Author: Rocco Lazaris, Manager & Certified Fitness Specialist


With the Holiday season in full swing, the thoughts of past family gatherings from Thanksgiving and Christmas come to mind.

One memory stands out in particular. It was my first visit to the in-laws for Thanksgiving. I wanted to make a good impression, so instead of parking in front of the TV, watching football with all the other guys, I volunteered to help set up for the big feast.

To my luck there wasn’t much needing to be done, but my mother in law asked me to grab several side dishes that she prepared from the additional refrigerator in the basement. As I entered through the door at the bottom of the steps, I felt like Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer when he arrived at the Island of misfit toys. Only this wasn't the Island of misfit toys, it was the Island of misfit exercise equipment.

If their was an infomercial for it, my mother-in-law had it. It felt like the QVC shopping channel took over the basement.

I remember seeing everything from the Thigh Master to the Ab Circle. I couldn’t help myself, so I tried several of them out. I laughed with great amusement after trying an item called the Body Scissors. It was so laughable that the only health benefit I could see from it was the small ab workout I was getting from my own laughter.

When I got back upstairs I asked my mother in law which “as seen on tv” exercise device was her favorite. I was trying to hold back a laugh. She gave me some kind of response to the tune of they’re all junk. One example she gave was the Ab Circle was supposed to take several inches off her waist in just a few weeks, but all it did was bother her back. She continued to give example after example of how each exercise device was a complete let down from the advertisement.

I remember not knowing if I should laugh or feel sorry for her. I honestly didn’t think anyone actually believed those fairytale fitness infomercials. If I was wrong about my mother-in-law I was probably wrong about thousands of others as well. She did admit that some of the commercials made the product appear too good to be true, but they nearly promised you’d look like the models if you used them. Now I know how Jack got suckered into those magic beans.

With a little advice from me,I convinced my mother-in-law to invest in a nice treadmill. It didn’t fill the promise of getting ripped abs in 6 weeks like the Flex Belt that literally shocks you to make your stomach contract (seriously what are you people thinking who buy this?). The treadmill did however help her reach her summer goal of losing weight and feeling healthier.

So before you decide to put the Shake Weight on your Christmas list don’t forget about the Island of misfit exercise toys. Only these toys don’t deserve a second chance and should stay on the Island forever.

Happy Holidays!

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