Booty poppin’ and Bat squeals: Episode 1 with For The Glow

Welcome to Episode 1 in a series about my 21 Day Workout! This is a little sidebar from my usual musings on acting and filmmaking, to bring an honest account of my experiences in one of the actor’s biggest responsibility – physical fitness. I hope to inspire you or at least, make you laugh!

August 15 (warm up day 1)

I can’t sleep for anxiety, and I bounce out of bed with weird cheerfulness. Falcor is totally unimpressed and doesn’t even raise his head from where he’s snuggled. Jerk.

It’s my first warm-up before a series of 21 workouts with Jenn at For the Glow and yes, I’m nervous. It’s been a rough year, and working out has been on the back burner. Heck, it’s been behind the whole stove, hidden out of sight with dust bunnies and dead moths.

It’s me-time now, and time to unearth a better Summer body. Better late than never, right?

For total accountability, here are my Before pics – not clenching, not sucking in, no Spanx, no makeup, just me at 7am on August 15 2012:

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I am a size 8 if anyone is curious. I actually like my little booty, but I want it to be better. I HATE my tummy. Go away!

My first workout is Jenn’s S4 method, which I think stands for, “Screaming in Four languages.” It’s High Intensity Cardio day. I’m a physical coward, and this stuff hurts, but it’s amazing. Twice in the middle of running sprints, I see stars and think I’m going to puke, but I don’t. I feel at my edge, pushing the limit of my body, even though I know perfectly well that I’m probably sprinting slower than a portly middle schooler, wheezing like a vacuum cleaner and flailing my Tyrannosaur arms with the effort.

It’s not pretty. But who cares. I don’t care about pretty, I care about lowering my heart rate and not being worn out by climbing stairs. Gross.

August 16 (warm up day 2)

I am sore and exhausted when I wake up, and intensely bitter with Falcor who just stretches and yawns, and ignores me totally. By the time I get to the Sculpture Park, I feel more awake and chipper. Sunshine! All these healthy people up and running! Where are they going? Ooo, I bet they’re running to a great waffle house…

“Booty-poppin’!” trills Jenn. I do a little waggle for the security cameras.

the sculpture park at 7am – beautiful view!

We are working my butt off on the yoga mat today. Intensive small moves that target all the leg and butt muscles. This is where my crazy sound effects begin: I cannot work out without ridiculous sounds erupting unbidden. At one point I make a bat-squeal of frustration that causes a passer-by to flash us a look of concern.  Besides bat-squeals, there are little screams, growls, grunts, and every other sound within a Dr Seuss book. Let me know if you want a new ring tone.

Getting home, I’m even more sore. I tell myself, “This is my body changing,” and because I’m currently reading a Sookie Stackhouse novel, I wonder if this process is what werewolves feel like when they shift, only all at once. Then I pass out on the couch for 20 minutes before I can get ready for work. I really need to get more sleep.

Today’s affirmation: I’m a lucky girl.

August 17 (warm up day 3)

Jenn warned me I’d need hand-rails on the toilet, and oooohhhh my booty, are my glutes sore. Fortunately this has transformed me into my alter-ego superhero, LACTIC ACID GIRL! She shoots her enemies with lactic acid, and they curl into little aching balls of muscle spasms on their yoga mats. Muahaha.

“Another run-til-you-puke day!” Jenn chirps. I nod, unsurprised. Yup. Sounds about right.

And run, fatgirl run, I do. I get some big stretches though, too, doing bursts of 40 second sprints + 40 second walks. It feels good to stretch out rather than have to turn in small relay-style sprints, and even as my lungs nearly drown out the sound of the leaf blowers nearby, I feel strong.

“You’re are stronger than on Wednesday,” Jenn notes. It’s my third day in a row and instead of feeling wiped out and weak, I feel……better?

During plank and bridge, I yell at my Santa-like core, “I hate you, go away, all you do is hang around and make me look bad in dresses!” But Jenn advises, “Give it a week,” and then scolds me for trash-talking my middle. Alright, core. I love you. Sorta. Now work, dammit.

August 18 – Official Day 1!

Squat til you cry is the new run til you puke.

Toward the end of one of my high-intensity cardio bursts, I felt like I couldn’t do it. But with Jenn’s voice ringing out “20 more seconds!” I closed my eyes and powered through. When the timer went off, the release and adrenaline crashed through me and I started sobbing. Tourists wandering the Sculpture Park looked at me, curious, but I didn’t care, I just buried my face in the crook of my elbow and cried.

Once before, in a long ago workout I shed a few tears (also in Jenn’s workout!) and she told me it usually precedes big changes, because you are stepping way out of your comfort zone.

I also think of the words of my coach Steven Anderson, that emotions live in the body, and it takes physicality to release them.

I feel good that I pushed myself that far, that I took the risk. Even if this wouldn’t be risky for others, it’s my own.

My morning thought on the way to work out had been, “I need to find my strength in something other than appearance.” That is, I’m not working out to be model-thin, but to feel strong, healthy, and capable; to not shy away from challenges or fear looking silly while I put my body through its paces. To find the fire within that powers me through all challenges, not just squat-challenges.

Jenn also gave me a journal – 21 Days to A Habit. It instantly made me feel special and connected to the whole process. Food journal turns out to be empowering, nothing like the disapproving gaze of a judge I had feared.

it comes with matching jewelry!


By the way, did you know it’s Shark Week? Take a look at those calipers!

pinch pinch!

21 days starts today, baby!

Posted on August 20, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Okay. I’m inspired.

  2. You are so endearing, hilarious, wonderful and awesome!!! Keep at it! Love you!!!

  3. I laughed, I shed a few tears(for your glutes), and now I’m completely inspired. ❤

  4. Do it right, go Vegan! Then you’ll continue to shape up and feel good, even if you eventually lose that masochistic taste for exercise =)

  5. Me three. You make me laugh so hard Wonder. I’m big time inspired considering I haven’t weighed this much since I was pregnant with Tyson 25 years ago! OUch!

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