Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Warner Warning

I have a revolving door of celebrity crushes.  Currently, I cannot get enough of Jackie Warner.  I came on board a few years ago when she did her reality show on Bravo!.  I gotta say, I loved the lesbian drama, especially when she started sleeping with her trainer Rebecca.  Ohhhhh, girl -- scandalous!  And, while I was skeptical of Rebecca's motives (uhh, reality show fame whore, much?), I could absolutely see how a straight woman could give up her man meat and start attending the lesbian luncheon.  That woman is a force.

Recently, Bravo! allowed Jackie back on television in a show called Thintervention.  It reminds me very much of Biggest Loser, but with contestants who are whinier, more entitled, and just so stereotypically "LA" that I have issues rooting for them.  Really, I'm supposed to feel sorry for you, Nikki, with your massive inheritance and investments that has allowed you to live job-free since you discovered Grey Goose?  How's that life path treatin' ya?!

But, do not judge, lest ye be . . . blah blah blah.

My favorite parts of the show are when Jackie corners each individual contestant and gets to the underlying issue(s) that has caused them to gain weight.  One of the contestants, Gina, lives in a giant house, has oodles of money at her disposal, A PERSONAL CHEF, and access to any upscale gym that she comes upon.  Jackie tells her that clearly something is missing because she has this "great life" and yet she is unhealthy and unhappy.  Proof that body issues are hard to deal with whether you're wrapped in K-mart or cashmere.  Back fat and tummy rolls are the great equalizers.

There is also a therapy session at the end of each show.  Jackie requested that each contestant bring a picture that depicted them at a happy moment in their childhood.  I was sure it was going to be some malarkey about "getting back to innocence" and "remember how great it was to run outside and play when you were a kid?  Let's all pretend we're children again and this obesity epidemic will go away, tra la la!"  Each contestant shows their picture and hearkens back to the days of missing teeth and crooked ponytails.  Awwwwww, how sweet . . . c'mon, let's get to the malarkey.  As everyone is enjoying a cuddle from the warm 'n' fuzzies, Jackie interrupts and asks them to tell the child in the picture--I'm paraphrasing here--that they are fat and worthless, they are not loved, and they will never be what they wanted to be when they were that child in the picture.  

Umm, ouch.

Of course everyone thinks that's crazy and abusive.  Jackie asks them why, then, is it okay to tell themselves those things as an adult?  It's still abusive, no matter what age you are, right?

Aaaaaand, cue gut check.

With that little psychological nugget burrowing deeper into my brain,  I went for a run.  I had to wait until 9pm because Los Angeles has recently been on the business end of the sun's blow torch.  90 degree heat does not a happy day-runner make.  I started out into the night enjoying the glinty moon above and the slight breeze on my face.  I could feel my ponytail swishing on my back and the rhythmic galumph of my shoes on the pavement.  I ran past all the big houses with their strategically lit yards and landscapes.  Rosemary bushes, still warm from the sun, giving off their heavy scent that always makes me want to eat stew.  My hip started to loosen up and I was really enjoying myself.

That was half a mile in.

I started sweating.  Boy, it's a lot hotter out here than I initially thought.  I had a steady stream of sweat down my face and stinging my eyes.  My feet were getting progressively hotter, the moisture-wicking socks clearly at capacity.  I looked at my watch and noticed my arms and wrists already had a sheen of sweat.  The waterfall on my head was white-watering its way into my bra and soaking the waistband of my shorts.  Sweet Jesus, this is miserable!  My shoulders were slumping and my dragging legs were making a very good case against You Can Do It, Only Two More Miles To Go!  The smell of rosemary was rage-inducing. 

Hey, brainiac, why don't you take off your shirt.  You're too hot with it on.   

I have heard and appreciate your suggestion, but no. 

Your shirt is soaked and weighing you down.  It's not really helping the situation. 

You know what else would not help the situation?!  Having my lily-white wobbly belly flesh refracting off the headlights of oncoming traffic. 

Whatever.  You are on the sidewalk where people can barely see you, and they are going too fast to care. 

Well, I care!  Los Angeles does not need yet another set of large breasts bouncing down the street!  I have enough stretch marks lining my hips and thighs I could be mistaken for a tiger and tranquilized on sight!  My muffin top is not improved by the actual muffin (apple bran) I had for breakfast this morning!  And, my complete lack of upper body strength means I have ham hocks where my arms should be!  I'm not taking off my shirt!

Then, Jackie Warner, in all her cut-abs-and-silver-hot-pants glory, came to rescue me from the Ike Turner of emotional beat-downs I was inflicting.  Would you say those horrible things to a child? 

I went as far back in my memory as I could to the last time I was not aware of any type of "flaw" in my body.  I had single digits on my birthday cake.  When, by second grade, you're standing in the back row of your class pictures with all the boys going through growth spurts, and your pants are always two inches above the top of your worn out high-tops, awkward starts early.  I compensated by having a big personality to go along with my body.  Go big, or go home, right?  

Evidently, the SS Keep Telling Yourself That is not as seaworthy as I thought.

With one more mile to go and no signs of the Belly Wobble Police, I took off my shirt.  I definitely regretted the glaring white sports bra, but I figured, since I was running at night, it was really more of a safety measure--a DD safety measure.  I forced myself to think of all the things my body could do instead of all the things I wished it could do.  In that moment, I was grateful that I stepped outside of my limitations and found, shockingly, that I survived.  Will I be making half-naked running a habit?  Probably not, but running without a shirt instinctively made me suck in my belly, drop my shoulders, and raise my chest--good running form. 

Sneaky, Jackie . . . very sneaky.

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