Did I tell you about that time I spent an entire weekend sweating in Atlantic City?
Update on my healthy living journey: A month into cutting out refined sugars and working out 3-4 times a week, I’m down 12 pounds (about 1/3 of the way to my goal), and feeling better than I have in ages.
It seemed appropriate to celebrate by going to (God, you guys won’t even believe this), a fitness festival in Atlantic City for the weekend.
Headlined by Jillian Michaels, Sweat AC was a 3-day health and wellness event held this past weekend in Atlantic City, featuring workshops, lectures, an expo center, and a full roster of classes taught by some of the biggest celebrity fitness instructors in the country.
My friend Kristin and I had taken Jillian’s bodyshred class at CRUNCH Gym last month, so I had a vague idea of what to expect — essentially bone-crushing fear followed by a sense of adrenaline-induced euphoria. I imagine it’s somewhat similar to how people feel after they, say, survive a plane crash.
This class was very different than the prior experience – the first, an intimate media-only affair, had maybe 20 class participants – this one, which had tickets sold to the public, boasted easily over 200 class attendants.
But no worries, I totally got my dose of personalized attention. In fact, it happened in the first few minutes:
I catch eyes with Jillian, who is standing on a raised platform at the front of the room. I smile — she is, after all, a mega celeb.
Jillian looks at me, and evilly chuckles. “She’s smiling now. It’ll be ‘You Bitch’ within 10 minutes….”
Now Jillian is wrong in this assessment because I’m WAY too afraid of her to ever call her names. At least not when we’re in the same zip code. But the sentiment? Right on.
I’m a girlie-girl workout type of chick (I aspire to yoga and dance aerobics to Madonna tunes, after all) – but I know that Jillian is good at what she does. She gets results — but she also isn’t called America’s toughest trainer for nothing.
So, while the first class last month was a half hour of hell, this one was an hour. And during this hour, Jillian had us in plank — my most LOATHED position — for probably a good half of the class. She also believes in keeping your heart rate up (supposedly it’s a good thing), so there’s NO resting between positions. Whatsoever. In fact, there’s not even breathing breaks allowed. Seriously.
“I didn’t fly all the way from L.A. to see you quit!” she screamed midway through (maybe in my direction, I was too near-dead at that point to look up). “Is this all you’ve got?” Pretty much, yes. (Sorry!)
But — being I’m typing this post — you can rest assured I am still alive. But the workout KICKED MY ASS. Imagine the fun of a double-leg donkey kick from the plank position ( this), single-leg mountain climbers ( this), bent-leg oblique twists ( this), and tons of all other fun. I totally wanted to die. And at some point thought I might. (And then I looked over and saw Kristin doing everything while I panted and cried and then pretty much decided I decided to have my ass kicked back into New York.)
After class, Jillian took off the tough persona and was — much like last time — awesome to chat with. She sat down for a mini interview (I’ll be featuring it on LovingYou.com soon!) – and shared some of her great tips for everything from fitness when you don’t have time to get to the gym and making nutrition work when you have a busy travel schedule. Interesting to learn – Jillian totally loves to eat, just like we do! (I know it sounds shocking, but I was rather excited to learn that her favorite last-meal on earth is shockingly like mine – Nobu’s spicy tuna on crispy rice, with french fries and peanut butter pie…oh and a bottle of wine AND several shots of good tequila, obviously.)
My one fear after surviving Jillian (again!!!) was that I’d be spent for the class I was MOST excited about — right after Jillian’s class, Kristin and I went to Kass Martin‘s Zumba class. I LOVE Kass Martin – of all the instructors on the Sweat AC roster, Kass was far and away the one I was most excited about, and I was so afraid I wouldn’t have the stamina to give her awesome class as much of me as it deserved.
But I perserved – and Kass is amazing! (AND remembered me from last month’s Zumba convention, which gave me a major fan girl moment.)
I was very new to Zumba (as in, wasn’t even exactly sure what it was) when I met Kass at the convention last month – but after meeting her and Beto — I was instantly hooked. It’s pretty much the only workout I’ve ever enjoyed so much that I can’t wait to go back and find myself smiling the whole way through —forget about working out to get to the point of feeling sexy,this is a workout you feel sexy DURING, and if it’s a fitness party — well, Kass is the party host I’d much want to attend the party of, ever. (And it works: You can burn up to 1,000 calories in a one-hour class!)
PS: For some jollies, check out this AC Weekly video from this weekend — if you look carefully, you can see me suffering about midway through!
Disclaimer: I attended Sweat AC’s 3-day event as an all expenses paid guest of Caesers, however all opinions are my own.