2015-12-27 05.49.39
Photo by sweet daughter.

For years, my husband failed at surprising me on Christmas. I’d either guess or he would get so excited about the gift he’d give it to me early. Or he’d find a bad hiding spot. It’s difficult to hide things from this Mommy!

This year, however, it was with much pride he handed me a present wrapped in blue paper and said “you’ll never guess.”

He was right, I was so surprised to get a Garmin Vivosmart! I’ve been through several basic sport watches over the years. I’d use them for timing my runs and that was about it.

I’m excited to wear this Vivosmart for a while and plan on doing my very first post-Christmas run today while wearing it.

Thanks Baby Cakes!

Review of Hip Hop Abs

I have a confession. I’ve been doing Shawn T’s Hip Hop Abs for a few weeks. I heard it was a good work out from my running friend Kristin and got it for my birthday this year with the intent of doing more strength training. I’m thin for a couple reasons; running and eating fun snacks on the sly with 4 little shadows with me every moment. So hard to open a granola bar without their radar going nuts. Thin is ok, but I needed more muscle. Strength training is not my strong suit, no pun intended.

This is considered a confession because Shawn T is cheeeeesy! My DVD set consists of 3 DVDs, each containing at least 2 work outs.

My set did not come with the fourth dvd shown in this photo.
My set did not come with the fourth dvd shown in this photo.

I was not all that impressed with the first one I tried. After 30 minutes, I had yet to break a sweat. I credit this to all of the running I do and the fact that the work out was meant as cardio. Still, it had me moving and my chest area was sore from push-ups the next morning.

Weeks later I decided to make a commitment to Hip Hop Abs to find out if I’d get the results promised.

My target area is my THUT. If you are unsure what a thut is, I’ll tell you. The thut is the area right below the butt and at the very very top of the legs. Others refer to it as the Under Butt. Some are blessed not to have a thut or they have one that goes away with diet and exercise. My thut seems here to stay. I’ve had it since college when I remember that if I wore one of my tighter leotards to ballet class, the elastic leg band would squeeze in to the top of my thut.

And yet, here I am, 15 years later, still fighting the thut.

After 5 weeks of Hip Hop abs, which includes two excellent buns and thighs segments, there have been changes. My abs are tighter and more defined without ever doing a single traditional crunch. I despise doing crunches and sit-ups.

One reason I love dancing is that it works out my body while I’m doing something that makes my spirit soar. I love running because I get a runner’s high and it burns loads of calories. If I eat cake, I just need to add a couple extra miles and voila, cake be gone.

However, no amount of running has diminished the thut. Over the last 5 weeks, I have stayed committed to Hip Hop Abs, continued weekly runs, and as time allowed, PiYo at the YMCA. I LOVE PIYO!!!!

The Results.


Overall, my body is looking great. After four kids, I’m extremely happy with how I look. Hip Hop Abs have defined my gluteus maximus, lifted it, and I can see slightly more bulk to my quads and hams. My arms look long, lean, strong, but not too bulky. Yes, I should use weights, bleh.

My abs, while standing, look pretty darn good. When not standing, I have wrinkly skin. Side effect of four pregnancies and well worth it.


The thut? It’s still there! A roll of fat that I’m convinced will never ever go away. I am 15 pounds lighter than I used to be ¬†and am working out regularly, doing squats, PiYo, and HHA’s Thighs and Buns, some yoga here and there, and some ballet work out videos.

Thut, I guess I have to learn to love you and will also be shopping for swim suits that have a skirt. Maybe someday that thut will save my life.

Would I recommend Hip Hop Abs to those that work out at home? YES, I would. The routines burn calories with cardio while sculpting muscles. Plus, if you are really out of shape, you can go at your own pace.

There are also a couple of hip hop dance routines that are fun to learn if you don’t mind rewinding to see the choreography several times.

The “tilt, tick, and tighten” technique works for abs, big time! Plus, even though you may want to mute Shawn T, the routines go by very quickly. Most are only 25 minutes long. Can’t complain about that.

I may have to get my neighbor Becky over here to do the video with me so we can laugh at Shawn T together. Laughing works out abs too! Bonus.