Monday, June 27, 2005

The Pendulum Theory

Here’s something else I suffer from, Pendulumism. I don’t just gain and lose weight in a traditional sense where one eats a lot then gains weight, or eats less and loses weight. Oh no. I need to make this very tricky.

Last fall I was very fit because I exercised more and ate less (yeah, yeah, whatever) . . .and then I embarked on Holiday Gorge 2004 which began around mid November. As I tested the waters of eating more and more shit and exercising less and less, I still felt and looked fit and lean. The momentum of my health was still in the right direction. The pendulum was still swinging on the side of good. Isn´t this cool that I can eat a lot and give up exercise and nothing will happen? I must´ve exercised my way into some kind of miracle because, look, I don´t have to go to the gym anymore. 'Nother slice of pizza please. Oreos? Hell yes. Five pieces of toast? Uh, duh. Three gingerbread lattes a day with a muffin? I deserve that. Only after a long month did I even start to notice my waistline getting a little thicker, softer. The pockets on the side of my thighs were poking out a little. I thought, hmm, maybe this Gorge thing is not working out so well; maybe I'm not a modern-day miracle. But my pants were still fitting nicely so, no! Onward with the Gorge; can’t stop now, Christmas is almost here! By January, I was all but rolling around in my own shit. The pendulum had reached its pinnacle and began falling, rapidly now, in the other direction.

We had gone to Puerto Rico on Christmas Day and by this time, I wanted the Gorge to be over so badly, but trying to hunt down a vegetable on the island was laborious. Many of the fruits were out of season. And the only thing I could find not made out of pork -PR's Love Pork!- was the hot bread, pan de agua, that was sold out of a van that drove by the family house every morning. I’m not entirely sure the bread wasn’t made with pork, but listen, that bread was like celebrating heaven every morning; half a loaf of steaming heaven and coupled with a sweet, filmy cup of milky coffee - FORGET IT! Who needs fruits and vegetables? Mid-stay, my husband's grandmother made a fantastic rice & shrimp soup which I was very excited about (I was still eating fish at the time), but after eating half a bowl, a pink, salty cube floated to the top. I stared at it, gulped down my trepidation, and finished the soup avoiding the swine, pretending I didn't really see it. "Pass the pan de aqua please." Warm bread makes everything ok. Except when you get the shits in a 60-year old concrete block of a house that was battered, plumbing included, by Hurricane Andrew. We went 2 days without running water, which stopped me up for the rest of the trip.

Finally, I cleaned up my act in February. Veganism, regular exercise, plenty of water - still big portions, but I was doing light-years better . . . But my body didn't believe me, that I had changed. My body said, "You ate globs of cheese, mountains of processed bread, sweets galore, you ignored a pork floater in your soup for fuck's sake!" I had lost my body's trust and the pendulum had swung so far the other way, I'm still waiting for it to come down.

But lately and only lately, six months later, and after drastic exercise and pure eating has the pendulum only started to budge. In my younger days, I'd be a super model by now, but at almost 38, my body is like, “Nu uh motherfucka, I'm not coming back so easily after the mess you put me through.” I'm still begging, like a cheatin’ rat dog. But god, thank god, I finally see a tiny layer of the Holiday Gorge peeled back, and I hope soon to slam that pendulum permanently back on the side of good.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Look Who's Mad

I worked with a lot of vegans at the health food store; cool kids either straightedge or not, tattoo'ed and interesting. And I'd say the primary reason that they were vegans was because of animal-rights issues. Here are some of their stale sayings and bumper sticker and tshirts and buttons:

"I Don't Eat Anything with a Face"
"Eat Beans Not Beings"
"Tofu - the other white meat"
"Beef - It's What's Rotting in Your Colon"
"Please Don't Eat the Animals."
"Baby Cows Drink Cow's Milk, Not Humans"

And there's a billion more that get progressively more preachy; shirts with tortured caged-animal photos and others that basically say you're a real asshole if you consider causing such terrible pain on the animal kingdom.

I'm not saying I don't agree with all of that to some degree -- why would I want to cause that kind of suffering-- but I'm saying it's not the primary reason that I personally am a vegan.

