I'm standing in front of my mirrored closet door, in nothing but athletic shorts and my running shoes, practicing my pose for a "before" picture. Yes, I said "before," meaning, down the road there should be an "after" picture, and I'm hoping there will be obvious results. As I round out my shoulders, shift my weight to the right hip and suck in ever so slightly, I'm not mortified with what I see, as long as I ignore the one love handle still peaking around my left side.
It all started, innocently enough, like every other fine mess I've gotten myself into. Every so often, I volunteer to help organize a flash mob, put together a merry band of costumed party goers, lead a themed parade or any number of well meaning efforts that miraculously come together at the last minute. This time, though, it's not as simple as a wig and grease paint. Oh no, this time I'll actually have to exert myself - for nothing but the ability to say I did it - and I'm more than a little worried.
One of the staffers at Jackson Free Press was in for a bang trim one sunny afternoon, when she casually mentioned that they'd like me to walk in the Boom Jackson fashion show. I thought about it for two seconds before I said yes, all the while giggling. I also added "How many weeks do I have to whip myself into shape?"
"The show in April fifth." she said dryly.
"Oh God!" I replied "I'm gonna have to bust it like Janet Jackson right before an album drops."
And so, with no more thought than that, this whole "Six Weeks To Six-Pack" thing found its footing and my love handles could be heard laughing for miles around.
I met with Terry Sullivan, of liveRightnow, straight away to see if he thought this was even possible. My research consisted of finding a picture of a guy online with a slight build and abs you could grate cheese on.
"Can I get shredded in six weeks?" I asked, bracing for thunderous laughter.
Terry was careful with his choice of words. "How much work are you willing to put in?"
"You're the Oprah and I'm the Gayle. I'll do whatever you say. I'll even give up my ... vodka." I replied, my voice trembling at the end. I could tell this whole thing was getting out of hand here. Give up the vodka? What was I thinking?
"No, seriously!" I said, trying to convey my dedication, "If there's a chance that I might end up shirtless on the runway, then I expect to look my best. You're in charge."
With that, and a big grin on his face, Terry agreed to take me on. We set a time for my fitness assessment and I prepared to walk away with a few dietary guidelines and some motivational one-liners like "anything worth doing is going to be hard" to keep in mind.
"Oh, one more thing," I said as I stood from the table, "Do you think we can build up my butt for this thing? I'd like to fill out a Speedo properly." and jutted out my hip.
"That's a lotta squats," he said with reservation, then I saw his eyes move slowly to my backside. "a lotta squats..."