I took a trip down memory lane today while boxing up some old VHS tapes to send off for recycling. I’ve mentioned this before, but I never remember NOT being on some sort of weight loss mission. Even at age 5, I remember going with my mom to her group aerobics classes at a local church and trying to mimic the moves on my blue mat I was supposed to be sitting on in the front of the class. It was crazy how I remembered the various times of life when I was using certain videos.
1. Teen Workout: Back in the 1980’s, I had a subscription to Teen Works, which was this binder thing where they sent you a set of cards every month. It had tabs on things like fitness and beauty. Here’s an AMAZING set of photos of it on Flickr. Anyway, they had a Teen Workout and of course I wanted to have it. The pastel leotards and side ponytails were AMAZEBALLS. It was hosted by Tamilee Webb, who is in video #4 below.
2. The Firm: My mom had every freaking version of The Firm workouts. Dozens of them. I thought they were evil because I would be in so much pain afterwards.
3. AFAA The Practical Way: Little known fact here is that I was briefly a group fitness instructor. I taught for one summer as a counselor at fat camp, and then upon returning home, a few classes the first semester of my freshman year in college. This was a training tape in preparation for the AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America) Group Fitness exam
4. Tamilee Webb: Buns, Legs, and Abs of Steel. True story: I knew of Tamilee Webb from my Teen Workout video (#1) and was surprised to see her walking around fat camp campus with the owner of the camp. I went up to her like a crazy person and told her I loved her Teen Workout. She later signed a headshot for me. Super nice lady.
5. Some American Gladiator: I have no recollection of this tape, but had a good laugh because it is apparently from some female American Gladiator champion.
6. Susan Powter: Stop the Insanity! That’s all I’ve got on that one.
There were a few that I held on to. These were my favorites throughout the years, and I just can’t part with them yet.
1. This is a RECORD, y’all. Like, vinyl! Mousercise. My parents would put it on the record player and I was supposed to exercise to it. Apparently Mickey and Minnie Mouse were supposed to motivate us young, chubby kids.
2. Oh how I loved Tae-Bo. I thought Billy Blanks was sadistic, but damnit if my friend Anne and I didn’t try to air-punch our hearts out in her basement. When I was teaching aerobics at fat camp, I used a lot of his moves in my aero-boxing classes.
3. The Grind: Either this tape or #5 below are my most used workout tapes ever. I loved the MTV The Grind workouts because they had music that I liked, and seemed to have some sort of funk to it unlike some other hip hop workout DVDs which were so not-cool. Plus, it had Eric Nies. I can remember the routine done in this workout to this day. For 2 seconds I contemplated doing it and putting it up as a vlog, but my sanity returned and I decided against it… for now.
4. Walk Away The Pounds (WATP) with Leslie Sansone. When I got to 455 pounds, the only thing that I could get up and do was Leslie Sansone’s WATP 1 mile tape. Even the 1 mile was very, very challenging. The first couple of days I only did 5 minutes, and worked up from there. She got on my nerves with her voice and I got frustrated because of how easy it looked for her (you’re essentially marching in place) but I was really grateful that something existed that was for an ultra-beginner.
5. Reebok Dance Step with Petra Kolber: I loved this video like crazy. I liked step aerobics and I always thought this choreography was fun and challenging, but not exhausting. If you gave me a step bench today, I could take you through a few of the combinations by memory still. I used a lot of these moves when I taught step aerobics at fat camp also. I just thought the combinations were really well put-together.