By Contributing Mama Erin Butler
I hate working out. I am not even going to dance around that statement. It’s pure hatred. I dread it. I count the seconds until it’s over and have been pretty good about avoiding it.
Until now. I find myself in the worst shape of my life, wondering how a few years ago I was able to do a marathon and now I can barely find the energy to get the mail.
I made a New Years Resolution – with 8 trillion other people – to get back into shape and I thought I was off to a pretty good start until a girlfriend kindly pointed out that walking up a flight of stairs five times a day to change my daughters diaper isn’t exactly cardio. As if?
I am pretty sure I have at one time or another belonged to every gym in Connecticut. A few times they’ve overlapped – with a duel membership you would think I would be buff. Not the case. And while I want to believe that LA FITNESS really truly wants ME back, as their twice a day emails suggest, with a toddler and a husband with an unpredictable schedule, working out at a gym is just not in the cards right now.
But with 2010 in full swing, I realize unless sweat pants make a big comeback as everyday fashion – it’s do or die. So I head to Target. No, not to shop. To get a DVD. Stay with me folks!
After perusing the vast selection of 10 minute to toned legs and 7 minutes abs, I decide on Jillian Michaels Shred. I absolutely heart the Biggest Loser. I’ve been following this show since the beginning – yet I have spent every season enjoying it from the comfort of my couch – eating ice cream.
Oh come on, I know I am not the only one.
Well, it turns out you don’t actually get into shape just watching, you have to actually participate. Ooohhhh!
After a week of completely avoiding the existence of the DVD reflecting on my purchase I dust off my sneakers.
I love Jillian, I do. But the woman has no mercy. There was no easing into it. I thought she would talk about getting in shape and how important it is for your heart. But in the first 10 seconds she has me doing jumping jacks! As. The. Warm. Up.
I try to channel my inner Jane Fonda but all that is coming through is a whiney, pudgy Richard Simmons. I want to quit. I want to flip the channel to Oprah, get a cookie and live in my world of denial but I look down. And find I am not alone.
There on the floor is Katherine. Doing abs.
Doing push-ups (Girl push-ups like her mama).
And the dreaded cardio – although hers resembles more of an interpretive dance.
And nothing can deter her. Not stickers, not Elmo shaped cookies, not even her baby doll. It’s now strangely one of her favorite parts of the day: “Mommy, lets exercise!” she says every morning. She clearly did not inherit my dedication – err, lack of dedication – to fitness.
“Go mommy” she cries as Jillian switches up the routine to butt kicks.
So I go. I jump. I crunch. I sweat. And I hate every single minute of it. But she is looking up at me with such excitement so I smile to please my audience.
Unbelievably, day after day, this little 27 pounder of mine is slowly whipping my butt into shape. The key word is s-l-o-w-l-y. And strangely, with her, it’s actually fun. I can tune out Jillian screaming at me to feel the burn and just enjoy this unique time with her.
And even though I am far from America’s Next Top Model, I am finally starting to envision a spring wardrobe without elastic waist and that’s definitely worth a little sweat.