By far, the main reason I am a vegan is because -- and this is in part caused by my ever-increasing germaphobia -- I think meat products are disgustingly contaminated. It's horrible how they pen 'em up and immobilize and kill them and all that, yeah, yeah. . . but the filthy, horrendous conditions where animals are crammed together with festering bacteria, standing in their own shit, pumped with adrenaline as they sense their impending doom, and the malnutrition of them all and having to stand amongst their dead friends -- I'm getting a tshirt made up that says all that -- MAKES MY SKIN CRAWL. Don't get me started on pigs and salmonella-slimed foul fowl and filmy, coagulated cheese . . .

The second case of Mad Cow Disease was confirmed today. Did you see the infected cow that they showed on the 6'oclock news where it couldn't walk - it tried but couldn't? It disturbed my six year old so badly I had to talk her down. She was horrified. I scrambled, saying, "The cow is sick, baby." She asked with a traumatized face, "That's why he couldn't walk?" Shouldn't they warn you before they show that kind of stuff? The news did reassure us, however, that this infected cow was not slated for slaughter and I'm thinking it's because it couldn't walk up the goddamn ramp.

How badly do you think everyone wanted to keep this a secret? Especially as the U.S. is trying to lift a ban from buying American meat that Japan placed the last time we had a mad cow? I'm guessing badly. And I'm guessing that there are quite a few other secrets they have kept from us regarding the safety and sanitation of our food.

My friend Dan and I were trying to figure out why it was called Mad Cow. I said, "Don't be mad, cow, that you can't walk because we've penned you up in your own shit with a thousand cows in a 100-cow pen." Actually, Mad Cow just drives an infected person mad because it causes a rare neurological disease called Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a maddening name for a disease, where "affected individuals may develop confusion, depression, behavioral changes, impaired vision, and/or impaired coordination, dementia, impairment of memory control, personality disintegration, agitation, restlessness, neuromuscular abnormalities, shock-like muscle spasms, slow involuntary writhing movements" then you get infections and die. HOLY SHIT. 150 people have died from this so far.

Looks like the animals have plotted a brilliant revenge - in a kamikaze, non-walking kind of way.

Monday, June 20, 2005

TMI about the SPS

I went to Cheerleader on Crack's class on Sunday because I've been lost -- aimlessly allowing myself treats and snacks -- since the 10 Day Turbo Test! ended. Before class, she announced, "I'm gonna really work you guys today" and for her to actually say that means you better hold on to your ass and check out an oxygen mask from the front desk. COC Does Not Play. Sure enough, 30 minutes into the class, I was wheezing and gasping and sweating all over the place . . .

For those of you that don't know, I sweat like a pig. People like to cheer me up and say, "That's Healthy!" But whatever, it's kinda gross. What am I gonna do? I just accept that I have active sweat glands. Grosser still is that I sweat especially in certain areas of my body; odd areas, I would say. Like my shins sweat a lot and you wouldn't think that shins sweat that much considering it's only a bone and a thin layer of skin over the bone. Most embarrassingly -- which is why I'm blogging the entire world -- I sweat a lot in my pussy area. Not out of the pussy - uh, I don't think -- but just that area gets extra hot for some reason. Why? I have no clue; we'll just say That’s Healthy!

Back when Mandy & I owned our company, I went through a stint where I took dance classes at lunchtime. I would get in my dance pants and come back all sweaty. I decided to tell everyone in the office about the Sweaty Pussy Syndrome (SPS) before they noticed the dark discoloration of the dance pants; like a big circle highlighting my genitalia. I also decided to tell them before they thought I had pissed myself. I even pointed it out to our salesguy Scott because Fuck It, let's disarm everyone of the humiliating ammunition against me by putting it all out there first. Also, I really wasn't sure if this phenomenon was that odd or maybe it was one of those things that I thought was odd only because I kept it to myself. Turns out, it's odd. I said, "Scott, is it weird that I sweat a lot down there when I exercise?" And he'd stare, thinking, I can't believe she's asking me to check out her sweaty pussy. Mandy would say, "Dude, that is weird" every time I worked out. And every time I'd answer, "Right? Weird."

