Lean and Fabulous

I wise man once told me that when you’re going through a divorce, you should get off Facebook and hit the gym.

Clearly, I’m hitting the fucking gym. Facebook is another story. After all, most of my readership here is my own Facebook friends! However, much to my own amusement, I’ve gained several followers to my blog who are legit into fitness. I’m like, “Wha–huh? Don’t you people know who I am??”

I’m for reals grateful for the interest and support, though. Praise and attention are some of my biggest motivators. Don’t lie, bitches. You know the same is true for you.

Today was a new class for me: Lean Muscle with Warren. This class was a little old-fashioned compared to the other classes I’ve been doing. Body Pump and RIPPED are, to me, pretty modern and seem to be designed after, like, fitness research and shit. Plus they use contemporary music. Warren’s class is more like what I imagine my mom’s Jane Fonda VHS tapes were probably like. Not that I ever saw her use them; I think she was about as much into exercise as I am. (She’s dead now, so no judgement.) And Warren’s songs were a little old school. They included a remix of “So Happy Together” by the Turtles. Which, come on, was pretty badass.

Warren is a 50-something dude with the voice of Richard Simmons. He gave his instructions in time with the beat of the music. I can’t even accurately express it in writing. “Two–and–bring your legs together! Eight–seven–six–five–legs are off the ground!–four–three–abs are still tight!”

I swear, this man has not a single ounce of fat on his entire body. Even his face is chiseled. I mean, we didn’t work any face muscles today or anything, but he must surely have secrets for unpacking those cheek pockets, because I’m telling you, his face is so sharp it could cut you. Every single one of his muscles, on his whole body, is clearly defined. Holy shit. He obviously knows what he’s doing.

Warren was very much like a drill sergeant, but fabulous. “Alright, ladies! When you hear my voice go up like that, there’s about to be a hissy fit! ABS TIGHT!”

He made us count down sometimes out loud, and extra loud, and he would say he was making us do extra sets because we weren’t loud enough. I think also his favorite number is four. I was able to ascertain this because when he himself counted down our reps, he would go, “six, five, four, four, four, four, four, three…” Fucking asshole. “Is anyone feeling that in their quadriceps? I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

No, actually, he made me giggle. And he also called me out and made me count out loud, on my own. I guess because I’m new. Not because I was slacking, because as God as my witness, I put my all into that fucking class. I swear. Maybe I dropped to my heels a couple times when I was supposed to be on my toes, but that was only because I was fucking out of juice. Totally fucking out.

He had some intense offerings for the abs at the end, but I modified on account of my diastasis recti. I also told him I was going to, so he wouldn’t think I was lazy and try to make me. “No hissy fits!” I said. He was cool with that.

I feel a little impatient about my abs. I read one site, somewhere, that said when you do the diastasis recti test, if you can fit one or two fingers in your gap, that’s “normal.” But that contradicts other shit I’m pretty sure I read another time. I think. I wish I had made my midwife palpate my abs when I went for my annual womanly last month, but that was before I gave a shit about my abs or working out, so it didn’t occur to me. Anyway, I’ve tried to figure out how many finger widths fit in my ab gap. It’s two… but maybe it’s three? It’s definitely not four.

Point being, I want to work my abs the way I work my arms and legs. My midsection is the place I want the most to see some results. At this point, I know enough about diastasis recti to make me not want to work my abs too much for fear I’ll make it worse, but I also feel pretty certain my pansy-ass mummy tummy exercises aren’t doing much except not make the diastasis recti worse.

Warren’s class also did a number on my booty. I’ll give him that: Body Pump and RIPPED make my arms and legs feel the burn, but my ass hasn’t yet been on fire the way it was in Lean Muscle.

In addition, I felt good about my form for most of Warren’s class. He was good at correcting us, and he reminded us to look in the mirror to make sure we were aligned properly. I was pleased, for the most part, with my performance. I liked the way my legs looked in the air. Shut up, pervs. That’s not what I meant.

So, Saturday was Gym Week 2, Day 5. I took Friday off, and I’ll take Sunday off. Don’t question the way I number my days, bitches. It makes sense in my mind.

Anyway, for the first two weeks, I went to the gym five days per week. That is a LOT. That is more than I expected or intended when I started this game. I’m not sure I can commit to that level of participation long-term. And you know what? I’m not committing to it. I’m not committing to anything. I’m the Plenty of Fish of the gym: wants to date, but nothing serious.

I also took advantage of the gym nursery today, in spite of reports from friends that the nursery sucks and is unclean. Oh, well. If I’m gonna do this shit, my kids are going to have to fucking have to hang in the dirty nursery from time to time. It was only for an hour. I’d be willing to bet my kids were on the dirtier side of the kids in there. (Seriously, I asked my daughter twice if they’d had baths at their dad’s, and she said yes, but the same glitter is on her scalp that was there when I dropped her off, so…) Whatever, bitches. It’s summer. Kids are supposed to be dirty in the summer.

I didn’t take any pictures today, so I’ll leave you with this image of bark lice I took on a tree in the courtyard at my office. That courtyard is tiny but has all kinds of bizarre wildlife going on in there. What does this have to do with the fucking gym? Not a damn thing. It’s just weird. So enjoy it.

ImageBark lice. What the fuck?

