It’s Not a Fad If In Fact You Do Get Fit

My personal-trainer-for-eternity XFE is making me try new workout classes lately. He’s talked me into going to BodyPump a handful of times. Tonight, he’s got me doing some CXwork class, which sounds intimidating as all get out.

sauna suit
The happy couple. That’s a pretty accurate representation. Me, standing useless. XFE, trying to get his fitness on.

(Where on my body is my CX located anyway? Are we absolutely sure it needs work?)

We’re trying to get beach ready for Croatia and we know it’s going to take more than a couple of SlimFasts and a walk around the block at lunchtime to get there.

cow bikini

The whole class thing gives me so, so much anxiety. It’s paralyzing enough to go to the gym and get on a treadmill. It basically requires me to have my ipod blaring at full blast and a pair of blinders so I don’t look around and fall off my treadmill.

But classes take that drama up another notch. Whenever I walk into a class and start gathering the puzzling myriad of equipment necessary for a BodyPump session, I look around at my fellow classmates and size them up. “Well, she’s pregnant, so pretty sure she won’t make it through the class. That lady over there is at least 114 years old, so she’ll probably fall over at the halfway point. That mini-lady over there is about 80 pounds, so I’m sure I’ll be able to lift more than her. That girl in the front just looks all loose and disjointed. I’m not sure what’s going on with her.”

(By the way, why does BodyPump have to be one word? Is that meant to convey some sort of intensity?  Same with CrossFit? Why? Why not two words? You could even have some sort of lightning bolt logo or something between the two words, if space is an issue).

Of course, I’m invariably wrong about all my classmates. While I “BodyPump” my measly 5 pound weights and fall into a sweaty heap whenever there’s an opportunity for floor work, our pregnant protagonist is opting for all the more challenging move options; our geriatric heroine is crunching her well-worn heart out; and Thumbelina is adding another 20 pounds to her already bowing weight bar.

So here are some exercises and fads that I think are better options for someone with my athletic abilities.

Stretching. Stretching is nice. No weights. No steps. No gravity working against you.

stretch

If I can’t just lay down and stretch, at least I can balance on my knees. And if it’s good enough for NeNe, it’s good enough for me. Plus, the footwear is much more attractive.

leakes workout

These Trim-Jeans actually work in two ways  – they’re supposed to help you burn calories through metabolic heat or something or other (“a sauna for your belly” according to the promotional materials.) OR, if you don’t lose the weight, you can just wear these to cover your pudge. BONUS: you’d probably float in water! Although, maybe floating butt-up isn’t how you want to spend your vacation.

trimjeans

I do enjoy a good sit down and this thing seems like a good way to tone up.

vita master

If I absolutely must stand to get more toned, then maybe I can use this thing called a Hyper Bike. They’re saying it goes 5o mph and has the backing of NASA — an agency replete with really buff athletes. On the upside, since this one has big wheels, your workout probably take half the time, no? It seems to have worked for this lady.

hyperbike

Or, one could go the human hamster wheel path. Even hipsters seem to like it.

human hamster wheel

This one is my absolute favorite though. This Fit Wet combines a stationary bike with a hot tub. And it looks like she’s doing all of this in an evening gown whilst drinking a beer. Yep, we have a winner.

FitWet

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A Few Reason Autumn Blows (Including Blowing Leaves)

I know I’m in the minority on this one, but I do not like Fall, also known as the Season of Death and Decay, which precedes the Season of White Hell and Hibernation (snow). Here is a non-exhaustive list of things I hate about Fall (which just means there could be a part two at some point).

Tights – Fall brings on the advent of the tights. In theory, tights are cute and very necessary. I actually like the way they look and the warmth they provide. I like the fact that very opaque ones allow me to wear short skirts to work with my knee high boots.

However, I do not enjoy putting them on. It takes a lot of hopping around and contorting to get them on, and invariably, one leg gets twisted around, usually right at the top of the thigh. The toe seams never run along the toes.  And the butt seam always does its own thing. By noon, the knees are saggy, which is so interesting considering the fact that the waistband is tight enough to cut me in half, leaving marks and creating a very unflattering line under my clothes. And being encased in nylon/lycra/torture material for an entire 9 hours makes me itchy by the end of the day. I basically rip them off the moment I get home.

This is basically what it looks like when I’m trying to put on tights in the morning.

Leaves – Remember all those beautiful red and orange leaves on the trees? Yeah, those things fall to the ground. And then they need to be dealt with. Like, raked and wrassled into a big black bag. Which is like, work. Unpaid work. Mind you, they’re usually all gray and soggy by that point, another unpleasant reality. We don’t even have a single tree on our property and yet, I have leaves all over my front garden and back yard. And they just keep coming. Every damn weekend.

We don’t even own any trees.

Pumpkins – The pumpkin cult goes full blast this time of year. People lose their ever-loving minds over pumpkin everything. “ERMAGAHD, Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes are out!!!” — Y’all do know that pumpkin is available other times of the year, right? I’ve seen canned pumpkin on the shelves of Trader Joe’s pretty much year round (unlike their fondue, which is only a seasonal thing – a fact that I think is abhorrent). I’ve also had a pumpkin flavored muffin in the spring, if you can imagine such a thing. I’ve even had pumpkin stuffed ravioli in summer!

And, everybody goes out and buys (or even more of a cliche, goes to a farm and picks) a pumpkin and puts it on their doorstep. You know what happens when you leave a piece of fruit or vegetable sitting outside for weeks, exposed to the elements? Nothing nice, let me tell you. And walking past all those rotting pumpkins on my way to work does not make me want a damn pumpkin latte.

