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Posts Tagged ‘exercising at home’

In an attempt to be the Healthiest Me I could be, I decided earlier this year that it was time for me to join a gym. Yes, I was going to become a Gym Person. Just like that!

Of course, four months later, I hadn’t even managed to get to the gym to pick up their application form, let alone do any exercise.

In the end, I was forced to concede that a gym membership might not be the smartest way for me to spend my money. So instead I went out and bought myself a Wii Fit Plus pack. This way I could do exercise in the comfort of my own home without having to purchase an AbTronic SuperPro 2000 or some other ‘as seen on TV’ home fitness solution that utilises NASA technology and is only used by people with impossibly white teeth.

To begin my Wii Fit journey, I first had to do a fitness assessment – with mixed results. After declaring me to be ‘overweight’ and having my Wii avatar (my ‘Mii’) literally inflate like a balloon in front of my eyes, it then assessed my ‘Physical Age’ as being that of a 31 year old. And since that was the age I was before three successive pregnancies laid complete waste to my body, I was pretty happy with that. A couple of days later, however, I saw my Wii Fit Age fluctuate from 22 years (in the morning) to 39 years (just shortly before ‘wine o’clock’). Although, that may have had more to do with the fact that I’d had all three kids home all day with a vomiting bug than any inconsistencies in the Wii Fit program.

But ‘Wii Fit’ is more than a Biggest Loser-style weigh in. There are dozens and dozens of games for you to play in the name of fitness on the ‘Wii Fit Plus’ disk. Personally, I love anything with the word ‘Plus’ in it because it gives me the sense of getting something extra, even when I’m not entirely sure what that something is.

One of my favourite Wii Fit Plus games is where a guy right out of a Guy Ritchie film teaches me ‘Rhythm Boxing’. Man, is that grumpy geezer hard to please! At the end of each session, he always and says “I know you can do better than that.” Perhaps he’s training me up for a jewel heist? Other favourites include the Kung Fu Rhythm (I am the Karate Kid – except with Kung Fu instead) and Super Hula Hoop (it’s all in the hips, people!). However, I’m yet to be convinced of the health benefits of dressing in a penguin suit and sliding along ice on your stomach in the imaginatively named ‘Penguin Slide’. Still, the kiddies love it and that’s got to be a good thing, right?

The kids’ favourite is the ‘Zazen’ (Zen meditation) game, which involves sitting on the Wii Balance Board in contemplative mediation while a candle burns on the screen in front of you. When you finish your mediation and move, the candle blows out. Mr Justice loves it because it’s a serious challenge for him to sit completely still for more than 15 seconds and the boy seriously likes a challenge. The Pixie, in contrast, thinks the purpose of the game is to get the candle blown out as soon as possible and so is always punching the air and shouting “YES!” whenever the flame is extinguished.

Of course when I sat down to try it and had Tiddles McGee immediately jump on my back, the program gave me a one-star rating and declared me to be ‘Unbalanced’. I guess someone had to say it…

Anyway, I just realised that this blog post is as close to a Product Review as I’ve ever got. And no, Nintendo have not asked me to write this, nor have they crossed my palm with gold and/or other games compatible with the Wii Fit program (hint, hint). Nor have they sent round the Wii Fit limo, replete with a magnum of low-joule low-alcohol champagne and a handsome personal trainer called Pablo who offered to massage my feet. In the low-joule low-alcohol champagne. While I drank vodka shots lined up along his back…

But I digress. I guess if this really is a product review, I need to end with a summary.

PROS: You can wear your pyjamas while exercising.

CONS: My ‘Mii’ needs bigger breasts.

Yep, that should do it. Let the Product Review requests and the free stuff roll in. Woo hoo! (*punches air*).

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The morning after I’d gone tit-watching with her husband, my friend KT made me “dance my way thin” with a “Afro-Latin” routine on DVD. 

Admittedly the first incident didn’t actually cause the second – it just made for a good opening sentence, don’t you think?

You see, KT had actually arranged for Uncle B and I to go tit-watching together. And if she really had resented me for it, I expect she would have put on the “Fat Burning Dance Party!” DVD instead, where the instructor shouts instructions at you like you’re at some kind of Fat Girl Boot Camp. Personally speaking, I don’t think I could stand for somebody speaking to me like that in my own home. KT agrees – she usually turns the volume off and puts Justin Timberlake on instead, which should pretty much indicate how scary that FBDP instructor must be. 

Anyway, the “Dance Your Way Thin” instructor was cute and full’o’pep and led us through the dance routine by calling out things like “Salsa to the left! Salsa to the right!” “Shimmy back!” and – somewhat confusingly – “Africa Arms! Africa Arms!”. What struck me most was how confident she was at the end of the routine when she congratulated us all for completing the Afro-Latin workout, like we’d actually done it and weren’t just sitting looking on from the couch with a drink in one hand and a family block of Cadbury’s chocolate in the other. Which we weren’t, of course, but only because it was 9:30 in the morning.

Now, I’m sure I lost some of you back at the first tit-watching reference. Okay, okay, so it wasn’t bird watching as some of my more ornithologically-inclined readers might have been hoping. You see, Uncle B and I went to see a show called “Busting Out” which is a bit like “Puppetry of the Penis”. Except with breasts. But I think you probably might have guessed that already.  

And what a show it was. There’s something very empowering about seeing a grown woman turn her postpartum tummy into a wide-mouthed frog. Or to have an auditorium full of women all laugh together about loss of bladder control. Or just to see two ladies letting it all hang out as if to say “This is who I am. You got a problem with that?” It was like everything I’ve ever try to achieve with my blog except just bolder, brassier and semi-naked. 

And you know what? I walked out of that show feeling shit hot about my saggy baggy body. Yes: shit hot.  And the next day, after I’d been bustin’ an Afro-Latin move, I found myself pausing for thought  – and not just to wonder what the hell “Africa Arms” were. I realised that I didn’t necessarily want to be “dancing myself thin” but rather just “dancing my way healthy” – except, perhaps, with better grammar. Whatever. I wanted to just feel good in my own skin, whatever my size or shape. 

I remembered how Cate Blanchett once said in a TV interview:

I see someone’s face, someone’s body who has had children, and I think they’re the songlines of your experience.

This rang true with me because I always felt that my caesar scars are like songlines: they are my other secret smile. My deflated balloon of a stomach is a sacred place that once harboured new life and now just stores excess fluid and gas. My breasts… well, let’s just say that when I stretch down to touch my toes, my breasts get there well before my hands do and yet, for a combined total of 59 whole months, they nourished and comforted small beings most precious. This is my body: it tells my story. And it’s a story I should be proud of and not be hiding away as if it never happened. 

And so I may go on to lose my “baby fat” or I might just lose all bladder control instead. Whatever happens, I want to like those Busting Out Ladies. I want to be able to stand in all my postpartum glory and be able to shout “This is who I am. Have you got a problem with that?” and know that I, personally, don’t have a problem with it at all.

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The Not Drowning Mother wishes it to be known she’s not planning to make any semi-nude public appearances any time soon. But if she does end up making one, she’ll definitely blog about it.

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