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It's Time for Me to 'Get a Grip'

You told me she was the best in town, so I'm giving Get a Grip Total Fitness owner Carrie Kukuda's three-week plan a try. Cheer me on, will ya?

It's been seven years since my youngest child was born, so it's time. That last 10 (15?) pounds has hung around way too long, taunting me with its stubborn resistance to everything I've tried.

OK, to be honest I've never really been all that good about the trying part. I work out regularly, but I do things within my comfort zone, which probably isn't doing anything but preventing more weight gain. I pretty much live on Goldfish crackers and Coke Zero. (Uh, and I guess I should 'fess up to the beer and wine, too.) I make sure that my children eat well, but then I rush around and eat crumbs off their plates to balance out the Coke/Goldfish plan rather than planning nutritious meals for myself.

What I needed sometime during the past seven years was a way to jump tracks—a lifestyle change. But Goldfish and Coke Zero (and beer) are just really, really good, so I stuck with them.

Then I met Carrie Kukuda, owner of .

See, not long ago, we asked Patch readers to tell us the best place to work up a sweat in Land O' Lakes, and : Get a Grip. And when Kukuda said she had a 21-day belly blast program that would take care of that 10, I had to give it a try.

The three-week program includes a meal plan—complete with grocery lists— and simple instructions. It also includes three classes per week at one of her three boot camp locations: Lutz, South Tampa or Brandon.

I generally hate pre-planned menus, recipes that require a lot of prep work and anything resembling a grapefruit. But this plan is easy: nothing takes more than a few minutes to prepare and it includes all the long-lost fruits and veggies I love. And no crazy grapefruit-only detox.

I started Monday and feel great. Though Kukuda warns that the first three days may involve crankiness and headaches as you detox, I haven't had that so far. I think my body was so desperate for fruits and vegetables it is giving me a pass on any consequences of the shock to my system.

I also attended my first boot camp Monday night. When I left, I could not have been more soaked if I'd stood in the rain for an hour.

It. Was. Awesome.

But the best part was that Kukuda structures the class so that everyone can go at their own pace. I attend group fitness classes regularly, and though an advanced exerciser can pick up the routines quickly, a beginner may struggle to keep up with the choreography.

Not in Kukuda's class. There is struggling, but it's only because no matter what your level, you can make each minute effective without keeping up with anyone. 

"Welcome to the fun," a fellow boot camper said.

I'm not going to sugarcoat it: It was the hardest class I've ever done. And I am not a beginner. I was sore by the time I got home. (I may have whimpered a little getting out the car. Maybe.)

Still, I'm not starving and I can't wait to go back. I think this plan just might work. I'll keep you posted, in case you're looking for a jumpstart, too.

kelly simms February 07, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Loved having you join our craziness last night and I know you will be thrilled with your results from the Belly Blast. I've done it three times and it never fails.
Lyndie House February 07, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I have also done the belly blast to get rid of those lingering few pounds and was thrilled with the results. I'm looking forward to hearing about your success.
Keli Sipperley (Editor) February 08, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I love it so far! I feel great. I will be in class at 5:30 tonight. I'll be the one grunting loudly. (So, so, so sore.)

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