Shelley Pasco of Whistling Train Farm

I had been stalking Shelley’s blog and Facebook for awhile, even met her at the West Seattle Farmers Market last summer when Alfred and I decided to make more of a commitment towards supporting organic local farmers. It was such a delightful surprise to have her join our VGFC community!! Now my family & I are one of her happy Community Supported Agriculture participants. ~Clem

“I had been in denial for the last few years about my weight gain. My husband and I operate an organic family vegetable farm, and I used to be able to eat treats all winter and gain a bit of weight, and then burn it all off when the summer work season started. But after I turned 40 things changed, and by the time I was 43 I really noticed that my clothes were staying tight. It was an embarassment to me, because I felt like it meant I was being lazy. Obviously I wasn’t working hard enough, or I would be able to lose that winter weight. Other people were surprised that I should need to exercise off the farm. “Isn’t the farm enough exercise?” That didn’t help. The other problem was that I injured my back every summer because I wasn’t fit.

But last winter, I decided that enough was enough. My size 16 pants were too tight. I felt like a sausage, and I refused to go up to size 18. So, I started investigating exercise programs. In my gut, I knew that a boot camp-type scheme was what I needed, and wanted and when I saw the Victory signs I delved deeper. I remember the night before I signed up for my first camp, I asked if there would be yelling. I was afraid of failing, and being humiliated.

Clem assured me there would be no yelling. When I started I was afraid when Tracy told me I had to weigh myself, take measurements, and start journaling my food. My mom calorie-counted and dieted for my entire childhood. It was a roller coaster of diets, diet pills, and crazy mood swings. I always said I would never do that, to myself or my kids. But I sucked it up and started. Tracy gave me a lot of helpful hints about not only how many calories to eat at each meal, but what kinds of calories. Once I got into the swing of it, and I saw how my calories and nutrition totaled up each day, it became easier. After a few weeks it wasn’t hard anymore.

That first week of camp we started with a fitness test. I could barely do anything. I could barely jog around the gym, and I couldn’t do a sit up, push up, or jumping jack. I struggled, but finished the test. I thought I was going to die. But I didn’t! By the end of the first month, I had lost 10#, and I could feel that I was getting stronger. I cut my fitness test time by several minutes, and I could do all the exercises.

Tracy helped me set my original goal—to lose 20# by Mother’s Day (that was about two months). I wanted to be able to jump on our home trampoline for my kids, but there was a weight limit of 200#. I plateaued at one point and stopped losing pounds, but she coached me through it and I made that original goal. It was an exciting day for me and the kids! I moved a pile of haybales and felt so strong, like they were nothing!

But I wanted to be even more fit. Not so much about weight, but I wanted to lose more flabbiness and gain more muscle. By June I could do 100 jumping jacks, I could do real push ups. I could actually run a mile—I hadn’t done that since high school. I lost another 10 pounds by July 1.

Now it’s August and I’m feeling great! I’ve lost 35 pounds so far, and I feel strong and healthy. I have a lot more energy and I’m not injuring myself with my farm work. I used to be plagued by sinus infections, and I haven’t had one since I started with Tracy. And, maybe more importantly, my kids have watched me set a huge goal and accomplish it, and they have learned with me how important nutrition and fitness are to all of us.

I am so grateful to Tracy, Victory, and the Kent FitChicks!”

Whistling Train Farm

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