Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Death by Fanny Lifter


Over the years I’ve tried various and sundry things to shape up.  Round is a shape isn’t it? To that end, a number of years ago – and by a number I mean about ten – while vegetating on the couch one Saturday morning in my usual potato-like state I saw an infomercial for TheFIRM® workout system.

Now, mind you, I had never been the athletic type.  I’d never been coordinated. At all.  I had given a few aerobics classes a go, but Grace is not my middle name, people.  You know those group classes where you’re meant to go right and everybody in the class does exactly as they’re meant to save one.  Yeah, I would be that one; that one going left when everybody else is going right, knocking everyone over like dominoes.

Even in grade school I was the last picked for any sport.  Softball, kick ball, even Red Rover!  You know the one – Red Rover, Red Rover, send Cindy right over.  Nobody wanted me on their team.  I threw like a girl.  I whiffed the ball when I kicked.  Rarely did I break through the arms of the opposing team.

Well, I was about to change all that from the comfort of my own home at the ripe old age of thirty-two.  For the low, low price of $99.00US.  But, if I ordered now I could get the system for three payments of $29.00US.  And that wasn’t all.  I could get free shipping!

This system was only one of a plethora of choices available.  Nearly every channel had an infomercial for a workout or diet plan of some kind.  But this one was different.  This one was special.  This one had the Fanny Lifter™!

It has come to my attention that fanny doesn’t mean the same thing the world over. So let me clarify:  fanny in this context means butt, backside, derriere, tush, tuchus, ass.


I ordered it and got the free expedited shipping.  It was at my door within three days, exactly as promised.  It came with this two-piece contraption which was their signature piece of equipment at the time.  It also came with three VHS tapes. Yes, that’s right, I ordered the VHS version.  I’ve always been technologically challenged and behind the times.  What of it?

Do you see that death trap?  Do you? I dutifully unpacked the box and got mNaxQU3s5h2gGA9started straight away.  The three tapes it came with were called CardioSculpt™, BodySculpt™, and AbSculpt™. I stepped, lifted, and squatted with and without weights. I ab crunched, scissor crunched, and oblique crunched.  I grapevined, sambaed, and stepped. All without the fear of injuring someone else or worrying about looking like a complete spazmatic. For a couple of years, actually.  I even built up in the amount of weight I was able to use. I never did look like those women on the video covers, though. Oh well.  Not the point, but it would have been a nice bonus.

As is always the case with me, though, something else came along and caught my interest and before I knew it I was out of the habit.  I probably went on vacation or something and didn’t pick it back up when I returned home.  It never takes much to distract me.  Especially where physical exertion is concerned.

Determined, overweight, and – once again – out of shape I decided to take up running.  It would be inexpensive, effective, and efficient.  I could do that anywhere.  No excuses.  I found a program I could use to build up my stamina.  The Couch-to-5K® fit the bill.  So I laced up and struck out.  No matter how hard I tried, though, I could never run very fast.  In fact, I’m slower than molasses.  I run like I have concrete blocks on my feet.  The fastest I could ever run was an 11:30 mile.  That was me at full blast. Is that even running?  That might be jogging.  It might even just be fast walking.

So much for no excuses.  I don’t have a treadmill and don’t want one.  I like to run outside.  But when the time changes and it gets dark and cold before I get home that’s all she wrote.  Before I know it I’m vegging on the couch and hibernating like an old bear.  By the time I’ve built up from the spring to the fall I stop and the next spring I have to start all over again.  But I do it.  I get right back out there in the spring.

It’s that time again.  On the advice of a fellow blogger I decided to do some strength training to improve my running time and stamina.  I took a 30-day squat challenge so I did 100 squats a day for a month.  Thinking that was a pretty good start I drug that old death trap back out.  I popped the BodySculp tape into the VCR.  Yes, I still have a VCR.  I’m old-school.  That’s how I roll!

