Match-Up #4 – I now have a burlesque name vs. I’m not a freaking dancer!

Another day, another match-up. I’m still behind, but I am slowly catching up. (I’m currently about five workouts behind.)

I figured it up there other day; without rest days (which I will surely take), I’ll be done with this bracket by mid-September, right around the time our baby is due. I wonder who will get here first, the bracket finishing workout or our little bundle of joy? Tina and I have talked about doing Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution when she is healed up and ready after giving birth, but we’ll see. That’s still a long time away.

Today, I am going to tell you about the match-up between Goddess Workout: Cardio Burlesque and The Firm: Total Body Time Crunch.

Before I tell about the video, I should tell you a little something about Tina. She is the girliest of girls. If it is pink and frilly, she likes it. But she isn’t some naïve, childish girl. She’s very womanly about her girliness, if that makes sense. She likes 50s Pin Ups. Granted, she doesn’t like 50s Pin Ups in the same way that I like 50s Pin Ups, but she digs that girly, frilly, lacy image. Cardio Burlesque is a workout that (if it were tougher) would be right up her alley.

But sadly, this video was a dud. It wasn’t toning. It wasn’t cardio (except for one very brief two minute session). It was mostly me strutting around our living room like a show girl. Geeze, that’s embarrassing to admit.

On the plus side, I did get to watch the instructor sashay in various burlesque type outfits, so that was nice.

My favorite part of the video? Delphina (the instructor) said that everyone should have a burlesque name, a name that appeals to the sense and is enjoyable. She suggested something food-related, like Cupcake or Mojito or… I don’t remember, Pineapple or something. All I remember was the name I gave myself.


Okay, on to the other video. The Firm: Total Body Time Crunch was light years tougher than Cardio Burlesque. I still wouldn’t call it a hard video, but it was definitely tougher.

My biggest complaint? Too much time was spent on overly complicated dance moves, and they kept calling right and left AND they used that stupid exercise video mirror system. I HATE THAT! Basically, what I am referring to is when the video participants say “Go right!” and they are all actually going left. I can freaking work it out on my own; I don’t need to pretend like you are my mirror image!

Sorry, rant over.

This video consisted of straight cardio and strength training. This video did get me sweating.

The winner?

Total Body Time Crunch, who advances to the field of 32. Sorry Goddess Cardio Burlesque. If you had been more of a workout and less of an excuse for Delphina to sashay around (and fully clothed at all times, too, dang it), you might have given me more of a workout.

Geeze, there has to be a dirty joke in there somewhere.

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Match-up #3 – “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” vs. “Tough kickboxing lady made me cry”

I did this match-up a few days ago, but I’ve gotten a bit behind on my posting. Also, I had a thought. I probably shouldn’t share my actual calorie burns on each workout, or it may make it a little too easy to pick the winner when we get down to the final games. So, I’m just going to talk about what each workout was like and declare a winner.

This matchup was between Richard Simmons’ Sweatin’ to the Oldies and 10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp. The name of the match-up refers to the first song during the cardio portion of Sweatin’ 1 (It’s My Party” and the second refers to the fact that Kickbox Bootcamp was a HARD workout. It didn’t really make me cry, but it certainly made me burn, in a good way.

Let’s start off with Sweatin’ to the Oldies.

This is the first workout video that Richard Simmons released, and I’ve had it for years. Suffice it to say, I know every move of this workout by heart.

Most of Richard’s workouts have a theme, and the theme of this one is high school prom. It’s a fairly short video, but it still got my heart rate up, and to be honest, I even felt like I’d gotten a workout in. I’ll admit – it felt like a light workout, but hey, on days when time is short, this video is awesome.

This match-up also featured a kickboxing workout. The 10 Minute Solutions videos consist of several 10 minute workouts, and as I said when I announced the rules of this game, if it was a video where you could select one or more workouts, I was going to do them all. That means this workout was effectively a 50 minute workout.

Hosted by Keli Roberts, this was a TOUGH workout. It was a blast for me; I have a background in taekwondo, and a lot of the moves felt very familiar to me. Keli was a great instructor. My only complaint – I didn’t like only have an instructor. I prefer having some fellow athletes working out in the video, but this seems to be the trend for 10 Minute Solutions videos.

One comment – holy crap, this was tough. There were several moves that my 360+ pound body just could not do. Rather than sit by and wait it out, however, I made modifications.

After finishing this workout, I was DRENCHED. And that was with me doing modifications.

