Valentine’s Day at Slimmons

February 15, 2012

Wanna know what my big Valentine’s Day plans were? A fantastic workout at Slimmons! I figured it was gonna be a great day to take one of Richard Simmons’ classes – his Tuesday and Thursday evening classes are usually much less crowded than his Saturday morning ones (which regularly have well over 100 students), and, plus, it was a holiday, so hopefully, it would be even less crowded still. My reasoning was spot-on. With about 40 people there, It was the smallest class I’ve taken at Slimmons in months. Three cheers for everyone that had more romantic plans last night!

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Richard Simmons’ classes, but they’re still a major part of my exercise plan, and Richard himself continues to be a near and dear friend. I’m typically at Slimmons once or twice a week – I’ve been 9 times so far in 2012, and went 52 times in 2011. Each class follows the same basic format: 45 minutes of cardio (dance aerobics), with stretching, warm-up and cool-down built in. Richard usually varies the intensity throughout the 45 minutes, alternating more strenuous parts with easier parts. There’s always a part when everyone makes a big circle and Richard pulls students into the center to dance with him, and sometimes he’ll have us jog all around the room, or take each others’ hands for showgirl-style kicks.

After the aerobics, we grab weights from bins in the corner of the room, and Richard leads us through about 10 minutes of toning, with a focus on biceps, triceps, chest, back, and shoulders. The specific exercises don’t change from class to class, but the order and the number of reps sometimes does. Then we put the weights away, grab mats, and do 10 minutes of sit-ups and push-ups. The class ends with a 5-minute pep talk, where Richard shares some motivational words on a topic that changes with each class, although they tend to emphasize being kind to yourself, taking care of yourself, and sharing kindness and love with the rest of the world.

The whole class ends up being close to 90 minutes total, and the biggest variable in each class is Richard himself. He loves wearing costumes and building the class around a theme, whether it’s a genre of music, like Latin or Disco, or the music from a specific decade or by a specific artist. Saturdays are the big theme classes, but last night had a theme, too.  All the songs he played had the word “love” in the title, and he was dressed in thousands of red sequins, a red tutu over his trademark red dolphin shorts, and red angel wings. A picture of me and Richard after class:

A bunch of the other students were wearing red, but that thought didn’t even occur to me! Apparently by the end of class, I had a heart-shaped sweat stain on the back of my shirt, and Richard kept pointing it out to people, but I forgot to have someone take a picture.

I’m thankful I have a place like Slimmons in my life. That class – Richard’s antics, in particular – cheers me up every single time I go, and I’ve made a bunch of wonderful friendships there. I can’t walk into that room anymore without seeing smiling faces and people waving, and I have a blast catching up with my friends before and after the workout.

I’m not a big Valentine’s Day person, but I will confess, as a single guy, to feeling a bit lonely on a day that’s meant to be celebrated with a partner. Holiday or not, it’s important to have a place where you feel welcome, each and every time you visit, and that’s filled with positive energy. It certainly makes burning a few hundred calories more fun, that’s for sure!

The evening wasn’t without a few casualties, though – but I guess if you’re wearing thousands of sequins, losing a couple isn’t that big a deal:

I should’ve put those sequins on eBay, but I tossed them in the trash on the way out.

Today is a rest day. My class last night at Slimmons marked the ninth day in a row that I’ve exercised, and my body needs a day to recuperate. Then, it’s back to the gym.

Keep it up, David!

If you’re in the Los Angeles area and want to take a class at Slimmons, check out this information page on Richard’s website. It’s only $12 – the best $12 you’ll ever spend!


Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14, 2011

Love your fruits and vegetables this Valentine’s Day…  because they love you!











The best part of creating these photos was snacking on all the carvings that weren’t quite right for the camera!

Keep it up, David!

We Have a WINNER! Is It You?

February 13, 2011

On the way home from Richard Simmons’ class today, I swung by the post office, and picked up a little something that was waiting there for me:

To the 34 of you that entered my first-ever Contest and Giveaway:  Yep!  It’s the Valentine’s Day care package from my mom! If you didn’t read my blog the other day, here’s the short version: my mom emailed me saying a care package was en route, and that its contents weren’t intended to sabotage my diet.  Based on that clue, I presumed the package would contain some unhealthy foods, and decided to make a contest out of it:  whichever reader comes the closest to guessing the contents wins the entire package, which I will ship to them.

The 34 people that entered are surely on the edge of their seat, dying to know what’s inside the package.  So no more delays… here’s what’s in the box!


But that’s not all!

PAPER TOWEL (used as additional padding).

But wait!  There’s more!

A HEART GARLAND DECORATION, that was used as a twist-tie.

What was the twist-tie keeping shut, you ask?  I’ll tell you…

…in tomorrow’s post!

Kidding!  How annoyed are you with me right now?  Sorry for channeling Ryan Seacrest and dragging this little results show along for so long… but it’s so much fun! I totally get why they do it that way.

