I'm Beat, I'm Torn. Shattered and Tossed and Worn.

3.29.11 - Tuesday

No butts about it, today just sucked. I simply did not have "it" today. I felt half-asleep and two steps behind for the entire hour. My attitude was pretty awful too. I don't know why; I'm not premenstrual or even menstrual for that matter. I just felt...off. Today was an all-cardio day, so that didn't help matters. Plus, Leandro was a little cranky. He had to correct my arms for the billionth time. You know that lump in your throat when you want to cry? Yep, I got a little weepy during the side-lunge-knee-up series. What the hell is wrong with me?

After the cardio, we took to the mats for the ankle weighted leg series. We did all new moves today, including a brutal "corkscrew" movement designed to target the saddle bag. Ouch!! I know I did that one correctly, because I got a "very good Alison" from Leandro. Plus, my saddle bags now have their own pulse.

Maybe part of my melancholy stems from the reality that we are exactly halfway through the program and I have to come to terms with the inevitable end of this awesome experience. I'm also a little blue because my son is back to his normal schedule so I'm once again, racing home immediately after class instead of getting the extra hour at the gym after class that I got during his spring break camp last week. It's ass cold outside so I can't take him for a run in the park. I can do a cardio DVD at home, but it's just not the same.

I need to stay focused and up my game for the remaining few weeks. Everyone has a bad day. I just have such high expectations given my success so far. Hopefully, a good night's sleep will make all the difference.
Maybe I just need a good cry...

A lot of you have been complaining that I haven't posted enough pictures of myself. So here I am with The Butt Master on Friday, 3/25/11. I've shaved FOUR inches off that waist!!

I'll Find Strength in Pain. And I Will Change My Ways.

3.27.2011 - Sunday

Yesterday was my 36th birthday. I'm not one of those girls that gets all weird about getting older. In fact, I've rather enjoyed my 30s. Yeah sure, I'd like my 20-year-old face and skin, but I sort of like getting older because my story gets better with age. I always find my birthdays exciting.  This birthday is particularly special because, at 36-years-old, I am in the best shape of my life. And it's only getting better!

Since I started booty school, I feel better about myself than I have...ever. I also really believe in myself for once. I am historically the queen of self-doubt. The past 33 days have changed the way I perceive myself and my abilities. I've allowed the negative opinion I have of myself to be the catalyst for self-sabotage throughout my adulthood. One example is my failed pursuit of an acting career in my early 20s. I never truly believed that I would be successful...so I made sure I wasn't by barely trying and then ultimately, giving up. And while I am the one person in control of my thoughts and actions, I admit that I have let  the opinions of negative people in my life affect my decisions as well. You see, when a gal already doesn't believe in herself, it's really easy for the Debbie Downers of the world to perpetuate the idea that failure is your only guarantee. 

One great thing about getting older and, I'd like to think, wiser, and gaining a little self-confidence on the way, is that you start to realize that those people need you to be miserable because they are themselves miserable. I've been there. I've been the angry, jealous "friend" that felt resentful of a much happier friend, simply because she was happy and enjoying success. It's not a side of myself that I'm proud of, but at least I can recognize and admit it. I hated her, because I hated myself.

But one day, you wake up and say, "Negative people suck. I LIKE ME! I don't have time in my life for people who don't." This really can't happen until you start to love and believe in yourself. Problem is, when you're not happy, you tend to be a magnet for other unhappy people. When you're happy...you get the idea. I know I can't live in the past, but I hate like hell that I've wasted so much energy caring about the opinions of self-loathing, negative ninnies. Hopefully 36 is the age you really stop caring about "those people" so you can concentrate on yourself and the people that have always loved you, even when you didn't love yourself.

Here are a few my my favorite quotes uttered by my very own collection of Debbie Downers when I embarked on my booty-lifting journey:
"You'll never be able to maintain when this is over." We'll just see about that Nancy Negative.
"You can't lose 20 pounds in 8 weeks." It's actually 9.5 weeks, but I've already lost 15 pounds and I've got 33 days to go.
"Saddle bags are just a part of YOUR body. You'll always have them." This frienemy hates it when I feel good about myself.
"How is your husband handling this?" I wasn't diagnosed with stage 4 cancer! What's to handle?
"Even if you don't make it through the program, it's cool you got in." Read: I don't think you'll get through the entire 65 days.
"It's absurd to think you'll ever weigh 135 pounds." Women hating women.
"You'll look anorexic when this is over." Someone really missed the point.

Once again people, I'm not trying to look like this:

or this:

I'm trying to look like THIS:
 Lean and toned...

I know that I can't change the opinions of the Doubting Thomases in my life, but I can absolutely change the way their opinions affect me. I believe with all of my heart and soul that I can and will look like the girl in that third picture. April 29th is not my deadline for achieving this goal. April 29th is simply the end date of this program. I can and will maintain the weight and inches lost during this program. I can and will continue to work hard until I reach my goal. I can and will eat clean and healthy foods, and exercise until the day I drop dead.

When this is over, I will go back to my "normal" life, but I will be a stronger person - physically and mentally. And of course I'll enjoy myself...in moderation. My husband's aunt make the world's best margaritas and you can bet your ass I'll be enjoying one poolside come July. But the difference this year - and forever - is that I'll only have one (maybe 2), and I will know when to stop filling my body with empty calories and go back to my bottle of water. 

I can't describe how healthy I feel after 33 days of clean eating and exercise. It's unbelievably satisfying to look in the mirror and see the changes in my body and my complexion and to feel so empowered. This is the way I want to live my life. This is the way I WILL live my life.
The only person that can guarantee my success or failure, is ME.

Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves

3.24.11 - Thursday

Perhaps the most important point of this experience, is that it is completely MINE. The second I walk into the gym, I'm not mom, wife, housekeeper, chauffeur...I'm just Alison. And I am completely unapologetic when I say that while I'm in class, the only person, place or thing I think about is me. Yeah sure, my house is not as tidy as I'd like it to be and I'm not getting a lot of the other "to-do" list stuff done, but who cares? This project is only 65-days long and I can clean my house in May. And while my husband may not love that my enrollment in booty school means that I go to bed at 9PM every night, and often don't make his dinner because (a) I'm exhausted and (b) I can't eat anything I make for him, he too will survive till May. He can channel his inner-bachelor and eat soup from a can if he's desperate. Or, like he did tonight, get a delivery from one of the many fine restaurants in our neighborhood. (Burrito...I want a burrito...) Or, here's a crazy idea, MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN DINNER! And please, for the love of God, rinse your dishes when you're finished. Crusty egg salad is nearly impossible to scrape off the bowl after it dries! 

Don't get me wrong, I mostly love being a housewife, and I would never trade it for my former job as a corporate secretary.  But in the three-and-a-half years I've had my stay-at-home mom job, no one has ever walked into my house and complimented the cleanliness of my toilets or how nicely my son's laundry was folded. It feels wonderful to be doing something for me, about me, for a better me. And while I don't see myself exercising at this intensity, six or seven days a week, for the rest of my life, I absolutely see myself continuing to make time for the care and upkeep of my body and mind. And I will not apologize for wanting to do so. The old adage "you have to make time for exercise" is so true. Every person has time to exercise. When I was topping the scales at nearly 200 pounds, I found that time at 6AM, and that was my time-slot for two years until I started booty school. So stop making excuses and move your ass! I'm talking to you! 

I went into this project with two objectives: lose more weight and get toned. But it's become so much more than a crazy fitness experiment. I'm actually - I can't believe I'm about to say this - starting to LIKE exercise. Crazy right?! I don't so much like it while it's happening. Like when we're on 65 of 100 inner-thigh pulls and I feel like all the muscles in my legs will snap in half...that, I don't like. But, the second class is over, I'm on this amazing high. There's something so satisfying about completing an intense workout. Now I get it; exercise makes you feel really good about yourself! EPIPHANY! I'm seriously having anxiety about my life after this is over. What will I do next? Train for a marathon? Join that cultish Cross-Fit thing? Become a personal trainer? Start an underground booty school for stay-at-home moms in my apartment? The possibilities are endless!

I'm learning so much about myself and my capabilities. At 36-years-old (almost), I never imagined I was capable of this level of fitness. I wake up excited for class every day. What will we do today? Weights? Cardio? Both? Bring it on Butt Master! The greatest part about this week is that my son's school is having a Spring Break camp, which means he stays later, which means, I get to stay at the gym and workout after class. Did you read that correctly? I'm sincerely jazzed about having been able to workout for two solid hours every day this week! What has come over me?!

I am just loving this experience! I simply cannot believe the changes in my body over the past 30 days, and I fully embrace the challenge of the remaining 35 days. I believe I can do anything Leandro wants me to do. And that feeling is priceless.

8:54PM...time for bed. Night y'all.

Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes

3.21.11 - Monday: Weigh-in Day

Never let it be said that I have no team spirit. Here's my Brazilian costume. Got the shirt from the boys department at my local sporting goods store. A big shout-out to my pal Sherri for schooling me in the ways of the cut-away t-shirt. I was able to jazz up my look with some party beads and a festive mask. So freaking doofy, but at least I participated right?!

Ready to rock it Carnaval style.

Well...I DID IT!!!! I finally weigh less than 150 pounds! Okay, I'm 149, but the big weight on the scales is officially on 100! I haven't weighed less than 150 since the mid-nineties - and that was only because I had a crush on this hippie that was obsessed with tall, skinny models, so I regularly ate laxatives with hopes of garnering his attention. What? You didn't do stupid stuff in your 20's? Glass houses...

I've lost 15 pounds so far! This is a major milestone and a pivotal turning point in my booty school experiment. I almost cried when I realized that I achieved this major goal. I got double high-fives and hugs from Jessica and Leandro.  Leandro is so proud of me. I am so proud of me! Then, without missing a beat, Leandro tells me that I have to use my excitement as energy to push even harder. Can't you just be give me this moment Butt Master!? Is nothing I do good enough?! Hee hee. I love his drill-sergeant-like detachment...

Since we were all dressed up like Brazilian hookers, class was actually super fun today. It was all cardio dance. I was a spazzy mess but I had so much fun trying to do Leandro's moves. He was having so much fun so that spiked the energy for the class. Class was - relative to the last four weeks - pretty easy, so I spent 45 minutes doing running intervals on the treadmill after our Brazilian dance party.

One major goal accomplished.
One day of cardio homework done.
I am so pumped for the rest of the week!

Spazzy me getting my Brazilian dance on.

Gravity Always Wins. And It Wears Me Out.

3.20.11 - Sunday: Week in Review

Hello my faithful followers! Sorry to have been away for so many days, but it's been a tough week. And frankly, I want to keep you wanting more, so why waste time with boring daily snippets when I can command your attention for a full five minutes with a longer weekly roundup? 

As of yesterday, I've worked out for 13 days straight. Today, I rest and reflect. Sorry Butt Master, but I'm not a machine. Yet.

Here we go!

Monday, as you may remember, was a craptastic day all around. Class sucked, then I ate my way through my kid's pantry like a starving Tasmanian devil. I exchanged some emails with Jessica, Leandro's co-trainer, and she explained that it's normal for the mind to start "shutting down" at about the 4-week mark. Apparently my head is all, "I'm not digging this change in diet and I want you to self-sabotage by stuffing every snack you can find, into your mouth", but my body is all, "Hey, this hurts, but let's keep pushing and see if we can't get that pregnancy flap and those dimply thighs to hit the road." On Monday, my mind won that little game. And although Monday was by far the worst day, I have to admit that throughout the week, I "nibbled" a lot. A bite of my kid's dinner here, a handful of pretzels there,  a non-sanctioned string cheese etc. I just couldn't stop myself and I feel very certain that the next weigh-in will reveal my infidelity. 

