2004, $2.00, at Oxford Odds & Ends, Oxford, PA

First Impression: Did she borrow Uma Thurman’s Kill Bill outfit?

Second Impression: Can this have some kickass fight choreography pleasepleaseplease?

Alas, I dared to dream and my hopes were dashed. There’s no flying leap death kicks in this DVD, only core work and gentle encouragement. 

Leslie Sansone, the effusive den mother of Walk Away The Pounds, is back with a Pilates workout and You Can Do It exclamation point!

We start the Moves & Techniques section with some peppy Salsa music to set the mood.

Leslie assures us that “It’s gonna be fun, it really is,” which is a phrase that unfailingly fills me with a palpable feeling of imminent doom.

Leslie demonstrates each exercise in the enthusiastic way that someone might show you their collection of motel postcards. Each one is her favorite! 

But something interesting happens as Leslie guides us through the routine. She makes all the moves seem really easy. I guess I’m used to Pilates workouts led by sinewy former ballet dancers/fitness gurus to the stars/weight loss supplement purveyors who make exercise seem difficult to elevate their status in our eyes. Leslie pulls back the veil and declares, “If you haven’t turned this off by now, you’re doing great!”

Now it’s time for The Mat Workout, which is everything she just explained to us, done at a quicker pace. The Pilates moves make it a workout, but the Casio-made faux Caribbean marimba music makes it a party.

This paves the way to the Mat Challenge, so called because you incorporate a stretchy band into some of the exercises. But don’t be intimidated. There’s no trash-talking in this challenge, only hope for a slimmer, stronger you!

I wasn’t able to use a stretchy band for this workout because I ruined both of mine. One of them, while folded up in its storage pouch, fused onto itself and begat a lumpy, unhelpful blob. I broke the other band awhile ago while doing another video because I am so swole. 

After the cooldown and a sincerely fond farewell from Leslie, it actually feels like I had a good workout even though the instructor wasn’t silently judging me for liking bread. 

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