Gym Week Two, Day Five

  • Favorite part: booty burn, bitches!
  • Least favorite part: remedial level abs.

My abs fucking hate each other.

I suffer from a delightful condition called diastasis recti. That means that my fucking abdominal muscles never came back together the right way after my pregnancies. Google that shit. It’s fucking weird.

In addition to contributing to what’s lovingly known as “mummy tummy,” and also hilariously as the “mother’s apron,” i.e. the belly pooch you can thank your darling children for, diastasis recti fucks up your core. And your core is really fucking important.

Or something. Look, I’ve done tons of Internet “research,” and all I’ve “learned” just swirls around in my brain and mixes together. All I know for sure is that when I lift my arms a certain way, my stomach gets this bizarre, vertical hump. And when I lie on the floor with my knees bent, lift my head a little, and touch my abs, I can totally feel this weird gap of just… nothingness where I am quite sure muscle is supposed to be.

To illustrate, observe:


See those muscles? They’re supposed to be all snuggled up together, the way they were before someone’s offspring came along and spread them apart like curtains.

baby belly

Why am I telling you this? Because immediately after my midwife told me I had this funfest going on, four years ago, I asked Dr. Google what to do, and I learned that Oh Em Gee, whatever you do, DO NOT DO ANY FUCKING CRUNCHES. Crunches will jack that shit up even worse.

Well. Dr. Google didn’t have to tell me twice not to do crunches. Fuck crunches. Fuck them, I say!

There are other exercises you’re supposed to be able to do to fix this shit up, but the Intarwebz cannot entirely agree on what those are. Do it one way, and your belly will be as flat as an ironing board in no time. Do it another way, and you might as well consign yourself to wearing maternity clothes the rest of your life, because you’re always going to have that perma-pregnant look going on.

The result is that on the rare occasions I’ve gotten a bug up my ass to work out a little, I mostly ignored my abs. I mean, fuck crunches, amirite?

So this is what I’ve got going on.

Left: my "mummy tummy" at rest. I can pooch it out a lot farther than that if I try, though! I should totes start using that to get "expectant mother" parking at the mall. On the right, "mummy tummy" sucked in.

Left: my “mummy tummy” at rest. I can pooch it out a lot farther than that if I try, though! I should totes start using that to get “expectant mother” parking at the mall. On the right, “mummy tummy” sucked in.

So today at the fucking gym, I came prepared with a printout of this (stolen from the article I linked to above):

And I did my prissy little “mummy tummy” exercises for my delicate little abs. Because fuck crunches.

Let me just stop and say that the number of times I’ve had to type “mummy tummy” here is starting to make me feel nauseated. Put “mummy tummy” alongside “Hooter Hider” on the list of expressions that effectively infantalize mothers.

Let me also say I’m not entirely sure there actually is a cure for this shit short of the Kate Gosselin special. I mean, my kid is FOUR! No, I haven’t put much effort into knitting my abdominal muscles back together, but for fuck’s sake, they all still live in there. Shouldn’t they have kind of found their way back together now? I do think this may have improved a little bit over time. By, like, fractions of an inch. Every now and then I remember one tip I read once this one time that said you should basically SUCK YOUR GUT IN AS FUCKING HARD AS YOU CAN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. So I do that sometimes. Maybe that’s helped!

Anyway. Back to the gym.

The fucking gym.

Today I returned to the circuit room. Ah, the humble circuit room. A couple of years ago, I paid for the cheapskate “circuit room only” gym membership for a few months, of which I actually went to the circuit room for a couple of weeks in the beginning. I kind of like the circuit room. It’s small, and it has machines, and you only have to do each machine for 30 seconds. There’s a timer that tells you to move! It’s a lot less intimidating than the sea of machines out on the big floor, covered in huge, burly dudes.

The problem with my cheapskate gym membership was that they were serious about it being CIRCUIT ROOM ONLY, BITCH! Like, I wasn’t allowed to use the locker room. I had to change in the little circuit room bathroom. And I learned that the circuit room bathroom is where all the gym employees go to take a dump. And someone’s shit schedule was perfectly aligned with my lunch break, which is when I was going to the circuit room.

Now I have the more-expensive membership that includes workout classes, childcare, and access to the fucking locker room, thankyouverymuch.

But the circuit room felt familiar today. And luckily, it did not smell familiar.

I did three circuits, skipping the ab stuff to instead do my fancypants diastasis recti exercises. My demeanor said to the others there, “Wut? Fuck crunches. I have mummy tummy, bitches. Look at me again. I will fucking bury you. In the gap between my abs. Try me, bitch.”

On the third circuit, I may or may not have also skipped the quadriceps machines, because my legs fucking HURT after the last two days of this going to the gym bullshit.

My three circuits didn’t take as long as Body Pump or motherfucking Zumba. But once again, I broke a sweat. And so did my iPod, because I wore it under my bra strap. Near the end, it actually slid in my sweat and spent the rest of my workout nestled between my boobs.

No moisture-wicking action to save us today!

No moisture-wicking action to save us today!

Tomorrow I am taking a fucking break. My body needs to rest. It’s not used to all this… activity and shit.

Gym Day Three

  • Favorite part: the hot bath I’m about to take.
  • Least favorite part: feeling like my poor, stove-up ole Mammaw, God rest her soul.