Last week this Turbo teacher named Danielle sub´ed for COC. She was wearing the cutest coral-colored capri workout pants that I fiercely envied. Mid-way through class I noticed a rust-colored line of wetness forming at the crease where her thighs joined at her vaginal area, like a sweaty V. I was like, "Oh look, she’s got a small case of SPS. That’s cute." I know, for me, it will be black dance pants, and black only, for the rest of my workout days because if I had been wearing those fantastic coral-colored capris, by workout’s end it would've looked like someone had thrown a pitcher of water at my crotch. Not pretty. I’ve accepted and embraced the fact that I have SPS, but I know my limits and I’m not trying to put a neon arrow to my affliction. I tested the colored dance pants theory once. I have the most beautiful pair of royal blue dance pants that fit like a dream and make me look B-b-b-bootylicious. When I had a trainer about a year ago, and on a day I was feeling especially fly, I wore the Royal Blues to my training session. I knew I had SPS then, but I was told the Royal Blues were made of some scientific material that deflects moisture which I'm sure is true for people that don't have an overheated pussy. Right before my trainer came to meet me, I panicked and decided there was no way I could go through a whole workout with him all in my space when all I would think about was a possible puddle in my pants. After my warm up, I tied my sweatshirt around my waist. We all were not ready for that jelly.

When I got home from COC's class Sunday, after I worked so hard as I have been in the last few weeks to get myself in great shape, my husband says, "Honey, you must've had a really hard class today." He was staring below my waist. I said, "Right? Weird."

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Corporate Food Suck

I recently started working in Corporate World again, which is cool, but I completely forgot -- like Fried Shit Amnesia -- about the eating habits of cubicle dwellers. In the lunchroom there is one, big sabotage after another usually left in the kitchen without warning. Just dropped off on the table supposedly a little treat for everyone but in fact it's just plain evil.

I don't know why I was so shocked to see two huge boxes of donuts in the lunchroom yesterday morning. I even looked around like the donuts were illegal; like it was a mound of glazed amphetamines. The sight of that many donuts -- there must've been four dozen -- with hardened edges like they'd been fried in year-old oil, piled and sticking to each other looked obscene. The smell of melted, stale lard and sucrose was heavy in the air, and I dodged it like it was a noxious gas. I said, aloud, "Who actually still eats this shit?" which immediately, I realized, sounded elitist and bitchy -- but seriously, who can eat that crap when you know the donuts will just ball themselves up at the pit of your gut and then in a matter of minutes explode out of your ass. It's a matter of SECONDS if you're eating them with coffee.

When lunchtime rolled around there were only remnants of pick-over donuts because it seems that stealthily everyone had nibbled from them without witness. It's a Corporate-World rule: If there is food left on the office lunchroom table, it will be gone by the time you return, but you won't ever know who ate it. If there is food left in the company refrigerator, it will be gone within a day even if your name is magic markered all over the container. Just company rules.

So, lunchtime comes, and the warehouse says, "I'm making a lunch run, do you guys want anything?" I say, "Where are you going?" They say, "Weinerschnitzel." Loudly, I say, "What?" And sure enough they come back with chili dogs that smell like dog food and french fries and cokes . . . I don't know why that type of food looks so foreign to me now. Maybe 'cause when I worked at the health food store we were aghast if someone got even a diet coke. The raw foodies looked down on us for eating shit that was cooked -- that's how the hierarchy went there. The Corporate Food Suck is just back to some primal eating habits.

I remember when I was at the top of corporate food chain, when I worked at my last big desk job a few years ago. December was the feeding frenzy especially, when we couldn't get enough, and we'd wait for vendors to send us huge gourmet baskets filled with lemon-tart almonds and frog pate and ginger-tamarind popcorn and 145 different types of fudge -- all kinds of shit. And when the baskets would land, we'd flock around like button-down vultures and claim our favorites. We'd gather and horde; we'd tear right into packages and take ravenous bites out of things without the help of utensils. Sausages would be left with teeth marks in them and Sees Candies would be peeled open to discover contents. But eventually everything from the basket would be devoured even the things we liked least like, the horseradish mustard or wasabi licorice. Didn't matter. We'd eat it.

And now it all seems so grotesquely funny. I'm not really so embarrassed by my past glutinous stories as I am seriously amused by them. I'm thankful to feel removed from that now. Though we'll see how long it takes for the Der Weinerschnitzel requests to wear me down.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Now What?

