing goals

When I decided to change my life, back in August 2011, initially I wanted to get to a certain weight and fit into a certain dress size. With my love for measurable objectives, that seemed a smart way to go. And as I did that, I wanted to feel fit and healthy.

My goals have changed.

using the rip trainer to do pressesI still want to feel fit and healthy – which I do, now – but now I don’t care about reaching that original weight goal. Now I am focused on turning the fat that remains into muscle, and fine-tuning the machine that my body was designed to be.

I still track my progress (or lack thereof, it happens) on a weekly basis in Excel (don’t laugh!), but now I’m looking at the inches and body fat percentage much more closely than I am the weight. As long as they are where I want them to be, I don’t care how much I weigh.

Goals change. As long as they are changing for the right reasons, that’s a good thing.

Thank you

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: thank you. You have been a tremendous source of support over all these months of telling you about my Bootcamp adventure (and years of blogging).

You help to keep me going. Literally. I’m in danger of getting all mushy, so I will stop there, but not before saying it again: thank you, thank you, thank you!

Shonali Burke
Head honcho of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke is President & CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc. Based in the Washington, D.C., area, she loves helping for- and non-profit clients, both small and large, turn corporate codswallop into community cool™. She also loves ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke
Shonali Burke

Latest posts by Shonali Burke (see all)

Print Friendly
Opt In Image

"A Little Birdie Told Me" could fly into your inbox just once a month. It's Shonali-as-seen-nowhere-else. What're you waiting for?


@jocmbarnett Heh! Thank you!


Shonali, this is such a wonderful update to read. I'm so delighted for you and it's excellent to hear of all the new goals you are setting yourself as you keep passing the milestones on your ongoing journey. As you say none of us can undertake and complete these journeys without the support of others. Congratulations on your journey so far, and I look forward to seeing you fit and fabulous in New York next month!


nice! just started my journey and have a long road to go...nice to see pay off! definitely a motivation!


Yay, congrats; I know you are lookin' good because I've seen you. I still have the black eye from when I acted like we were lost in the woods............:).


My doctor said I need to lose about 20 lbs. When I woke up in the hospital room, one of my arms was missing..........I guess there are different methods to achieve the same results, huh?


I'm so happy you have seen success, because with working out, success certainly breeds more success. I've been dinged up and lazy here these last few months; I have to make sure I keep moving however, or my wife is likely to take me out back and put me down. She asks how I'm feeling and I say 'great' as I start doing some jumping jacks just to show her I have energy. 


Thanks for the update and keep up the good work; I hope you have a great weekend. 


@Shonali you are such an inspiration! And I think it's a great idea to track the progress in a spreadsheet. (As you know so well, it's all about measurement! ; )  Plus, it lets you really watch the lost inches and fat and see the gains in lean tissue. Keep going! You rock! 


You totally rock and are such an inspiration to many! Um ok so I did chuckle abou you tracking it in Excel BUT it is a great visual and when you can see the progress it's a really great motivator. I made a motivation board on Pinterest, when I feel like skipping a run or not working out, I look at the board. It reminds me to stay focused and to put my health first. If your body is healthy, you succeed in other areas of your life. It really is interesting to see.


I'm so very proud of you and for being courageous enough to share your journey with us all!

Shonali moderator

 @timepass Thanks! Good luck to you - I think one of the biggest steps is just deciding to do it, and going all out. We all have a long road to go when we start, don't we? Keep going, and I'd love to hear of your progress!

Latest blog post: Change: It's A-Comin'

Shonali moderator

 @bdorman264 Hahahah! Thank you, my friend. Well, you're pretty fit - I've seen you too. I did have a good weekend; did a humungous clean-up of my office and old papers... I can't believe some of the stuff we were hanging on to. How was yours?

Latest blog post: Change: It's A-Comin'

Shonali moderator

 @rachaelseda Well, if there's anything you've learned from working with me, it's Excel, right? :p Thank you, my dear! What's your Pinterest motivation board URL, btw?

Latest blog post: Change: It's A-Comin'


  1. […] haven’t worked out with my trainer in a week, and am probably not going to be able to pick that (bootcamp) up until mid-May or so. You […]

  2. […] a senior executive with a well-respected DC agency, and also happens to be a neighbor, friend and Bootcamp Buddy of […]

  3. […] when I got up yesterday (very early, it’s back to Bootcamp for me!), I was surfing the Book again, and saw someone else share the video. And it made me laugh […]

  4. Sheer Joy says:

    [...] when I got up yesterday (very early, it’s back to Bootcamp for me!), I was surfing the Book again, and saw someone else share the video. And it made me laugh [...]

  5. [...] as how we’re trying to follow a primal lifestyle, the tortilla crust doesn’t sit too well with [...]

  6. [...] a senior executive with a well-respected DC agency, and also happens to be a neighbor, friend and Bootcamp Buddy of [...]

  7. [...] haven’t worked out with my trainer in a week, and am probably not going to be able to pick that (bootcamp) up until mid-May or so. You [...]