My first two DVD’s (Fit & Strong” and “Walkout”) came out last year and are best sellers they are currently available online and in stores. “Fit & Strong” won the Best Fitness Disc Award from Home Media Magazine. Now I am excited to announce the release of my two newest DVD’s. The first, called “Firm & Burn” is available right now at Target Stores. The second is called “Trim, Tone & Flex” and will be available, along with “Firm & Burn” in stores everywhere and online on December 6th. Both titles are available for preorder on Amazon. They are more like my older videos in that I have other people with me, real people, not models or buff dudes, and the music is fabulous: A live band on set doing Doo Wop, Funk, Latin…it’s really fun.
On working out, I hope you read "The killing of a video industry (Dona)" which was wonderful.
Dona addresed the history of the video industry (and did a lot of work on that aspect to even write the piece) and she brought humor and strength to the piece as well. I think it's the best thing Dona's written solo and, as she notes in the article, she recently gave birth. This was a really big article to her personally because she felt she wasn't carrying her own at Third and wouldn't be able to. That's not the case at all but it's a natural feeling after you become a parent and are dealing with what you were before as well as with a newborn child.
So just completing it would have been a big thing because she was looking for a piece she could do all by herself to prove something to herself. She not only completed it but she wrote one of the best articles of the year in my opinion.
If you've got the money to spend, dart in Target this week and grab the new DVD.
We are getting less and less activity as a nation, we are sitting on our rears more and more which isn't helping our weight or our health.
Working out's very important to me. It restores my sanity, it keeps me focused. On the road, I'll run with Wally (on Saturday mornings with Wally, Mike and Ann -- and I'll pull a Kat and copy and paste links into everyone I mention at the end, okay?). Sometimes I'll do yoga or a stairmaster with Ava. I'll walk whenever possible.
At certain points in my life it's helped me maintain my weight. These days that's not even an issue (I have to remind myself some days to eat, so it's exactly the opposite now). But it always helps my sense of self. It lets me feel I've accomplished something.
I'm one of those people who has to do it in the morning, like brushing my teeth. But I can do it in the evening (or do it both times) and sail through whatever remains of the night feeling I accomplished something.
If you can't afford the DVD -- and that's a real possibility because this is the worst economy we've had since the Great Depression -- please think about walking. If you're not already active, please think either the DVD or walking.
When the economy's bad, many of us will suffer from depression. That might be due to the stress and worries we face about our uncertainty, it might be due to stress and worries we have over a loved one's uncertainty.
But there's much bad news out there -- and that's before you look at the ongoing wars. I'm not asking you to go through the day with a smile, but I'm saying that things are tough and in tough times you may need a little more strength than usual.
Working out, being active can help you with that, can you help you find your own strength.
I believe it's in Jane's first book, the original Workout, that she talks about the sense of empowerment when you're carrying your own groceries. She's not joking. You do find yourself able to do things you didn't expect.
Groceries may not be an issue today. Back when the Workout came out, I can't think of a grocery store in the country (I'm sure there were some though) that didn't have people who pushed your carts to the car for you. And realizing that you could do your own groceries was something.
Realizing that you can walk X amount of time or length a day can change how you see yourself.
I know Jane and I love her. I think she's given so much of herself so often and that's in part because she doesn't hide anything. If she's going through X, she's talking about what's going on and she's sharing.
As an actress, she's set standards that still haven't been matched in my opinion. That's both in terms of performance (see Klute, The Morning After, Coming Home, The Game Is Over, Julia, They Shoot Horses Don't They?, Barefoot in the Park, etc.) and certainly in terms of her 70s run. No woman did what she did before her and no one has since. We've had women be big starts in their 20s. We've had them be big stars in their 30s. But at a certain age, stardom changes. Jane's the only actress who's maintained a string of hits in her forties. I'm talking big box office. I'm talking being the number one female at the box office.
There was talk that Susan Sarandon was showing how it's done.
Susan didn't ever make it into even the top three actresses of any year in terms of ticket sales. Susan was never in the top ten of actors and actress for box office of any given year.
In 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981, Jane Fonda dominated American films. And did so as a mature woman, presenting a new archetype. I wish people had picked up and stretched it, but they didn't.
And that's not the fault of Sally Field or any other strong and talented actress. There are so many obstacles but Jane knew how to handle them and she knew how to handle the stuidos and she knew how to handle a film.
So there's much to praise and discover in Jane's body of work when it comes to her films. (And I left out one of her finest performances, The Dollmaker.)
But she's also done things other than acting. There's her activism. And I really think for women, working out can be activism. It teaches us our strength and can explode a few myths we were raised with.
But in the 1980s, she taught Americans -- men and women -- the importance of working out and revolutionized both the fitness and the home entertainment industries.
And it helped a lot of people.
