Feel the Burn

September 16, 2010

Guest blogger Tori never lets ’em see her sweat…well, maybe sometimes:

I’d like to think that I am a special little snowflake unlike all the rest, but the truth is, I’m no different than nearly half of the rest of the country: until recently, I’ve never been able to stick to a regular workout routine. For my entire adult life, my exercise pattern has gone like this: I work out like crazy for two weeks, drop a few pounds and feel great, pat myself on the back for a job well done…and then quit. My husband says it’s endearing in a way, but he and I both know that the reality of the situation is not good. It’s not so much a cosmetic thing (although that is a good motivator). It’s about health. Bottom line: I ain’t getting’ any younger, and I don’t want to wake up one day as one of those ladies who has to rent a jazzy jazz scooter to get around the casino.

And it seems as though the tides may be changing. I entered a new decade this year, and like so many others (again, so much for snowflakiness) I set all kinds of capital-G Goals. One of them was to finally figure out what exactly needed to happen for me to start getting some regular exercise and taking better care of myself.

So I took a very honest look at what I would ACTUALLY do, and what I would definitely NOT do. I knew that I wouldn’t get up in the morning and go to the gym because I am a lazy jerk who conjures 10,000 reasons to stay in bed instead of walking to The Y. And I knew that I wouldn’t go after work because I would get home late, I usually have other plans and frankly, I’m often just tired. And going during lunch just wasn’t realistic either. So that left my gym time at…never?

Yep, never. Since I knew that I wouldn’t ever really commit to actually going to the gym, I decided to try something new: getting up early and working out at home. Thus began my odyssey with free Exercise TV On Demand workouts.

Exercise TV On Demand offers dozens – possibly even 100, I’m not sure – free workouts, from Pilates and yoga to cardio, toning, bootcamp-style drills, celebrity trainers and more, whenever you want them. And for 3 to 5 mornings a week for several weeks, I tried a different one each day. I will spare you the details, but trust me when I tell you that there are some truly heinous workouts available (I’m looking at you, “Goddess Burlesque Dance” and “Cardi-oke”). But there are also some really good ones. Some of the Pilates workouts, for example, were just as challenging as classes I’ve taken at NYSC. And I found what just might just be the right work-out(s) for me.

In the end, the workouts that I found most effective are led by celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels (from The Biggest Loser). Yes, I know it’s kind of cheesy, but having worked with trainers before, I can honestly say that Jillian’s workouts completely kick my ass – when I don’t phone it in, I work just as hard as I ever did with a live trainer. She’s really good about explaining form, which is essential when you don’t have a real person to correct you, and she’s motivational without being annoying.

So I’m going on my fifth week or so. I’ve had a few starts and stops but I can honestly say that this is one of the longest times I’ve really stuck with it. I’m having less and less trouble getting up early, which is a pretty big deal for a dead-to-the-world snooze alarm abuser such as myself. But when it comes down to it, I can’t think of any reason why I would stop (other than laziness) – there really aren’t any obstacles preventing me from dragging myself out of bed and into my living room to have Jillian (or, as I refer to her nearly every morning, “That F%@ing Monster”) beat me up. So wish me luck! Maybe this time I won’t even need it.

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