Oh, it's also worth mentioning that I - being in the "girls who are bigger and need to lose more weight" group - have been assigned homework. Yep, in addition to the class I attend 5 days-a-week, I am to add one-hour (minimum) of cardio, 4 days-a-week. So that's a minimum of 9 hours of exercise a week, unless you count weekends, which we're supposed to be doing - that would make it 11 hours of exercise per week. Minimum. I think they're trying to kill me.

Tuesday: What a difference a day (and 760 extra cheat calories) makes! I went into class with a positive attitude and had a great workout. I think the cheating somehow, renewed my vigor.  I also decided to bring some highly caffeinated green tea with me. I drank it twenty minutes before class and felt like it really gave me the extra energy I needed. I'm typically so hungry by class time since I eat breakfast very early, and don't get another meal until after class, when we get our delivery of food for the rest of the day. There's such a long stretch between breakfast and the next meal. I need SOMETHING. The green tea, with a little 1% milk (I don't care if it's not on the diet, I need milk in my tea and coffee!) seems to be a great solution...for now.

Also, because I'm such a loyal test subject, before class, I climbed 58 floors on the big stair climber - which got my heart rate up, my sweat pouring down and warmed up my gams.  And later in the evening, I straight-up cheated on Leandro with my old friend Chalene. I knew I had to get my cardio homework in, and I just didn't want to see The Butt Master's face until class the next day. So I dusted off the Turbo Jam DVDs and ran back to Chalene's loving arms. I only did a 30-minute workout, but it was Fat Blaster and, if you're familiar with Chalene's workouts, you know this one is a high-impact cardio workout. I feel like it counts. And of course I wore the weighted gloves! It increases the intensity of the workout by 96%!

Wednesday: I wasn't able to do any cardio warm-up before class because Monica from 5 Squares, the company that cooks our meals, came to talk to us about our diet.  She's very thin and looks a lot like Camille Grammer, minus the freakish face-lift and fake boobs. She talks a lot about the ingredients and the menus and then opens the floor for questions. Some whiny girl from the earlier class complains incessantly about the repetition of some of the meals.  I notice that she's quite "heavy-set" so I assume she, like me, is in the group of girls that has more calorie restrictions. No one said it would be easy fatty! And you knew what you were signing up for, and you can leave any time. So shut your pie hole and eat your damn broccoli! Leandro motions to Monica that it's time to start class, and she scoots out, but not before she tells us we'll be getting her cookbook at the end of the program. This makes me very happy. I've been faithfully recording everything she makes for us, so I can continue to eat balanced, healthy meals when this is over. Diet is of the utmost importance to me at this juncture. I have a proven track-record of success when it comes to exercise, but my eating habits are bad. Really, really bad. I admit that I am bored with the program's food at this point, but I like that I am now accustomed to eating 5 small meals a day, rather than 3 or more giant, nutrient-free meals...plus lots of snacks. I am a classic over-eater with a raging snack habit.  I eat out of boredom, not hunger. So many of my habits are changing as a result of this experience. Monica's cookbook is one I'll actually use, instead of relegating it to the cookbook cemetery above my stove.

Today brought another intense workout. Exhausting as usual, but it felt great. During the plank series  at the end, I kept repeating the serenity prayer.  I'm not a Jesus freak or anything, there's just something key about that "the courage to change the things I can" line that helped me stay in that brutal pose for a full minute. Almost all of the time, when I stop a movement, it's because I want to stop. Not because I need to stop. I'm learning to ignore my impulse to quit. I'm pushing harder and getting stronger as a result. 

After class, I picked up my son at school and then headed right to the park for a three-mile cardio walk. Since the Bugaboo doesn't handle like a jogging stroller - especially when weighted down with a toddler, back pack, gym bag, and food cooler  - I wasn't able to jog much, but I kept a brisk pace and worked up a good sweat. My cardio homework was done for the day.

Thursday: THE STEP IS BACK. Oh god, please don't let me fall. I take a deep breath and decide that this step will not defeat me. And damn if I didn't kill it in class today! But before class started, Leandro approaches me and asks how my week is going. I immediately confess about my cheating. I told him all about Monday's transgressions and how I am struggling to resist nibbling at home. He looks disappointed but says, "Monday is over. You gotta wake up and say 'Today I'm gonna be better and push harder' and forget about yesterday." I love you Leandro. I just want to make you proud. He is very happy to hear that I've done two days of additional cardio. I didn't tell him I cheated on him with Chalene. Shhh...

Class was great. My new green tea regimen is working out well. I had so much energy. We used 18-pound body bars on the step and worked our shoulders, biceps and backs while also killing the legs. I had great form...most of the time. I still suck at push-ups though. We do this thing where you straddle the step while holding the body bar above our head, drop to a dead-lift placing the bar on the step, jump our feet behind us, then do two push-ups and then reverse the series of movements to return to standing. I can't do a push-up to save my life. It's even harder when the Butt Master is screaming "lower!" while my bird-like wrists buckle under my body's weight. Despite that, I felt so powerful after class. Powerful, but spent.

Because I am an awesome wife, I went home and prepared a beer soaked corned beef brisket for my husband's annual St. Patrick's Day dinner. (I know, I'm awesome right!?) Our house smelled of yummy beer and meat for hours. I confess, I had two bites of the meat when it was done, then two bites of the delicious sandwich my husband made for his dinner. C'mon, meat boiled in beer...I HAD to have a taste!!
My lucky St. Paddy's Day t-shirt

Friday: Thursday night we get an email telling us that there's going to be a friendly team competition. Just when I thought I had seen the last of the neon yellow wrist band. I suppose it's an effort to bolster morale and encourage camaraderie, but I am a 35-year-old mom, while most of my classmates...are not. Suffice it to say, I'm not really into team spirit. We are instructed to come up with "costumes" that represent the spirit of Brazil. Of course, we need to be able to workout, but we should look "festive". I can not control the rolling of my eyes as I read the email.  It then says there will be prizes for the winning team. The last time I won a prize, I had to exercise non-stop for 90 minutes. I'm not falling for that one again. On Friday, my teammates are abuzz with excitement. There's talk of black leggings with a colorful thong worn OVER them, feathers, face paint, bright sports bra ONLY, dark black eyeliner and bright red lipstick. Face paint?! Don't any of you bitches sweat? I immediately tell them that I will not be exposing my midriff in class. I mostly stayed quiet while the Brazilian-pride brainstorm went on. I'll look for a yellow, blue and green shirt and wear my black, skirted running leggings. That is all.