Winner? Keli Roberts’ 10 Minute Solutions: Kickbox Bootcamp. No question. Sorry Richard. Kickbox Bootcamp beat us both. But hey Richard, your Sweatin’ 2 video made it to the field of 32, and you have several more videos left in the overall bracket. You still have plenty of opportunities to advance.

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Match #2: Working out in a diner vs. Battling zombies

The bracket is still chugging along nicely. I am SO glad I did this, because it has encouraged me to work out more. After work today, my allergies were so severe (have never had them before, but apparently, a super warm winter and super early summer are combining to make one of the worst allergy seasons everywhere), that I wanted to just crash. However, I did not, and I still worked out. Yay me!

This match-up was between Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2 and Crunch: Cardio Dance Blast. Let me first recap Sweatin’ 2, which I did yesterday.

I’ve had the Sweatin’ tapes for a while. I think so highly of Richard Simmons, most people think I am about to make fun of him when I make that statement. I’m not. I think he is an amazing human being, and I credit him with being the reason I am not diabetic today. I’ve been obese my entire life. I hated PE with a passion. (In my school, PE just meant Laugh at the Fat Kid Try to Work Out Class, Including the Gym Teacher. [I still hate you, Coach C.] That’s a post for another day.) So while I didn’t have the eating down, at all, I at least had Richard Simmons and his Sweatin’ tapes to provide me with physical activity. I did them at least 3-4 times a week, from pretty much 8th grade through college. Seriously.

I firmly believe THAT is why I didn’t weigh 500 pounds and why I don’t have diabetes today. So for that, thank you Richard.

This was a 55 minute workout, including 25 minutes of low-impact aerobics, a song devoted to very light toning, and one song for ab work. Richard’s tapes always include a dynamic warm-up and cool down at the end. He knows his stuff. And in typical Richard style, it was set in a 50s diner.

Yes, it’s cheesy. But you know what? Muscle memory from 10-20 years ago kicked in, and I had an absolute blast!

One final thing I want to say very quickly about Sweatin’ 2. There is a dancer in this tape and Sweatin’ to the Oldies 3 named Aaron McAllister. He had already lost a significant amount of weight in Sweatin’ 2 and had lost even more by Sweatin’ 3. He’s a young guy (20ish in the videos, I guess?) and to my 13-year-old self when I started working out, he gave me hope. He was a fat man who had lost weight.

So to both Aaron and Richard, thank you for giving me a few things I really need during my younger years. (And Aaron, if by some fluke you read this, email me and let me know how you’re doing!)

Now the second workout, the one I did today, was by Crunch and called Cardio Dance Blast.


I go from a day of awesome fun to a day of suck.

This video sucked. Hard.

The trainer was irritating.

The dance moves were poorly cued, needlessly complex, and I spent a LOT of time just trying to catch up. Now granted, I was moving, but I was not doing exactly what they were. I’ll be honest – that’s not really a problem for me. So long as I am moving, I’m happy.


This video was AWFUL!

I did sweat decently, but it was never one I’d do for fun.

So what did I do to entertain myself while I worked out?

Well, thanks to this young lady…

…in her mangled outfit, I imagined that they were a group of survivors who had just narrowly escaped a zombie attack during the upcoming zombie apocalypse. Ving Rhames from Dawn of the Dead is off-screen, and he was making them workout to ensure they weren’t actually zombies.

Yeah, it was that bad. I basically had a zombie fantasy during this 35-minute video.

Oh, another thing that bugged me? She called the dance moves ridiculous names, like the Pop Eye or the Chiquita Banana, which made NO sense at all. And my favorite move she didn’t even name.

I would have called it the Taking a Dump While Participating in Hands Across America.

But that’s just me.

If you want to try this video workout out, it’s available from Netflix Watch Instantly. And maybe you won’t hate it as much as I did. But even if I hated it, I was still moving, so win there.

So, who was the winner?

The calories counts were 347 for Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2 and 235 calories for Crunch: Cardio Dance Blast! Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2 wins and advances to the next round of competition!

My next two workouts are Sweatin’ to the Oldies 1 and 10 Minute Solution: Kickbox Bootcamp.

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Match #1 – Heee! heee! heee! versus “Know what I’m sayin’? Say hi to your mother for me.”

The first game of the Home Workout Video Championships is over! I asked Tina to take a photo of me as soon as we got home from work on Monday but before we attempted the first workout. This is a multi-month championship, and I hope to see some significant changes to my body. As a result, I thought it appropriate that I occasionally document my progress visually to track what I hope are some significant changes.

The first match-up was between Crunch: Pick Your Spot Pilates and the Marky Mark Workout Video.

Who is the victor? Before I announce the winner, let me give you a brief recap of each workout.

