Fit ‘n’ Healthy: Life After Phat Camp

From October 1-3, fifty amazing women were rocking Whitehorse with two bodybuilding pros, including two-time Ms. Fitness Olympia Champion Jen Hendershott and figure pro Latisha Wilder.

This year, Jen brought up her brother, Jon. Jon has undergone his own amazing transformation and was here to support in Jen in a cause he believes in.

Phat Camp is Jen’s brain child. Phat camp is not just for physically fit women, it’s not just for overweight women, it’s not just for women who want to compete in fitness some day. Phat Camp is for very woman who wants to push themselves past where they are today.

In Whitehorse camp we had women from their twenties to their sixties. We had women who had competed before and train every day and we had women who had over 100lbs to lose. We had women who could pop squat their butts off and we had women who had a hard time running up stairs.

The only similar thing between them was their desire and determination to better themselves.

On Friday night a very nervous, anxious, scared, excited group of women came together to meet Jen and Latisha and all the other campers. As we sat in the studio, the sun beamed through the windows welcoming the campers to what proved to be a life changing weekend.

Jen is an honest, sincere soul and it comes through the very moment you meet her. She is excited to meet every woman in the room and wants to know everyone’s story. By the end of the introductions, people were ready to get at it, more excited than scared.

So off we went. As one large group she had us all sweaty in no time. On the first night, first time boot campers don’t understand what’s coming and they have a tendency not to pace themselves. Whitehorse women, I am proud to say, were no different. They killed it. Dance party Canada was no different. We danced a few extra songs and every woman participated.

Day two, Saturday, started with some outdoor cardio. Making use of Whitehorse’s beautiful Millennium Trail, we split into groups and ran-walked our way around the trail.

Latisha didn’t let us get away with slacking, either. With little time to stop and stare at the eagles, we got around there in record time.

When we took a little break to chat, we talked nutrition. We tried to explain the state of fresh produce in Yukon in January, but Jen gave us no excuses and no breaks. Eat well. Eat clean. Prep your food. You have a choice.

Sounds familiar, right? Then we did a great shoulder workout with Latisha and a chest workout with Jen. “If you cannot lift your bodyweight, why are you using machines?” Finished off with another dance party. Dance is most definitely cardio, when not doing the “husband step”.

Sunday proved to be the most challenging day for many reasons. To say we were sore is an understatement. Those women who thought they were too sore to move, but showed up anyway, proved to themselves that it is better to get up and move than to stay in bed.

Cardio was a bit chilly, but out to the field we went, toques and gloves on, ready for our sprint workout. It didn’t take us long to warm up, and once the race started the coats came off and it was down to some serious business.

Sunday is the day Jen gets down to the nitty gritty of what’s really going on. Time for the honest talk about what’s holding us back and why we are here. What are you looking for and why can’t you find it?

It was an emotional conversation, but I am pretty sure we busted through some barriers. As hard as it was, it was needed and even if one person “got it, it is worth all the tears.

To finish off the weekend we gave a surprise of our own. Dressed up in can-can skirts we had a few of our own can-canners put Jen and Latisha through the steps. It was a great way to finish off the weekend, Yukon style.

I learn something about myself every single camp and this camp was no different. Playing a different role, I still cried, I was still motivated to be a better me, and I still learned how to move forward. I have been attending Phat Camps for seven years, and it has taken me seven years to get Jen to bring it to Yukon and I am proud to say she will be coming back. February 4-6, 2011. See you then.

This column is provided by Mrs. Lee Randell, independent fitness consultant, who is an ACE certified advanced health and fitness specialist and personal trainer. You can reach her at

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