Enter your keyword



I started working out with a personal trainer a few weeks ago. His name is Travis, and he’s into martial arts, brown rice, chicken, drinking a lot of water, and keeping up with the latest advancements in interrogation techniques. If you find yourself in the greater metropolitan Los Angeles area and are in the market for either a personal trainer or an interrogation specialist, then you should definitely give Travis a call, by the way. Because he’s extraordinarily gifted in the skill sets of both of those professions, especially for somebody who is only like seventeen or something.

I have been working out with Travis twice a week — though to be honest, that description is a little misleading, because what really happens is that I go to the gym, and Travis stands there with a clipboard, tells me the stuff I have to do, and doesn’t break a sweat. For instance, he’ll say, “Here, let’s put this oversized rubber band around your ankles, and then I want you to walk sideways across the weight-lifting section of the gym, stretching the rubber band as you go, and squatting down after every step.” I mean, I’m pretty sure that Travis works out, but he doesn’t do it when I’m around, because he does not want anything to get in the way of supervising me running a sideways three-legged race at an imaginary company picnic. Meanwhile, I’m unemployed, my legs are tied to each other, so there’s really only one leg instead of three, oh and by the way, where the fuck is the potato salad, Travis?

Still, I do it, and when I’m done I’ll ask him what else he has in his bag of tricks, because if making me pretend to take a dump in the middle of Equinox with a bungee cord around my ankles is the best he can do . . . well, he’s going to have to find some other sucker to reveal the location of the sleeper cell.


So yesterday, Travis gleefully announces, “It’s time for Steppers!” as if 1) I should know what that means, because 2) Steppers! are only the fucking greatest thing in the world. The way he said it, all sing-songy and enthusiastic like, I was envisioning Steppers! as the exercise adaptation of a circa 1970 upbeat musical based on a Dickens novel, perhaps something calling for an ensemble cast with mutton chops. Imagine my disappointment when I found out that Steppers! is just an inappropriately festive name for another really annoying cardio exercise that will wear me down in between strength training sessions. Yeah. “It’s time for Steppers!” just means it’s time for Anna to run/jump onto a stool like it’s a stadium step, and then run/jump backwards off the stool, and then back up again, and so on, for forty-five seconds. And during that forty five seconds, Travis will tell me, “You’re going too fast,” or “You’re going too slow,” in turns, because whatever it is, I’m almost always doing it wrong, because there’s usually some way of making it more painful that I haven’t anticipated.

I’ve lost eight pounds so far.

Travis doesn’t get credit for all eight of those pounds though, because it’s not just the exercise I’ve been doing. I’ve been starving myself also. And who is the one not eating Red Velvet Cake despite the numerous situations over the past few weeks in the face of which Red Velvet Cake would have been 100% justified? I’ll tell you who it’s not — it’s not Travis. In fact, I don’t even think Travis knows what sugar is, or maybe he’s heard of sugar before but it’s not something he would ever bother with, because whenever the topic comes up, it’s like he gets that glassy eyed look like, “Your lips are moving but you might as well be speaking Martian, because sugar? You actually like that stuff? Does not compute.”

The other day Travis had the audacity to suggest to me that I should not drink so much Diet Coke. So I told him, “Look here, whippersnapper, I’m eating like almost no food, I’m not eating cake, I’m going to the gym five times a week, including twice with you and your fucking Steppers!, and now you want me to give up Diet Coke? Are you insane?” And he’s like, “Oh you don’t have to give it up, you should just drink less of it. Like when I go out and order something to drink, I’ll still have a Diet Coke.” And then I repeated, “And now you want me to give up Diet Coke?” And then he’s like, “It’s time for more Steppers!

We pretty much understand each other.

Comments (16)

  1. Feb 3, 2010

    I read this while polishing off my bacon, egg and cheese bagel. Congratulations on the 8 lbs, but red velvet cake? Really? You’re a better person than I, because if that kid was yelling at me and NOT working out at the same time, I would so find myself in the McDonald’s drive-thru after my workouts, cursing his name loudly in revenge.

