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Published: Sunday, August 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Even faith in infomercials is rewarded eventually

I have a sincere love of infomercials. Go ahead and mock me; I'm used to it.

Those steam-heated hot rollers I bought in high school kind of worked. The Hairdini that promised an instant French twist was … interesting. We continue to use our Jack LaLanne juicer to make crab-apple jelly. And our robotic vacuum cleaner? Roomba totally sucks.

But when it comes to infomercials about exercise products, I have a pretty bad track record.

The Ab Slide I bought in my 20s now makes its home in the coat closet. It never gave me six-pack abs, but it did scratch up the wood floor.

My Hoopnotica exercise hula hoop has become a kiddie toy in the back yard. It turns out that hula-hooping for 40 minutes can cause severe bruising. It can also knock over your TV.

In the fall of 2011, I spent three months religiously doing the lean version of P90X. I gained three pounds! I'm still not exactly sure how that happened, but I'm telling myself that it was pure muscle. Or maybe it was the chocolate milk.

At one point I purchased a non-electric treadmill that was super cheap and could slide under your bed. Theoretically it would have been fine, except that it was permanently set at an extremely high incline. I had to hold on for dear life so I wouldn't fall off.

My husband rigged up some climbing ropes so I could harness myself on, but that only made me the target for some well-deserved humor.

Sometimes I wonder why I'm the type of person who keeps getting lured into buying products that don't deliver. (Please don't remind me of the Slap Chop. I bought that, too.) Maybe succumbing to infomercials is about wish fulfillment and eternal optimism.

Or maybe it's the same type of phenomenon that keeps people playing slot machines. Usually you lose, but sometimes you win.

Well, guess what? Jackpot! My faith in infomercials has paid off again.

About six months ago I ordered a Total Gym from QVC. It's a really low-end version of the same machine that Christie Brinkley and Chuck Norris sell. But even though it's pretty cheap (for exercise equipment), it works really well.

It's not like I'm going to suddenly climb Mount Rainier anytime soon, but at least I can now stand up straight without slouching. I can almost do a pull-up.

So go ahead, world. Fill me with your eternal sunshine. The glass is half full and the answer to all my problems is just a phone call away.

But wait! There's more!

Actually, there isn't. I should probably go put my credit card away.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmybabytoread.com.


Story tags » Household Products

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