As class begins, I'm a little distracted by the girl next to me, who is wearing a bright blue, shiny unitard. I can't stop myself from giggling because, well, it's ridiculous and it totally reminds me of Charlie's (from "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") green man costume. 

 And I can't help but think about how hot she must be. Also, as one of my classmates pointed out, isn't she just inviting a yeast infection? Plus, it just looks like a giant blue body condom! Eh, to each her own. Maybe she's blogging about the girl with the flabby white thighs that alternates the same two pairs of shorts all week...

Class was a killer today. We did 4 sets of traveling lunges while holding 15-pound dumbells. I counted my steps and calculated that we did approximately 124 traveling lunges. Between sets of lunges, we did squats with the weights, for a total 100 squats. Painful but will ultimately be worth it. The most rewarding part of this, is that when everything is flexed, I get a glimpse of legs without saddle bags. The muscles are forming, the fat is slowly melting.

At the end of class we are told that from here until the end of the program, we will only do sculpting. No more cardio. The last time I heard this, we only got LESS cardio. If it's really true, then I have to make sure that I do my part outside of class. Four-and-a-half weeks of sculpting, combined with my cardio homework, should make for a really happy ending to this story!

After class, I put air in the tires of my dusty jogging stroller and took my son to the park for a four-mile jog/walk. He loves it when I run. I love it when he puts his arms up in the air and says "WEEEEEEE!" I don't love it when I have to walk because feel like I'm about to have a heart attack and he starts screaming, "Mommy run!" But I always catch my breath.

Saturday: As much as it killed me to hear Leandro's voice, I managed to do a 30-minute Brazil Butt Lift DVD workout. I can't say that my intensity was very high, but I did it. After the 30-minute butt blast, I returned to my old pal Chalene and banged out a 45-minute cardio & ab workout with weights and the stability ball. Oh Chalene, you'll always be my workout go-to girl. 

40 days to go...

Your Cheatin' Heart

3.15.11 - Confession Tuesday

Forgive me Butt Master, for I have sinned. For 21 days I have faithfully followed your prescribed diet. I've eaten every egg white, raw broccoli floret, turkey cutlet, organic grain and asparagus spear you've given me. But last night...I fell from grace Butt Master. I fell hard. An evil deep inside my belly caused me to stray from the confines of your carefully crafted menu. I gave into temptation with the following food:
4 raviolis, abandoned by my 3-three-year old son - 52 calories
4 dried apricots - 73 calories
1/4 cup of chocolate animal crackers - 130 calories
1 tablespoon extra crunchy peanut butter - 94 calories
Fruit leather - 45 calories
Tortilla chips - 46 calories
3 fig cookies - 180
Half bag of low-cal Chips Ahoy snack pack - 50 calories
1 slice Alpine Lace Swiss cheese - 90

Please forgive me my 760 calorie transgression Butt Master. I was weak...and hungry...and I gave into temptation. I shan't let it happen again.

Yours in fitness,

C'mon, I had a bad night! Does that me a total loser?! (Say no, say no.) I just snapped. If it could be grabbed, I grabbed it. And I didn't give a damn about the consequences...until this morning when my belly told me exactly what it thought of my behavior. But, there's nothing I can do to change what happened. I think it's out of my system. In fact, I went grocery shopping today and now my kitchen is filled with yummy food that I can't eat. But, did I cheat again? NO! It's done. I'm moving forward. 

There's a pretty good chance I burned off most of that 760 calorie mistake in class today. I hope. Even the most disciplined people have a bad day. (Seriously, I went to a birthday party where there was pizza and cake. PIZZA AND CAKE!! And I didn't so much as swipe a taste of icing from my kid's piece.) 

Guess I'm human afterall...

Cheater with the blue shorts.

Step By Step...We All Fall Down

3.14.11 - Monday

Yes. Yes I did use a Martika lyric for today's blog post. Don't pretend you don't know who she is, or that you didn't love her on Kids Incorporated.

And besides, my title choice is totally relevant because today, the Butt Master kicked it up a notch and put us on the steps. 

Oh my freaking god, was this a tough workout! Thankfully, the steps only had two risers, as opposed to the FOUR risers he made me do at my Saturday session. But, as usual, he was ruthless and we squatted and jumped and hopped and lunged until I almost puked.  And of course, in addition to the fancy footwork on the step, there was coordinating arms as well. Since I'm so very graceful, this was quite a challenge for me. I was just trying not to break an ankle, but Leandro kept insisting I get my arms in the right motion. Jessica came over to correct my form, and then it happened..I tripped. I caught myself before I went down, but it scared me enough to draw tears. I already felt so tired going into class today, so it was no surprise that I was a big fat cry baby. I quickly composed myself and kept moving. 

Just when we thought we had survived the brutal 30 minutes on the steps, he added a 15-pound body bar to the party. We then launched into a series of lunges and squats with our body bar - on the step.

My biceps, shoulders and back felt like jello when it was over. But it's never really over is it!? After the steps and body bar, we moved to the floor for ankle-weighted leg lifts. My hammies are on fire!!

At the end of class, all of us were writhing in pain on the floor, trying to stretch our aching legs. Leandro is all smiles as he says, "Who's gonna come to my two-hour class tonight?" Oh, hell no Butt Master!