Anyhow, I popped that bad-boy in the VCR ready to do some serious sculpting.  I did TheFIRM® signature move -the fanny lift- I squatted, I lunged and before I knew it my heart felt like it was beating outside of my chest.  Possibly on the floor.  I was sweating.  Profusely.  I plopped my butt down on that Fanny Lifter™ and watched for a few minutes, then I got back up and had another go.

I thought I had done pretty well.  By well, I mean I didn’t die.  It didn’t kill me.  As the day progressed, however, my legs and backside became increasingly sore. I thought it would be better the next day, though.  For the next four days I could hardly walk.  Which isn’t really that much of a problem for my job unless I’m expected to actually be there.  I’d have to walk from my house to my car, then from my car into work.  Every move took careful calculation to determine it’s worth.

Knowing the prescription for such is drinking lots of water to flush the lactic acid from my muscles I started out with that.  That produced dilemmas. How could I get the water without having to move?  And then there was the flushing part.  Drinking lots of water produces lots of water.  Holy crap, now I needed to walk to the toilet.  Not only did I have to walk to the toilet, I had to put my sore fanny on the toilet. Ouch!  But before my tush touched the toilet seat I’d have to reproduce a squatting action to get there.  #@%&^%!

What is it they say?  If it doesn’t kill you, it’ll make you stronger?  I’ll have my husband post the funeral arrangements so you can send your condolences.

43 thoughts on “Death by Fanny Lifter

  1. Trust me, if you can get up to around 8 km three days a week you WILL shape up and WILL lose weight.

    I used to run marathons and could never eat enough to gain weight. I never ran quickly or elegantly I can assure you. These days, I donlt belong to a club and prefer to meander round my suburb.
    Jogging will sort out pretty much anyone with a shape/wight problem if you stick to it and are careful to avoid a running related injury.

    And you get to see some really weird s*** too!



  2. Hahahaha

    “what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger”

    What a crock, right? 😀

    I was never the athlete type either, but I gave it my best shot. It wasn’t unusual for me to win the “Most Improved Player” trophies — a.k.a. — Bench Warmer. I used to frequent the gym for many years but after having back surgery, I was limited to what I could do — so I set out to find efficient, low-impact exercise. Even walking for any length of time caused back pain.

    I use a rebounder — mini-trampoline. I bought one several years back after I read some fascinating research. The research was performed by the Bio mechanical Research Division, NASA-Ames Research Center. The study was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology 49(5):881-887, 1980,

    “Rebound Exercise is the most efficient, effective form of exercise yet devised by man.” – NASA

    Loved your post. I got a good laugh — I could so relate — except I no longer have a VCR. 😛


    • I’ve never been a gym person for the reasons mentioned in the post. 😀 Plus I just find it easier to be able to get up, lace up, and head out. If I’ve gotta go somewhere to do it, it ain’t gonna happen.

      I remember those “Rebounders”. They were also on infomercials some time ago around here. To be honest I think the most important, most effective thing, anybody can do is just move. Sweat. Doesn’t really matter how as long as it’s something you can stick with.

      I don’t envy your back pain. I’m sure that puts the hiatus on a lot of things. 😦


      • Yeah, infomercials turn me off. I’m glad I found the research before I saw the infomercials — otherwise I doubt I would have bought one. Just moving doesn’t give me the cardio I need, but I get what you’re saying. The best exercise is the one you will stick to. Rebounding is fun and over time it strengthened my core which helped greatly in flexibility and reducing back pain. Heck, I don’t even need to lace up shoes. 😀


  3. What’s the best way to start jogging in your opinions?


    • Well, a more seasoned runner might give you some better advice, but the Couch-to-5K program was pretty effective for me. It’s three times per week. You start out jogging 60 seconds then walking 90 seconds for eight reps in the first week. You wonder how you’re going to build up to 5K in eight, but before you know it you’re jogging for longer and longer intervals.