I completed the 10 days of my Turbo Test 2005! yesterday without much fanfare or exhilaration on my part. I amazingly got back on the horse like I said I would, and I dug it out. Man, I was good. And I had schemed grand rewards when I succeeded like massages and shopping sprees, and quite frankly I feel a little blah about it. But just a little because I do feel this weird sense of pride, like a steady stream instead of a raging roar of I DID IT. It's more like, oh, this is how it's done - though obviously not as extreme -- this is how I'm supposed to live the rest of my life. Whoopie.

I lost five pounds during Turbo Test which is great. I guess. I mean it's half of my Holiday Gorge weight which before, in the last 5 months, I had lost only 1.3lbs approximately. I feel achy and strong and way more fit than when I started, but I suppose 9 of 10 days working out hard and eating purely and smallishly will do that to you. Uh, no duh. "Eat Less, Exercise More," as the Cookie Monster would say; a concept that still feels a bit elusive though I just spent 10 days fucking proving.

So now what? I'm a little nervous not having a hardcore plan in place. Cheerleader On Crack is supposed to announce what the plan is for the remainder of this four-week deal, but not until Sunday. And I could probably do a lot of damage between now until then. I'm sure The Modified Plan will be to workout 4-5 days a week and add just a little more food, maybe a treat once or twice a week . . . Logically, I so understand it all, but goddamn if I just want someone telling me what to do; to do the things I already know. Just until I get my Less&More legs solidly under me.

Today and tomorrow I'm gonna rest my body because in last night's class I was like one of those marathoners that hit the wall. I was trying to kick left and jab straight, but my limbs were more like jerking in whatever direction they wanted. It was weird. I ate cinnamon sugar toast for breakfast this morning (made with flaxseed oil spread, xylitol and organic cinnamon - oh yum) thinking I was slick with my first treat (other than the chocolate almond incident) and I felt a little nauseous after eating it to be honest. It wasn't exciting to eat it and I didn't want five pieces more after it and then I thought, Wait a second, has COC's squashed my excitement for treats and food? Has she really, somehow, curbed my appetite? Man, fuck her. I know I said I didn't want to stuff my face anymore with bags of cookies and chips and shit, but god, I'm realizing how fun it was to eat all that crap. Fun . . .fit . . . fun . . . fit, hmm. Ok, I guess I'll just see where this "Fit" thing is heading; just for a bit more. See if being all strong and healthy and shit ends up being more fun.

Monday, June 13, 2005

I love smoking

Last Mothers Day was the one year anniversary of when I quit smoking because smoking is dumb. I read once -- and I feel this expresses it best -- if you are still smoking knowing all the things we know about smoking, then you have mental problems.

But in my head, I love smoking and I miss smoking. I can only love it in my head and in fantasy Vargas pictures of myself (see realistic picture of me on the left). But knowing it is so blatantly poisonous and harmful -- it's like swallowing Ninja stars and hoping it won't tear up your intestines -- there is no way I can ever put another delicious Capri menthol to my lips.

It was the decadence of smoking that was the most fun for me. It was a bit of a thrill to be so carelessly uncautious. Look at me, I'm smoking and relaxing and doing whatever the fuck I want, I would think smugly in my car because alone in the car was the only time I really smoked. And while smoking was the only time I was ever that reckless. My one rebellion. One middle finger; nobody tells me what to do except ME. Then I smartened up and told myself to knock that stupid shit off.

I quit on Mothers Day because I knew smoking was a loud announcement to my family that it was ok to shorten my life, though they never witnessed me smoking. And how unimaginably unfair was that to two little girls that whole-heartedly, body & soul, cling to me? Visualizing them having to bury me because of my jackassery was enough to get me to stop. I couldn't do it anymore; no matter how - buried deep in my mental problems -- delicious and decadently sweet I still think it is.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Day Fucking 6 on Turbo Test 2005

Last night I slept through what was supposed to be my fifth workout in five days, and tonight I gave into the four pounds of malt-barley sweetened chocolate almonds because they wouldn't stop calling my name; over and over and over . . . Actually I feel a little nauseous now and I'm only slightly regretting it. TURBO THIS, Annarita.