This is going to be a long week...

Hangin' On. Hangin' Out. Got My Hundred Dollar Shoes.

3.13.11 - Sunday

Well the weekend came and is almost gone. On Saturday, I met up with a "mom friend" (because we no longer have our own identity when we become a mom) and went to a spin class for a change of cardio pace. It was so great. No one yelling at me to squeeze my butt cheeks, no Brazilian dance music - just me and the bike. My mom pal is ripped - I mean, has no body fat and looks like a former ballerina or marathon runner - so, because I love feeling like a chunky schlub, I sat right behind her so I'd have an unobstructed view of her sculpted hammies, perfect butt and chiseled arms. Okay, I didn't purposely sit behind her, I was late and that was the first available bike. But anyway, she's in amazing shape and I just pretended that I was riding to get to a body like hers. I pushed the resistance up high and worked my legs and butt - I think the Butt Master would have been proud...if the class had been three-hours long, that is. At the end of the 45-minute class, I was dripping in sweat and felt like I had really accomplished a goal for the day. I'll carry that feeling - along with the crotch bruise from the bike seat - with me all week.

After class, I marched on down to the sneaker store and got myself a new pair of shoes for booty school. You like?

I know I'll be a jumping/squatting/kicking machine in my neon yellow trail shoes! Look out Leandro, this flabby mama is ready to kick it into high gear! Lord help me...

And speaking of Sunday, I exercised today too. I did two workouts from Leandro's DVDs and to say my effort was half-assed, is to give myself way too much credit. I need to be in an environment where I have accountability and can't stop to watch the sculpted people on the screen while I "adjust my laces" for the billionth time. But hey, at least I did something!

I'm feeling a little melancholy and tired today, thanks to PMS and daylight savings, but I'm going to adjust my attitude, go to bed early and wake up ready to take on the week at booty school. I refuse to get expelled. I refuse to quit. I refuse to accept that this is the best body I can hope for.


Six weeks to go... 

Every Booty's Working For the Weekend

3.11.11 - Friday
I wish Leandro could develop a workout that transfers ass and thigh fat to my shrinking boobs. I've lost two inches from my chest and they're starting to look like deflated balloons. And the irony is, I had a breast reduction when I was 18. I know, I know..."It's like slapping God in the face" (My husband's favorite line from Superbad). But it seemed like a good idea at the time. But this is not the Boobington Post is it? Let's get down to business!

In anticipation of today's ambush weigh-in, I opt to take my breakfast (broccoli omelet w/potatoes on the side) to-go, so that I can eat it after said weigh-in. Smart right!? I leave home earlier than usual and arrive at the gym at 8:30AM. I step on the scale for the moment of truth. I LOST TWO POUNDS!!! I've lost 12.5 pounds since the photoshoot on 2/15. I'm only one and a half pounds away from moving the big weight to 100 on the scales! I literally cannot remember the last time I weighed less than 150 pounds. The idea that this might happen next week, is beyond thrilling to me! Today we got goal sheets to fill out every week. My first goal: Weigh-in under 150 by next Friday. I just know I can do this!

Since I was early, I got an extra long cardio workout before class. Ten grueling minutes on the stair-climber, followed by 45 minutes on the treadmill doing sideways shuffle & running intervals. Oh by the way, I wore a tighter tank top just to please the Butt Master. I feel certain the guy on the treadmill behind me that had to watch my love handles flap in the breeze, was not so pleased. At least I follow directions.

Before class, we are instructed to reach into a mystery bag and choose a wrist band. I pull out a neon yellow band. When I get into the studio, I see that half of us have neon yellow, the other half has dark green. We are split into two groups and informed that we are now competing against each other - sort of. As a motivational tool, they want us to "buddy up" with our team members and encourage each other to push harder. Since some of us will be expelled from booty school in the coming days/weeks, we learn that the team with the fewest expulsions will get a prize. The neon yellow team looks worried, and rightfully so because we (myself included) are absolutely the weaker team. There's the lady that's my age that always looks as exhausted as me within the first five minutes of the workout.  There's the girl that always looks like she stayed out too late, whom I overheard saying "I'm just not a morning person"...at a 10:00AM class. There's the girl that just blatantly threw some of her food in the garbage one day and has already been in trouble for cheating on the diet. And there's ME - the spazzy mom that whimpers during the  ankle-weight series.  On the other team, there's the gorgeous blond with an accent, who is a freaking machine. I never see her stopping and, after class she does cardio. There's the quadruple jointed lady that has no spacial awareness but is strong as an ox. The two of those girls alone can carry that team. I clearly landed on the island of misfits butts. Well, we're obviously never winning a prize; I just hope I don't get expelled...

I felt so low-energy in class today. It is the end of the week and it's normal to be more fatigued, but I just felt like I couldn't dig deep enough. Maybe I was too focused on the cuts that are coming, I don't know. I was pretty beat after my hour-long pre-class cardio. Maybe eating eggs right before a workout was a bad idea. Today Jessica taught the class while Leandro walked around and corrected our form...and silently judged his flock. Jessica is just as ruthless as Leandro. She's a great trainer and motivator. She herself is a former fatty that made a life change and is now in incredible shape. She has boundless energy and runs around like a hyper terrier, barking at us. While I got the same workout from her as a teacher, I missed the extra attention that we get when Leandro's in front of the class and she is the one walking around. Leandro isn't as into the motivating thing. The few times he stopped at me, he just took the opportunity to correct my form or tell me that a particular exercise is very good for my "problem areas." Jessica usually follows up her visits with a "you're doing great". The Butt Master doesn't hand out compliments as easily. I'm pretty sure his faith in me is waning...

So now it's the freaking weekend and since I don't have an awesome 90-minute session with Leandro tomorrow, I am responsible for my own workout. Weather permitting, I'm thinking a bike ride in the park, then my Brazil Butt Lift DVDs at home. I have to step it up if I'm to avoid the chopping block and achieve my goal of falling below the 150-pound mark. But right now, I need a hot shower and good night's sleep.

