Paying your enemies if you don’t go to camp

Like everyone, there are days when you just don’t want to do the stuff you have to. Whether it’s cleaning your house, filing your taxes or getting your butt out of bed and into the car for camp. Luckily, I have some real life strategies to help keep you on track when you really don’t wanna.

1. Pay your enemies. So, I have employed this one myself in year’s past. Basically you choose an organization you are morally against and you make a deal with yourself that any day you don’t go to camp you’ll donate X amount to their cause. This works best if you REALLY can’t stand them because then the dollar amount doesn’t even matter-you’d definitely go workout before giving even 1 penny to them. I had a camper do this with his college’s rival booster team. No camp? He had to donate $10 to Alabama football.

2. Competition. This can be a version of an accountability partner. Get a friend or two to enter into a competition with you. Everyone can put money into the pot, or you can create an awesome trophy that whoever has the best attendance wins.

3. Find that photo. Do you have a picture of yourself that got you back into working out? One that you saw and 1. untagged yourself and 2. thought “I have got to do something.” Get that one out and put it by your alarm clock or just burn it into your memory. When you don’t want to go to camp think about how you felt when you first saw it and how proud you’ll be of the hard work you’re putting into feeling better.

4. Imaginary friends. I use this when I’m in a workout and just don’t feel like giving it anymore but really know I could push harder. I think of someone I want to be a good example for. It’s usually a child in my life or boot campers. I think of them on the sidelines cheering me on and watching me and it always puts me back in it.

5. Scavenger Hunt. This is for those who just need help getting out of bed. Set yourself up a little scavenger hunt around your place: put your alarm clock in your shoes somewhere that is far enough to have to get up.

6. Technology! If you’re a chronic “snoozer” you’re going to need to use one of these apps. Alarmy (Sleep if you can!) will not turn off until you have taken a photo of a predetermined object in your house-like your coffee pot. And Step Out of Bed has you set a certain amount of steps you have to take before it will turn off. I’d also recommend -if you are sleepin’ solo-setting a timer on a light in your bedroom that goes on 5 min before your alarm-makes the room far less appealing.

For anyone in camp I also recommend making your goals public. Public to your circle of friends or family or in a bigger way on Facebook etc. Let people know what you’re trying to accomplish to enlist their support and get yourself some extra accountability since you know if you stand us up you’re getting an email. We can’t help ourselves, we love you that much.

Source: Decatur – Tips


Throw out your goals & get on board with the 1%

Ok, not really just kind of and not that 1%. What I’d like to suggest is instead of putting all your emphasis on your BIG HUGE GOAL (BHG) focus your daily energy on just improving a little.
Over the years (ahem, I’m older then I look) I have had campers who come wanting to achieve some pretty big things-and they do-but sometimes they overlook the all the small wins that get them to the finish line because they’re too focused on that 1 BHG. Or worse they spend energy beating themselves up having not done more each day because their steps to achievement weren’t big enough. Stop.that.noise. BHGs take time to get to. They are almost never achieved in 1 month or sometimes even 2 and that leaves a lot of time open to your interpretation of what not having gotten there yet “means.” Meaning, a lot of “sigh, I’m not there yet, I haven’t made my BHG. This feels pointless. I’m never getting there an I’m not good enough.” 1. Punch that mind talk in the throat you don’t have time, won’t tolerate it and 2.You’re not counting any of your small improvements-you know the things that are going to get you to the BHG.
Everything builds on everything else (I know, this is a brilliant point you’ve never thought of) and it ends with achieving the BHG. You have to make the little steps-the seconds off mile times, the healthier meal choice that one lunch, the 1/2 an inch smaller waist line, the 1 more push up-to fit into the smaller pants, or blow out your push up goal, or get strong enough to pick up the bag of dog food. A BHG is the top of the pyramid, but it rests on a whole lotta small every day improvements.
Focus on getting just wee bit-1%-better, just a little better every time you workout, or every food choice think about the foundational blocks to the pyramid instead of thinking how will you ever get to the top. Is your area a mess now? ‘Cause I just dropped a knowledge bomb y’all. Casualties: negative voices and bull$hit.

Source: Decatur – Tips


Staying on Track on Vacation

Ah Spring Break. I hear that it still exists but as someone without children and out of school I don’t get to participate in it anymore. BUT there is an occasion that I go on vacation and it’s slightly different than my college sun soaked week long relationships with the Captain, ahhh Captain you treated me so right then so wrong but, I digress. Since you’re likely a grown up that is interested in being healthy and keeping up your hard earned fitness level while on vacation, here are a few tips that I put into practice while on my slightly tamer vacations of late:

1. Pack your workout stuff-I pack tanks with built in sports bras so I can pack less. The Westin even has a gear lending program that will save you the room of your running shoes too. Get some versa loops for easily packed equipment to keep up your strength.

