Monday, December 19, 2011

The Workout

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I am back at exercise square one. Meaning, I have no plan. My diet plan has always been pretty simple: when the pants are too tight, it is time to work. When the front seam of my loose dress pants goes up the front of me like a too tight backwards thong, then it is time for some action. I only have one real go to method this time of year...pilates. Seven years ago, I was looking at a chubbier version of my self. This thick version of my usually smaller frame (minus the chest) had just given birth to baby number two and found the Winsor Pilates three disk beginner set of DVDs in a player that my parents had donated to us. Both my dad and sister have a slight obsession with buying things from TV. They have always believed in the notion that there is a miracle solution to life's impossible tasks..like loosing inches in weeks. I am hopeful of these products....but too cheap to actually give it a shot. I usually don't try a new product unless it gets five stars on Amazon...from at least twenty different people. Call it match made in exercise heaven..the day I needed the solution to the flabby post baby belly was the day I discovered Mari Winsor. The DVD was obviously bought by someone else..and found its way to me. I became obsessed with how easy and effective the twenty minute workout was. By Olivia's first birthday I had dropped that extra twenty pounds of baby weight I was carrying around and my stomach shrunk back to an acceptable, bikini worthy size.

Around Olivia's first birthday, I was using these twenty minute workouts as my time. Twenty minutes was about how long I could get away with alone time because that is how long Olivia usually slept (if I was lucky). I considered a day to be successful if I got to hear Mari tell me to pat my touchie and feel my abs burn. I started to associate that burn along with the breathing and tight muscles with relaxation. I am not one to keep an exercise routine because of the benefits like weight loss and overall health. I like to say I do that but who am I kidding. When I found myself home alone with a baby and a toddler, that twenty minutes became my window to sanity. I would talk back to Mari as at times, she was the only adult interaction I had. Somehow, Olivia found a way to infiltrate that. Somewhere between her first and second birthday, I would set up toys or a movie in the living room for the girls to quietly play for my twenty minutes of grown up time. At first I was flexing my ab muscles and telling the girls "no no" to this or "put that down" to that. I would usually get through the first fifteen when one of the girls (usually Olivia) would do something that would abruptly end my workout. Olivia started to become interest in what I was doing during "mommy time". She She started to plop her butt on the mat next to me and mimic my movements. As my leg would swing in the air, her chubby little one would...like a small jagged stick. Sometimes she would cuddle with me. She would plop her little butt firmly against my stomach in the perfect spoon position while I did the leg lift series. While it wasn't a perfect storm of relaxation, I began to accept our workout time as the longest she would stay entertained by something other than Dora the Explorer.



At seven years old, Olivia is still interested in what I do during exercise time. I have since then invested in an exercise bike and included walks or runs (weather permitting) into my workout routine. Now that I am a working mom, I don't have the time to go to the gym like I used too. The one thing I have stayed true too is the Winsor Pilates DVDs. I love the Buns and Thighs video as well as all the advanced ab sculpting ones. It is just enough to tighten me up enough for my pants to fit perfectly over my muffin top instead of under it. This week, I promised myself I would get back into my daily routine. I hope to eventually (gasp) get up early enough to do my workout before work. (I am not..I repeat ..not a morning person). Last night and tonight, I did my routine after work. Olivia was quick to join. I threw on my black shorts and black top (slimming effect). Liv put on her black shorts and black top (matching effect). We rolled out our mats and did our routine. I will have to admit, having Olivia as part of my work out has now made it more than relaxing. Ironically the same routine I used to do as an effort to get twenty minutes away from Olivia is the same routine I use to spend twenty minutes with Olivia. We giggle about putting our legs up in funny ways. Olivia asks me about various muscle groups they refer to. "What are your abs?" She asks. "They are our stomach muscles." I say. "What is the buttocks?" she says smirking. "it is your butt!" I say giving her belly a tickle so she topples over on the mat. "Layla-I am working out my buttocks!" she yells. Her face starts to look perplexed. "Are you OK?" I ask. "Yeah, this is kind tough." She starts, "And I have to F-A-R-T." We laugh again. She runs out of the room and I hear her fart into the hallway. "All better!" She exclaims

Olivia is a great workout partner. I am a firm believer in the exercise buddy system. You need that other person to create motivation. I love having a walking partner or a familiar face in and exercise class. As a kid, I remember watching my mom work out. For those of you who don't know my mom, she is about five feet one, one hundred pounds and has a six pack. She is pretty bad ass doing sit ups with twelve pound weights. She had an exercise mat (the "let's get physical" version of a yoga mat)and a stair climber when I was a kid. I had my set of "Get in Shape Girl" weights, jump rope and matching arm bands. (for style, of course). I used to want to work out with my mom because I knew sometimes it was the only time we could have alone. We still take regular walks...and I hope to reach her fitness level of twelve pound weights. (I am currently at three....). Olivia is my workout buddy for now. I told her to wake me up tomorrow at six thirty when she gets up so we an have a morning workout together. Hopefully when she is older and has a daughter who likes to spoon her while she is doing her workout, she will think back at this time and smile.



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