2007, $1.00, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: Her stance proclaims, “I put on pants today!”

Second Impression: Yay for adulting!

The front cover promises “rapid weight loss,” a phrase which is usually prefaced by words such as “alarming” or “unexplained.”

This DVD has a series of varied routines that offer a progressively challenging workout, hosted by professional nice lady, Debbie Siebers. There’s also a bonus stretch sequence and a six pack routine.

Playing before and after each workout is a lengthy commercial for a “nutritional” product which is, if I were to believe everything I hear, guaranteed to increase weight loss results by 30%. They even filmed a testimonial from someone they claim is a real doctor. I’m sure he’s a doctor. He’s wearing a suit and sitting at a desk, and there’s an anatomical poster on the wall next to him. And a framed diploma. Definitely a real doctor.

These weight loss supplements are basically made out of speed and ground-up clamshells, right? If they actually work. The ineffective ones have a trendy ingredient, are ridiculously expensive, and are promoted by physicians with daytime talk shows.

But I must amend my prior statement about the timing of the pitch for this snake oil, I mean highly effective and not at all harmful wonder drug. At the beginning of each routine, Debbie Seibers congratulates us for doing so well and for taking our supplements every day.

What? The workout isn’t sandwiched by a commercial, it is a commercial. Boooooooo! Now I know how Ralphie feels when Little Orphan Annie reminds him, via decoder ring, to “make sure to drink your Ovaltine.”

I mean, if you want to wolf down some pills made of yak adrenaline and discarded patio tiles, and you think it helps you get more out of your workout, I say go for it. But I’ve been noticing lately how common it is for people to casually mention something called “pre-workout.” They think they need it. It’s a thing they buy and when they run out, they buy more. “It-gives-you-energy-and-gets-you-through-your-day,” they enthuse, pupils dilated. I also know someone who chews on sugar packets instead of gum, but I can’t recommend that either.

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