2. Look up a place that you can stay that will support being active on vacay. Maybe somewhere that has a bike path or bike rentals, snorkeling, walking tours and the like.

3. Check out tours or ways to explore that are active-in Asheville we took a bike tour that may or may not have ended and started at a brewery.

4. Be a local and make a run through a park be part of your stay. I love getting up and running through the surrounding area to get an idea of the layout and feel like it’s “mine.”

5. Visit other programs. Is there an activity you like that has an affiliate or location there? Look it up before and plan when you’re going to do it. A rock climbing gym? A CrossFit? A Beach Boot Camp? A 5k?

6. And OF COURSE take a pic of you planking and share it on our facebook page so we can add it to our “planks seen ’round the world” album. You might be thinking but it’s vacation. Well, you’re a grown up and the first rule of boot camp is no whining plus you know and I know that you’ll feel better if you’ve been active.

Source: Decatur – Tips


5 Ways to Check your Inner Perfectionist

I am a type A lady and though I completely acknowledge perfection doesn’t exist -except in the form of my lovely wife (HOLLA! Valentines Day Points!!)-I am regularly surprised at how easy it is for me to slip into the mindset that perfection is real and even more crazy THAT IT MATTERS. I may have blown a few other type A personality’s minds with that one-hold on, more to come.

There are benefits to believing in perfection-I mean, of course there have to be because otherwise why would I get in the trap of thinking that way. What I notice is that the benefits are really mostly serving outside sources and the drawbacks affect lil ol’ gold star wanting-A+ having-believinginthepermanentrecord me.

For example, a belief in perfection with a side of Type A means you’re usually pretty productive. You’re able to get a lot done and complete tasks well and if you’re really a junkie-better than ANYONE else. For employers, this can be amazing and if gone unchecked as a perfectionist this fuels the fire for more crazy tendencies. I find when I’m really in the flophouse that is the perfection junky hangout I have completely over committed myself from the amount of projects for my employer to the social engagements or community service commitments. So here I am participating in all these things that I agreed to -because I totes get a high from being granted responsibility or being trusted with projects-and I am resenting the hell out of all of it. I’ve committed to things I think will be fun, or are good for others, or I think are expected of me and now I’d like to punch everyone in the face for “making me” do it. I think I have an idea who should really get a punch in the face-that honor student self that still thinks she’s trying to get into a good college and some how thinks she’s getting a grade for life. So, for me the perfectionist downside is often that I’m going around resentful and then guilty because I know I got myself into it and am generally tired and miserable←–my perfectionist self would like to act like this part doesn’t exist, it never likes coming down.

The cycle of overcommitting goes on until I realize when I’m trying to invite friends over that I don’t have a weekend free to do it for 2.5 months. And I do the palm to the forehead slap realizing that I’ve done it again. My little perfectionist ego has gotten its way with me and has been feeding on the sweet sweet drug of approval from others and thinking that perfection is real.

So when is this post going to turn into some other than a carefrontation with myself? Right here:

5 Ways to Check your Inner Perfectionist:

1. Bring awareness to your perfectionist tendencies and start examining the mind talk around them-then question that shit! Is it true? do I care about it? does it serve me?

2. Examine the expectations for your task/presentation/etc. and determine how you can deliver on just that. Not the cray cray expectations you’ve put on yourself.

3. AND once you’ve completed the projects/tasks etc at what your gold start lovin’ self would consider an imperfect standard acknowledge that the world 1. did not end and quite likely 2. people were happy with the result as is. Wear a hat for that one ‘cause that shizz can be mind blowing. Sometimes my perfectionist self makes me believe that if I don’t go crazy with doing things “right” and even “better” the only other choice is “barely delivering.” The gap is much broader than that. I know, mind.blown.

4. Give yourself at least 5 minutes before committing to something. Type A Perfectionist Pleasers love to say YES! to everyone but themselves when they want time off. If you’re an over committer block out time on your calendar that is unscheduled so you don’t accidently wake up with your next 6 mos planned.

5. Breathe and accept this side of yourself exists and needs to be questioned. It doesn’t have to be a battle by any means, but when you realize “oh I totally bought into that if this party doesn’t have the most amazing, organic, hard to find cheeses paired with the heavily researched exact RIGHT wines then this party fails” laugh at yourself. Don’t get in the guilt spiral for “doing it again.” We humans are fairly ridiculous and regularly do things that are worth laughing at; laugh more.

