How I ended up at Fat Camp.

I started this post a few days ago – I was feeling a little nostalgic for Pennsylvania air and then we got the news that one of the guys from the resort had passed suddenly.  Isn’t it strange the things that pop into your head at just the right time?

Fat camp is a little difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t been there.

Like 8 or 9 years ago, my friend Morgan, this absolute party of a woman, and I were watching MTV, and we fixated on something called Fat Camp.  The series was followed up like a summer later with MTV’s Return to Fat Camp.  The place seemed magical to me, and something about the concept of this tucked-away place where kids went was incredible to me.

We had Adisa, throwing a birthday party in the rec hall and being monstrous to the other girls during color war.  We had Dan and the play.  We had the chick with head lice.  We had some camp romance.  It all looked amazing.

So, I applied, and I’m not sure how this happened, but one October day, I ended up on the phone with Tony Sparber, the boss-man at camp.  I knew it was Tony, one, because he told me it was him, and two, because I recognized his voice.  Which I’d heard in the documentary, because when you were in trouble, you got the bossin’ from Tony in his office.  So anyways, I ended up on the phone with him one day in October after I’d applied.  He interviewed me, and he told me right then and there that he would give me a shot.

The following June, I woke up early, and on a beautiful day, I drove my old Taurus up the east coast, and stopped only with enough time to visit my family in New Jersey.  I had no money.  And off to camp I went!

When I pulled up, the place was straight out of the movies.  MTV had not misrepresented it in any way.  And it actually was a little more beautiful than I’d imagined.  I met someone from the resort, who directed me to the cabin where I’d be living with the other counselors for the next week or so.  And when I pulled around to the cabin, I was greeted by this absolutely wondrous sight – the sun getting ready to set over the trees, over the lake, and over the two pools.  My mouth was hanging open.

“Have you never been here before?”

I shook my head no.

The first night there, it rained, and I quietly cried into my pillow.  I think I was homesick.  But as the days went on, and training wrapped up, camp became my home.  The kids arrived.  I taught classes.  And as I slowly, slowly peeled off the pounds I’d put on while in a bad relationship over the years, a new me emerged.  I was happy.  I wasn’t anxious.  I had friends!

I settled into a beautiful routine.  Color War Broke.  The weather started to cool.  And almost as quickly as the magic had started, it was over.

I got into my Taurus.  Wove my way back down the east coast.  And went back to my old life.  Except this time, I was a new me!  In the following years I ran.  I ran.   I ran some more.  I ran a marathon.  Taught many classes.  Branched out and taught Toning, Cycling, Body Pump, Pole Dancing.  Won the ever-waging war on anxiety.

I wasn’t a camper at fat camp.  I was just a counselor.  The fitness girl.  And yet, I gained so much that summer.  To to the summer of 2010, I owe so much.

via CPT
via CPT

Why do women do this?

I live for reality television, and I thank goodness that someone invented DVR, because without DVR, I would have to make some extremely difficult decisions on Sundays especially.  Real Housewives or Keeping Up with Khloe Kardashian (cause she’s the main one I’m concerned with, BYE Lamar).  But as I was watching on Sunday, I had a real, visceral reaction to something that kept coming up during Sunday’s episode.


During the episode, Kenya Moore, a former Miss USA, repeatedly made snide comments about the weight of other cast members, and the comments that she made, specifically about Kandi being able to miss a few meals and Phaedra being 200 lbs plus, were uncalled for.  She was upset with the women for being late to a function, so their weight should have never even been an issue.

I have a big problem with, when women want to tear one another down, them automatically defaulting to calling each other fat.

Example:  You’re standing in line at a bar.  A girl skips you in line.  Your first reaction is to call her a “fat bitch”.  Why?  Why is weight the first thing we want to call out?  Why do we, as women especially, feel the need to equate the word “fat” or calling someone a “fat bitch” with being a bad person?  Especially when you’re not upset with her for being big.  You’re upset with her for skipping you in line!

I feel like I try to be a champion, especially on this blog, for folks to make change for themselves that will lead to a happier, healthier lifestyle.  However, if I can help it, I will never base my opinions on anyone on the way that they look.  If someone makes me upset, I think it’s wrong to attack anything other than what made you upset in the first place.

I’m upset with the comments Kenya made.  They only thing I should be commenting on is her comments, and her evidently very nasty streak.  Not her appearance, because to attack anything about her appearance is just counterproductive, and to me, shows me that I’m insecure if I feel the need to do so.

So here’s my challenge.  In the next week, when someone upsets you, try to think of something to say that directly applies to what they’ve done. Someone cuts you off in traffic?  They’re just a poor driver, not a “fugly slut” (thanks’Mean Girls’).  Make sense?  Try it out, and see how much better you feel.