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    NIXY72   24,177
20,000-24,999 SparkPoints

Playing with the Gorilla

Friday, February 01, 2013

So you may have noticed I've been missing for several months now. When my RAI (Radioactive Iodine) treatment after my thyroid cancer surgery was finished in august and I got the "all clear", my celebration was short-lived as I had a huge pile-up of work to get through. It's a blessing and a curse running your own one-person business as sick-leave or passing the work off to someone else is never an option.

I'm almost caught up now... the light at the end of the tunnel is close and I'm looking forward to finally being able to start fresh again: cancer-free and hopefully as stress-free as possible.

However, in the three to four months of being away, with my focus completely on getting through the work-load as quickly as humanly possible, all my weight came back and my muscles are pretty much non-existent. I am admittedly in the worst shape of my life and back to the heaviest I've ever been. Good thing is, I'm not sitting by anymore to watch it get worse. It's going to be a long, difficult haul getting to where I want to be but I will do it.

I've started using the SparkPeople nutrition tracker again and it's made a huge difference in just two weeks. I eat far healthier when I actually write down everything that I consume - far more fruits and vegetables, better grains, far less fried and fast food. It makes me accountable and I feel much better after even so short a time.

The issue of muscle health however is far more difficult to deal with. Eating poorly may put on weight quickly and cause digestive discomfort but it doesn't make me cringe every time I walk up a flight of stairs. I don't understand when people say they feel a "good hurt" from working out. Hurt is hurt is hurt. To me, there's nothing good about it. And when I hurt, I avoid. And then it hurts even more.

So it's time.
Time to get over hiding from the hurt because there's no way around it.
It's time to play with the Gorilla.

Wait, not that gorilla... this gorilla:

I found Gorilla yesterday under "New and Noteworthy" on the Apple Store. It won the best Health/Fitness App for 2011 and is currently on sale for 99cents for your iPad or iPhone. It's also available for Android.

So here is my review for Gorilla. I'm two workouts in. I'll hopefully review it again when I get a bit farther but for now, I couldn't pass up the chance to talk about it.

Gorilla is a workout app that uses your own body weight - no extra equipment needed - to train. It combines cardio and strength training to "achieve maximum results in a short amount of time". It interested me because it's supposed to help people get fit that are currently at any fitness level. Considering I'm at a fitness level of zero, I really needed something that was not going to frustrate me and make me want to quit before I started.

I've found that with many workout programs/videos/instruction, including many of sparkpeople's videos, a few minutes in I'm not only humbled but angry and depressed. I can't start a program that makes me feel like a failure before I'm even done the first video/day. So I thought I'd take the chance on the 99cent sale price and try it.

First and foremost, I can't do a push up. I have never ever been able to, even when I was twenty and incredibly fit and strong. So when I was told by Gorilla that there was a place for me, I breathed a sigh of relief. Plus, the little baby monkey portraying Level 1 is adorably cute. I can be cute too. Really I can.

Let's just say that baby gorilla, cute as he is, kicked my ass. But not in a bad way. Although I wouldn't go as far to say it was a "good hurt", it was an accomplished hurt. Four rounds of 8 squats, 4 lunges (per side), and 8 modified (on knee) pushups made me curse, scream, cry and as of this morning, wince every time I move. Yes. I'm out of shape as well as somewhat melodramatic. But I did it. 32 squats, 32 lunges and 32 modified pushups later, I completed the work out (the app also allows you to share every finished workout on facebook or twitter).

I was honestly scared to try day 2. I know that the app is meant to alter muscle groups so you never work the same areas two days in a row but I was already so sore from yesterday's baby monkey workout that I didn't want to hit that "start next workout button". Maybe if I slipped him a banana he'd be nice to me?

Around lunch time I figured I would give it a go. I put on some music, grabbed my yoga mat and hit the button. The instructions said: 2 rounds of 15 supermans and 15 bird-dogs. Wha? Okay... thanks to the creator of the app, there are beautifully written instructions and even a video clip of every exercise so you can make sure you're doing it correctly with the proper form. Armed with my new knowledge of "supermans" and "bird-dogs" I did my 2 rounds. The supermans were quite easy... I have a fairly strong low back but my abs were crying after 5 bird-dogs. Nevertheless I plowed through. I feel better now though I'm not fooled by baby monkey's cuteness anymore. However here's the great thing... I am actually looking forward to doing workout #3 tomorrow. I'm not frustrated or angry. I can take my time and do it at my own pace.

