CAMARADERIE.   GUTS.   FUN.   TENACITY.   ZEST.

THE “FUN GUY’S” AMAZING JOURNEY!

January 14, 2019

So, it’s Jan 14th, and it is my first day headed to Fortitude. Wow more than a bit nervous here. Tipping the scales at 281, this is the heaviest I’ve ever been and I am demanding a change.

I’ve known Lisa Maria-Booth and Dave Booth for a long time as I worked with Dave years ago, and I always heard that Lisa owns a gym. I thought it was a place for only super fit folks, which was always way too intimidating for me. I can’t go to these boot camps, I can’t even do 5 sit-ups and push-ups, how the heck am I going to complete a class. I thought I would show up and that everyone would judge me, look at me funny, and make snide remarks; those thoughts had always kept me away. Til finally my daughter MacKenzie was looking for training in the off season for field hockey. I mentioned I knew of a place called Fortitude, surely she was a better candidate for this boot camp so I figured I would have her go and check it out. She and her best friend have been attending Fortitude since the end of field hockey season in November.

After a while, I realized I was just sitting on the couch and making excuses of why am not going; Being at my heaviest weight was becoming a bit concerning. The girls would always constantly come back full of energy talking about how great the class was, so finally I decided to attend my first class at The Fort. In addition to MacKenzie tagging alongside with me, my wife, Kathy, decided to also join us so we could start this journey as a family. Here I go! Wish me luck.

Post First Class:

OMG! I feel areas I’ve never felt before. Boot camp, WTF, I’m not in the army. First push-ups and crunches and then what the hell are these slider, round little innocent pieces of nothing; I never realized how much pain they cause and how much hate I have for a slider. Wow, this left the biggest impression on me for sure, what a way to start class one!

“Hmm no one looked at me funny” I thought, in fact I had a total opposite experience! First, Lisa and Dave greeted me with a big hello and hug. It was good to see old friends again and catch up a bit. Kathy and I follow the lead of MacKenzie and Sofia, grab a few items and pick a spot to start. The music was great, especially when AC/DC started playing. 

“Welcome everybody, how are we all doing today? Everyone say hello to a couple of new members that joined us today, Alan and Kathy! OK Let’s warmup” Lisa starts! “This is warmups” I think to myself, I feel like I am already done. This can’t be possible that I’m already sweating this much, it’s only 5 minutes into class.

After surviving class one, I’m exhausted but surprisingly invigorated. I did it! I did a boot camp.

January 22

I have now completed a few Bootcamps and also a few Iron classes. I met Danielle, the co-owner of Fortitude and had a class with both KK and Drew; All of these folks are beyond amazing, they really get the heart pumping. After a week of settling in and seeing the heart rates of other members, I decided to try a loaner heart rate monitor. It was amazing being able to see the progress throughout class and received an end of workout email summary. I did not think that my heart rate could go that high without passing out but man, did I prove myself wrong. Over the course of the past week I have had the opportunity to meet some really cool members who have been so much more friendly and welcoming that I expected. I love seeing all of the nicknames of the folks: Ox, Puddles (sweats a lot, btw we all do), and John P. They are always pushing you along with words of encouragement.

February 14

This place is great, addicting to say the least. Kathy and I are in a good rut right now and come at least 3-4 times a week. Progress is being made and it is showing, I am down 10 pounds! My favorite class is FMX, I love it! There are nine different stations spread out across the gym and yes those stupid Gliders are still haunting me, still hate those things.

My biggest observation so far is how fast the class goes by. In the past, going to the gym meant hopping on a treadmill for 45 minutes and looking at the clock to see that only 10 minutes have passed by. At Fortitude you are so busy completing a task and getting to the next one, you don’t have time to look at the clock. It is a total focus on the exercise and makes the workout so mind clearing, it is almost hypnotic. I can honestly say, I have never thought about my job in the middle of class and that is saying a lot as being in sales is a stressful job. This is the first time ever that I have been able to fully remove myself from work during a workout.

Before I left class tonight, Lisa pulled me aside to chat about nutrition and how I am addressing this. We just scheduled our first meeting..stay tuned!

March 6

You cannot outwork a bad diet. Lisa and I had a serious sit down for the most informative one on one session I have ever had about nutrition. Quite honestly, it sounds easy enough, eat less and exercise more. The amount of information was like drinking water from a fire hose. She had a clear and detailed presentation to outline the basics and set a goal. We decided a great way to track my intake of food is by using My Fitness Pal app. At first it seemed a bit of a hassle balancing appointments, work, working out, emailing and returning calls; how could I ever find time to enter what I eat, I have enough things going on. After the first week, it just happened. “Do something for 21 days to create a new habit,” we will see if that is true.