So, what is one of your perfectionist scripts? Give me a sentence in the comments below!

Source: Decatur – Tips


How to avoid feeling 50 years older than you are.

I’ve been doing boot camp for a while now-about 7 years. And as much as I love boot camp, and as much as I am IN LOVE with all of my campers, it can get old on my body or more accurately it makes my body feel old, cranky & broken.

Contributing to the issue is that in addition to my derriere being an unproportionately strong muscle I have a pretty big “suck it up” muscle too. It can be great, it can help me get a lot done. It can also turn me into a workhorse. Acknowledging my workhorse tendencies, I recently made a promise to myself: I will do yoga at least once a week. I’ve had membership at a yoga studio 1 mile from my house for about a year because I knew it was something I should do and it’s not like I couldn’t watch a video online, it just wasn’t a priority. But since I made The Promise, I haven’t missed a week and because I have seen benefits and results I often get more than 1 in a week.

I have also started doing some mobility work with a lacrosse ball for those times I feel like I have a knot in my shoulder the size of a clementine. I’ve started taking hot showers and doing 30 minutes of stretching before bed a couple of nights a week. I’ve been taking a full day off. Not going for a jog, not lifting, not cycling. Just restoring. I like to imagine my muscles taking a deep sigh and repairing the microscopic tears I’ve made in them that week. BTW, that’s real science talk. You have to rest for your muscles to repair and that means taking a day off can mean greater workout gains. Since I’ve I been doing this I haven’t felt Granny. I haven’t wondered what the heck I’m doing to my body, haven’t felt the need to question whether boot camp workouts are really good for it; I don’t feel like I’m abusing it.

Often I hear people talk about yoga negatively and I think they feel it should be a blood pumping workout that leaves you crazy sweaty and energized to take on your day-and it can be, but I ask you to free your mind. Look at yoga schedules and find what you think will be the least amount of a workout, the most amount of restorative time. OR find a class here and do it at home.

It doesn’t have to be yoga. You could stretch after an epsom salt bath or a sauna but add an off restoration day and see how you feel and take note of whether your workouts improve-speed, reps, ability for quick pun creation. What is your BEST restoration practice?

Source: Decatur – Tips


Alone time in a family filled house

It’s the time of year that the stress of the holidays and the shifting of your schedules lends itself to not working out. Have no fear babies, JoJo is here! Quite a few years ago, I regularly posted weekend challenges on an Operation Boot Camp blog that you can find HERE. They are no equipment needed workouts that you can power through and there are enough that you can do one for every day of the holiday season. Fo’ free. Yup, reread it, friend I said free. And here’s a little tip from me to you: working out is a great way to get some alone time that family members 1. don’t usually want to participate in and 2. don’t argue for you to stay with them instead. It’s 3 gifts in one: exercise, stress release and alone time. You’re welcome America.

Other ideas for holiday themed workouts: Turkey Squats – hug that butterball to your chest and do some full squats. Cranberry curls – 14oz cans one in each hand and curl them up from hip height to your chest. I recommend you do that one in front of the mirror. Pick that turkey back up and get yourself into a row boat/v-sit position. Start with the turkey in the center then twist and touch it on the ground moving side to side. Agility – get all family members to lay down on the ground and proceed to hurtle/jump over them. 1-3 family members repeat 10 times, 4-10 repeat 8 times.

Source: Decatur – Tips


But I don’t wanna.


I’m sure you’ve done it because I have and since we’re besties it’s likely you’re like me. So in addition to singing ROAR at the top of your lungs-like me-you have probably also committed to do something you know is good for you and you just.aren’ just.don’t.wanna.

I’ve been doing some personal growth work with More to Life which puts a large emphasis on the unconscious messages you’re telling yourself-their term is mind talk. I think of it as even deeper than

self talk-it’s trickier. It’s deeper; self talk is in there and you catch yourself doing it. Mind talk is what’s under the reason you’re even saying the first thing to yourself. Too deep for you? Take a break and look at THIS. Ok, glad you’re back. So, even though you rationally understand that statements like “if I’m not perfect people won’t love me” are not true there’s something in there telling you that or something like that (the perfection crap is one of mine. I mean even though I know rationally perfection doesn’t exist my deep hidden under the layers (maybe somewhere in the intestines-I mean those things are crazy long) self is still acting like it’s real.) How can I tell? Well, when someone points out a mistake I’ve made and I say “oh thanks” and then I’m moody and grumpy. This mood change assures me that there’s something I’m not acknowledging. Because who wouldn’t start feeling crappy about being told that people wouldn’t love you if you didn’t do it all right? Ain’t no one got time for that!

