Tag Archives: Sookie

Missing Thor. Or, I Hate Squating Alone.

A year ago, when I was at the zenith of my unhappiness/verge of burning down my office if the stress and 13 hour work days did not cease, I employed a personal trainer. I needed someone who would kick my we-know-what into shape, which I had neither the time nor presence of mind to do.

I was asked at the gym if I wanted a male or female and I mentioned that I didn’t want a woman, because what out of shape gal wants that rubbed in their face every day? And, I didn’t want a guy, because I had worked out with one before, and I couldn’t climb into bed for a month, he had injured me so.

The solution? A gay trainer guy. He was perfect. I called him Thor, which was not his name. It made him giggle and it got me out of remembering his actual name. He was really tough with me, but diverted me with topics like fashion, celeb gossip, and boys.  I lost a few pounds every week that I worked with him. He took my iPod and loaded it with excellent booty-shaking playlists to maximize my calorie burn when I worked out without him, listened when I vented about work and dating, and then offered appropriate commentary.

Awww...this pic really reminds me of Thor and I. Except, I'm a brunette, and while short, not that small, or we wouldn't be having this post.

Instead of screaming, “I want to see 20 more, you fluffy nancy!” when I asked how many reps were left, Thor would calmly say, “Are you afraid of what doing too many more will do to your body? Now, let’s keep going and think about how we’re carving out that abdomen!”

Thor once asked me if I could work out during lunch, and I responded that I was a head-sweater who looked like trailer trash in a pony tail, and couldn’t shower at the gym because…ew. Thor replied,

“You should have it botoxed. To stop sweating.”

“Pardon?” I huffed while pumping out my 342nd Burpee .

“Your head,” he grinned his beefy, cosmetically bleached grin, “You should have your head botoxed. I do my back.”

“You (wheeze) are. Not. Right,” I shrieked, “My body (hack) obviously needs. To. Do. This.”

“And your chest,” he remarked.

I glanced down at that uni-thing sports bras create under your tank and looked up in confusion, still heaving.

“Push-ups?” I asked, already beginning to assume the position, “Botox?”.

“Ha, no. That won’t help. My mom had hers done. It was no biggie. Think about it,” he said the last part very seriously before marching his perky bottom over to a section of the gym I called the gorilla cage, because that was where men worked out with gallon jugs for water bottles, and arm holes cut out and down to the waist of their t-shirts because their muscles are just too big to contain.

It took me 2 days to understand what Thor was talking about.

So, for the past week, while the weather has been glorious, I’ve been recreating Thor’s workout in my backyard. It’s crippling, just like his were, and I am much more aware of how much work it is without his stories and veiled (not really) criticisms. I miss his placid, injected forehead and his high-pitched chuckles when I would attempt to crab walk for a minute, and his passive-agressive remarks on cosmetically altering myself. It’s his voice I hear in my head when my glutes are trembling in revolt and my head is shvitzing like a Fontana en Italia, cheering me on with encouraging words like, “Ohhhhhh, woman. We have got SO much work to do.” And, “I think you move more quickly at a Nordie’s shoe sale.” (fact).

Onward I trod. I am currently working on October’s issue of SELF, which has given me a workout for my lower half that promises to drop me down a jean size in 2 weeks. Have realized that anything that quick is going to hurt really, really badly. But, that’s how much I want it. Thank you, Thor, you oafy, chiseled, coach with sneakers a different color for every day of the week.



Filed under Uncategorized

Thighs Like Sookie

Owing to over a year of severe stress and about a month of culinary debauchery in Europe, I made the decision about a month ago to detox my system and start from scratch. I was sure that the amount of cheese, kebabs, wine, curry, and cheese I consumed probably did my system no favors and had probably laid a formidable foundation for blockage in some important valve/organ/artery, so I best wipe the slate clean.  I do this, in some form or another, every year.

This year’s detox eliminated: caffeine, flour, sugar, dairy, eggs, grains/oats, peanuts, citrus, all sweeteners (corn syrup is in EVERYTHING), medicine, oils other than olive, and alcohol. If you are considering a detox, please realize that all of the following will likely occur. Some other things I have too much class to mention will happen as well. Count on it.

  • You will wake up in the middle of the afternoon curled in a fetal position on the kitchen floor, rocking yourself to a little tune you’ve spontaneously came up with called, “There’s nothing I want more right now than peanut butter with cheese and tequila. Ooo wooo ooo.”
  • By week two, I was following you may follow strangers with coffee, just to get a whiff…and for the off chance they set it down.
  • You will be on a short fuse, so warn anyone that you would like to remain in your life post-detox that some irrationality will occur (like biting off fingers that wander near your bean sprouts doused in flaxseed oil, or changing the channel during Glee). This is, however, a prime opportunity to rid yourself of pesky people who you haven’t had the heart to break-up with. Unexplained screeching and crying scares even the most well-meaning bloke far, far away.

After surviving 5 weeks of this, though, my tummy does not block my view of my feet (happy dance), I wake up without an alarm by 7am (ish) feeling refreshed and in no need of caffeine, and have gotten back into a 5 day/week exercise routine. I’ve actually continued once a week with hot yoga, and, while I stand by my original assessment, I’m pretty delighted with my newfound bendiness. I’m much less likely to get stuck in a weird pretzel-y position and need to call for help when painting my toes.

I was reading an interview with Anna Paquin in SELF recently (I feel more fit if I am subscribed to a fitness mag. Try it) who, if you didn’t know, is of Sookie Stackhouse fame on HBO’s True Blood, or sweet/scary Rogue from X-Men.

*Please note I am endorsing Sookie's thighs, only. Her show and her arm-toneage are "meh".