March 17

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

So this week was a bit scary for me as I had a trip to Florida in the middle of my plan. This is going to ruin everything I thought, how the heck am I going to handle being away from the gym and also eat right. Coach or therapist? Not sure, but Lisa could be either. We sat down and discussed the trip, we discussed meals ahead of time and exercise plans that I could do myself. These job boondoggles are great trips, I have a little bit of work and lots of free time. They pretty much serve banquet style meals each day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinners were all brought up and a plan of attack was made. Now for the hard part, she wants me to weigh myself before I leave and as soon as I come back; Holy s@*$, is there any way I can do this? Well guess what, I did it without gaining a single pound! I think it was a combination of things that allowed this trip to be successful: the accountability and also the exercise routines we learn in class are very easy to perform at these resort facilities! Having a meal plan set in place before the meal starts is also key. As I was in the gym doing my routine, I could hear the voices of Jenn, Drew, Lisa, and Danielle all explaining the moves. I got a good laugh out of it during my workout because I thought, “Man, they are in my head everywhere I go.” Being the financial business, if there is one thing I have learned it is that you need a set PLAN and it is this very item that led to my successful trip. Que the cliche,  “People do not plan to fail, they fail to plan!”

March 27

Something is working because I am now down 20 pounds! This whole journey was started with the realization that I am turning 50 this year in August. Most years start with a resolution and we all know where they up, a memory by the time February rolls around. This year, I decided to make a commitment, I call it the “50 4 50”. I commit to lose 50 pounds in the year I turn 50, seems a bit more serious than a resolution doesn’t it? Together with the classes and now the nutrition aspect, it seems like things are headed in the right direction for sure. I am burning anywhere from 600 to 900 calories per Fortitude class. The tracking of my nutrition is painting a terrific picture of good days and bad days and also when and where my pitfalls appear. Tracking has become second nature to me, I have yet to miss a day. My water, food, snacks, and meals are all entered each and every day. I have found that accountability is huge and Lisa makes me stay right on top of it. She has been able to log into my account and see good habits and also areas that need some improvement. A few follow up visits and emails of encouragement are great for keeping my motivation and momentum going in the right direction.

April 5

As Ox says, “You can’t miss an Iron class!” I guess you can say that I am hooked on them. It has been about three months now and I am finding myself doing double classes, lots of folks do it so I figured I would give it a try. Crazy, right? If you look back at my first entry, I was afraid of just coming to a Bootcamp class but now I am doing back to back classes. Those Gliders I hated at the beginning, I still hate, but I am able to do things that I could not do when I started. Progress is great to see and I am still headed in the right direction as I am officially down 25 pounds! As for the commitment, I am halfway there.

June 2

Hi, it’s me, Al. Everyone use to call me Big Al; I am still tall but not as big as I am holding steady at down 30 pounds. I have not blogged in a whole and honestly I have been at a standstill. I sat down with Lisa this week, not feeling totally okay with no weight loss to report. HOWEVER, I realize now that I have passed the most important milestone of this journey. Drumroll please!!! I am able to hold my weight level with these new healthy lifestyle adjustments and clean eating habits that are ingrained in me. This has been so cool to me. Since my last entry I have had golf trips, fishing trips, family celebrations, parties and BAM…I have sailed through. I no longer need cocktails and heavy dinners on business meetings. I can have a couple of wings with friends and look foward to that grilled salmon and veggies for my next meal. It is all good!

All this is great but yes, I still have that commitment I made to myself in January. I will lose 50 pounds in 2019, as it is the year that I turn 50. The big birthday is on August 4. I have been breaking this larger goal into a small, measurable, and timely goals and it has been working for me. I am 253 pounds today and I am to weigh 245 pounds by August 4. It will take navigating around a trip to Greece with my family and a couple more business golf trips but GAME ON! I got this.


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Fortitude Digs Deep to Give Back

Over 15 Fortitude reps volunteered their time, energy and muscle to help Families in Transition with their Hollows Community Garden.

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Lisa Maria-Booth Receives Outstanding Women in Business Award

NH Business Review has selected Lisa to receive this esteemed award to recognize her professional accomplishments, leadership and vision.

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