      There are various forms of this out there. Some free and some not. I have downloaded RunDoublePro to my Android phone, but if you’ve got an iPhone there are downloads for that too. It basically just tells me when to run, when to walk, what my pace is, and how far I’ve gone if I have the gps turned on. It also has music or allows for you to use your own playlist. I use a music download called 8 tracks. I can pick music that suits my mood that way.


    • Buy a pair of running shoes and step outside. 🙂


      • Exactly! But if you’ve never run before, you might not know how to build up properly. I thought that, too, and got discouraged at first because I couldn’t hold out to run much more than a minute.

        So don’t get discouraged! And the advice about the shoes is spot-on. You need a good pair of shoes.


        • You will notice there was absolutely NO MENTION of actual running in my reply.
          First step is becoming accustomed to getting up at a sodding ungodly hour.
          Then wait til the sun comes up so’s you can don your designer sunglasses ( Polarized Gucci Sports Eye ware) Have to look cool, right?
          Then go back inside and have a coffee.

          Day 2:…..


          • Hahahaha!

            Maybe…I don’t have designer anything. I look like a homeless person when I run. LOL

            But you’re right. If I didn’t get up and get out in the morning I wouldn’t do it. Which is why I get waylaid come the time change. It’s bloody dark at 6 a.m!


          • I’m not sure what waylaid means but I guess your better half should be smiling.
            I seem to recall that getting waylaid can also help with calories ( or kilo-joules as us 21st Century Folk say) but it should be used to supplement your jogging.

            The Ark – Health advice you can trust.


  4. I know you clarified what ‘fanny’ means in your neck of the woods, but it doesn’t stop this post being even more hilarious to anyone my side of the water. 🙂


  5. Dogs. Make your home filled with dogs and fitness will be your friend before you know it!


  6. That was a very innocent observation about the meaning of fanny. I’m hip (and not even British)!

    I am now 71 years old. I take 2 walks of 2 miles 6 days a week. I do not try to walk briskly. But I do walk a measured outdoor course, back and forth. There are steps in the middle of the block that I walk that go up a small knoll to the entrance of a building, so that in each back and forth direction I divert to climb these steps, roughly one story, or about 12 feet. In 20 back and forth trips I make that small climb 40 times. Have been doing this for about 2 years. I am careful about diet, and do use some supplements (NOT prescriptions) to manage blood pressure. My blood pressure measures 110/65 and my resting pulse rate is 62. Not bad for my age, no? Because of just walking, I no longer have the joint problems that came with jogging.

    OK, one little cheat. I do run in place on a rebounder for about 11 minutes a day, using some old 50’s rock and roll tunes to manage the duration and pace of that exercise. Some true aerobics seems good, and the rebounder makes it also low impact. And in the winter, when it is too dark or cold out to walk, I up the rebounding to 5 times a day to keep from deteriorating.

    So that’s what works for me. I have found that I get hungry more often if I sit around than I do if I am active. A vital key in exercise is to not keep pushing or demanding more performance from yourself. Make it so you can enjoy it and live with it and then you will stay with it. A poor regimen you can live with is better than a wonderful regimen that you won’t stick with. Body image? – meh! Health benefits – yeah!


    • Agreed. I think you have to do whatever works for you and keep it fun. It’s easy to find excuses not to do anything when you don’t enjoy whatever it is.


  7. So your gravestone is going to say, “What didn’t make her stronger, killed her.” Right?


  8. I was the team captain who picked you last . . . and felt guilty about it.


    • Aw, it’s alright, Zoe. My feelings weren’t really all that hurt by it. I knew I was bad. Very, very bad.

      When I was, probably, nine or ten I went to a birthday party where a make-shift baseball game broke out. They put me in left field(for a reason). Wouldn’t you know it? One of the older boys hit a line drive right at me. With my fierce catching skills I managed to completely whiff with the glove and the ball hit me right in the chest. Ouch! I had a gigantic blue and red mark for days. He really zinged that ball.


  9. I loved this article! Thank you for sharing!


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