Category Archives: Reviews

The Cure for Insanity

My Insanity was cured after forty days. It should have lasted sixty-three, but I decided that would just be crazy.

In the middle of April, a friend of mine loaned me the Beach Body workout series, Insanity. It came with a two-month (sixty-three day) rotation calendar. Unable to backdown from the challenge of a calendar dictating what I could and should do with my body for two months, I began Shaun T‘s workouts in earnest.

I am a regular exerciser. And I remember it taking a while for my body to adapt to Jillian Michael‘s short, but demanding interval training program almost two years ago. Shaun T kicked my butt in a whole new way.

The first month of workouts is made up of a series of roughly forty-minute workouts that put my body in an almost nonstop high-intensity cardio state. In all but one, there are thirty second breaks built in, and in all of them exercisers are encouraged to take a break when they need to, but just like I am unable to resist the delicious structure of following a calendar, I am ill-equipted to stop exercising, even for a few seconds while muscle-laden struggling actors kick, punch and jump with smiling faces and sweaty lats. If they can keep going, so can I (god, why must they smile??!). If they can’t keep going, then I really must continue on. That’s right, you buff Shaun T minion! I kicked your ass at switch kicks! So there!

Month two continues on with similar workouts, except they average about an hour in length. It was this first week of Month Two that caused me to reevaluate my Insane devotion. What follows is a litany of excuses for why I am not soldiering on with Shaun T in my quest for a firmer ass and harder abs.

Here is a brief summary of why I shall not “Dig Deeper!” and continue on with the program:

  • Extreme Body Fatigue
  • Pain bordering on incapacitation
  • Muscle & Strength Loss
  • Extreme Exercise Trains the Body to “Need” Extreme Exercise
  • One Long Infomercial
  • Exercise Shouldn’t be a Punishment

Extreme Body Fatigue
While I can do the workouts themselves in their entirety, I am beginning to notice some residual effects that I think can be attributed to the rigor of the workouts. My lower lip has been twitching for weeks now. Seriously. Weeks. While, admittedly, I kind of enjoy the feeling, it usually only happens when I am severely sleep deprived, which I have not been.  Update: now, nearly a week after stopping Insanity, with no other dietary/sleep changes, my lip twitch is gone.

Pain bordering on incapacitation
I know what muscle soreness feels like.  I quite enjoy it, even the kind that prevents me from touching my toes for a day or two.  What I have been feeling is not muscle soreness.  My body is in pain in places that make me nervous. Namely: my lower back. With the start of month two, my lower back seized up in a way that makes me fear it might go out, something I have (thankfully) managed to avoid for a few years now.  The risk is not worth it to me

Muscle & Strength Loss
I am also noticing that while there is some body-weight strength training (pushups, planks, and the like) in these workouts, there is not nearly as much strength work as I usually do. Last week, I bought four fifty-pound bags of sand for my daughter’s sandbox. I had difficulty carrying them, and I even let some guy at Home Depot put them in my cart for me. Mortification! Last year, when I built the sandbox, I loaded twenty fifty-pound bags of sand, onto my cart, into my car and then into the sandbox all by myself (ok, my parents helped me a little to put them in the sandbox, but still!). While after the first week of Insanity, I did see increased muscle definition, I feel markedly less strong and generally more fatigued.

Extreme Exercise Trains the Body to “Need” Extreme Exercise
I am sorry.  I am just plain lazy, and if I can get good results with less effort, I will totally do that.  Another way that I am justifying my forfeiture of Insanity is my memory that a body defined under very intense conditions is easily lost. I recall that one of the few times I have “gotten into the best shape of my life” involved burning at least five-hundred calories per day doing high intensity cardiovascular conditioning. When I reached my goal and then went back down to more moderate exercise, the weight came back on more rapidly.

It makes sense that our bodies adapt to a certain level of intensity and when we increase or decrease that, it has an impact on our body composition. I would rather my body adapt to a less “insane” amount of exercise so that I am don’t have to spend the rest of my life punishing myself with increasingly intense workouts. Again, I did see a layer of fat shed in the first week or two, but I had been seeing slow but reasonable results with my half-hour a day five to six days a week that I had been doing prior to Insanity.  I concede that it is good for breaking through a plateau.

