Boot Camper Spotlight – Meet Nicole Llorens
Nicole has been attending Top Level Fitness Boot Camp in Lincoln Park since July 2011. She came in just to tone up and get in shape for the summer but she “got addicted” and has been working out with us regularly since.
Nicole advises those trying to lose weight or improve their fitness to take it one step at a time. By jumping into too much from the start, individuals become overwhelmed and give up. Instead, she recommends setting small goals along the way. Once you begin accomplishing those, you won’t want to stop, and you will continue to improve.
Check out Nicole’s blog post and video below and be sure to congratulate her in the COMMENTS section below. If you’re using social media please share this post…. THANKS!
Here is Nicole now…
This past July I made the decision to join Top Level Fitness and sign up for a month of boot camp. I admit to having acted on a whim, with no intention of making boot camp a part of my life. In my mind it was simply an opportunity to lose a few pounds and tone up for the summer. I thought, “boot camp by definition must have an end, right? You complete the program, attain results, and move on.” Well let me tell you — during that first month I realized right away how much more Top Level Fitness had to offer, beyond just kicking my butt for a month.
I have always been a fairly active person. Growing up in Puerto Rico I played soccer at school and in club leagues; even now I still play pick-up leagues in the city every once in a while. I enjoy all sorts of recreational exercise, from biking to hula hooping (a personal favorite), and for the past three years on and off I have been practicing yoga . Even with all these activities, I still struggled to maintain a healthy weight and find the energy to get through my day. Something was keeping my fitness level stagnant and I was having a really difficult time balancing work, school, and my personal life in large part because of this stagnation. The problem in my case was twofold. First of all, my workouts were never consistent. I could go weeks without working out at all. Whenever I went back to some form of exercise it was like starting from scratch. At the end of the day I was still exhausted and saw little improvement. Second, it took me a long time to realize the true significance of a healthy diet, not only in promoting good health and overall well-being, but in aiding your body to take full advantage of workouts. Being raised on lots of meat, dairy, and fried food, for the longest time I felt like crap and I wondered why.
Between not having a consistent workout routine and making poor food choices, feeling sluggish, bloated, and achy was somehow acceptable and even “normal.” Quite a bizarre thought in retrospect. During the past few years I have gradually shifted over to a plant based diet, which has played a huge role in my overall happiness. I am healthier than I have ever been. But even with this turnaround, I still needed to add some consistency to my workouts if I wanted to take my fitness to the next level. So this past summer I acted on a whim and signed up for boot camp, which turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. Funny enough, it has now been six months and I am still getting my butt kicked every morning at 6:30 am. Not only did I reach my initial goals and achieve immediate results, but also I have since surpassed my expectations and continue to push my limits even further each week.
Top Level Fit Boot Camp really has taken my fitness to the next level. My strength and vitality have increased so much that I can honestly say the “normal state” of my previous self — as Sandy put it, my BBC or before boot camp self — has been overturned by a new very healthy and super fit me (to think that six months ago I considered myself a slug!). The fitter I get, the more smoothly and naturally I am able to balance my life. I really enjoy boot camp. I love how every workout is different from the last, always keeping you on your toes.
The trainers are absolutely magnificent, always there to challenge you or provide support when you need it. You get amazingly helpful advice on nutrition and diet, even tailored to a plant based diet! The group dynamic is just wonderful.It is truly inspiring to be surrounded by such a diverse group of people, all with the common goal of improving their quality of life.Who ever said boot camp had to end when it is so much fun anyways?! Thank you guys, my trainers and fellow boot campers, for providing the accountability and encouragement I needed to fully transform my body and lifestyle. Looking forward to hearing more stories from everybody!
Nicole works for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County at Willowbrook Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Glen Ellyn, IL. She graduated from Wheaton College with a degree in environmental science and is currently pursuing graduate studies in nonprofit management at DePaul University.
[youtube width=”640″ height=”340″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLoQy4bk2OE[/youtube]