OK, here we go.  There were two main items in the care package.   Here’s the first:

The twist-tie was keeping shut a baggie full of chocolate hearts!  There are two brands of chocolates:   7 Dove (which were all dark chocolates), and 7 Palmer chocolates.  I had to look up Palmer, because I’ve never heard of them before; it turns out all the manufacture is seasonal holiday chocolates.  There’s a variety of Palmer chocolates: Caramel, Double Crisp (which I imagine is like Krackel?), Peanut Butter, and Cookies & Creme.

Here’s the other item in the package:

HOME-MADE COOKIES! Two types: sugar and oatmeal, both heart-shaped, both drizzled with a little pink frosting.  There’s already a couple broken ones… hopefully too many more won’t broken by the time I send them across the country again!

Which gets me to the big question… WHO WON? I scoured the submissions, and, basically, none of you hit it out of the park.  But, by my count, 7 of you correctly guessed one of the two items, to varying degrees of specificity.  Some of you entered “home-made cookies” but specified them to be chocolate chip, so, um, those people got partial credit.  Melissa Walker entered “chocolate-covered hearts in the purple foil,” which had me go back and look at the chocolates again: Yep, the Palmer caramels are in a purple (and pink) foil.  But I wasn’t clear on what was chocolate-covered in Melissa’s submission, and plus, since the rest of Melissa’s entry was very specific in regards to brand names, it made me think that she had a very specific brand/product in mind, but didn’t include it.  So, sorry Melissa, but only partial credit.

Which leads me to the winner, who was the only one that predicted that the home-made cookies were gonna be heart-shaped.  (She also made me smile with one of the most unique suggestions in the contest, heart-shaped underwear, but that didn’t factor into my decision).  May I have the envelope, please?  The winner is… CHERI!

Congratulations!  Cheri, I’m just about to email you, asking for your mailing address, so look out for that.

And thanks to everyone who entered… better luck next time!  I got more entries than I was anticipating, which makes me think that I’ll have to do another contest and giveaway soon…  hmmm… better start thinking about that!

One final note:  My mom sent the package on her way out of town.  She’s currently taking a trip, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have internet access (or very occasional access at best), and I don’t think she knows about any of this! She returns home Monday afternoon, and I suspect she’ll catch up on the blog before she goes to bed that night…  I wonder what she’ll think of all this!

Keep it up, David!

Announcing… My First CONTEST and GIVEAWAY!

February 10, 2011

Who doesn’t like winning free stuff?  I do, I do! Hopefully you do too, because I’m happy to announce Keep It Up, David’s first ever contest and giveaway!

Here’s the backstory. Last night, I got an email from my mom.  Here’s part of it:

Be on the watch for a Valentine’s box… expected to arrive on Friday.
David, you can share… remember, it’s the thought.  🙂  Not intended to sabotage diet.

Not intended to sabotage diet? I can’t wait!  Whatever could it be?

Here’s where the contest and giveaway part comes into play.  I’m turning my mom’s well-intentioned Valentine’s Day care package into the first-ever prize for a Keep It Up, David reader!  Based on the one clue provided (that the contents are “not intended to sabotage diet”), I’m guessing there’s some unhealthy food items involved, but which ones?  Whoever guesses correctly (or comes closest to guessing) what my mom mailed to me wins the entire contents of the care package.

Just like my mom said in her email to me, I’m not trying to derail anyone’s weight loss attempts or successes.  I just know that, chances are, I won’t want to keep any unhealthy food in my house, and this contest is more fun for me than throwing it away.  Plus, as I’m currently, ahem, between jobs, I don’t have an office to take it to, so sharing is a little trickier for me as well.  If you win, I’m not saying you have to eat it.  You can do with it what you want: eat it, give it away, relish in the joy of winning a contest and then throw it out, melt it down and smear it on your lover’s body… really, it’s up to you.
Here’s some fine print:
  • You can enter by leaving your guess in the comments section of this blog.  BE SPECIFIC.  Entries like “Chocolate” or “Candy” won’t be considered a legitimate entry.  I want brand names or descriptions, i.e. “Milk Chocolate M&M fun size bags” or “chocolate-covered peanut butter hearts.”
  • Keep in mind that the package may contain a number of different items, so perhaps consider making a short list of items as your entry.  If you list everything under the sun, I’ll get annoyed, which could lead to disqualification.   Just so everyone is on a little more level of a playing field (as some of my readers may know my mom), I’ll give you all one hint as to one of my mom’s favorite candies:  It rhymes with Schmootsie Rolls. Put on your thinking caps for that one!
  • Mom, you can’t win, so don’t bother entering.
  • If no one wins outright, then I will use my own discretion to determine who came closest.  When I’ve determined a winner, I’ll contact that person via email (since you provide me an email whenever you leave a comment) to get their mailing address.
  • The deadline for entries will be whenever I get my hot little hands on the actual package, which may be, per my mom’s email, on Friday (tomorrow).


Keep it up, David!