One Long Infomercial
Lastly, while Shaun T seems happy and energetic (not to mention smoking hot and ripped!), and is clearly is an inspiration to millions, there is a certain vibe I get from the workouts that is distasteful to me. It is comprised of two components. First, there is the commercial component. I totally get that exercise coaches/trainers have to make a living. I happily pay them money for their expertise in getting me thinner, firmer, and healthier. That said, I shouldn’t have to buy their stupid protein shake or any other branded nonsense to achieve my fitness goals. As part of the Beach Body franchise, Insanity is insanely branded.

Having been a member of what I jokingly called an exercise cult some years ago, I recognize some of the same attributes here. And, admittedly, I have a knee-jerk (how many calories does a knee-jerk burn?) reaction to someone trying to sell me more products in order to do an exercise program the “right way.” Food products especially trigger me because of my strong belief that the best diet of all is one that consists of single ingredient plants and meats not packaged, fortified, fabricated shakes. Gross.  Some of the workouts, while challenging and effective, felt like a long commercial for Shakeology. And scouring the the internet, I have come across many a Beach Body Head who praises the system and the shakes in a way eerily reminiscent of  Jim Jones hawking Kool-Aid.

Exercise Shouldn’t be a Punishment
The second component that I am using as an excuse to leave the asylum is what comes off as self-loathing to me (no, not my own — that would make me soldier on with the program).  This whole system seems to based on the premise that one must punish his or her body in order to achieve fitness.  While I am certainly in favor of challenging workouts that leave me feeling exhausted and thoroughly workout-out, I find that I am far more productive (and happy with my exercise program) when I am working with my body from a place of love rather than beating it into a muscle-bound size two.

I realize I may sound like a super Berkeley yoga-type when I say this, but I have come to exercise from the place of self-loathing in the past — oh you evil bitch!  You ate those cookies!  Now you must do two hours of cardio.  Yuck.  I am over it.  Choosing to look at exercise as an opportunity to spend some time focusing on myself and making myself better rather than a penance for sins of the pantry makes me enjoy it far more and (I’d like to think) brings about more satisfying results both mentally and physically.

It was this last issue that sent me over the edge and back to my Jillian Michaels and Tracie Long DVD’s.  My body was feeling beaten by Insanity.  Starting-up the workouts came to be something I dreaded.  They felt like a punishment rather than a reward — something I was suffering through to say I’d done it rather than deriving joy from the process.  With less than a week of sanity under my belt, I am feeling grateful for the workouts — I think I will still pepper them into my regime (just not six days a week!), but also feeling happy to have listened to my body rather than battling myself through workouts that weren’t really making me happy.  Sometimes quitting is the best way to win (She said hopefully while wondering if she was just a sorry-ass loser who couldn’t make it through another three weeks of infomercial exercise).

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Fit Bit of a Hit

Years ago, I had a heart rate monitor that I loved. I had to stop myself from wearing the cumbersome chest strap under formal dresses and while I slept — I was obsessed. Sadly, my heart rate monitor was not long for this world, and when it died shortly after an expensive battery replacement that involved mailing the whole damn thing to another city, I gave up on it — despite the fashionability (not) of the large digital wrist watch I had to wear to chart my calorie burn.

Six years later, I am experimenting with a new, far less invasive method of movement measurement. This holiday season I received a Fitbit. I have been wearing this teeny-tiny (smaller than a small Tic Tac box) gadget clipped to my bra or hip ever since then. It has been recording my every step taken and calorie burned and automatically posting them to the internet via my iPad. Anybody looking for a stalkee?

I am not done learning about this neat-o little device, but I thought a month was a good amount of time to gather and post my initial impressions.

Here are the things I love about my Fitbit:

  • It is tiny and inconspicuous (though I love showing off its hot pink color and I have almost inadvertently sent it through the laundry twice).
  • You can get the lowest end model for about $60, so it is less expensive than a heart rate monitor.
  • It does come with its own free app that enables you to keep an accurate food diary so you can get a relatively accurate picture of calories in vs. calories out. The database seems to be fairly comprehensive, even though I only charted for a day. It is also relatively easy to add new recipes/menu items.
  • The Fitbit automatically syncs to iPhones and iPads, so I don’t need to worry about manually entering exercise data.
  • Fitbit can sync with a number of popular diet/exercise apps, so I can use the data collected by my fitbit in other apps that offer more services than the basic Fitbit interface.
  • Higher end models also track sleep which might come in handy as sleep deprivation is the trending culprit for failed weightless these days.