I started my period yesterday which is fan-fucking-tastic timing for hardcore Turbo Testing. Since I've been a vegan, I don't suffer traditional PMS symptoms anymore which before had included -- but was not limited to -- wanting to randomly punch people in the face, believing I was a disgusting cow, developing the same three pimples every month in the same spots and shoveling as much food into my face as possible and happily justifying it. I now suffer more of a subtle POST menstrual syndrome and/or a DMS, a during menstrual syndrome. Though veganism has made me less grumpy in general especially during my period, now my period is a complete surprise. At least with PMS, no matter how horrible I was or felt, at least I knew I'd get my period a week later. Now, I'm like, Didn't I just have my period? Period? With no warning?

Had I been traditionally PMS'ing I may have never gotten out of the gates with this whole Turbo Test thing. And I can't figure out if that's good or bad.

The true test for me is Getting Back on the Horse. One missed work out and one flub up in eating is not going to break this test or my health drive, but giving up with one big Fuck It will. Once I flub up I tend not to go back; I tend to justify letting go because of things like my period and PMS (pre or post) or DMS. . . I tend to be better with total abstinence. But I realize that is not realistic nor balanced and most certainly not real life. Getting Back on the Horse is the most important test I can pass right now because then it will prove to me that this health quest will not be an never-ending hopeless cycle where I spin my wheels and make quark-like progress and then wonder why.

Thursday, June 09, 2005


While working at the health food store, one of my favorite regulars was named June. She was 82 years old and came in every Wednesday always dolled up and looking smart in nice slacks and crocheted sweaters that usually bore a sparkly broach. She loved papayas and green juice, but mainly she always bought remedies and health solutions because she had this terrible skin condition, a severe eczema-like phenomena, and I found out that most of the employees were creeped out by it. Other than the skin thing, she was as spry and bright-eyed as any 60 year old. I'd hug her (other employees cringed) and she was always touching my arm-- honestly I didn't mind the skin thing and I wouldn't have really noticed if she didn't talked about it -- but that was A LOT. Everyone in the store knew June was trying to find natural relief for the itching and peeling and scabbing and flaking and discoloration and scaling and -- you get the idea. She bought probiotics and ointments and alkaline-only stuff and chinese herbs -- whatever was suggested, she would try. And I loved that about her. If she thought dog poo would clear her skin, as long as it was natural, she would've smeared it on herself.

The first time June told me about her Skin Issue, all the other employees scattered in all directions, but I listened intently as she described the scabs on her scalp which lay under her lovely ash-blonde pin-up hair do - no wash and set for June, oh no, and she was so sweet that I couldn't not hear her out. Then she said - after a few seconds of silence,

"It's when they can't tell you what's wrong with your vagina . . .that's the kicker."

I said, "I hear you."

She said, "It's the thing that gives me most discomfort. It's terrible."

“Sure,” I said.

She said, "I'm wearing an ice pack right now."

"Cool," I said.

I got a five page letter from June yesterday. It’s written in that grandma scrawl that seems so comforting and legible because she comes from an age when letter writing was king. The first paragraph describes how she’s studying to be a teacher in some ministry. I’m scared to read the rest (though I know I will) because I don’t want to be convinced into coming in for a baptizing. Not that I’m easily convinced of anything, I just have a soft spot for June. And though she’s kind and hugs me a lot, I think the thing I am really most impressed by June is that even at 82 years old she has not given up her quest for optimal health; in fact she is fantastically diligent about it. And other than the freaky flaking and itching and peeling and scabbing thing, it does really show.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Day 2 of Turbo Test 2005

Yesterday, still high on my commitment to TT05, I did near perfectly. AnnaRita may comment that I had a tad too much fruit or not enough protein or a half a cup of coffee that she's just gonna have to pry from my dead, cold hands, but I did not eat the following:

* A bag of Michelles' chocolate chip cookies
* A bag of Uncle Eddies Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Vegan cookies
* A large bar of Orange Zest Carob
* A bag of Hav A Chips
* Four pounds of malt-barley sweetened chocolate almonds

Not one morsel did I have of the above.

I drank lots of water.

And I took Wiggy Terri's Hip Hop class last night.