Paquin was honest about how much work she does to maintain her physique and mentioned the Bar Method as her go-to routine. I had purchased the Bar Method a couple of years ago, got freaked out by the instructor’s frozen smile and unblinking stare, and tucked it to the back of my dvd drawer with other things I knew were good, but didn’t watch more than once, like season 2 of Mad Men. Well, if Sookie managed dimple-free thighs using a dvd I already owned, then I figured I was just going to have to push past my fear of that frightening and overly injected face (just like I do clowns when I go to the circus because I dearly love cotton candy and trapeze artists) and wrestled myself into some leggings.

The horrific-to-look-at instructor is pretty great, if you just listen and don’t look at her. She lets you know what the agony you’re experiencing will yield.

For example, when I was on tippy toe and dipping deeply into a wobbly plié whilst groaning and cursing, Crazy Eyes says, “Be sure to hang in there! We are almost done carving out that bottom and making those thighs appear thinner when viewed from the front. Let those legs sizzle!”

Well. Hot damn. I am all for definition and creating optical illusions in my favor (Um, hello. Don’t judge. No self-respecting lady leaves the house without, at a minimum, mascara on), so I did hang in there. As did my thighs. And, oh, how they sizzled. Never mind that I have to slide on my stomach to go down stairs because my muscles are now jelly and cannot support me. I look narrower! (From the front).


Filed under Uncategorized

Hot Yoga (or clammy, sopping wet yoga, in my case)

It took about two weeks to fully recover from almost a month of Euro frolicking. The coup de grace was a case of chronic sinusitis, which came about from inhaling germs coughed and sneezed freely by travelers and locals alike. I later learned that it is a very serious thing to get on an airplane when that swelling exists in your sinuses and ears. You risk bursting all sorts of important stuff and I can testify to experiencing a severe case of barometric distress when descending into Chicago. Scuba divers experience this and abort their dives, but I didn’t have time to ask the pilot if he would mind leveling out for a sec so I could equalize, since I was busy squeezing my head, praying, and mentally divvying out my personal property to friends and family (Shoe and bag collection, Harry Potter series in hardcover and soft, cd’s circa 1997, etc.) in the event of what felt like my impending death via blood vessel or head explosion.  About 3 in 100,000 people will ever experience it, and it is usually only a section of your head, unless you have a severe case. Like I did.

If you have a severe case, an imaginary metallic wire is wrapped around your eyes, molars (Yes. Your teeth.), weaved through sections of your brain, throat, and finally, your ears.  When the plane descends, which lasts for approximately 5 minutes, very strong travel gnomes grab each end of that wire and pull as hard as they can so that each of the above mentioned items feels both squeezed to bursting and sliced, all at the same time.

All of this to say, I did not work out at all last week. Pardon my melodramatic way to excuse my laziness, but that is how I do. The experience was truly akin to the seventh layer of hell on a good day, but it had no lasting affects, other than to scare me into never flying again should there be a hint of stuffiness in my noggin….but I’m milking it, regardless. (That is such a gross expression, so if you have suggestions with the same meaning, please post in the comment section)

My abstinence from physical activity was broken on Tuesday night when I was invited to “warm” yoga.

Photo cred: unitedyogis.com (not sound judgement, from a marketing perspective)

I have an appreciation for the bendiness that yoga affords and have done it a few times before, but usually leave either discouraged that I couldn’t wrap my legs twice around my own waist, or with a dislocated shoulder from trying too hard or engaging the wrong chi. Curiosity about what value the heat would add and maybe a little guilt about my slothfulness propelled me to the studio.

Here is what I learned:

  1. There is no such thing as “warm” yoga. The class just before it was “hot” and leaving the door open for five minutes does not cool a place down.
  2. The positions you get into (or attempt to get into) are not attractive, so lights should always be kept low. Or off.
  3. Classmates should carefully select their meals for the day, since they will be sticking their posteriors in my face and those odd positions may make you toot. (Which I would appreciate you pardoning yourself for, since it knocked me right out of what had been a stellar downward dog)
  4. Yoga IS hot. Holding the weight of your body on the knuckle of your thumb while reaching your toes for the ceiling and deep breathing will heat you up fast, but yogis want to up the room temp up to volcanic levels and this confuses me.
  5. Instructors should alter their vocabulary for the anatomic vernacularly immature. I am uncomfortable being told to locate my “pelvic floor” in public, and I don’t understand how to make it feel like a sling. Also, words like womb and spinal make me shudder.
  6. You shouldn’t wear cotton yoga pants, since sweating is inevitable and I witnessed many a soggy bottom. Wick away, next time.
  7. It isn’t ok to giggle when the instructor reads the latest Chopra meditation tidbit because when she says “Peace is our gift to each other” you think she said peas and your 3 year old attention span immediately pictures sending the Jolly Green Giant as our ambassador to the next U.S. Peas Summit, and what a stir that would cause because he wears an off-the-shoulder dress made from leaves, which may not be the best representation for…. (and so on). Yoga is serious! It is not funny.

    Photo cred: anotherkcblog.wordpress.com

  8. Always buy or rent the special towel thing that covers your yoga mat, because you will sweat out every bodily fluid from areas you didn’t know had pores, which will make that mat slick as a cow pie on a flat rock (as we say here in the South) and send you flying into the wall, or into your gassy neighbor. Neither is a good thing.

On the whole, I left the studio feeling taller and happy to have taken on some healthy activity after my hiatus. It was a bit like a spa treatment with the heat and steam and stretching, mixed with a bit of HELL with the heat and steam and stretching, but I would do it again. That is, until it loses its trendiness and goes the way of poor Jazzercise.


Filed under Uncategorized