Last summer, in between vacations, I decided to buy P90X. P90X is a twelve DVD exercise program that focuses on “muscle confusion.” You work out 1-1-1/2 hours a day, six days a week, with one rest day. Each week you usually do three lifting workouts that you combine with a 15 minute ab workout, two cardio workouts, and one, torturous, hour and a half long yoga workout. The “recovery” weeks are yoga, core work, and cardio only.
All of these workouts are led by Tony Horton, a man with a small head and a giant body. He’s not bad-looking for someone almost as old as my father, and he has the added bonus of being from the greatest state in the nation (RI). But he’s a monster. The man is nuts. The DVDs are crazy hard, and then he takes it up a notch. At one point he would do a push-up, launch his whole body off the ground, clap, and come back down into a push-up. I just stared, and cried a little inside.
I had dreams of losing 20 pounds, being able to do pull ups, and wearing a bikini in St Lucia. I got up almost every morning at 5:15 am to work out with Tony & his crew before catching the 7:22 train. I transformed my basement into a gym: I bought weights and a yoga mat, and strung up a band on top of the lolly columns that hold our entertainment center to do a modified pull up.
I sweated through the summer. I couldn’t move the first week of the program, but I still stuck to the workouts, even when I was fairly certain my ab muscles were going to rip apart. I wanted to cry during the hour and a half yoga DVD, especially when the dude in the dreadlocks tied himself into a pretzel with no effort. The only pose I could master was the corpse pose at the end – where you lie silently on your for a minute. I love that pose. I grew to strongly dislike some of Tony’s minions on the DVD alongside him. Don’t even get me started on Dreya and her stupid “World Famous Dreya Roll” on Core Synergistics.
I faithfully weighed myself every week. I think I lost two pounds all summer. I took “before” and “during” pictures. They looked exactly the same. In all fairness, I wasn’t eating well. I sure as heck wasn’t following the P90X diet. I was all set with cooking up 10 egg whites for breakfast & paying Tony for his “recovery drinks.” I was also clearly unwilling to give up alcohol.
Despite the lack of the perfect beach body, I felt good. I felt stronger than ever, and, even though I despised getting out of bed at 5:15am (I despise getting out of bed at 8am too), I had more energy and just felt good about myself. But then we went away, and the resort didn’t have a gym, but they did have lots of fruity drinks, and, you know how it goes.
Along with every other person on the planet, my New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. And I’ve learned the hard way that means eating well and exercising. I’m not ready to make a full committment to Tony yet, I may cheat on him with his Beach Body buddy Shaun T of Insanity, but I did do Core Synergistics this morning. And remembered how much I love and hate Tony Horton. It’s a good thing I have tomorrow off, because I will definitely be hating on him when I can’t use my ab muscles to get out of bed in the morning.