LESLIE SANSONE WALK AT HOME: WALK AWAY YOUR HIPS AND THIGHS

2008, $1.00, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: Fight the power!

Second Impression: And don’t forget to smile!

Leslie Sansone is back, helping us get in a brisk walk without the pesky inconvenience of being outdoors. “Ooh, what a good day to talk to the hips and thighs,” she intones during the introductory segment. I’ll admit, that I am fully prepared for some next-level body-shaming, based on the DVD’s title alone. I expect her to add something like, “does your rear end resemble a garbage bag full of cottage cheese?” But instead, Leslie says something entirely remarkable: “Remember, we didn’t get these bodies to be looked at. Our bodies are for doing, moving, and living.”

This is absolutely revolutionary! This is the first time I’ve heard an exercise video point this out! Normally, a fitness host will harangue us to work out those “kimono arms,” or blast away all that jiggles. How absolutely refreshing to have someone on television affirm that our bodies are not simply meant for ornamentation.

I will add that exercise is an act of owning and controlling your own body, as well as caring for it.  The object of physical fitness shouldn’t be to punish yourself for the aesthetic enjoyment of other people who don’t actually care about you.

With this glimpse of her personal philosophy, my opinion of Leslie Sansone has done a complete 180º. I used to think of her as an overly-earnest goofball with some corny friends who walked in place inside a building. Well, yes, she is that, but she is so much more. She is the CEO of the Walk at Home Empire.

Such an Empire, in fact, that it has its own headquarters, where Leslie guides us through a stationery walk, followed by some leg lifts. It’s a modern space with a spiral staircase in the lobby. Fancy!  All the walls have giant windows with impressive views of the tree-lined brick sidewalks outside. It sure looks like a beautiful day.

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