Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tinkerbell at a Rave

I took a small break from exercising.  Okay, a long break from exercising.  You know I have fads and DVDs that I love and then get bored with, so I'm always trying new ones.  I found Tracy Anderson from reading Gwyneth Paltrow's blog Goop.  Gwyneth was also on  Oprah touting her workout.  I was a little skeptical because Tracy's methods aren't your usual workouts. 

She encourages you to workout four to six times a week, for an hour doing the mat exercises.  In addition, she wants you to do at least a half-hour of cardio, preferably something that does not use repetition of your large muscles, such as running.  She is a big fan of dance cardio.  Also, she doesn't think women should use weights over three pounds, because it increases bulk and more skin sagging. 

If you know me, you know I love to dance.  The cardio would be easy.  You know that I am also a weakling.  Three pound weights made me happy.

The problem was the time.  Researchers encourage twenty minutes a day to maintain your weight.  If you want to lose weight, you need to do 60 - 90 minutes a day.  I used to struggle with that twenty minutes, and she wants me to find time for an hour and a half? 

I thought I would give it a try.  I turned to my number one source of exercise DVDs - QVC.  (QVC is my favorite source for everything.  You don't have to watch.  You can order online at any time.  Plus, 30-day money back guarantee.  No questions asked.  They don't pay me, but they should.)  After reading the reviews, I ordered the the Mat Workout, the Post-Pregnancy Workout (yes, it's been five years, just shush it), and Beginner Dance Cardio

I started with the Dance Cardio.  I couldn't follow it or keep up.  I tried.  I retried.  I was doing my own moves.  Or standing there watching her dance.   I need structure and I felt at times, she was dancing to her own internal beat.  She is beautiful and graceful.  Her dancing was like watching a cute Tinkerbell at her own personal rave.  I scrapped it.  I figured I could send it back.  (I didn't - if you want to try it, I will loan it to you.) 

Next, I tried the Post-Pregnancy Workout.  I have a belly that resembles bread dough.  Two c-sections in two years can wreck havoc on your abdomen.  I have done crunches, sit-ups, plank holds - that belly wasn't shrinking.  My sister always tells me that I "should just cut it off."  This was the first exercise that I've done in five years where I felt my stomach muscles truly working.  It hurt.  This isn't your typical sit-ups.  You move in combinations that your body has never used.  I was aware of stomach muscles that I hadn't seen in years.  At work, I was stapling papers and had to stop.  Did you know you use your stomach when you staple?  I discovered them from this video. 

The Mat Workout had the same results.  It made me body-aware.  There is a lot of repetition of basic floor and standing movements.  Your entire body is engaged at all times.  The first couple of times, I was unable to do all the repetitions.  I spent a lot of the time sitting on the floor, watching.  Every day, though I set a goal of doing 10 reps, then 12 reps, then 15 reps.  I did this tape for ten days throughout two weeks.  I saw results.  The arm reps will kill you.  You notice your arms, though.  You notice your tush.  You notice your abs.  You notice your posture.  She keeps saying in the tapes, "You're going to see AMAZING results."  I believe her.  I still am struggling working it into my schedule.  When I do, I hate her and love her.

She's not overly chatty which bothered me at first. I kept thinking, "What am I supposed to be doing?"   Now, I find it peaceful.  It is just repetition.  Keep watching her.  Her body is lean, long, and beautiful.  I don't need her insincere encouragement.  Her body structure motivates you. 

Overall, it reminded me of a combination of calisthenics, yoga, and Pilate's.  Don't be fooled.  I sweated like a hog.  I was drenched.  I felt good afterwards.  Enough to make me want to do it the next day.  These tapes are keepers. 

The abs and arms that I envy.


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