Her post today had a friend who used to work out with Gilda Marx calling me. She talked about it and about how the Workout changed things for so many women (including her, including me) and asked if I could work it into the snapshot that Jane had two new videos coming out.
I told her I'd try but that's before I started dictating the snapshot (see above explanation at the start of this entry).
But I'm hogging Kat's space tonight so I can write about it.
Women and men with poor body image found a sense of self. Some lost pounds that they always wanted to. Some discovered that the poor image they had was in their own heads. They managed to improve what they had, make it stronger, but they also managed to accept themselves.
Eating disorders were really only beginning to get the attention they needed as Jane came along with the Workout. A lot of young women (and men) were able to channel themselves into working out and not into an eating disorder. (Eating disorders have a lot to do with body image. Often that body image is not just about what's in the mirror now or yesterday. Often there are abuse issues, often sexual abuse.)
I've known a lot of people with eating disorders over the years. Some have died from them. There was a beautiful young woman in the 90s named Jennifer. She was getting a modeling career off the ground and a friend was dating her and he asked me to speak to her because she was suffering from bulimia. There was no help for her. For a variety of reasons. She actually did try working out and she overdid that (which isn't uncommon) but she never addressed her issues and she died of a heart attack.
From the same period, a young guy in his late teens used the workout (I want to say Jane Fonda Complete) and got the therapy he needed and worked the therapy. He's an attractive young man to this day and on your TV screens.
I tell those stories because I'm not trying to imply that the workout is a cure for an eating disorder. It's not. It's not therapy. (Though you can do a self-inventory while you're working out.) But it can help in so many ways.
And a lot of us, prior to the workout, had to watch every single calorie, had to go bed hungry, had to try to turn that into a sense of pride because the alternative, of course, is to become bitter about it.
It was self-destructive and what our culture taught us.
Working out is unlearning society's bad lessons. I's communicating with your body, learning what you can handle and what you can't.
If you're a new mother like Dona, you might not have time. The same if you have small children and are working. And there are many, many other examples.
If that applies to you, think about maybe working out when things get a little less frantic (though that rarely happens). And don't beat yourself up over what you can't today.
But if you can do something, you should. I love to run, I love to walk, I love to swim, I love to play tennis, I love to be on the treadmill, on the Stairmaster, on the bicycle. So many things. One of those may be what interest you but, if you have the time, you should make the time.
We've been going around -- Kat, Wally, Ava and I -- speaking to college groups, women's groups, high school students, labor groups, retired adults, etc. for years now.
There's a political science professor at a college. He showed up at one of our things in the fall of 2009. I had a headache and I wanted to leave but I can usually sense when someone needs to talk and he had waited and waited as others who wanted to speak one-on-one had spoken. So when he was the last one, I thought we'd spend five minutes together and it ended up being a half hour. He was very intelligent and funny and if we weren't due at another building on campus, we might have talked longer.
He was overweight and that was obvious. I also got the feeling he didn't talk a great deal. (So I made a point to listen.) What I didn't know until a half a year later when we were back in the area was that this was the first thing he'd done other than office hours, classes and university business.
His wife passed away a few years prior. He was deeply depressed over that and all he did was eat. He slept and he ate. He went home and he'd eat a Marie Callender (sp?) lasagna that was for a family of four.
A few years later, he wakes up and he's gone from 150 pounds to over 300.
Now he doesn't even want to leave the house. He cared about ending the wars so he made himself go to the speaking thing. It was the first thing he'd done publicly that wasn't related to his job since his wife's funeral. It was a huge, huge thing for him.
And he felt everyone was staring at him.
It was a really big step for him.
And I'm so glad that we got to talk after one-on-one. I didn't know all of this until we went back through about six months later and he made a point to drop by that as well. He'd easily lost 20 or 30 pounds and was walking.
When Jane's Walkout came out on DVD, I mailed him that because I knew he was walking and that he was bothered when bad weather prevented him from being able to go out. He stuck with the walking, he stuck with the beginners of the Walkout (like Dona, he wasn't into the dance moves in the advanced Walkout) and he's now down to 180. He's lost over 120 pounds and done so safely. He doesn't have skin that sags because he lost it at a safe pace.
And he's in so much better spirits now. He realized on his own -- surprising himself and a grief therapist he started seeing at the start of this year -- that one of the reasons he put on so much weight was because his sister and others told him at the funeral that they'd start fixing him up in a few months. He wasn't ready for that.
Now he's seeing a woman that he is interested in, he's got hobbies and interests that get him out of the house during non-work hours and he has more energy when he's lecturing.
there are so many stories like that and if you're someone reading this thinking, "I wish I could get active" or "I wish I could lose some weight," please consider either getting Jane's new DVD -- and I'm betting it's like $8 at Target (that can still be a lot of money in a bad economy) -- or walking. If you're not active at all currently and your doctor's telling you to be or you think you need to be, then consider doing either of those two things.
So that's my pitch tonight.