Physique 57 Part 1: Bye-Bye Ben & Jerry’s, Hello New Body


I have two new loves in my life and they go by the names Tanya Becker and Shelly Knight. As the co-founder/head instructor and associate director of training at Physique 57, these women have single handedly changed my outlook on my body and my life. Upon agreeing to undergo a vigorous series of Physique 57 classes (four to five a week!) and healthy(ish) eating for eight weeks, I bid junk food a sad farewell and gear up for what will probably be one of the most challenging (and rewarding) two months of my life.

I mentally prepare myself for an extended period without my best friends Ben & Jerry. Besides the obvious weaknesses like cheeseburgers and fries, I have been known to eat pints of either Americone Dream or Phish Food in one sitting. I know that in the weeks to come, I’ll walk through the frozen food aisle in Whole Foods, home to dozens of rows of neatly organized Ben & Jerry’s pints, and will understand how an alcoholic feels in a bar.

I look to Regis and Kelly co-host extraordinaire and Physique’s biggest celebrity endorser, Kelly Ripa, for inspiration. She’s very vocal about how Tanya’s fitness methods have transformed her body and swears by the 57-minute-long classes that she’s been religiously attending for the past few years. If it’s good enough for Kelly, it’s good enough for me.


As far as eating goes, I am not dieting for this series of stories, but rather just maintaining a normal diet that is filled with a lot of healthy food. With all the physical activity I am partaking in during these six weeks, I am making sure to consume about 1,800 to 2,000 calories a day in Kashi Go Lean cereal, fat free Greek yogurt, grapes, strawberries, apples, salads, omelets, peanut butter and jelly on pita bread, turkey sandwiches, grilled chicken, whole wheat pasta, Luna and Zone bars, and a lot of water.

While this is actually the way that I eat three quarters of my life, it’s the remaining quarter that gets me in trouble. Gorging on entire pints of fat-filled ice cream, Thai noodle dishes, nachos, and rich macaroni and cheese with truffle oil on the weekends often cancels out all the hard work that I have done over the week. Not only is eating an excess of that many calories not healthy, but it makes you feel sick, sluggish, bloated, and just all around not good about yourself. Come on, how many times have you woken up after a night of totally going to town and just wanted to pretend it never happened?

Will I be able to make it more than a week without gorging on premium frozen desserts and Pad See Ew? Read on.

I admit, I got a little overzealous my first week, but I credit that to Tanya and Shelly, whose classes have become a continual source of inspiration for me, both revolutionizing my body and my outlook on life. I must note that I am in good shape; before my foray into this method of cardio-induced strength training, I was a runner for years. With the introduction of multiple Physique classes a week, I am definitely doing less cardio (there’s no way I would do a four mile run before one of these classes) but I am still doing light cardio a few mornings a week in conjunction with Physique.

On my first day I met with Tanya and Jennifer Maanavi, co-founder and CEO. I am in pretty good shape already, which Becker and Maanavi promise will work to my advantage if I maintain a healthy diet and four classes a week.

Waist: 27 inches

Hips: 36

Arms: 10.5 inches

Thighs: 22 inches

Stay tuned!