Here are the things I wish I liked better:

  • I really like the interface for food entry much better on SlimKicker. I wish my Fitbit would sync with this app.
  • The calorie measurements are nowhere near as accurate as a heart rate monitor. While its ability to track movement is better than an old school pedometer that only tracks forward/backward movement, it falls short especially with weightlifting. Videos that I had estimated were burning roughly two hundred calories consistently register at less than one hundred. Additionally, a twenty minute video that requires lots of movement/jumping/running registers at over a hundred calories burned. I remember this being a frustration with using a pedometer years ago; weight work done with my heart rate in an aerobic zone, which is really great exercise, does not register as many calories burned because, even though my heart is pounding out of my chest, my core is not moving enough to register significantly calorie burning movement.
  • While there are a number of other more comprehensive apps with which Fitbit is compatible, some of them require purchasing something more than the barebones app to enable compatibility. I’m already feeling overwhelmed by the number of diet and exercise apps resting dormant on my phone; I am done spending money on acquiring anymore, and I was a little annoyed that it was only after the download of the free version that I was informed that I would need to upgrade to obtain compatibility with my Fitbit.

I am currently in the middle of month two of wearing my Fitbit, with no plans to give it up soon. I do enjoy the extra inspiration I get to jump around instead of standing still, and walk up stairs instead of taking the elevator. That said, I am pretty inspired to do these things already. Ultimately, I think the Fitbit is best suited for beginning exercisers. It is great for encouraging a little bit more movement here and there. It is not so great at measuring specific workouts, especially weight-bearing exercise.  I miss my heart rate monitor.

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Sweet Demon

One small banana.  One small bowl of berries.  And with that I have met my sugar quota for the day — I am at exactly twenty-eight grams, the amount SlimKicker (based on my own dietary goals and preferences) has decided is right for me in a day.  I managed to edge my way up over twenty-eight grams by having some avocado and cucumber at dinner.  Hardly seems fair.  I am not kicking myself for the four extra grams my totally un-sweet dinner earned me, but I am so grateful to see the sugar that has been hiding in plain sight.

For months I had been wondering why and how my weight had leveled off as I consumed “healthy” dried fruits and grapes and berries by the handful.  Don’t even get me started on the Kombucha and raisins and coconut water.  Sure all this stuff is delicious, and I know there are health benefits to most of it, too (probably not the raisins…. mmmmm…. delicious raisins).  I was just consuming it as if it came without cost — the cost being the stationary  (or even increasing) numbers on the scale and the tighter waistband on my jeans.

When I began using SlimKicker in September, it became abundantly clear how quickly that sugar was adding up and negatively impacting me.  Somehow actually crunching the numbers rather than just looking at a picture of what I’ve eaten makes it more real — I can’t deny it or modify it in my memory.

In addition to my shrinking waistline (I measured yesterday and realized I am down a few inches since the spring), there are some other perks to my new sugar awareness.  First, I am savoring it more.  I have read more than one diet tip about eating slowly and enjoying every bite.  Knowing that I am only going to have the fruit in front of me (and not anymore), forces me to enjoy every delicious bite and not “waste” my fruit allotment on fruits I don’t really adore — I don’t think I’ve eaten a whole apple in months.  The fruit that I do eat has become a real treat.

I am also paying more attention to how much fruit I am giving the Child.  She and I would both be fruitetarians if we could.  Once, while I was pregnant with her, I ate an entire large box of blueberries wholly by myself.  She made me do it!  I am now actively trying to avoid (to the extent possible given her genetic origin) making her a complete sugar junky like me and my mother before me.  I had been supplying her with a limitless feed of the stuff, and while I don’t want her to feel deprived, I feel good about doing what I can to help reset her tolerances for the stuff.

Lastly, because both of us have cut our fruit intake, I am buying less fruit so I feel better about spending a little more to make sure it’s organic.  So basically, SlimKicker is my sugar fairy god mother — nay! sugar plum fairy?

Last night, after a stressful, paperwork-filled day, I wanted nothing more than to fill my mouth with something deliciously sweet.  Were I only recording pictorially and not Slimkicking it, I would have justified that last slice of flourless chocolate cake ’cause hey, at least I was admitting it — publishing it.  Knowing that such an indulgence would result in even more paperwork of the Slimkicker variety (entering recipes is pretty easy, but can be a wee bit time consuming), was enough to keep me on track.  Thanks, SlimKicker for “fairy-ing” me through my hour of need.

