R.I.P. Shake Weight

Every now and again someone will ask me, “Cherie, do you still use your Shake Weight?” I stop, smile and then think about how far I’ve come since then. Don’t get me wrong–I loved the heck out of that thing. I did it religiously. Until I stopped doing it religiously. The premise was that you only had to use it for six minutes a day. Let me tell you, those were the longest six minutes of my life! In fact, I couldn’t even do it for six minutes straight; I had to break it up. I would do three minutes, then hop on the treadmill and then finish with the last three when I was done. So did it work? Did it do the job As Seen on TV?

You were good to me Shake Weight...

Well, it might have worked. It definitely made my arms tired. And it inspired me to get rid of the arm jiggle/bat wings that I was sporting at the time. Plus, let’s face it–some exercise is better than none. And at that time, I wasn’t really doing any arm/weights work at all so this made me feel like I was doing something! But now it’s time to pack up my Shake Weight for good. Some thrift store is going to be super stoked to get it!

I love my dumbbells. They're very smart!

These are my weights of choice now. I don’t shake them. I lift them. A lot. It reminds me of that commercial for Planet Fitness: “I lift things up and put them down.” This is not to slam the coolness of the Shake Weight though. It’s a fun place for someone to start who is thinking of getting into fitness. But once you’re ready and have gotten the go ahead from medical professional, try out the real weights…even a 5 pounder. Come on, it’s fun!  I should be lifting today actually, but I’m fighting a splendid earache/headcold thingie. I rarely get sick anymore, which I will say is due to my healthy lifestyle now. So being safe, and scared that with the foggy haze I’m in I’ll drop a dumbbell on my head, I’m taking a rest day. I guess I could do abs and pushups though. Speaking of pushups…

I can do a Perfect Pushup without these now!

This was another As Seen on TV purchase that I had to add to my early fitness regimen. I’m proud to say that I can now do perfect pushups without these. But again, if you’re just starting out and trying to do pushups with more ease, they aren’t too shabby at all. I had to learn to do mine without them seeing as how in the police academy I don’t think these will be allowed. 😉 Over time I learned that simple is the way to go with working out. For me anyhow… I just need the basics and I’m good to go. An excellent pair of running shoes, my treadmill as a backup, real weights, stability ball, foam roller and I’m good to go.

What are your workout essentials? Have you tried any fitness fads?

From Fat to PHat.

 I’d like to thank Nurse Practitioner Murphy for the inspiration… 😉

I'd also like to thank this treadmill girl for my inspiration.

I'd also like to thank this treadmill girl for my inspiration.

Phonetically, they are the same. But “fat” and “phat” carry very different meanings. I never realized just how much until a back injury sidelined me for three months over the summer. During a doctor’s appointment, the nurse practitioner referred to me as fat and not with a “ph.” Never hearing those words to describe me before, I knew it was time to kick it into gear and go from fat to phat. If you want to go from fat to phat—pretty hot and tempting, here’s how to do it.

Admit to yourself that yes, you are fat. This is very difficult to do and may be the hardest step of all. It’s not going to do yourself any good to keep pretending that you’re just carrying a few extra pounds, or that the lighting is making you look that way, or you can hide it with an all black outfit or some baggy clothes. It’s not self-hatred to declare yourself the “f-word.” It is a real eye-opening, self-awareness type of conversation you need to have with yourself and stop putting off. Look in the mirror, naked, and realize that you need to deal with what you see. Say good-bye to the self-pity, excuses, poor health, sedentary lifestyle and bad eating. And for one final time, say good-bye to the fat.

Turn the negative comments into your inspiration. For me, it was the nurse practitioner calling me fat four times within the span of a twenty minute exam. So now, with every step I take on the treadmill and every bite of grilled tilapia, I’m thinking of much closer I’m getting to my goal of going from fat to phat, and making her eat her words. I always have a mental picture of walking into her office a few months from now, thinner than she, and asking, “Who are you calling fat?” I may or may not do this, but her negative comments give me just the motivation I need to keep at it. For you, maybe it is a bully you want to amaze at your high school reunion, or make the jaws drop of the people in your social circle that called you “the fat friend.” Whatever it is, use the negative comments to your benefit, because looking good really IS the best revenge.