Night y'all.

Here's sweaty me after today's workout. Notice the hint of definition in those shoulders! 48 days to go...

You May Ask Yourself, "How Did I Get here?"

3.10.11 - Day 15

Okay, it's really starting to hit me that this is such a huge commitment! Don't freak out, I'm not going to quit. It's just that the whole audition process was so fast and exciting that I didn't really stop to consider certain things like - a sick kid. Tuesday night, my son woke up crying - he's fine now - and it occurred to me, that I have no back-up plan. I felt like such a bad mom, because, as he was wailing and nestled in my husbands arm, I was frantically texting babysitters because I CAN'T MISS LEANDRO'S CLASS! Absence will not be tolerated...it says so right on the packet of info we got on the first day. Lab rats don't get sick days! Luckily, our babysitter was available to be on call, but as it turns out, we didn't need her. My son went to nursery school as scheduled and I went to booty school - completely exhausted. I've been going to bed so early, so it really threw me off when I didn't get as much sleep Tuesday night. I totally sucked in class. It's hard enough on a good night's sleep, but you go on the booty battle field with no sleep, you're worthless.

Last night, thankfully, I had a great night of sleep. I was pumped to go to class today. I arrived early for my pre-class treadmill run. As I'm warming up, I notice someone on the treadmill next to me. It's Leandro. I unplug my earbuds and greet him enthusiastically. First he says,  "I love that smile..." Thank you Leandro! Train me for free forever! Then he's all business. "I want you do the stairs. You gonna get better results."

Who am I to say no to the Butt Master? I mount the giant mechanical stair-climber and commence my workout. That thing is really freaking hard! I was dripping with sweat within 5 minutes. I did it for 10 minutes total and climbed 23 floors. Then it was time for class. Ugh!
Despite the exhausting 10 minutes on the steps, I started class with gusto. Today was interval training again. A burst of cardio, then a set of weighted squats or weighted lunges or walking lunges with weights or reverse lunges with weights...you get the idea. Between each set of excruciating weighted lunges, we did some sort of cardio. Running around the room a billion times, squat jumps, his dancey moves. During one of the dancey moves, he comes to correct me for the millionth time. "I tell you many times, hands together! You have to learn, sweetheart." This is when I learn that being called sweetheart by Leandro means...he's frustrated that he's told you 10 times in a row, to keep your hands together. See, Leandro is in fact a former dancer, so he possesses grace. I, however, do not. During one of the dancey cardio sets, he teaches us this hop/ball-change thing, which I screw up royally. He says, "Move like a dancer." (I can hear anyone that's ever seen me dance, laughing as they read this.) He finally just came over to me and said "You do jumping Jacks!" I felt like a loser until he made three other graceless chubbies do the same thing. Thank god I'm not the only one!

He increased the dumbbells to 15 pounds for all the squats. My arms are on fire, but I love seeing the definition develop. My upper body is shrinking rapidly. The lower body, not so much, but we've got 50 more days of this, so I remain hopeful these thighs just might learn to live apart someday.

As we begin the ankle weights leg-lift series on the floor, Leandro says that he wants us to start wearing tighter clothes so he can see our form. "I wanna see you naked." We all laugh. I'm a million miles away from exposing my belly in public. Maybe I can find a tighter $3 tank top at Target, but ain't no way I'm going in there with only my sports bra. Not till my frowny-face belly button starts to look a little happier. We end the class with a brutal set of front and side planks. I thought I was going to rip an abdominal muscle. I had to fall to my knees several times during that fun little series. There was so much groaning in the room. Finally, we got a great cool-down and our release from class. But not before we are told that cuts will be made next week. GULP! Please don't cut me! I have a blog and my 9 followers will be empty without a proper and happy ending to my buttastic journey. Hopefully Leandro sees so much potential in me that he just has to keep me. Fingers crossed...

Just minutes before I sat down to write this entry, we got an email from one of our test-group leaders that said, "Tomorrow would you please arrive to class early for your weigh ins...SURPRISE!" Yep, we're getting an ambush weigh-in. I certainly haven't gained any weight, but I highly doubt I've lost any since MONDAY. As my Jewish pals would say, "Oy vey!"
Time for bed. Good night my faithful followers.

Houston, We Have Carbs!

3.8.11 - Tuesday

Today is a million times better than yesterday! I'm rested and mentally psyched to go and give every bit of energy I have to today's workout. Not even the foul-breathed mouth-breather that's practically molesting me on the subway can bring me down. I'm over the crushing weigh-in. Time to move forward. Upon arriving at the gym, I hit the treadmill for some inclined side shuffles. Unfortunately, I'm not able to do a full 30-minute cardio warm-up because we have to gather in the studio before class to discuss the food issues we might be having. Apparently there has been a lot of substituting and/or cheating on the diet so Leandro and his team want to get to the bottom (ha!) of things. Since I have been eating all my food like a good little lab rat, this was a bit of a waste of time for me as I would have rather been working off some cellulite before class. At least I got a chance to ask that we get a little more info on our meals. I want to make smarter food choices for my family and me so I need to soak up as as much knowledge as possible to ensure that when this is over, I am armed with the info I need to maintain and continue my regimen...and my booty. 

During this meeting, we learn that we are now getting carbs in our meals! There's pasta for lunch and a muffin for breakfast. MUFFIN! Okay, the pasta is brown rice pasta and the bland turkey mariana served with it kinda taste like unsalted Beef-a-roni, but it taste like Italy to me at this point. And did I mention that I'll be eating a muffin tomorrow?! Oh bread, how I've missed you...

