By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Readers invited to follow fitness challenge
health column pic
Journal reporter Nancy Angel celebrates completing her first day at boot camp. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

Living a healthy lifestyle can be challenging to maintain, even for me. When you live a fast-paced and hectic life such as mine, it’s difficult to find the time, energy and motivation to workout.

Well, I found my motivation, and she happened to be working under the same roof as me. This month I decided to kick it up a notch and take part in a fitness challenge with the Journal’s editor Kristina Hacker (she didn’t want to at first).

During the next five weeks Kristina and I will be eating healthier and going by a strict workout regimen. I decided to put the weights to rest at my regular gym to do something more challenging. So I chose to do Anthony Harding’s Boot Camp Class.

And challenging it is! When I first stepped foot inside the training center, I thought to myself, “You got this Nancy, you’re a marathon runner.” But when I dropped down to do my first set of push-ups, all I wanted to do at that moment was run back to my gym.

That’s when I realized I had my work cut out for me. I’m not the type to give up easily so I sucked it up, dropped down to my knees and did modify pushups the best I could.

 The pushups weren’t the most difficult part; it was being able to transition from one workout to the next with no breaks in between. With this new workout, I got what I asked for:  a new challenge to conquer.

Even though my first day of boot camp wasn’t as fun and glamorous as I thought it would be, I’ll definitely come back and complete the five week class. I’ll be attending Harding’s Boot Camp Class Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30 a.m. (I am not looking forward to waking up that early).

The exercise will be the first part of my fitness challenge. I will also be eliminating certain comfort foods that I know for certain will be a challenge for me.

 Let’s start with Splenda. I love Splenda. I love it so much that I keep a special stash in my glove compartment in case of emergencies.

During my consultation with Harding, he told me to eliminate artificial sweeteners from my diet because it’s chlorinated and can be detrimental to one’s health. After that consultation I had to part ways with my artificial sweetener.  I also had to say goodbye to my pre-workout drinks and flour tortillas.

I have plenty of motivation to stick with my new diet and exercise regime, though — you, the reader!  "A Healthy Dose: Get Fit, Stay Fit" video will document my five weeks of boot camp and diet changes — and Kristina's foray into the paleo diet and Zumba classes — starting next week. Check at or for the first segment of the health video.

Hopefully, my fitness struggles and triumphs will motivate at least one other person to live a healthier lifestyle.