    But this is probably why you’re skinny and will get your own HGTV show, because TV keeps you skinny, no? And for the record, that bagel wasn’t as good as it looked.

  2. Feb 3, 2010

    I suspect that if I had a personal trainer, I would mostly burn calories by picking up the phone and calling in sick to the sessions.

    I did get one of those Digitallife things last month. It’s stunning how little you move when you are home with small kids in a small house in below-freezing weather.

    LOVE the new banner (although for a second I was like, wait, spermie dudes, you’re totally swimming the wrong way!).

  3. Feb 3, 2010

    You don’t like red velvet cake? Oh my god, I love red velvet cake! I could eat it all day, and then vomit, and then eat more of it. That’s how much I love it.

    And for the record, I WILL NOT be getting a reality show, because I’m no dummy: I know if people saw me on TV every week it would take them about ten seconds to hate me. I mean, duh. It’s so hard to come off well on a reality show, unless you totally control the edits, which they don’t let you do.

    Oh and by the way, guess who is doing the keynote for Mom 2.0? Just take a wild guess.

  4. Feb 3, 2010

    Bah! I didn’t even think of the other symbolism of that banner. HAH.

    I always thought that being at home with kids should be burning a lot more calories than it does, because it’s so exhausting. But apparently, that doesn’t matter.

  5. Feb 3, 2010

    You know what it is about red velvet cake? It’s Steel Magnolias when Shirley McLaine is all “that looks like an autopsy.” Can’t get it out of my head.

    Dooce is keynote? HI-larious. If I were a mom, I would go, but the title of that conference is a little off-putting to the rest of us. Can’t wait to hear all about it. Also, I can’t wait to hear about BlissDom. I’m so jealous. Maybe next year. Take good notes at all these things, Anna. We count on you for recaps.

    And PS, if Kelly Cutrone can get her own show, you could too. Although I think she’s an exec producer.

  6. Feb 3, 2010

    I don’t like red velvet cake either because I think it’s kind of duplicitous. When I see it I’m expecting some sort of berry-chocolate taste but it’s just chocolate. Meh.

    I’m a black forest gal.

  7. Feb 3, 2010

    Congrats on the 8lbs. At least your PT sounds like he works out. The PTs at my gym look like they need a trainer. Very discouraging….

  8. Feb 3, 2010

    I like black forest, too, and yeah, the red coloring is kind of a bad aspect of the red velvet cake. But what you’re not focusing on is the fact that red velvet cake is a cake smothered with cream cheese frosting that doesn’t involve carrots. And you cannot beat that in my book.

  9. Feb 3, 2010

    Thanks! Yes, he definitely works out and trains, there’s no question. I don’t think there are any trainers there who aren’t really into working out. That would really suck to have somebody who is totally out of shape advising you on how to get fit.

  10. Feb 3, 2010

    I want to smack personal trainers, but that will just prove how badly I could really use one.

    You can drink a few less DC’s by subbing in Diet Pepsi’s. That way keep your word to Travis and maintain your bubbly Nutrasweet and caffeine intake.

  11. Feb 4, 2010

    Oh, I made no promises about the Diet Coke to Travis. I’m not crazy. I’ll drink Diet Pepsi in a pinch, but I’m pretty loyal to Diet Coke.

  12. And that right there is why everyone 19 and under should be shot on sight. Think of how much thinner and fit the rest of us would look with all of them gone.

    That being said, nice job on the eight pounds.

  13. Feb 5, 2010

    LOL! Thanks, Kate.

  14. Feb 5, 2010

    lololololol. I had a trainer like that a few years ago. Total freak about plyometrics. Ask Travis about them…if you hate the rubberband trix you’re gonna *really* hate plyo! (sorry i don’t comment more often…but boy do I enjoy reading you!)

  15. Travis
    Feb 5, 2010

    Hahahah more steppers!!!

  16. Feb 5, 2010

    Oh no!

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.