Who has the motivation to work out consistently at home? Not me. Although I do find the array of at home workout videos both fascinating and hilarious. Fascinating in the sense that you suddenly realize you’re now a member of the suburban “mom” demographic targeted by late night infomercials- It’s fascinating in the sense that what you used to roll your eyes and change the channel at, you now seek out on the internet. “slimmer buns and thighs?” “abs of steel?” oooooh sign me up! Your single self would laugh heartily at claims like “who needs a gym! Have the body you’ve always dreamed of with only a floor and some spandex!” Old me would’ve said “Uh huh- who falls for this garbage!? Hit the gym! Take a run! Some crunches on the floor in some spandex aint gonna get rid of THAT flab!!” But now that I’m a “suburban mom” I realize these ads aren’t kitschy or ridiculous- they are just aired for a specific demographic. They play on the hopes and vulnerabilities of the “stay-at-home” set. When you realize that bouncing a stroller down 3 flights of stairs doesn’t count as a workout, your’e saved by the precious info-mercial on youtube. Wow! I can somehow become slimmer and healthier without leaving home! Floor? Check! Spandex?(embarrassingly) Check! Whoo hoo! I will now be a slimmer, hotter me!!!
I find the workout videos hilarious because they almost always take themselves a little too seriously and are so silly to look at! I’m convinced that half of the workout benefits come from the side-splitting laughter these videos induce. It isn’t unusual for my husband to come home and find me convulsing with laughter as I attempt to “shake my booty shake shake” in time to the music. I indeed appear to be having some sort of involuntary spasm as I laugh and try to be coordinated at the same time. At first he was alarmed. Now he shrugs it off. “women”. He thinks. You also can’t help laughing at a very effeminate Brazilian man, oiled from head to toe, lit by glaring fluorescent lights, shaking his tuchus for all its worth, to some cheesy imitation pop music, while a bunch of plastic surgery dolls dance woodenly behind him in neon spandex. I crack up just thinking about it! At least the dance themed exercise videos slate themselves as “fun” and “a party”, so they do hint at a little bit of self awareness about their silliness. But the more fitness oriented videos? THOSE really get me going. Pilates-meets boxing meets tai chi meets ballet! All at home with no equipment! Nobody smiles. Nobody shakes their booties (intentionally anyways) this is serious business. You think you look like Mohamed Ali with a touch of Balanchine. What you really look like is a drunk and delusional 4 year old fighting off imaginary villains. In spandex. I haven’t seen results from these videos- mainly because they’re really just my daily dose of comic relief. I’ve seen most of the “episodes” already- so the “jokes” aren’t funny to me anymore. How many times can I laugh at Pele dance “hip hop”? Or Allison punching the air like she’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer on steroids? The novelty has worn off. The time has come to (really) get serious. I’m off to join the gym next week! Wish me luck!