So maybe I've found something that works for me. It's mobile, easy and can be done anywhere... even in small rooms. I can travel with it or do it in my home. It gets my heart rate up, breaks a sweat, and I definitely feel it afterward. According to the company, "This is the perfect fitness app for people who want to get in to seriously great shape, lose weight, and gain strength without breaking the bank." It will take a while until I can agree/disagree with that claim but even after workout #2, it's by far the best 99 cents I've ever spent.

By the way, there's also a free version but I figured for a buck I would splurge. The paid version is supposed to be MUCH better than the free one according to the reviews I've read. So, if someone feels they need a workout partner, and you have an iPad or an Android/Apple smartphone, come join me at the monkey park!

For more information on Gorilla Workout, you can visit their website at:

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MZZCHIEF 3/22/2013 6:12PM

    Great to hear that you've found something that works for you.
I'm off to read your next blog... hoping you stuck with it.

BTW, I can't do a push up properly either... has something to do with my scoliosis apparently... hey I will take it! haha

: )

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SHEENADEE 2/17/2013 2:18PM

    I'm very glad to hear you are catching up on work things and are ready to focus on your fitness. The app sounds great. I had not heard of it before so your description gave a good need for me to read other reviews. I think anything that gets us motivated and moving is a good thing. This sounds like a great motivator for you. I might just have to check it out too.

Enjoy and keep it going!

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AMBER281 2/13/2013 7:28PM

    Welcome back!!
I may have to check out that app.

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KJMATLAK 2/9/2013 10:11AM

  Welcome Back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) I would be interested in the Gorilla... but i have a stupid phone lol. I has no smart phone to speak of (archaic I know.) lol. I hope it works for you! :) emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 2/5/2013 1:46AM

    Welcome back! I love monkeys !! Gorillas are just monkeys got big !

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CLWALDRO 2/4/2013 11:02PM

    I am going to check this out as a possible cube at work workout. If i like it and it works for me i will let you know. I have a ipad so i will post results on my BLOG on SP once i decide to do it or pass for now. Thanks Michelle for the new app/workout idea

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BUTEAFULL 2/4/2013 1:19PM

    accomplishment can be it's own reward

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DR8561 2/4/2013 12:34PM

    They say the best exercise is the one you'll stick with. Good luck "monkeying around" (couldn't resist) emoticon

Glad you're back!

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SUNNYWBL 2/4/2013 12:01AM

    Welcome back! Great that you found this app! I don't have an i-anything so I won't get to try it but it sure sounds that it is very helpful to you!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLR080500 2/3/2013 7:02PM

    Welcome back!!!

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TANYA602 2/3/2013 4:39PM

    Welcome back, and congratulations on getting the "all clear" signal! I am definitely going to check out the Gorilla app. I use the SP videos, as well as a few dvds. but I am always looking for something to add to the mix.
Keep the positive vibes flowing!

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KIPPER15 2/3/2013 8:11AM

    Welcome back! The gorilla app sounds great! I don't have an I-phone or I-pad, but I am glad it is workiong for you. emoticon

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1HAPPYSPIRIT 2/3/2013 6:51AM

    You've been missed! Looking forward to your encouragement and support1

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WILMA102 2/3/2013 5:15AM

    this sounds like something your enthused about and that you will stick with it

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4RASCALS 2/3/2013 1:38AM

    Welcome back...You have been missed

Thanks for the info on Gorilla, will check it out

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    This looks INTRIGUING... I'm going to go check it out - thanks for sharing!

~Irish (aka The Incredible Shrinking Mom)

*plan to work and work your plan*

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ROCKMAN6797 2/2/2013 11:03PM

    Good luck and remember the best results are obtained by just doing!