Layering – I cannot grasp the concept of layering. Here’s the deal with me and layering: If I’m wearing a sweater over a blouse, that blouse probably has something wrong with it. Maybe I didn’t iron it, or maybe the buttons pull or gap, or maybe I spilled something on it, but wanted to wear it anyway. With layering, you’re supposed to take off layers as you get warmer, but as you can see, my under layers probably aren’t appropriate and should not be worn on their own.

And, let’s just suppose, that in fact, all my layers are in perfect order and proportion to whatever I’m wearing on the bottom. It warms up a tad bit and I’m ready to shed a trench, and blazer, and sweater, and a scarf, or whatever. What are you supposed to do with the layers you’ve taken off? You’re required to carry them around all damn day. That’s annoying. I cannot keep up with all those clothes.

Blake probably has someone to carry all her discarded layers.

Lethargy – I don’t know if it’s the shorter days or if I have some sort of seasonal disorder or what, but I have ZERO motivation to do anything other than sit on the couch, light tons of overpriced candles, and eat pasta and bread topped with copious amounts of cheese, butter, and cream and baked until it’s scalding hot. Getting to the gym is almost impossible. Why would I leave the nice warm house? Don’t even think about asking me to go to happy hour. I’ve got to scurry home and put on my yoga pants and slippers and ratty house sweater. I can’t even get excited about going shopping, which is pretty much sacrilegious. I need to shop. I live to shop. And there’s all those layers that must be procured.

So there you have it. My top five reasons I hate Fall. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to put on some layers, including tights, and emerge from my groundhog’s hole to go get a pumpkin spice latte. I think it will go quite nicely with my baked pumpkin macaroni and cheese.

The Laziest Post Ever

Alright, alright, let’s not get in a tizzy. I know I went MIA from blogging this past weekend. I was far too busy holding the couch down and popping champagne. Seriously, I am champagned out. We had people over on Friday, which necessitated champagne. Saturday was some sort of celebratory holiday. I don’t know. We were in bed by like, 10:30. But we did have champagne, just to be festive. And, because we had opened a big magnum of super-cheap Verdi champagne right before we fell asleep, we just had to finish that off on Sunday.

It was also a weekend of super-excellent eats, including some surprisingly delicious and large Virginia oysters, smoked prime rib, lobster tails, and crab legs. All planned and prepared by boyfriend-chef extraordinaire XFE. Amazing food all around. And nary a workout in sight.

We did watch the full season of Hung on HBO though, so that’s progress. I suppose. (And “Black Swan,” which was waaaay overrated. And “Cowboys and Aliens” which was stupidly entertaining.)

So to help us all ease back into this whole working and blogging thing, I present to you, a review of thePoeLog, courtesy of WordPress.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Just Like Justin Bieber, I Too Need a Haircut*

It’s time for a haircut. And I say that with some trepidation.

Does it look better when I close one of my eyes?

Not because I’m worried about getting a bad haircut. I mean, I have curly hair. It’s kinda hard to mess it up. Not impossible, mind you. There have been bad haircut decisions, including some unfortunate bangs (you cannot have bangs if you have curly hair. It’s not possible. Just stop fooling yourself.)

But in general, it’s hard to mess up curly hair. And, I have a fairly straightforward cut. It’s not like I ask for something different every time I go in, or have some illusions about the texture or thickness of my hair. I don’t bring in pictures of Jennifer Anniston and ask for her hair. Not going to happen.  

You too can have my lustrous locks.....if you can totally change the texture of your hair.

No, the reason I have anxiety about getting a haircut is because I want to cheat on my stylist.

I choose a salon purely based on geographic desirability. How close is it to my work? Can I run over at lunch and get my hair did and still shovel a bowlful of salad down my craw?

My current hair salon is literally around the block from where I work. I started going there a few years ago after the stylists at my previous salon (two blocks from work) left that salon. I had been going to her (I can’t even remember her name now) for about 3 years. She was Vietnamese and I never understood a thing she said to me. I wasn’t thrilled with the haircut, but it wasn’t awful. I kept going to her because it was convenient. Not cheap, but convenient and a few steps above Supercuts (are those places still around?).

When my previous stylist left my previous salon, I was quite relieved. Now was my chance to make a break for it. So I started going to my current salon, which was even more convenient. And, my new stylist was cool, and young, and hip, but not intimidatingly so. And I understood everything she said.

But still. I’m not blown away by my hairstyle and I’ve been going there for about 2 years now.

I guess  want to see other stylists.

The problem is I walk past this current salon every single day on my way to work. And I often run into my stylist on the street. What if she saw me with a new haircut? Would she be pissed? Would she smell the new scent of the different styling products and judge me harshly? So this is what I go through every 3-4 months when it’s time for a trim (yes, another benefit of curly hair is you can slack off between trims. The only reason I know it’s time for a trim is that my hair is starting to bunch up in ringlets. Cute on Shirley Temple. Not a 39-year-old woman)

Oh! I see a salon even closer to work! Maybe I should go there. (Do you kids even know who Shirley Temple was? Or is it just me?

I’m sure, per usual, I’m thinking about this waaaay too much. I’m sure my current stylist couldn’t care less. It’s not like I’m Justin Bieber or anything. It’s not like anybody would be losing $100,000 in an exclusive doll licensing deal if I got my hair cut.

Any tips on how to break up with a hairdresser? Or should I just suck it up and do the easy thing? I tend to lean towards the easy option, personally.

*(How’s that for Search Engine Optimization?)

Does this haircut make my body look small?