We did Pick Your Spot Pilates on Monday. This video was available on Netflix Watch Instantly. I’m already grateful for this championship, because without it, I NEVER would have done this video, and I am definitely interested in expanding my athletic boundaries.

This video was about 30 minutes long and featured your typical interchangeable video workout personality leading the workout. I don’t say that disparagingly; it is just that I’ve never heard of her. I know Pilates is a complex, multi-tentacled beast, but this particular workout targeted three different body parts – the stomach, the butt, and the thighs.

Pilates was simultaneously tougher than I expected and easier than I expected. I was definitely sweating by the time the workout was over, but it also didn’t get my heart rate up like I expected.

There were moves I had to modify. Fortunately, there was a beginner model I could follow along with. I could do a few of the advanced moves, but I found that my greatest weakness with Pilates is that my neck isn’t strong enough yet. Who knew?

Today (Tuesday) saw me getting off of work a little bit later, but it didn’t matter, because I had already planned out my entire evening, and a chunk of that time was devoted to the Marky Mark Workout.

This video actually contains two completely different workouts, one you can do at home and the other you can “allegedly” do at the gym. I say allegedly because it was really less of a workout and more just about thirty minutes of watching Marky Mark workout without his shirt.

Even though I bought this video in 1995 because I wanted to look like Marky Mark, this is the first time I actually did this video. After today, I suspect that the reason today is the first time I’ve done this video is that this is packaged less like a workout video and more like an Ode to the Body of Marky Mark. Dude is without his shirt. A lot.

We started off doing static stretches for FIVE minutes. I wish I could make that part up, but I’m not. As we were doing it, Tina said, “Didn’t you learn in your personal trainer training that you aren’t supposed to do static stretches before you workout?” Yep. Static stretches are so 1990. You are supposed to do dynamic stretches before you workout and save static stretches at the end. Oh well.

The actual video consisted of supersets that worked the legs, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and abs. There may have been more, but good God, this video was boring. There was no cueing, and the only thing interesting were the fly honeys that Marky Mark kept flirting with.

Clearly, anyone with Marky Mark’s physique is someone who knows how to workout (or at least has a trainer telling him everything to do). However, that physique does NOT mean you know how to make an exercise video. The one saving grace was the MST3K-style running commentary Tina and I kept up as we watched the video.

“Ow! Groin stretches make my STDs hurt!” (Sorry Marky Mark. Your mid-90’s self was just too easy a target for ridicule.)

Most of these exercises were pretty standard, even though I didn’t recognize all of the names. (What he calls a duck squat I’ve always called a sumo squat.) Now, all mockery aside, I have to admit, I was sweating fairly decently by the time we were done.

So, who was the winner of the first match-up of the 1st Annual Stellar Path Home Workout Video Championship?

Marky Mark! Holy crap!

“I won. Awesome. Say hi to your mother for me.

Pick Your Spot Pilates burned 124 calories in 31:08. The Marky Mark Workout burned 190 in 33:34.

I’ll admit I’m surprised.

So the first match-up had a rather surprising outcome. Will Marky Mark make it all the way to the final game and ultimately be declared the winner? Only time will tell.

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An It Worked! Weigh-In

This is an It Worked weigh-in.


Let’s get right to it.

March 19, 2012
Weight: 372.6
Change from Last Week: -1.8 pounds
Change from Highest: -30.2 pounds

I did it! Counted my calories, did my workouts, drank my water.

And this week, the scale rewarded me.

I am very excited to see if drastically changing my exercise very day (as a result of the Home Workout Championships I am undertaking) will make a difference. As it is, I tend to do the same workouts most days. It’s either a walk in the park, a Leslie Sansone DVD, or kettlebells, weights, or on rare occasions, a Jillian Michaels DVD.

I’m in an exercise rut. I’m very hopeful the 1st Annual Stellar Path Home Workout Championship will change things up. After all, today I am doing a Pilates workout and tomorrow the… ahem, Marky Mark Workout. Both are going to be new experiences. On Wednesday, I’ll report and let you know who won the first “game.”

In others news, Tina and I are trying to declutter our lives. We have a garage full of crap and we each have a home office full of crap. And this doesn’t include our home which is full of crap.

Right now, we are in the process of combining our offices so we can have an empty room for a nursery. This requires a major decluttering, which we desperately needed to do. A lot will be going to Good Will, Craig’s List, and the trash.

I read a book a few months ago called “Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?” It was basically about the issues that make some of us overweight also cause us to have too much clutter. I need to read it again; it was definitely inspirational about making me want to clean up and simplify my life in a lot of different ways.

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1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)