So back to the point about not doing something you know is good for you. I’ve begun to wonder if the stupid mind talk is what’s going on when I regularly do not do something that there seems to be no physical reason I’m not able to.

So sister from another mister/brother from another mother is there something you know that you’ve committed to doing just for you (yoga comes to mind for me . . .) and you’re skipping? Or letting other things be more important? Are you telling yourself “it doesn’t matter if I go or not, I’m always going to be unhealthy/overweight/slow/unathletic?” Or maybe something about not being as important as someone else and not wanting to inconvenience them? This week I invite you to go deeper than your self talk, get in there and find out what scripts your mind is telling you and ask yourself “is this absolutely true? or is it bollocks?” My experience is that it’s almost always false. Once you’ve recognized whether its T/F choose how you are going to behave or how you want to behave. You know you are worth working out/going to bed early or eating right. How do you demonstrate that to yourself? Do that. Exactly that-go Paul Simon on it and set yourself free.

Source: Decatur – Tips


Baby it’s cold outside + Magic Mike

winter boot camp-where the layers come off

But your need to eat ice cream, queso dip while suckin’ down margaritas doesn’t go into hibernation in winter and sister/brother, neither can

winter boot camp-where the layers come off

you. Whether you’re hittin’ the pavement with us at Operation Boot Camp or you’re working out with your family on the weekends you can’t let the cooler temps keep you from being active. It can be intimidating to work out in colder weather but the difference between getting out there and rockin’ it and getting out there and turning around is your gear. And frankly, layering. A lot of it is layering.

So, when it’s reallly cold, like 30-20 degrees I wear the following:

1. What yo’ mama calls “long underwear.” Bottom and top. Look for styles labeled “active” to make sure they’re moisture wicking.

2. Pants on top of your long underwear, a quarter zip long sleeve jacket on your top. These jackets are usually a little lighter weight and the quarter zip is nice if you need to cool down a little but the high neck is good for real chill chill days.

3. Jacket or fleece on top. Something that zips and is moisture resistant is ideal-the grass gets wet and then you get wet.

4. I HAVE to have something on my neck. And luckily, there’s a product made just for that. No, not a scarf. I mean obviously I could use a scarf but that is probably not moisture wicking and I’ll probably lose it. SO I wear a Buff. It serves the same purpose but I can’t lose it and it wicks my liquid awesome.

5. I use the buff to cover my ears but if you’re not into that you’ll probably want a fleece headband that covers your ears.

6. A hat. duh.

Now on to the extremities:

1. Good socks. In the summer you may like those low cut it looks like I’m not wearing any socks but in the winter go high school gym coach tall. We’re a fan of the smartwool brand socks. I personally put on a pair of my tall argyle socks (somewhat thin) and then my regular running socks.

2. Gloves. You have to have ‘um. My all time favorite are Seal Skinz. They are the most waterproof gloves I’ve found. When it’s not quite Seal Skinz cold I go with a convertible glove. They are mittens or gloves and I like to start as mittens then when I warm up it’s gloves! That’s 2 for 1 ya’ll!

Make sure your layers are moisture wicking. It’s a real thing, people and without it you are going to be soaked in sweat and that shit gets cold.

If you’re nervous about what to wear a great resource is this What Should I Wear Weather Calculator . Check it out until you get the hang of it. Remember if you’re at a comfortable temp outside BEFORE your workout, shed your top layer. You did too good a job and you’re going to have to take it off anyway. Oh and as you’re taking it off please, for me, do a little Magic Mike swirl.

For even more ideas & links to buy online check out our Cold Weather Must Haves board on Pinterest.

Source: Decatur – Tips


35lbs down!


Long time camper, and new instructor Ari Sarmento was recently featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution for his 35lb weight loss. Congratulations Ari!

Ari Sarmento, 46, of Atlanta, lost 35 pounds

By Michelle C. Brooks

For the AJC

SUCCESS STORY / Ari Sarmento, 46: From 215 pounds to 180 pounds

Former weight: 215 pounds

Current weight: 180 pounds

Pounds lost: 35 pounds

Height: 5 feet 11 inches

Age: 46 years

How long he’s kept it off: He started eight months ago and reached his current weight in the last month.

Personal life: “I am a career airline pilot,” says Sarmento. “I currently serve as the chief pilot for a private airline based in the Atlanta area,” he says. “I [was] asked to be a boot camp instructor.” In September, he became an instructor with Operation Boot Camp, He is single and lives in Atlanta.