Today's workout, as usual, is brutal but I am feeling so much stronger. I keep visualizing myself the way I want to be, and that makes me push a little harder every time. My overall form is much better. When I'm in certain positions, like a wide-leg squat, I can see muscle definition on the horizon. It really is so exciting to see these subtle changes that I know will just keep getting better and better. When we're on our elbows and knees for the brutal weighted leg-lift series, I see so much definition in my shoulders now. There's the slightest hint of definition on my hamstring which just excites the hell out of me. I've always envied those women with sculpted hammies. Like this bitch:
Bitch with sculpted hammies

But this is just day 14 of 65, and I know that I'm on the right track. Soon, some chubby housewife will be pirating Internet images of ME for her aspirational exercise blog!

I need some new workout clothes. But it pains me to spend money on clothes - of any type - until this experiment is over. Every day I wear the same thing: running shorts and a tank top. Both purchased at a deep discount at Target, or as I like to call my local Target, Targhetto. I own exactly two pair of shorts - one blue, one pink. And the tank tops were only $3 so I bought five of them. The thing is, I've been a home-fitness gal for the past two years so I don't really care what I look like when I workout. Those two pairs of shorts are my "cute" workout gear. I own other shorts, but they're those shiny basketball type shorts. They just accentuate my frumpiness and make me look like a WNBA hopeful. So instead I wear the way-too-short shorts that, while I'm on the treadmill, slowly creep their way up my legs and nestle into my crotch while my thighs create enough friction to start a camp fire. Also, the elastic waist is just tight enough to display that lovely muffin top that's so popular with the low-cut jean lovers of the world. I am literally the only person in our class that doesn't wear spandex pants. I just can't bring myself to wear them. I've tried, but they look awful on me. I have very wide hips, bulging saddle bags and skinny knees that curve inward. Spandex shorts just say, "I'm pretending my ass isn't big and jiggly by wearing these compression pants because I want you to think I'm super athletic even though you can see every dimple in my butt and thighs ." No one buys it. So for now, I'll stick to my 1970s style basketball shorts. High and loose. And frankly, having to see all my flaws, makes me work a little harder.
Working my thunder thighs in the blue shorts.

Welcome to My Pity Party

3.7.11 - Weigh-in day

Well, the day started great. I had a good night of sleep, I was still on my high from my awesome Saturday with Leandro, and when I woke up, I said, "This week I will push harder and dig deeper." I arrived at the gym, ready to take on the day. But first, time for weekly weigh-in. I didn't lose one stinking pound. Holding steady at 153.5. I'm a loser. Down, but not out, I hit the treadmill. I decide to run on a slight incline today because I OBVIOUSLY am not doing enough cardio and I deserve to be punished. My mood really got hit by the disappointment on the scale.
When I enter the studio, I see Leandro and head right over to him and say hi. He's smiley and sweet as he is every day before he starts the class and becomes the evil over-lord of butt mastery. I tell him immediately, with tears welling in my eyes, that I haven't lost any weight. He looks disappointed but just says, "You know what you gonna do. You gonna push harder today - every day." I nod and stop myself from having a complete emotional break-down. 

Before class, Leandro addresses us as a group. He announces that many of us have not only not lost weight, but have gained weight. He's pissed. He tells us to write an anonymous note detailing any and all cheating we're doing with the diet. He also wants us to write down any suggestions we have for improvements in the food. My only "cheating" was two bananas during the 6-day torture cleanse and last week, I drank a glass of V8 before class. Hardly seems worth mentioning, but I'll put it on my note anyway. This was also when we learned that people will be cut in the coming weeks. Please don't cut me. I'm not ready to be released into the real world! I think you have to really be cheating on the diet, obviously not exercising and generally taking advantage of the program to warrant getting the axe. Understandably, they don't want to waste time and money on test-subjects that aren't following the program the way it's meant to be followed. I just hope my lack of weightloss is due to PMS and not that I'm just a thunder-thighed lost cause...I'm feeling very sorry for myself.

The workout begins and immediately we are doing crazy hard cardio a la the first week of booty school. I am worried, but focused and pushing myself hard today. The exhausting arm-flailing cardio goes on for 35 minutes, then we move to weights and squats. Our weight choices are only 10 or 12 pound dumbbells. 10 for me please! We do a billion squats. Then walking lunges around the entire room, then more squats, then we hold just one weight on our chest with our elbows out to the side and do twisting leg raises, then a million more squats, then more walking lunges around the room. Then we put these resistance bands on our feet and hold our feet apart and shuffle back and forth - never closing our feet - which kills the outer thigh like you wouldn't believe. Then a million more weighted squats, then more resistance bands, then we lay on a mat on our backs while a partner stands above our head pushing our straight legs down to the floor for some excruciating ab work. Finally, it ends and I am so sore, but I actually felt like I pushed harder today. So there was a little bit of pride at the end of class.

Oh and the best part is, I learned that the measurements that were taken last week were wrong, so that inch I thought I lost on each thigh...nope, still there. But my chest is still two inches smaller. Great, no boobs but my giant ass and thighs are still here to keep me company. Can this day get any worse?

I get dressed and sulkily walk to the subway. On the way, I check my email and I see that I have an email from a friend who has just read all of my blog entries. 
She wrote (in all caps):
It was exactly what I needed at that exact moment. I wipe the tears from my eyes and board my train home. (Thank you RMCP)

Taking my sad self to bed now. Tomorrow will be a better day. Because I'll make it so.

Tempted by the Fruit of Another

3.5.11 - My first social outing as a Brazil Butt Lift test subject

I knew this day would come. I mean, you can't just hide for 8 weeks...can you? Every month we get together with our favorite couple and their 3-year-old daughter, for a some delicious grilled fare, and usually a few (a lot) drinks. This month, it was our friends turn to host. I packed up my pre-made meals, some green tea and a horse-load of willpower and headed bravely into the real world. Luckily, I had an amazing workout with Leandro today, so I'm less likely to screw that up by gorging on delicious unapproved cuisine. I usually give up drinking for Lent, which starts Wednesday, so I'm not as worried about the booze as much as I am about the food.

