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Going Gabor on Austin

Friday, June 02, 2006
written by Java Junkie

The first yoga I ever did was to a Denise Austin video. I had fallen ill a couple years before and come to realize that I am a type A personality - had been all my life. I just never realized it because I always had a large amount of physical activity to outlet with. As time went on I noticed that I was becoming more and more stressed about smaller and smaller things. After talking to friends, who were like "uh yeah, duuuhh" I realized I needed someway to relieve stress. After obtaining special permission from my doctor, I decided to try yoga and Denise's video was my introduction.

I'm sure at least some of you recognize her. She's been called a "fitness guru" more than once. Her smiling face has graced many a morning cable exercise and aerobic shows. Oddly, even after having been a fitness instructor, a dance instructor, and having worked out for years, I had no idea who she was. I actually asked my housekeeper (no I wasn't rich, I was simply too ill to keep house) who was also an aerobics instructor, if she had ever heard of her. She "pft"'ed me in disbelief that I didn't.

The video was nice, I have to admit. The first time through I actually almost cried tears of relaxation if that's possible. The second time I was so relaxed that I started laughing when I accidentally caught myself on fire with a candle I had burning on my desk. So yeah, I guess you could say it worked. Unfortunately I didn't stick with it, mostly due to a series of unfortunate events.

Skip ahead 3 1/2 years. Last November Monkey and I decided to go on the South Beach Diet because of the weight we both gained during my pregnancy with Parker. We enjoyed much success, too. He lost 30 lbs and I lost almost 20, and it really wasn't a hard diet to stick to at all, outside of two things. It's monstrously more expensive to buy fresh, non-processed food and prepare it yourself for every single meal and snack and it takes an incredible amount of time and energy to buy fresh, non-processed food and prepare it yourself for every single meal and snack. We made it up close to Christmas. And then *kerplunk*. We fell off the diet wagon because, lets face it, after spending hours and hours Christmas shopping you do not want to come home and spend hours and hours making dinner. You want to grab your phone and dial some of the good stuff and well, Pizza Hut does NOT do carb friendly pizzas damn them all to hell. So it became "Just until the holidays are over" and then "just until things settle down" and then "just until after our birthday" and then... Well you get the point. And when I say we fell off the wagon I mean we fell off the wagon just as it was going over a bridge between two cliffs high above the ocean. "Well we're going back on, so we might as well indulge" became our mantra. Monkey's gained everything back, if not a little more and I've gained 2/3 back. But the absolute worst thing about going on the South Beach Diet, for me, was Denise Austin.

For any of you thinking of SBD, I really cannot sing this way of eating enough praise. I really just cannot. It's a wonderful way of eating and soon I will be going back on it, if only in a modified version better suited for my energy level. And the best advice I can give you is to join their website instead of buying the book, it's at least 100 times the value. Especially if you like newsletters. Because now I get a news letter from smiling crackhea - er I mean Denise Austin every single day. And you know, I don't even think she's a "fitness guru" as much as I do a fitness bandwagon exploiter. "Yoga's the thing? Oh I'll throw out a yoga video. Pilates? Get out your gold card ladies because I have Pilates DVD's up the wahoo." And now I get an email from her, every morning, telling me how Denise Austin works for So and So and how NOT to influence poor eating habits with my kids. Oh shut the fuck up Denise. If you ever once had an original thought it was bleached away years ago by Clairol. If I ever see you in person I'm going to go Zsa Zsa on your ass and smack your botoxed face into a permanent look of shock.
10:34 AM ::
  • Thanks for stopping by! That was cool. Maybe I should try yoga. Sounds like it might calm me down a little! My word verification is krackr...is it trying to tell me something? When I was little, my brother used to call people crackers when he thought they were crazy. I'm not sure if that even means anything to the rest of the world, but to me every time I hear the word cracker that is what I think of. Is that a real expression, or did my brother make that up just to make me sound dumb when I repeat it?

    By Blogger radioactive girl, at 5:32 PM  
  • Oooh, Denise Austin. When I was doing eDiets I signed up for those stupid newsletters, and it wasn't long before I was yelling STFU at my computer screen! And, I recently bought a cheap workout video of hers, Cardio Something or Other, and it was NOT GOOD. One, you know at the beginning of her videos where she comes out and says "Hi! I'm Denise Austin! Welcome to my blahblahblah video!"? She's wearing a spandex top and shorts, and in the middle is a big squishy fat roll!

    I'm not saying that to be hypocritical, and I know she's 40+ and has had children, but what was weird was that when the workout started, the fat roll was gone. So it's like they filmed the intro, she made up the workout and lost weight, then they filmed the workout. And come on, for all the different DVDs she sells, wouldn't you think she'd at least be in shape?

    I've had people recommend South Beach, Weight Watchers CORE, and the Glycemic Index Diet. All of which seem pretty similar, but I would have to stop eating potato chips! And Ice Cream! And white bread! God, the deprivation. I don't know if I could stay on it for very long. But if I could lose 20 pounds in the next 55 days....

    By Blogger Elizabeth, at 5:43 PM  
  • Sis, you'd lose about 10 lbs in the first two weeks and then 1 - 2 lbs (2 to start and then it slows down a bit) every week there after. Think about it, I lost 20 lbs in like a month and a half, so yeah that goal would be very achievable.


    The only "cracker" I know is a racial slur targeted at caucasians that dates back to when slaves called their masters "cracker" in reference to the crack the whip made or "fire cracker" which means spunky. But if your brother used it to mean crazy I say all the more power to you for using it and putting a fun connotation into it!

    By Blogger Java Junkie, at 6:09 PM  
  • The difference in DAs appearance is probably because the tape was 15 years old and was originally called something else ("Bellbottom dance aerobic step jazzercise pilates yoga tae bo workout"). A new fad came along and she redid the intro to use the new fad's name. She probably hasn't had to do a new tape in *years*.

    As for "crackers":

    By Anonymous attentive, at 6:28 PM  
  • I believe the original reference was to crack "head" rather than "er" but it is intersting where it went because we use the phrase crazy cracker as well which is kind of a combo racial slur mock of mentally ill folks basically meaning a dufuss who has no culture or perhaps a hyperactive person with a colorless soul/uninteresting personality. Yeah if you figure that out get back to me.

    PS, Sis now I understand the Denise Austin conversation this weekend much better. HA! Eating healthy is no doubt a lot of work and more expensive as my hypoglycemia diet is very similar or maybe the same thing. I do believe that the return on investment is high enough to justify the cost though as you end up buying fewer Rolaids and even healthy food is cheaper than wasting money on food/consumable items that have no digestable nutritional value whatsoever. I say this as I look at my schedule and realize that I will be fast-fooding it at least three times this week (argh!).

    Love to all,

    By Blogger nmariluna, at 8:40 AM  
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