Melissa Melissa

Melissa’s Words….

Howdy! My name is Melissa Bryant and I moved to College Station when I started college at Texas A&M. Although I didn’t know it at the time, that was when the battle to control my weight began.

Like many women, I became a victim of the infamous “Freshman 15.” Late-night study sessions, stress, and readily available junk food led to poor nutritional choices and terrible eating habits. I crossed the stage in 2001 nearly 25 pounds heavier than when I started.

After graduation, I traded my daily treks across campus for a desk job but the bad eating habits followed me into adulthood. By 2007, I had gained another 25 pounds and was experiencing lower back and knee pain frequently. I had long since abandoned wearing shorts in the summertime and absolutely avoided any situation that would require a swimsuit!

Knowing something needed to change, I purchased a gym membership with the best of intentions. Of course, those good intentions only lasted about two months! Feeling intimidated and frustrated, I quit the gym and returned to my comfortable old habits.

My turning point came in April 2008. I attended a friend’s wedding and while looking through my photos the next day I was shocked to realize that I couldn’t even recognize myself! They say photos are worth a thousand words, and these photos practically shouted that my weight was out of control.

I began searching for help and found the Adventure Boot Camp for Women website. Not quite convinced that getting up early to work out at 5:30 a.m. could ever be a good thing, I started the camp registration form a dozen times and exited the form a dozen times without ever completing it.

I hit my emotional rock bottom the next day when I decided to swing by the mall during my lunch break to browse swimsuits. Friends had asked us to join them later in the year for a trip to Jamaica and you can’t exactly sit on the beaches of Jamaica in sweats. For better or worse, I was going to have to wear a swimsuit.

I found one in what I thought was my size, which happened to be the largest size the store carried, and headed to the fitting room. When I saw my reflection in the mirror I was devastated. I sat in the fitting room and cried for 10 minutes.

Realizing that this wasn’t something I could tackle alone, I drove straight back to my office and filled out the boot camp registration form for the millionth time. This time I didn’t even hesitate before clicking the submit button.

The first morning of camp I was scared to death and had no clue what to expect, but what I found were the friendly faces of women just like me who had struggled, faced similar challenges, and had overcome them.

These boot camp women have become my early morning family and serve as cheerleaders and sources of constant inspiration. At the center of our boot camp family is Coach Cliff, whose goal is to help you succeed. He is our teacher and our motivator, and by focusing on both the physical and nutritional aspects of weight loss he arms campers with the tools needed to overcome their fitness challenges.

Joining boot camp is a decision that I have NEVER regretted!

I am currently in my ninth camp and have achieved more than I ever dreamed possible. Yes, I have lost weight and inches and have gained muscle. I no longer have back and knee pain and I have increased energy during the day. I can now shop in stores that didn’t carry sizes large enough for me before. I now own five swimsuits! And with Coach Cliff and the other boot camp ladies leading the way, I even finished my very first 5k run!

But for me, the best things about boot camp have been the sense of accomplishment and knowing that my weight will never defeat me again.

Looking back, I now feel silly that I was ever brought to my knees by a little piece of stretchy fabric! How long will you live in fear of the dreaded swimsuit season? Join us at the next boot camp and begin your own journey to better health!