The second we walked into the house, I got punched in the face by the succulent smell of steak on the grill. This is going to suck. Just visualize yourself without saddlebags. Drink water to fill your flabby belly. Shut up inner-voice! I realize right away that I am in fact hungry, so, while everyone else cracks open a beer and munches on chips and guacamole, I ate my 4th small meal of the day: tuna salad over greens. I'm okay for now.

The good thing is, our friends are pretty healthy people so, even though I couldn't eat their food, it was all relatively healthy fare. They didn't torture me with fried chicken or pizza. Plus, I hadn't seen them since I got into booty school, so we talked about it a lot and somehow just having it out there in the conversation made me stay strong, since I was talking about what I've done so far and what I hope to achieve. I didn't want to look like a loser by saying "Maybe just one bite..." There's never just one bite. God, it smelled so good.

An hour or so later, the meat is ready. I love love love meat! I'm salivating as a write this. There was the sausage appetizer, grilled hot dogs for the kids and a huge slab of rare steak for the grown-ups. Plus, grilled portobellos and asparagus as a side. I plated my pork medallion with cranberry chutney and a side of sauteed spinach, and pretended it was just as delicious as the food those bastards were eating. Only 53 more days to go. There will be more steak dinners. Don't obsess over what you're not eating. Focus on the body you're building. And guess what - I survived. I didn't have one single bite of that delicious steak...or sausage...or ice cream...or beer. My eyes are on the prize.

My pork wasn't so bad...

Hurt So Good

3.5.2011 - Saturday at Leandro's private studio

Today is the day I cash in my "prize" for scoring the most inches/pounds lost in last week's weigh-in. Grossly over-estimating the traffic and parking, I arrive almost 40 minutes early for my semi-private 10:00 AM session with The Butt Master. So I sat in my car and listened to inspirational music to get me keyed up for my workout. The Theme from Shaft comes on and I start making up my own lyrics. It's a complicated butt, but no one understands it like Leandro. Al's Butt! I'm a huge dork. 

Tired of sitting in my car like a stalker, I decide to ring the buzzer at 9:45AM. Being early will show I'm eager. Or just annoying. Leandro greets me cheerfully and gives me a hug. I'm seriously so excited to be here. I mean, this guy trains Victoria's Secret runway models, and now I'm getting a free session with him! We head into his studio and I strip down to my exercise garb. The good thing about being early is, we get to have a talk about my specific body issues, what I can do on my own (in addition to class), and how I continue this when the great booty-reduction experiment of 2011 comes to an end in April.

He starts me on the treadmill doing these killer side shuffle thingys. What you do is, put the incline on 8% and the speed on 1.8 and stand sideways on the tread mill like this:

Sorry it's such a bad picture, but (a) I was on a treadmill and (b) I had to take the picture quickly since gyms typically frown on weirdos with cameras. You get the idea right?

So you sort-of shuffle/hop on one side for a full minute - without touching the treadmill. Then you turn around and do the same on the other side for one minute. If you're doing this correctly, you should feel it in your inner-thighs mostly. Next, you put the incline on 9% and the speed on 1.9. One minute on each side. Then the incline goes to 10% and the speed goes to 2.0. One minute on each side. Then, go to 11% incline and 2.1 speed. One minute each side. By now, you should be huffing and puffing and sweating like a pig. (Do pigs sweat?) Once you're done with that, run for 10 minutes. Then go workout!

Back to my Saturday session. Leandro decides to be cruel and starts me at a 10% incline and gradually works up to 12%. Okay, this is how this is going down. By the time the other girl arrives, I'm covered in sweat and gasping for breath. 

The other girl is in the 8:30AM test group so we've never met. She's my same height, age and weight and has a very similar body-type, which I find a relief because I would have hated to workout with a skinny girl that only had a flat butt. We are introduced then Leandro puts her on the treadmill then moves me to a weight machine for inner and outer thigh reps. He's ruthless! He straps my ankle in, puts the weight on 15 pounds, then has me do FIFTY reps of inner-thigh lifts. Then, 50 reps of outer-thigh lifts with 10 pounds. My legs were throbbing. And I had only just begun. 
Once again, not me, but this is the body I want!

Then I have to jump rope for as long as I can without stopping. I hate this for several reasons: It's cardio, it kind of makes me pee a little (thank you falling uterus!) and I hate watching myself jump in the mirror. Everything that can jiggle, jiggles...a lot. But I've got nothing to lose except that jiggle, so I  go for it. I tripped on the rope somewhere around the 50th rotation, then Leandro started from 1. I almost made it to 100 this time. He tells me that, for now, 100 is my goal number when I do this on my own. Um yeah, here's the thing, I'm not, what you would call, willing, to jump rope in public. Ever.

Every time I finish something, Leandro moves the other gal to my station, then starts me on a new exercise. It was such a hard workout, but the best one so far, because it's tailored for us and since there were only two of us, he could correct our form and call us out on not pushing hard enough. It's hard to phone it in when The Butt Master is literally straddling you while you're on the floor doing inner-thigh pulls while wearing 20 pounds of ankle weights. Somewhere around the millionth squat in the squat portion of our workout, I realize that we've been going at it for more than an hour. Oh my god, when will this end? It's 11:00AM. Doesn't he have a celebrity ass to train today? Apparently not. I worked out for almost two hours, and at the end, every muscle in my legs, butt, back, stomach and arms is throbbing...but I felt incredible! And the icing on the cake is, when it was over we just got to hang out and talk to Leandro. We talked about everything, including our concerns for "life after Leandro" (about which I am in complete and utter denial),  and you bet your ass I wrote down everything. This was a priceless opportunity. Far more valuable than a massage...which I would also like to win.

As we were walking out, I asked him if the goals we talked about at my 6-day assessment - you know, that 135 pound, size 4 body we talked about - were his vision for me...in the long run or the end-result of this 8-week program. He looked at me like a disappointed parent. His reply, "At the end of this program of course." Whatchu talkin' bout Leandro?!

NEW TO MY BLOG? Start from the beginning!