Lifestyle, What's On Our Mind

Working out with Gwyneth…

Aleisha by Aleisha
June 20th, 2013

I’m 32 and I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, all because of the telly. I promise this isn’t spam and I’m not a human infommercial… this is a story of laziness AND motivation.

Good combo.

I joined a gym once and then it took me a good 13 months to unjoin. It’s not like I didn’t want to go to the gym…well it’s just being a comedian and freelancer, I felt that the regular financial contribution I was making to the gym, to not go to the gym, was perhaps better off spent on food and shelter.

Gwenyth and Tracy Anderson

Gwenyth and Tracy Anderson

I was never much for the treadmill, I rarely entered the ‘mirrored muscle room’ but I did like the aerobics, pump and Pilates classes…I even gave zumba whirl. The music’s loud, I liked to flail around, fellow exercises would inch away from me but in my mind I was Gwyneth Paltrow and the instructor was my personal Tracy Anderson.

I was charmed by the energetic and wheeze free delivery of the classes by the perky instructors. They leapt and jumped and yelled, without getting sweaty or out of breath. Are they robots? Perhaps.

Exercise for me is a great way to clear the brain and play out imaginary arguments with people I’d like to argue with but who I am either scared of, can’t be bothered dealing with their response or don’t know… but I am still angry with (Tony Abbott/Australian TV Executives/my dead mother).

So in my gym-free time of need, I lucked upon the world of home workout DVDs.

Yeah, like the ones that your mum used to own.

No, not Jane Fonda.

There’s a whole new breed of hard-core, sassy, ripped people who motivate, yell and breathlessly guide you through workouts whenever you hit play in the comfort (or discomfort) of your lounge room.

I started my new regime with Jillian Michaels and her ‘30 day Shred’ or 30DS if you are a part of the online workout community (oh yes it’s a thing…a big thing).

Three, 30-minute levels of cardio/strength workouts.

I’m not going to lie, the first time around it hurt. I made birthing noises. It was gross but like the title of the DVD says, you do it for 30 days, so I did it.

Jillian doesn’t hold back with quotes like “unless You Puke, Faint or Die, Keep Going!” and her famous ‘Don’t phone it in”. Having graduated from that program I purchased more and more ‘Jillian’s’. I then moved on to her counterpart Bob Harper. He’s a hot gay man, who seems nice but works you so hard that sometimes post workout I lie staring at the ceiling in a borderline catatonic state. My latest favourite is Chalene Johnson.

Girlfriend. Can. Work. out.

I started with TurboFire… a sort or dance, humpy, aerobic series which are both mentally and physically taxing. Chalene is a workout goddess, she’s blonde, ripped, urber American, and extremely charismatic…most things that as a brown head, cynical Australian comedian, you’d think I’d deny but I leave each ‘Chalene’ work out wanting to be her friend. I think she’s amazing.

My friends ask how I stay motivated to work out at home?

Well, once I buy the DVDs I don’t pay any more money. I don’t have to drive to the gym, find a park, make awkward eye contact with the personal trainer that you went to for 4 free sessions and never went back. I’m in charge of when I ‘join a class’. I don’t have any excuses…the weights (I have 2, 4.5 8 kg) are next to the couch and ready to go. A hypnotherapist one said to me, ‘if you could bottle that feeling that you get after exercise and sell it, it’s be more popular than drug’. I have 60 workouts in my collection now…excessive? Maybe. Yoga, pump, a series called Insanity and even the famous P90X (google it, it’s mental but awesome). I don’t get bored and I feel great.

Thanks telly.