Today was my oldest daughter's playoff basketball game leaving me no time to get Day 2's workout in. On TT05, I have to workout every day for 10days. But Papi offered to be late to work and take the girls to school so I could take COC's 6am class. (Yes, she has a 6am class because she has scheduled classes before and after work with this whole "No Excuses" theory in mind - whatever, I have plenty more excuses than just time constraints.)

I got up at 5:30 this morning and hauled ass to a gym in Rancho Santa Margarita because this is where the Turbo Cult Headquarters is. But I was ready to get my turbo on, looking shitty, quite possibly smelly and probably mismatched. But there was no 6am class. There was no class because dumbass (me) didn't look at the schedule to confirm that 6am classes are given every day, which apparently they are not. COC is peppy but even Kelly Ripa needs a break or two. I practically yell FUCK at the counter scaring the early-morning towel boy . . .and I go workout anyway. But let me tell you how over the whole gym experience I am. . .

I'm sick of free weights and self motivation, of women in their 50's with hard-ass titties and micro outfits grinding against their trainers. I'm sick of trainers. I'm sick of brain-dead treadmilling and watching the brain-dead news while doing so. I'm sick of germ-infested benches because god knows when the last time they sanitized them from every single person in RSM's DNA. I'm sick of meat heads burning a hole in me with their very subtle stares as I try to do some squats. I'm really sick of said meat heads trying to talk to me as I huff and puff on the stairmaster -- though I never get sick of telling them, Beat it! I'm sick of watching every . . .single . . .second . . .click . . .by . . . on the treadmill/stairmaster/elliptical bringing me closer to the end of the mind-numbing work out. I am sick of talking myself through the entire cardio ride - "Ten more minutes, you can make that." "Ok, I lied, three more minutes until ten more minutes, but think of how good you'll feel when you get to five more minutes, or five minutes until five more minutes . . ." "Please machine, break down, please break down. I will thee to break down . . ."

I did work out though. For a fucking hour with no caffeine and no walkman and no COC just telling me what to do to some rad hip hop mix. All at 6am. After the workout, I felt good and relaxed -- until it took me a goddamn hour to get from Rancho Santa Margarita to Irvine because every SUV in world rests and hides out in RSM and Coto de Caza until they all awaken at 7:30am with a fury and clog all the streets of the OC. An hour, which I did not take well. I became a rag doll flopping forward hitting my head on the steering wheel and flopping back with slack jaw hitting the head rest. And I did a lot of yelling.

So, I can't really say that today's workout was stress relieving.
But there's only 5 days left of the Turbo Test - actually 3 more days until 5 days left, but I am in it to win it.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Beckon Call of Cheerleader on Crack

I got an email from Cheerleader on Crack last week inviting me to be a part of a "Turbo Test Group." I am convinced that she is the most brilliant fitness instructor ever, like she was touched by god or Jack Lalane, called to fitness duty for which she so diligently and kindly and happily follows. She knows she's good and she doesn't rub it in your face. So, with this brilliance she has built a fitness empire called Turbo Kick and it has grown at alarming rates because we are all willing to do whatever COC tells us. She is in fact my fitness crack. And as long as she helps me get my ass into shape, I am perfectly ok with this.

So, the test group . . . COC is brewing up an infomercial to spread her gospel more to the masses, as it should be, like, the Trinity Church or Benny Hinn. And she is testing her product -- which I'll call Eat Right and Exercise -- on test groups. I have been invited to be a part of Test Group #2, and I went to the meeting yesterday. The program is basically: Be hardcore for 10 days to kick start your new way of life! And then give yourself a tiny bit of a break for the next 4 weeks and Voila! You are now in the habit of your fabulously healthy new lifestyle and on your way to optimal health.

The Hardcore portion of the program includes doing cardio all 10 of those days, hopefully all Turbo Kick. Whoever takes the most TurboKick classes during the 10 days wins a bad-ass TurboKick! jacket. Hardcore also includes very clean eating: No processed shit, no alcohol, smaller portions, stop eating 2 hours before bed time, no more than one caffeinated drink (if you must), and for fucks sakes drink some water. Good, solid advice and I have pretty much all of those under control except that portions part and the cookie addiction and not working out enough - oh and loving coffee so, so much . . . but other than that I think I got this. I'm trying to win that jacket, goddamn it, and I'm going to do this in quest of my optimal fitness. And for my Cheerleader on Crack.