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GAYLA1271 2/2/2013 4:26PM

    Thanks for sharing this info and WELCOME back!

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NOT2L82BME 2/2/2013 3:49PM

    This sounds great. Especially for travel. I'll check it out, especially based on the priced. If nothing else, I could entertain my kids and get them a workout too. Even they need a little help with activity during the snowy cold weather we've been having here.

emoticon emoticon

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DB1167 2/2/2013 3:18PM

    Thanks! I am downloading it too! Best of Luck to you! emoticon

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CGARR442 2/2/2013 2:27PM

    Thanks for the info. I'm downloading it now! Best of luck to you!!

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JACKIE542 2/2/2013 2:23PM

    I like what you are doing, sounds like fun, glad to see you back. emoticon emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 2/2/2013 1:35PM

    emoticon Glad you found something that works for you!

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EVER-HOPEFUL 2/2/2013 1:11PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LEPETITCHIHUA 2/2/2013 12:39PM

    Wish I had an iphone. but I do love curves. love your blog. Looking forward to here more about it. emoticon

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LMH1223 2/2/2013 10:36AM

    Welcome back!!!

This looks cool, I'm gonna check it out, thanks for sharing!!

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BE-THE-CHANGE 2/2/2013 8:48AM

    Welcome back!! You have done so much - you can do this too!

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MAGGIE101857 2/2/2013 8:45AM

    Welcome back; thrilled to hear a positive outcome on the surgery and recovery!! emoticon emoticon

I am downloading the app as I type! Always looking for something new and fun! Thanks for sharing! I need to get into ST and this sounds like a perfect fit!!

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MUSOLF6 2/2/2013 7:06AM


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MYRTROSE 2/2/2013 3:44AM

    My kids love it when I work out to a video...I yell and curse out the instructors!
I'm glad you're back on track!

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ANNEMAC5 2/2/2013 1:31AM

    nice to see you back and blogging. There are lots of tools out there to help us so it is just finding the right "animal" for you. emoticon emoticon

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LADY_JOSIELOT 2/1/2013 11:24PM

    Welcome back and great review. I'm definitely going to check out the free Android version. Thanks! :)

- Josie

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COUPONS0216 2/1/2013 10:26PM

    Awesome to see you back and in action again!

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REDSONYA1218 2/1/2013 9:27PM

    Thanks for the review. I had see this app but didn't know much about it. I have gotten hooked on the Zombies Run! app. Even though I pretty much run it. But gorilla seems interesting.

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MSCARCHICK 2/1/2013 8:56PM

    I think I might have to try this app. Thanks for sharing!

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SUSIEPH1 2/1/2013 8:46PM

    Omg !! Nixy. You are really saying it as it is.
Love that you are back in action and tracking your food .. Any exercise is good as long as it increases your breathing and brings out a sweat .. LOL!!
Love that your Gorilla is doing its job and encouraging you to succeed .. emoticon

Hugs Susie emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAMMYDIZZLE81 2/1/2013 7:19PM

    Glad you're back missed you

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IAMWINNING 2/1/2013 5:53PM

    Glad you're back, cancer-free, and started on a return to good health habits.

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MSLZZY 2/1/2013 5:33PM

    So glad you are back and that you shared this
link. I can't wait to get home to try it.
I'll let you know if I see that cute little
baby gorilla! LOL!

Comment edited on: 2/1/2013 5:34:27 PM

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OLIVIANIGHT 2/1/2013 5:23PM

    I'm so glad you're back! And that you found an inexpensive app to make it an awesome comeback! Crazy, deceptively cute monkey...

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CHERIONE 2/1/2013 5:21PM

    Yea girl! Welcome back. Sounds like a great plan!

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NANHBH 2/1/2013 5:09PM

    "I'm not fooled by baby monkey's cuteness anymore."
That made me laugh out loud! Very funny blog. So glad that you found something that challenges you, yet doesn't make you want to avoid it.

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HWNHMMBRD 2/1/2013 4:59PM

    Glad you have found some thing that works for you.

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VINGRAM 2/1/2013 4:51PM

    Don't think I'll try this one....water aerobics is more my speed! emoticon

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Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.