May 30 13

Last week I was in the shower using my coconut-scented body wash and my tangerine-scented shampoo when I noticed thing sort of lump-like thing on my side.

“WHAT IS THIS?” I asked myself, but only really began panicking and sweating when I discovered another equally foreign mass growing on the exact opposite side of my torso. I jumped out of the shower and while still mid-drip I took my talents to google.

It turns out that I’m not dying. I’m just the proud owner of a fancy new pair of matching oblique muscles.

(Happy 35th birthday to me.)

And I’m just really dumb.

The thing is, though, this exercise thing? It’s a tough one. I have been moving my body on a thrice-weekly basis since September, including a session each Thursday with my Trainer Kim, during which I do preposterous things like one hundred (in a row) walking lunges whilst carrying 15 pound weights in each hand. I haven’t lost a pound, actually—in fact, I’m probably about five pounds heavier than when I started this whole journey.

Truthfully though, that’s not why I was in it—not even a little bit. I was in to get healthy for the first time in my life—to stop getting winded walking up just one wee flight of stairs, to stop eating dry cereal and cupcakes for meals, to junk-punch my shit genetics filled with heart issues and blood pressure issues and diabetes and change my fate, Merida style. And you’ll be happy to know that nine months in, I feel good. I love moving my body; I’m obsessed with my bike and my trainer and this Nike training app. I always take the stairs when it’s an option and I no longer get winded. I eat well-rounded lunches filled with quinoa and veggies and chia seeds and hummus and yogurt and eggs and lots of other good-for-me things. I had full blood work done and was told that I’m HEALTHY—there are no indicators that there will be heart disease or high blood pressure or diabetes in my future.

“Whatever you are doing, Ali. Keep doing it,” said the doctor.

And then I cried.

Because for the first time in my life, I am healthy.

But if I’m being honest, it does feel a wee bit discouraging to not see any visible results. When I look in the mirror I pretty much look the same. I can do so many more pushups than I used to be able to do—I am able to do those preposterous things like one hundred (in a row) walking lunges whilst carrying 15 pound weights in each hand. I know that I’m stronger, better, faster. I wasn’t expecting a six-pack situation or Kelly Ripa arms at all, but I was expecting to just look a little different, a little more, uh, sculpted. But…nothing.


Last week’s shower.

And now I have these oblique muscles—tangible, physical, real evidence of all the hard work I have been putting in. All the early mornings, all the sore mornings-after, all the sweat and tears.

“Whatever you are doing, Ali. Keep doing it,” said the doctor.

And I’m going to.

I’m really going to.

Eat your heart out, Kelly Ripa.

  1. First Kelly’s dress and now her muscles. Next you’ll take over morning television. Congratulations on your lumps Ali.


    ali replied on

    Hey, if someone’s giving me a show, I certainly wouldn’t turn it down :)


    Comment by Kat on May 30, 2013
  2. I’m feeling a little inspiration on the first day of my “trying to get healthy” lifestyle. tired of being winded/feeling sleepy and just blah. Thanks for posting this! love you/


    Comment by sonya on May 30, 2013
  3. Proud of you, lady. You’ve been working hard!


    Comment by Angella on May 31, 2013
  4. Yay you! Now I want to know what exactly you’re eating, cause that all sounds good.


    Comment by Tamara on May 31, 2013
  5. I so get it Ali, the frustration at doing all this work and not seeing a change so I am ecstatic for your obliques! I may even hashtag it #EcstaticForAlisObliques

    It’s been great hearing your updates and how your training sessions have been going. But more than anything I am way more ecstatic about you being healthy.


    Comment by Sharon on June 3, 2013
  6. [...] us busy are almost all exclusively good things—dance for the girls and swimming lessons and and workouts and photoshoots and family get-togethers and high-stakes games of Clue and Shabbat dinners and [...]

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  7. Good for you! It’s all about how you feel right? That’s a huge difference. So many people quit because when they look in the mirror they don’t see results. But getting healthy works its way from the inside out.
    Keep it up girl!!!


    Comment by Kimberly on June 6, 2013
  8. [...] You will know what a burpee is. And a squat. And a lunge. And you will pay someone to make you do these. But…OBLIQUES. [...]

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  9. […] had such a good relationship with my lovely Trainer Kim. She liked to make me cry and I liked to let her. She suggested impossible moves and didn’t […]

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