Let's face it.  For some of us, working out does not come naturally.  It can be a chore, a "have to."  I have tried hard to shift my mindset about this (kumbaya, embrace the working out) but if I am honest, I would almost always rather watch a movie.

But it has to be done.  So if you are in my camp, you might agree, extreme measures are needed to make sure it happens.  Extreme can include public embarrassment, harassment from friends, food deprivation, loss of money…the list goes on.  What is a lazy worker-outer to do?

One day a few years ago, a friend and I had a run with In and Out Burger and Krispy Kreme Donuts.  The run in included eating all of the above, in one afternoon.  We almost died.  I am still wringing out my arteries.  I mean, an occasional stop for a donut is one thing, but it's a totally different thing to have a huge burger (double double animal style – AWWW YEAH!), a pile of fries, a soda (not diet…the horror…all those chemicals…if I am going to be bad, I at least want real sugar) only to be followed by not one but two fresh out of the oven donuts.  Mmmm…good times.

And then reality set in.  Within minutes of said consumption we practically ran off the road fighting off sugar coma.  And immediately – I am not kidding – my pants practically burst.  And we were in Malibu where fat people are not allowed.  It was a bad day.

Extreme measures were needed to fend off this kind of behavior and get back to our healthy selves.  What did we do?  We invented a plan.  A brutal plan involving humiliation, some deprivation and potential money spending…but there was a reward.  We invented…wait for it…

THE MANOLO CHALLENGE (picture a beautiful pair of hand-crafted shoes coming down through the clouds…the light is behind them…angels are singing…)

The Manolo Challenge was an eating and exercise plan that lives on today and is followed, with modifications, by others.  Here are the basic requirements:

  • Cardio at least 4x a week for min of 1 hour each time;

  • 100 sit ups 3x a week;

  • Strength training at least 2x a week.

  • On eating and drinking, we limited our drinks to no more than 7 a week (rationale: 1 glass of wine per day works for the french, so why not us) and no donuts, stuff like that.

We set up a system (ahh, spreadsheets!) whereby we reported to each other on a weekly basis how we did, and if you did something like eat fries, your Manolo Challenge buddy could assign you a "make-it-up" workout like an extra hour on the bike.   If after 2 months you had complied with everything on average 90%, you "won". 

Here is the kicker: if you won and the other lost, the loser had to buy the winner a pair of Manolos (and not on sale – real, current season, cannot pay your rent, Manolo Blahniks). If you both win, you were allowed to buy yourself a pair of Manolos. If you both lose, you have to donate $500 to a charity…so in any event, you were out $500 but the goal was to not have to buy the other person a pair of shoes!

Let me tell you, rarely have I been so motivated.  We might need to institute MCII.