Operation Whittle My Middle
It’s an unfortunate truth that (most) every woman can name at least one part of her body that she isn’t happy with. Post-baby I can say that that area is my mid-section. Pregnancy, to state it gently, shifts things around a bit. I’m pretty sure Jessica Simpson would agree.
Two months postpartum, things aren’t quite as taught and trim as they used to be. Now I’m not complaining—and I think it’s important to marvel at the Big Picture here. I am amazed that my body knew exactly what to do to for 41 weeks and in the end we were blessed with a perfectly healthy baby girl. It is seriously amazing what a woman’s body is capable of—and I am so proud of my body and beyond blessed that I got to experience the miracle of childbirth…
…but let’s get back to the small, more self-absorbed picture. Sweet Baby Harper, not the wobbly bits around my middle, is the only visual evidence I need of that miracle.
Walking is my preferred form of exercise but unfortunately it is prohibitively hot outside. With temperatures holding steady in the mid-90s, putting baby girl all covered up in her car seat in the stroller creates an incubator-esque situation for her. I took her for one walk in these conditions and she lasted for a total of 10 minutes before screaming hysterically. When I got her out of the stroller she was soaking wet with sweat. Not fair for her to suffer for my sake. (Oh, the sacrifices we make for our children!)
And I am a member of gym that offers childcare BUT I am a skittish first-time parent and not yet ready to put my child in that germ factory while I take a joyride on the elliptical. I’m sure I’ll get over it, but currently there isn’t enough Purell in the city to alleviate my fears of her picking up the bird flu or the whooping cough from a total stranger’s stinky snot-nosed child. No thanks.
So that leaves me at home with brief interludes during naptime to tackle the matter at hand. Enter the workout DVD.
Here are a few of my go-to videos that I have collected over the years–videos that have collected a lot of dust over the past year:
- Jillian Michaels: No More Trouble Zones” (my very favorite at the moment)
- Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred” (level one is almost too easy and level three is almost too hard. Level two is juuuust right)
- Workout: One-On-One Training with Jackie (three individual segments that focus on upper body, lower body and core. Jackie won’t take no for an answer)
- Denise Austin: Mat Workout Based on the Work of J.H. Pilates (timeless old school classic. Denise is sweet and encouraging but she makes me burn)
- Winsor Pilates Basic 3 DVD Workout Set (Basics Step-By-Step/20 Minute Workout/Accelerated Body Sculpting) (my first ever infomercial purchase–full details on that here)
After taking it easy for six weeks post-baby and not doing a single pushup or sit-up for the better portion of the past year pre-baby, I practically felt the burn after my first march in place warm-up. I was tempted to give up and settle into mom-jeans and skirted swimwear until I had a breakthrough. Here is the secret to my (pending future) success and the thing that keeps me energized, inspired and going back for more:
Once I have done a video a few times, it is easy to get the gist of things, especially with Jillian who does two sets of each exercise. I simply put the DVD in my computer, mute the bossy lady barking commands, and turn on the TV for some real entertainment. When I am working out I can freely indulge in all the Bravo, Style Network and Retro MTV shows I please. Knowing my DVR is loaded with such quality programing motivates me to break out the mat and the arm weights and get crunching.
The assortment of Reality TV Gold currently on my DVR includes The Hills, Giuliana & Bill, the Real Housewives of NYC, The Real Housewives of Orange County, Tia and Tamera, Shark Tank and HGTV Design Star. ((I obviously watch The Bachelorette primetime. With My Man. Don’t tell him I told you.)) Watching these shows is the real incentive because I try not to give in to such mindlessness just sitting still. And I guess achieving muscular definition akin to that of my team of personal trainers is pretty dang motivating too.
I’m not going to post before and after photos but I will say that after three weeks of committed DVD workouts whilst watching the telly, I’m not dieeeeing after a set or two of bicycle crunches. I definitely have to thank Bravolebrities and Lauren Conrad for any progress I’ve made thus far. Odds are I’ll be bikini ready by summer 2013. But I’m guessing Jessica Simpson will be rocking the skirted one-piece until at least 2016.