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A Slim Kick in the Pants

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The fact that I have a blog devoted almost entirely to the daily recording and sometimes analyzing of what I eat and how I exercise is probably an indication of some sort of mental illness. At the very least, it indicates my (perhaps excessive) interest the shallow and mundane.

This blog is not my first attempt at recording my calorie consumption and expenditure. In years past, I have cycled through everything from handwritten journals (where I gave myself color coded, hand-drawn stars depending on the exercise I completed), to digital trophies on my heart rate monitor and even an app for my cutting edge (circa 2004) Palm Treo that, through a series of convoluted and arbitrary drop-down menus allowed me to spend hours a day recording what I ate and how my body burned it.

I have found, over the years, that having to record what I put in my mouth makes me a lot more accountable about what I allow past my lips. Even if I’m the only one watching, somehow the record of it serves to keep me in line. It is always when I am recording my eating that I have been the most fit. I still remember how firm my booty was as a result of chasing after that pixelated heart-rate monitor trophy I would get on my wrist when I met my exercise goal for the week. Olympic gold might pale by comparison in my book.

All this to say, accountability and a system of rewards lead to total compliance from me. Seriously, I might consider maiming small animals (or doing a ridiculous amount of burpees) if it resulted a prize, even a virtual one.

My current method of recording calorie consumption and combustion is by far the most integrated I’ve ever had. Taking pictures before I eat is relatively efficient compared to trying to remember what I ate throughout the day and writing it down later. And I must admit that figuring out how to have a tab on my blog that shows my exercise calendar will surely make it to the highlight reel of my blogging career.

While this method is far superior to the mounds of discarded exercise journals that act as an obstacle course for the dust bunnies who live under my bed, and the subsisting on baby carrots alone that I tried in my teenage years, it does leave some things to be desired. First off, a picture may be worth a thousand words, but who the hell knows how many calories or grams of sugar are in it? I clearly (as evidenced by the size of my ass) do not. Further, while I placate myself with the promise of some sort of reward if/when I achieve a desired fitness goal, I don’t think I really believe myself because my weight has been pretty stagnant for the last year — I still have not acquired the exercise video set I said I would purchase after meeting my June goals.

September marked the end of a month of Whole30-ing for me and, coincidentally, the start of me being off the dating site for a spell. These things combined left me needing some structure around my diet and exercise and needing some mind-numbingly addictive app to replace my compulsive refreshing of OKCupid.

Enter SlimKicker! It came into my life at the perfect time (OKC, why not take a cue from these guys?!) This magical new app allows me to track my calorie intake and expenditure all from the comfort of my phone, and I am in love! Further, I can make use of my prize compliance mentality and program in my own rewards when I level up. I’m level three, baby, and I’ve already “earned” two kombuchas!  Level Four pedicure, here I come!

Despite the fact that SlimKicker does not keep me flush with nice messages from normal-seeming strangers who may or may not want to date me, I have become totally addicted to it as its replacement for OKC. Surely there are worse things — heroin, Farmville, my ex-boyfriend — to which I might be addicted, but SlimKicker is mightily compelling. Move over heroin! There’s a new drug in town, and it might even make me lose more weight than you can. So take that!

Unlike the Palm Treo arbitrary drop-down menus of yesteryear, SlimKicker allows me to search for foods with ease. It also has way more options than the databases of the past — I feel like the programers must have been spying on my Trader Joe’s shopping cart. The few things that I have not found in the database, I have been able to create recipes and personalized entries for relatively painlessly.

While entering everything in can be a little bit cumbersome, getting an accurate picture of how many calories I’m actually consuming has been invaluable. I was also able to see in a matter of days that it’s my sugar consumption (even though it is largely in the form of fruit) that has been stalling my weight-loss. Additionally, the fact that I get “points” each time I enter in what I am eating inspires me to do it more often.

I was pleasantly surprised by the food advice and recommendations as well. This is not your mother’s diet app; there’s no “low fat whole grain” nonsense here. I get points for consuming healthy fats, and I am gently reminded to look for grass-fed, organic meats. I am delighted to have found an app that — without my having to tweak it — is so beautifully in tune with my beliefs and goals about food.

I have also really been enjoying joining SlimKicker challenges. I usually assign myself monthly goals, but having some small task — twenty push-ups, or giving one genuine compliment — that I am committed to doing daily and that earn me mega points has been very useful in habit-setting and taking small steps towards my overall health and well-being.