My friend AnnaRita is part of this whole turbo cult; one of the key people now actually. I knew her when she was 50lbs heavier and took tennis lessons from my husband. I didn't think she was overweight at all. Just Samoan. But she got sucked into the lure of COC a few years ago and now AnnaRita looks like Ms. Fitness New Zealand 2002-2005. Ripped, not an ounce of fat with her Samoan hair crazy following out her head. She looks unbelievable. Sidebar: I see AnnaRita everywhere I go. Wherever I turn, AnnaRita is there. I'm not even surprised anymore. Shops, market, bookstore, obscure parties in Santa Ana . . . I was taken to a Prince concert by my BFF Mandy, and you may know that Prince pulls about 5 people on stage per concert. When I was there, AnnaRita was pulled on stage. She loves to announce to me in some kind of minority confidence how the white people in Orange County don't know how to move or dance which is funny considering AnnaRita doesn't dance that well either, but I love that she likes to confide that to me loud enough for all the white people to hear her.

AnnaRita was at the TurboTest meeting yesterday, of course. In her loud New Zealand accent she yells, "WE'RE GOING TO GET YOU INTO SHAPE!" Uh, k. Then out of a nervous need to make conversation as she was measuring my ass (yes, they measured, weighed and before-pictured me during the tortue portion part of this meeting), I say, "Uh, yea, heehee, my 20 year reunion's coming up in August." "WHAT??" She screams. My hair blows back because even though she's loud she likes to talk to me 3 inches from my face. Everytime I run into her, I round a corner and she's 3 inches from my face. She yells, "OH NOW YOU HAVE TO EMAIL ME YOUR FOOD LOG EVERY DAY. GOT IT? RE-UNI-ON!!" And I looked down the barrel of her ripped guns and I looked over at COC who smiled stellarly and waved -- I am now convinced AnnaRita is her personal hitman -- and said, frightened, "Ok."

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Salsa y Cardio Part Dos

With much anticipation I went to my Saalllssa y Tango . . .Cardio! Class this morning but to my surprise my girl Wiggy Terri was not teaching. Apparently she shares teaching responsibility with another teacher named . . . Antonio Banderas; at least that's what he probably calls himself in the mirror. This guy was so hilariously a Lateen Luber stereotype that I was chuckling when he walked in. But not the other girls. Oh no. I then realized that the crowd was a tad different than when Terri teaches; more women in their 40's with full make up on. I was like, OH COME ON!

Antonio was wearing tight-ass black dance pants -- very similar to my own, but 2 sizes smaller. When he took off his fleece pullover, his yellow undershirt was an XS and reveled his chiseled manly physique, plus hair on his shoulders, but that made him more likeable somehow. When I say manly, I mean in a small-man way. He could not've been taller than 5'3". But he was flashing the pearly caps and working the set curls and raising his eyebrows -- at least one anyway -- and twirling his hands and hips in mad flamenco style. I nearly yelled OLE! many times, but these ladies would not have tolerated me outwardly bagging on Mr. Banderas. It might've been a mob scene and I'm not trying to get a reputation as The Hater in my new class.

The choreography was corny cliche latin, and Antonio was not the best of teachers. We did shimmies (I like) and then the Pony . . . yes, that Pony; the hopping around Pony which seems like an oximoron in the middle of a latin dance, but Antonio loved the move. I nearly crazy glued my eyeballs still for fear of uncontrollable rolling.

Usually a crowd gathers around these dance classes to check out the hot shaking action, but today when I looked over at the windows of the class, I could see the some of the boxing class mimicking our moves. I was like, Fuck, it does look how I think it looks. I think I heard one of them yell OLE!