Turning point: His turning point came, “when my doctor indicated that if I lost some weight, I could get off high blood pressure medication. I am required to have a physical examination every six months so that my flight privileges stay intact. When your job is on the line, it’s a good motivator,” he says. “I was visiting [a friend] one Sunday night, she made the statement that I had to go home as she was getting up at 5:00 do boot camp. I made a statement that I would go with her to help her get up in the morning and by the second day of boot camp, I signed up… When you are accountable to someone, it can drive you to stay on track.”

Continue reading

Source: Decatur – Tips


The 4 Real Reasons You Can’t Sleep and What to Do About Them


For something that most people do with their eyes closed, sleeping can be awfully difficult. I struggled with sleeplessness for years and am blown away by how many people I meet who tell me that they have trouble sleeping as well. It’s not that we don’t know enough, aren’t trying hard enough, or are somehow less capable than others of resting and relaxing. Rather, we struggle to sleep because the factors that interfere with sleep are so complex, knowledge alone is not enough, and in a frustrating Catch-22, the harder we try to sleep the less likely we are to do so.

So what can you do when sleep is elusive, your brain is running in circles, and you’re pretty sure you’re going to humiliate yourself when you collapse out of sheer exhaustion during warm up stretches at Bootcamp tomorrow? Following are the 4 keys to sleeping well that I’ve discovered through extensive research, work with clients who have trouble sleeping, and my own efforts to overcome insomnia.

Key Number 1: Sleep Hygiene

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you getting enough exercise?

  • Could too much caffeine or caffeine too late in the day be keeping you awake?

  • Do you do anything other than sleep or sex in your bedroom? (You want to associate your bed with sleep and rest, so anything you do in it should be relaxing.)

  • Does the idea of going to bed make you anxious? (If so, try getting out of bed when you can’t sleep and do something enjoyable—read, do yoga, take a bath, work on a puzzle, play a game, call a friend, listen to music, etc.—until you feel more relaxed. Don’t lay in bed frustrated or you’ll start to associate your bed with that feeling.)

Key Number 2: Quieting the Mind

It seems that some people’s brains didn’t come with an “off” switch like everybody else’s. But even if you know that running over your to do list at 2 in the morning isn’t a good idea, that doesn’t mean you know how to stop. Here’s how you can learn the skill of letting go:

  • Meditate. This is a great way to practice noticing your thinking, worrying, and planning without getting caught up in it. To learn how to meditate, take a class at a yoga studio or meditation center or find some guidance online (

  • Schedule your worry time ( Worry hard during worry time! But when it’s over, let your worries go.

  • Address the root cause of your worry. Sometimes worries are based on outdated or limiting beliefs. Sometimes they point to action you still need to take. Other times they’re ways of avoiding feelings like fear or vulnerability. Address the root cause of your worry and it goes away on its own.

Key #3: Positive Beliefs About Sleep

For many of us, our sleeping trouble begins only when we start to think we can’t sleep. I used to think there was something wrong with my sleeping ability until my boyfriend told me I was asleep most of the time I thought I was awake, and he was pretty sure because I was snoring. Relieved and slightly embarrassed, I realized that falling asleep was easier than I’d thought.

Instead of increasing your anxiety by telling yourself how bad you are at sleeping and how terrible you’ll feel if you don’t sleep right now, remind yourself of the following truths:

Key #4: Self Compassion

This was the hardest key for me to discover, but it’s really relatively simple. I found that when I was pushing myself hard during the day, not listening to my needs, or beating myself up about something I should have done better, sleep didn’t come. When, on the other hand, I worked diligently but still listened to my needs and took my time, took breaks, and made time to have some fun, then I slept fine. When I let myself feel good about my efforts and let go of my shortcomings, I slept even better. Self compassion isn’t an easy thing to develop, but you can learn to take care of yourself while you work ( and be kinder to yourself when things are difficult (

Not being able to sleep can feel like the worst luck in the world. It seems like you’ve been singled out for some cruel and unusual—not to mention undeserved—punishment. But sleeplessness can actually be quite useful. It forces us to pay attention to some things that are vitally important to our happiness that we might otherwise happily ignore. So instead of trying to force sleep or do without it, open up to what it might have to teach you. Doing so could help you not only sleep better, but be happier too.

Meredith Walters is an ICF-certified professional development coach with over thirteen years of experience helping people and organizations grow. She has an MBA from the University of San Francisco and has served as adjunct faculty at New Ventures West coaching school. She loves helping entrepreneurs, small business owners, and creative professionals who want to change the world do so with greater joy, ease, and effectiveness. You can find more about her background and her work at

Source: Decatur – Tips


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