My biggest complaint about SlimKicker so far (and I’ve been using it most of September) is the exercise section. Because I do a lot of exercise videos, and I don’t want to sit around entering in individual squats and lunges (even I am not that compulsive), I find myself guessing what might be the equivalent in the existing database of the exercise video I have just done. Because there is nowhere to note what video I have actually done, I am still entering all my exercise deets the old fashioned way on my calendar, too — time consuming.

The first week I had this app on my phone, I spent an inordinate amount of time entering and tweaking recipes. I could imagine spending even more time on it. While it is a healthy addiction, I am working hard to keep this addiction in check so that I don’t forego my real life activities and goals in order to meet my virtual ones. That said, it is much more user-friendly than any diet/exercise app that I have used so far. While I may not take the time to enter in every food and exercise everyday, it is wonderful to have a reality check on my obsessive entering of data and even to connect with others who are similarly fixated — mmm, maybe this is a dating site after all…

And now that I am thinking of OCD, and OKC, I can’t help but share this little video with you:

OCDkcupid.com – watch more funny videos

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Paleo to Go!

I was first introduced to paleo just about two years ago now.  Wow.  Hard to believe it’s been that long.  Notice I use the word “introduced,” not “adopted,” or “started eating.”  It took me a while to get over all the sound nutritional advice I’d been consuming my whole life up until that point:  Fat is bad!  Whole grains are good!  Avoid red meat.  Oh, and the legumes!  I think the legumes took the longest.  And then there were the things I didn’t even realize I was doing wrong like the Braggs and the canola oil.

These days, I feel pretty firmly established in this “way of eating.”  And I still mess things up, accidentally (Whoops!  That totally did have soy oil in it) and on purpose (Yes, these gluten-free brownies from Trader Joe’s are totally worth it).  One of the things that has been challenging for me is snacks on the go.  One can only eat so many nuts, and I think I may even be mildly allergic to some of them.  Further, while the lover of yesteryear who stuffed some leftover steak in his pants pocket for later consumption holds a special place in my memory, it is not an overwhelmingly positive place.  And I am just not organized enough or comfortable enough with the accompanying aura of odor to bring hardboiled eggs wherever I go.  And still I am hungry (but not hungry enough to even think about touching that lint-encrusted trouser steak)!

Enter Primal Pacs!  In preparation for my month of Whole Thirty-ing, I decided it would be good to have a few extra snacking options up my sleeve (that is totally different than in my pants, by the way).  Since Primal Pacs were approved by the healthy folks over at Whole 9 Life as being 100% paleo, I decided to splurge.  I ordered five small (3.5 oz) Primal Pacs, and three small (3 oz) jerky only pacs.  The lot put me out $45.30 including just over $5 of shipping.  Like I said, it was a splurge, but after munching on these delicious treats for the last week or so, I think it was totally worth it.

Turkey jerky is something I had been eating regularly and thinking was “healthy” and “paleo-ish.”  It was only recently that I thought to read the ingredients.  Needless to say, I was disheartened to find both wheat gluten and soy (not to mention sugar) listed there.  For weeks I scanned jerky ingredients everywhere from Whole Foods to Safeway.  Jerky, which seems like it would be one of the cavemanliest  things one could consume is paleo taboo everywhere I looked.

The snacks from Primal Pacs are tasty.  The jerky on its own is rich in flavor and surprisingly moist.  The Primal Pacs add apple juice-sweetened cranberries, mango and a few macadamia nuts to the mix.  It is the perfect blend of salt and sweet, and I can almost (on a good day) convince myself I bought it at a movie theater concession stand.  It is these that I would likely order again.  I realize I could buy the jerky and mix in my own fruit, but I like the smaller serving sizes and lower price.  Plus, let’s be honest, while the Primal Pacs theoretically contain two servings, and the jerky three, once that little pouch of yumminess is open I know I’m unlikely to leave it alone until it is empty.

And suddenly I am hungry.  No, I do not want to eat that steak in your pocket — I’ll eat the jerky in mine instead.

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Go, Go, Nut! (Part 2)

Over a year ago on this very blog, I proclaimed my love of coconuts for all the world to hear.  Since then, I have gone on to enjoy the derivatives of this magical drupe with regularity and gusto.  On Monday, the mailman arrived with the icing on the cake of my coconut love affair.

I am doing the Whole Thirty this month, and in reading up on what I was to eat and not eat, I stumbled upon Pure Wraps.  I was excited to learn that I can actually consume them whilst Whole-Thirty-ing.  They are made of nothing but coconut flesh and salt, and oh the possibilities!  I ordered a package that very day.