Get moving and get cooking. Sorry, but going from fat to phat is not going to happen overnight. The “phat fairy” is not going to come during the middle of the night, wave her wand and magically switch out the “f” for the “ph.” YOU have to do this part yourself; you have to seriously WANT to do it. And you guessed it—it comes down to the age old rule that to lose weight you need to exercise and eat healthy. They go hand in hand; don’t think that just because you spent half an hour on the treadmill, it’s okay to gobble down mounds of fried goodness. Along with the daily exercising, you should begin to cook your own meals to monitor what foods you’re ingesting. It won’t hurt to do some research with your doctor or a nutritionist to find out just how many calories you should be taking in to take off the weight. Remember, slow and steady wins the race—with exercise and a proper diet, you will go from fat to phat!

© Copyright Cherie L. Steffen All Rights Reserved 2009

*viewer discretion is advised*

aww, cute. but it won't look anything like this.

aww, cute. but it won't look anything like this.

as of two weeks today, i’ve been taking alli to aid in my weight loss. now, i don’t notice that the scale has budged at all, but i know for a fact that i’m finally eating the right foods and better portions of them. why? because i’m deathly afraid of the “treatment effects” striking at the wrong time and place.


the treatment effect, side effect in lamens terms, that is scaring me into healthy eating is a runny, oily, orange surprise in my pants. that’s right friends, if i don’t closely monitor my intake of fat grams with each and every meal, i will have explosive diarrhea. but sometimes it won’t be explosive; it will just ooze out slowly, run down my leg, and embarrass the shiznitz out of me. NO–this HAS NOT happened!! but it could. i’ve been reading a few horror stories about it online. one man was just sitting at an outdoor cafe eating his lunch, which he admitted was over the allowable fat grams, and *boom* the treatment effects made their debut for ALL to see. oh, the horrors!! but, unlike side effects that can be the result of taking some drugs, these are 100% preventable. if i eat well, stick to 15 grams of fat or less per meal, it won’t happen. i did test this to be sure–i believe i had close to 18 or so in one meal. albeit, it was just a meal of sushi, noodle soup and seven triscuits, but somehow, i must have gone over my limit. luckily, i was dining at home. shortly after the meal hit my tummy, like clockwork, there was a rumblin’. i won’t go into the gory details, but yeah, um, the poo is no joke. and yes, the oil is orange. okay, okay, tmi.

i’m not just relying on alli to do all of the work; i know it’s not a magic pill. i am working out on my treadmill for an hour each day and doing strength training with some tough resistance bands. but at least now, i’m very closely monitoring my calories and fats. i even keep a food diary to make sure i’m on track every day. it’s amazing–all the times before when i thought i was eating well, i really wasn’t. i was eating too much food. it was healthy food, but way too much of it. i’m controlling my portions and not even tempted to go for a second helping because i know how long i’ll have to work on that treadmill to burn it off.

and i know that oily stool is sooooo not attractive.

do people still even know who mama cass is?


this is NOT my ass, thank you. i like dramatics.

this is NOT my ass, thank you. i just like dramatics.

i just went to say hello to an old friend i haven’t seen in about 2 months. well…i don’t know if we were really friends. he’s takes my breath away, i’ll give you that. i actually start to sweat when i’m anywhere around him. but for the most part, he’s pretty mean to mean to me.  if i give him what he wants, he ends up giving me what i want. it’s a love-hate relationship. his name is treddy. he’s my treadmill but i’m his bitch.
      thanks to the wonderful back injury i’ve been dealing with for the past few weeks, treddy and i haven’t spent a lot of time together. he’s not pleased about this. other than my sorority sisters, he’s the most expensive friend i’ve ever had. so i’m sure my husband can’t be too happy either since he paid for treddy to befriend me.
    i am going to try to walk today. just a slow, no incline walk. i’ll aim for 5 minutes. if i can do more i will, if not, well…shit. i’ll just continue looking like a contestant on More To Love.  i know i look like contestant because my husband, who is figuratively my biggest fan, did not disagree with me! i was shocked! there i was lying in the bed talking about how i have extra “pudge” (my innocent sounding term for fat rolls which makes it seem less demeaning somehow and cutesy. kinda like fudge ), which he didn’t deny. i said, “my goodness, i could go on that new bachelor for fat people, more to love.”  instead of saying, nooooooo, you couldn’t go on that show! he did at least say, “you’d be the smallest one on there and all the other girls would be jealous of you!” ooookkkkay…i guess that’s not that bad. but if i were on the regular bachelor i’d then be like mama cass or something! arrgh. he meant well, bless his heart. and he didn’t lie to me which is a good thing–to have a truthful man. but i as a woman i heard, “you fatass!! look at you!! my, my, my what a fat bastard you’ve become! you need to get on that $400 treadmill i paid for and starting working it off $1 at a time!”  yes, yes, that’s what I heard.
        okay, treddy, here i come.