Recently, while flipping through the channels, I stumbled upon a new show called “Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian.” I’m not a Kardashian fan, and have never watched any of their shows, but two days later, as a result of tuning in, I completed a killer workout on some awesome stairs.
I tuned into “Revenge Body” right when a woman was explaining why she wanted to lose weight, and it caught my attention. It turns out that “Revenge Body” is a makeover show, where Khloe Kardashian helps people lose weight and get fit, so they can get the ultimate revenge on haters in their lives, like showing off a newly trim figure to an ex who ended it because they were too heavy.
I have mixed feelings about the messages in the show. I believe that the only way to achieve long-term success with weight loss is to do it for yourself, and not for anyone else. But, on the other hand, sometimes it’s outside factors that provide the motivation to get started. Regardless, I was intrigued enough to keep watching, and I’m glad I did.
RELATED: These stairs are helping me train for my FOUR upcoming stair races! Read about them here.
The episode focused on Sukhda, a young woman who grew up in the lap of luxury in India. She was surrounded by chefs and maids and never lifted a finger until she moved to the US when she was 21. She realized she had never cooked for herself and didn’t know how to do it. So she ordered and ate an entire pizza every night for months, and – shocker! – gained a lot of weight.
Sukhda said she was ready to make a change, and wanted to show off a new body to her mother and friends, who once held an intervention on Sukhda’s birthday to tell her she was too fat. Her mother had also told Sukhda she would never find a husband looking like that.
Since Sukhda was spoiled, entitled, and used to having her way, Khloe set her up with Latreal Mitchell, a takes-no-bullshit, tough-as-nails celebrity trainer who would whip her into shape. Latreal’s first meeting with Sukhda was at a location I knew well: Eldred Street in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Eldred Street has a 33% grade. It’s the steepest street in California and the third-steepest in the country. It’s so steep that halfway up the hill, it turns from a paved road to a pedestrian-only stairway with 197 steps. I’ve worked out there before, blogged about it, and recognized it instantly when I saw it on TV (even though they never mentioned it by name) – and have the photo recreations to prove it!
Here’s Sukhda climbing up Eldred Street (she grumbled and complained the whole way)…
…and me, in the exact same location:
Here’s Latreal, with the stairs behind her…
…and me, standing in that same spot:
Latreal and Sukhda aren’t shown climbing the stairs on the episode, but they’re the reason I go to Eldred: 197 wooden stairs, with a great view from the top of the San Gabriel Mountains and the neighborhoods below.
197 stairs is a LOT of stairs, so it’s easy to get a great workout in at Eldred. In addition to the stairs in the first photo in this post, there’s also all of these:
Tavi and I devised a killer workout: First we climbed all of Eldred (road + stairs), and then we climbed just the stairs two more times. And we did that whole thing three times, meaning a total of 3 complete ascents (road + stairs) and 6 additional stair ascents. That’s 1.3 miles of climbing, 1,773 total stairs and nearly 1,000 feet of elevation gain!
And we saw two coyotes casually strolling through our outdoor gym! Here’s one of them:
I’m so glad “Revenge Body” sparked me to go exercise in a location that I hadn’t been to in a while. Eldred is a beast of a street, and stairs are always beastly, and I was very sore the next day. Tavi reported that he could barely move.
RELATED: Check out other workouts inspired by Hollywood, like my “This Is Us” workout, my Charlie Chaplin run, my workout on the stairs where they filmed a chocolate milk commercial, and stairways used in Laurel and Hardy and Three Stooges movies.
But there’s another reason I’m proud of this workout, and that brings me back to Sudhka. As the episode of “Revenge Body” continued, it became clear that Sudhka was not an ideal client for Latreal. She was late to every training session, had a crappy attitude, and didn’t stick to her food program. Halfway through the 12-week transformation period, Latreal learned that Sudhka had actually gained five pounds.
Then, I saw something I had never seen on a makeover show before: The makeover was cancelled. The format of the show includes a big reveal at the end, where Sudhka was supposed to get glammed up by top Hollywood stylists and hair/make-up artists, and reveal her newly svelte body. But Latreal and Khloe decided that Sudhka wasn’t invested, and didn’t deserve the reveal. So they cut her loose.
While I hope Sudhka finds a way to be healthier and more active, I loved seeing this outcome on television. It’s rare to see a story like this that reinforced the ideas that no one is going to do the work for you, and that losing weight requires a lot of commitment and hard work.
On the flip side, Sudhka’s failed journey began at Eldred Street, and I hate to see such a fantastic exercise venue colored by such an unfortunate outcome. And that’s why I went to Eldred for this workout, and why Tavi and I busted our butts for almost two hours.
I want to put a positive story out there with a connection to Eldred Street. So here’s my “Revenge Body” story: I’ve lost 160 pounds and kept it off for 6 years. I work hard, appreciate every step of this journey, and love places like Eldred, which have helped me on my path. And who am I getting revenge on? NOBODY. I DO THIS FOR ME.
Keep it up, David!
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