It arrived on Monday just before the dinner hour.  Perfect timing.  These delicious, square, tortilla-like miracles taste fantastic and hold up pretty well when stuffed with yumminess.  The original flavor (I haven’t yet tried curry) are slightly sweet and, as a result, remind my sugar-deprived mouth of a wilted fortune cookie.  OK, maybe that doesn’t make them sound all so delicious, but in a world without bread or rice, they are a welcome joy.

I stuffed my first Pure Wrap with ground turkey, cilantro and and avocado and topped the whole thing with some fresh lime juice and coconut aminos.  It was divine, and I am already looking forward to my next opportunity to have this delicious flattened flesh in my mouth.  Because they are slightly sweet, I can also imagine using them like some sort of crepe, stuffing them with fresh berries and topping them with coconut cream.  OK, now I am drooling.

I haven’t checked for them at Whole Foods, yet, but I am gonna bug those holy (in the face), and well-inked stockers to order some up for my shopping convenience.  Oh sweet coconut!  You’ve got me wrapped around your… deliciousness!

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Exercising My Freedom

I have been in a committed, loving, satisfying relationship for almost twenty years.  The object of my affection and loyalty is steadfast and gentle.  My partner helps me to be a better me.  OK, so maybe our relationship is kinda one-sided; we’ve never actually carried on a conversation (unless me grunting and swearing under my breath counts as a conversation), and while I *do* my partner all the time, my partner has never *done* me.

OK, OK, I give!  My longtime partner is exercise videos from The Firm.  Despite their inanimate nature, I have loved them, and derivatives of them, for a long time, and I have been committed to these Southern Belles in leotards and their high quality, thoughtfully produced and effective workouts without thought of straying.

This all changed last September.  I didn’t tell the Firm, but I started seeing someone new.  It was really the Firm’s fault — they drove me to it.  You see, they had advertised these really high intensity half-hour workouts, much like the actual one I had tried when I got to visit their studio in June.  The workouts looked amazing, and I knew, from the one I had done, that they were effective.  However, in true Firm fashion, instead of selling the DVD’s individually, they were charging around eighty bucks for a full set of DVD’s.  Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for… less?

It happened innocently enough.  One day, I was wandering through Target, and I stopped, as I often do, to look at the exercise videos.  Wow, how sad is it that looking at exercise videos at Target is a treat for me?  I use it to lure myself there to buy toilet  paper and ziploc bags.  “If you do all your shopping, as a special reward, you can look at glossy pictures of half-naked muscular women wrapped tightly in clear plastic.  If you are really very good, maybe you can buy one.”  Yes, this has gotten me to Target on more than one occasion (and is probably part of the reason I have upwards of fifty different exercise DVD’s).

There was Jillian Michaels (and her abs) staring back at me through crisp shrink-wrap.  Oooh!  Short, intense workouts!  Wow!  Four different workouts on one DVD!  Jeepers! And it’s only ten dollars!  I think I musta been a really good shopper that day, because Jillian came home in my cart as a reward.  We have been inseparable ever since (eer, well, minus the month of December where I totally slacked off on food and exercise and gained a full nine pounds — ugh!).

Jillian is everything a mistress should be.  Where the Firm instructors count out reps for me neatly, Jillian tells me to hit the floor and doesn’t let me get up until she’s finished spouting off about whatever strikes her fancy — usually it pertains to the extreme difficulty of whatever exercise she’s making me do.  I haven’t bothered to count and see if I am doing the same number of reps on each side, and I don’t think she has either.  In fact, in one sequence, she skips a set altogether on the second side.  Things get messy.  It’s ok though; we are too busy sweating together to worry about being even.  Just like a nooner in a motel that charges by the hour, we get in, get the job done, and get out.  Wham, bam, thank you, Ma’am!  Man, that feels good!  I didn’t know I could finish so fast!

Where one of the Firm instructors gently coos in her demure southern drawl, “Lemme see what ya mama gave you.  Let’s shake it!” Jillian yells, “[I’m gonna make you look]…  Crazy, ridiculous, sick, insane, amazing!”  She is crazy, ridiculous, sick, insane and amazing, and she kicks my butt, and I love and hate her at the same time, but with each workout I am loving her  little bit more.

Maybe I am an exercise polyamorist.  After all, my ass doesn’t belong to anyone but me, and it is happier when it is getting serviced by a variety of workouts.

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