Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who needs the gym when you've got ExerciseTV?

My 20th high school reunion was last week. 

Nothing short of public speaking freaked me out as much as that - and I can't explain why. In most aspects of my life, I'm a pretty confident person. I'm not bad looking (no Zeta Jones, but OK), I'm reasonably smart, have a degree from a respectable university, I've got a great career... And yet, with the reunion coming up, I felt completely inadequate. I had to have GREAT outfit, GREAT hair, and I absolutely, positively HAD to lose that last five pounds. 

For a girl who, in 1989,  wore combat boots every day and enough eyeliner to make Amy Winehouse jealous, you 'd think I'd have been a lot cooler and more aloof about the whole thing, but but no.  

The outfit and the hair seemed easy enough, but the 5 pounds... I'd seriously plateaued. After the birth of son #3, I ballooned up like a post-breakup Jessica Simpson. I joined Curves (I swear I didn't know about the pro-life thing...) and went on a high protein diet. And I started running.  

It all worked pretty well, but I did plateau five pounds short of my goal. I look fine, but still have a little bit of a jelly belly, which I'd like to see disappear.

With two kids in day care and schedule so tight I barely have time to sleep, gym membership was out of the question. Runing and walking (outside and on my garage sale treadmill) weren't working enough muscle groups. I was tired of my Cindy Crawford video.

And then I discovered ExerciseTV. Jackpot!

Did you know about this? It's amazing. There must be over a hundred videos to choose from every month, and they're all free On Demand.  If you have any kind of cable or satellite TV system with On Demand service, you probably have it already.

I've tried a bunch of different videos and programs, finally locked into Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred. Marketers: Take note. This is a 3-phase program with phases 1 and 2 free On Demand. But if you want to progress to Phase 3,  you've gotta buy the DVD. How freaking smart is that?

"The Shred" really is a 30-day program, and it totally kicked my ass - but it's only a 20 minute workout. So I could get up at 6:00, do the workout, shower, and get everyone out the door on time. Brilliant! 

On weekends, I'd add on a "three-mile walk" with Leslie Sansone. That workout is a bit corny, but it gets the job done. And with my Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in the fall (sponsor me!), I need all the extra walking I can get.

By the end of my month on the shred (and I did buy the DVD for the 3rd workout) I'd lost most of my awful jelly belly. And, best of all, I'd gotten so used to getting up to workout every morning, I'm still doing it.  Jumping jacks in the morning - for me, anyway - work better than coffee.  Not that I'm giving up my beloved coffee any time soon.

So, bottom line: I lost the flab, feel great, and have better fitness habits....and I didn't have to join a gym. ExerciseTV is free and couldn't be more convenient. As long as they keep adding workouts I enjoy, I'm good!

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