But I sweated and moved and got to listen to Shakira for an hour. And I was highly entertained by Mr. Dance Pantalones Banderas.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Ghost of Workout Past, Present and Future

I saw this guy watering his lawn a couple weekends ago. He was a couple notches above Normal Guy but he wasn't weird chiseled, shaved-chest cockhead. He was normal in that he was doing a chore and his hair was blowing around, but not intentionally gel'ed into perfect messiness. He was wearing long baggy cargo shorts, barefoot and no shirt on a beautifully built, but still somehow Normal-Guy chest. Like he was lying on the couch and during halftime of a basketball game he thought, Shit maybe I should do a chore, like one chore at least today. So, when I saw him he was slightly bent over watering under some bushes. I almost crashed the car. He was gorgeous in his normalness but you could tell he had put some time into his beautifully built, but not too perfect body. And right in that second as I swerved to straighten out the car, I thought I want to go to the gym. I want to work out more.

I was in the best shape of my adulthood last October, before The Holiday Gorge, when I was taking real kickboxing where they tape your hands and put gloves on you and you get to open a can of whoop-ass on a bag. It was mind-blowingly hard. Want-to-puke hard. I loved it. It was fun and different. AAaaannnddd, only taught by the most gorgeous dude ever. Gorgeous in that he was close to 40, 6'3" and he was a chiseled, shaved-chest cockhead; black belt in something, came in third in the Ironman, leapt tall buildings while filing his manly, lightly buffed nails. And you could see some grey in his hair. Hot. So hot I barely knew his name because I just called him Hot Stuff. Practically to his face. He flirted so hard with me that I literally couldn't keep up. Usually I am very game for some this-is-going-nowhere flirting, but holy shit this guy was a pro. I arrived early to the gym once and watched Hot Stuff spar some guy in judisu. After he annihilated the guy, he looked at me, sweating, kneeling, panting, barefoot and in a twisted gi, and he said quietly, "You wanna be next?" I may have shouted, "GOTTA GO" before I sprinted to my assigned punching bag. Other times, in front of me he would wipe sweat off his brow with the bottom of his shirt exposing a fat-free 12 pack with a baby treasure trail. And when I would look up all flustered -- forgetting the boxing combo -- he would just burrow a stare into me. I awkwardly would look away reminding myself, He's gotta do this to everyone considering some of the bimbo stripper types that come in here. Which was true because the gym was owned by a guy that also owned a local strip joint called Captain Cream's. I'm talking high brow here. Anyway, I was so stressed and thrilled by Hot Stuff and tried to show off so much that I got into sick shape. Then Hot Stuff got transferred to another gym and the guy they brought in as a replacement was boring as shit, not to mention not hot. I stopped going all together telling everyone I was burnt out from kickboxing.

Lately, I started taking again a dance-type “kickboxing” class from a teacher I like to call Cheerleader On Crack. I used to judge Cheerleader On Crack because she was the bubbliest, blondest, most energetic and most adorable little piece of Orange County perfection. But after one really hard class and after I got over my hateration, I realized she was the most kick-ass teacher only ever. She’s a teaching genius. She has us all under her spell. She's the type that will pinpoint the one grandma in the back of the room who's had a shitty day out of 5,000 people in her class and say, "Great energy Mildred." She just knows your name like a jedi master training us for a Cheerleader On Crack Tournament. The first time she called out my name -- and I stand in the back of the class for fear of getting round-housed by the first-chair kickboxers -- I was floored. I was like, Did she just say my name? That's amazing -- mainly because of the fact that she had enough wind to still speak after her gut -wrenching combo.

And then there’s my new love, Salsa Cardio with my girl, Terri the Wig Wearer. I can’t really express how much I love her.

My goal is to get a least four days of cardio going and two days of strength training because there is no way women can not strength train especially as we get older. Recently, I went to a "Super Sculpt Class" where you lift weights in an aeobics class setting. WEAK. That's what I am. WIZ-NEAK. The 80 year old lady to my right said, Do you want me to help you with the 3lbs dumbbells? And the 5 year old to my left observed, Take breaks when you need . . . Actually, there was no 80 year old and no 5 year old and no one said anything to me because I could tell everyone in the class was struggling within the realms of their own weakness whether they were wrestling with the 5lb weights or lifting 20lbs barbells but looking at themselves in the mirror wondering why their ass was still sagging 2 inches below where it used to in high school.

I’ve realized - again, because I'm sure I've had this realization at least 432x's in my life -- that I don't need to work out to lose weight; I need to work out for my mental health. I need it to not slip into any kind of depression. I need it for stress management. I need it to feel good. I need to do it now and always.