Posts Tagged ‘ New Year’s resolutions ’

A New Workout That Fits

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

I failed in my initial New Year’s resolution to get in shape. My reasons were legit. But even when I tried to get back in the saddle, it was disastrous. A friend suggested Pop Physique. I was too lazy to look it up online. So I didn’t. Clearly my motivation was hitting a low. Then she sent me an email with a Groupon for the one in my neighborhood. You know how those Groupons are: HURRY OR YOU WILL MISS OUT FOR THE REST.OF.YOUR.LIFE. As Groupons usually do, the “sale” only lasted 24 hours. I nearly got divorced when I bought meat from a door-to-door salesman. I jump when under pressure. So of course the urgency of the Groupon made me bite. Luckily in this instance, the stars were aligned.

Before I wrote this blog I figured I should make sure Pop Physique is all over the country so if you feel inspired, you’ll check it out. However, it’s not. Only in Los Angeles. But don’t go WTF yet. I have another option for anyone who is interested. The Bar Method is apparently really similar, and that’s everywhere.

Pop Physique uses a small ball and light weights combined with repetition and small movements to basically kick your ass. Or abs. Or thighs. It’s hard, but there is no impact so I’m not worrying about injury while flailing myself around. There were times my limbs were shaking to the point that I wondered if my body was self-inducing a seizure. I was assured it was not and that this is normal.

The overall “technique” as they call it basically combines aspects of crossfit, yoga, boot camp, weight lifting and aerobics all in one. I think it’s nearly the perfect mom workout. The studio I went to was clearly founded and run by women. It was so organized and clean. They even offer childcare for some of the classes. The Bar Method might too. I was sweating but not dripping like I do in my loathed Bikram class. The stretching part at the ballet bar was great. It made me want a small ballet bar in my house. I’m already thinking it could be another solution to my evening mom blahs. I could stretch, and my monkey kids could hang. I am going to present it to Phil after a night where he has at least 2 glasses of wine…though I’m fairly certain he will say that me on a ballet bar without professional supervision will prove cataclysmic.

In the meantime I am committed to getting my pre-baby stomach back. Not to mention everything else. Hopefully it will help my slouchy posture too, which in turn helps my stomach. Too bad there’s no solution for shrunken post-baby boobs. Or at least no natural solution. Remember, I live in LA–land of the fake. But everything I’m doing is real. And that’s exciting–even if it’s well past the New Year.


Cartoon characters exercising via Shutterstock

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Why Exercise Is Not Shaping Up For Me

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

This year I decided to make some New Year’s resolutions I could keep. It included running and yoga a few times a week. On the second week, my resolutions went out the window due to an epic 5 days of illness by my petri dish children. But I decided I wasn’t going to give up. I got back on track and, because I’m a person of extremes, (probably one gene away from being manic like my late mother), I signed up for Bikram yoga.

Bikram is yoga in a 105-degree carpeted room (gross) with 31 other near-naked adults (gross again), where you hold eagle and 25 other poses for a minute. I did Bikram in my pre-kid life and decided maybe it was the fastest way to get limber and in shape again, despite the cult-like feel. The real selling point was the fact that it was across from Emmett’s preschool and it is an hour-long class (as opposed to 90 minutes, which is typical) that ends right at pick-up time.  I could leave just before the final part of the class: the odd guttural breathing that Bikram addicts swear by. Picture a raccoon in heat. With rabies. That’s what it sounds like.

“Just be sure and do the breathing in your car so you get all the benefits of your Bikram,” said the overly chirpy but hard-core instructor. Yep, got it. Not happening.

I took my first class there and I’ve never heard someone rattle on like this woman. Seems like each particular pose “cures cancer, releases toxins, drains glands, prevents arthritis, helps anxiety, alleviates depression, helps insomnia and cures chronic pain.”  This, despite making me feel the opposite. The place smells like a typical Bikram studio of old sweat and super bugs. They claim their carpet is anti-microbial but I know I’m getting MRSA/a staph infection. However, I’m soldiering on because I bought a $45 unlimited pass for the month and I want to get my money’s worth.

Having said that, I don’t think it does much for my stomach muscles, even though it supposedly does “everything.” Here’s the problem with my belly: Most women have boobs that protrude further out than their stomach. When their shirts hang down, they hang from the furthest point out on the boob. I’ve never had big boobs, but since having kids, mine have gone inward. Concave. So instead my shirts going out and over my stomach, my stomach sticks out further than my boobs, making the shirt cling and me look like a tree trunk that cross-pollinated with a pear. Phil and my brother both tell me it’s my posture that makes my stomach stick out–and that’s partially true too. I decided I should try mat-based Pilates for posture and core strength. It goes along with yoga, right?

I showed up to an environment that was so sterile and quiet I almost missed the chirping Bikram instructor. It felt devoid of fun. Even the cult-like Bikram people have a sort of vibe that does give you some energy. Not this. We began class at 9:05 sharp. A bit later I looked at the clock, hoping we were halfway done. It was only 9:12. Time was standing more still than it does when I’m playing make believe with my kids. We used a round Pilates gadget that is supposed to help with your workout. Kind of like a tension band. Or a freestyle guillotine. I didn’t jive with this object and it didn’t jive with me. It kept falling over my head and onto my shoulders. In the stillness of the others, I sensed I was making a scene. I wanted to leave, but there were only 3 of us. Given my dirt obsession, the only thing I excelled at was cleaning the mat at the end. (Yesterday I went around the house with a razor blade and goo-gone and scraped/cleaned every drawer handle and doorknob. Time for hypnotherapy again.)

Running has always been my go-to. I haven’t gotten totally back into it since my marathon days, but it almost always clears my mind. I get grounded when I feel my feet hit the pavement rhythmically. I don’t have to rely on anyone but myself. And therein lies the problem with my latest run. We took the kids to Fia’s soccer lesson on Sunday in Griffith Park. I decided to go for a run while Phil watched Emmett. I told him I’d be back in 25 minutes. I got lost and ended up at the Los Angeles Zoo–which doesn’t tell you much if you’re not from here. But suffice it to say, my 2.5 mile run turned into 5. When I realized I had missed my turn on the path leading back, I debated cutting through the golf course that separated me from my route. But when I saw the lone coyote roaming around, I figured I risked getting rabies and/or hit by a golf ball. I stuck to the path until it wound me around to the zoo, then headed back to soccer. I showed up dirty and starving.

“I spaced out and missed my turn,” I said, panting to Phil.

“I figured something like that happened,” he replied unfazed. The dude knows me.

We took the kids to the merry-go-round (right next to the soccer field) where I ate a pound of nachos with fake cheese and slurped down a diet Coke. We drove home where I collapsed in bed for 2 hours. Phil just shook his head.

I’m not sure what is happening but my “easy and attainable” New Year’s resolutions are not turning out as I expected. Not sure where to go from here…


Exercise equipment via Shutterstock

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