Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Getting into shape
Thank you so much for your comments! Really glad to know you all enjoy the show and the blog. Please keep them coming!
You know, this show is a different kind of experience for me in the sense that for the most part, my job at CNN involves hard news. On CNN Today, the morning news show I co-anchor, we report on war and politics, natural disasters and events that make history; whereas on Art of Life it is news of a different kind. We have strong business elements but also it's a look into another world.
Working on Art of Life is kind of like a stream of consciousness. We don't necessarily shoot stories in sequence. That is, we don't necessarily shoot stories to air that same month. For example, we are planning on a Mind, Body, and Soul show in a few months where we find all the elements one needs to be healthy -- especially when money is no object.
You know the adage, a healthy body means a healthy mind? Well, I was supposed to get started on that with a consultation with personal trainer to the stars Matt Roberts. He has worked with Tom Ford, Naomi Campbell, Sting and his wife Trudi Styler.
I was really looking forward to getting started simply because I have a hard time actually getting motivated to even step foot in a gym. For some reason the thought of going into a room filled with people who all know what they're doing (and look good doing it) just doesn't appeal to me. I used to work out when I was living in Atlanta. I took kickboxing classes which always left me feeling great right after the class. I also loved my yoga and Pilates classes. I even looked forward to them. But once I moved to London, going to the gym just didn't have the same appeal. Or maybe I'm just lazy.
Anyway, when Andrea (Art of Life's producer) came up with this Health show I thought, "Well, if it's for work I'll do it." How dedicated, eh? So, after much to-ing and fro-ing and trying to get the right dates in all our diaries, Day One with Matt Roberts was scheduled and written in ink. I was even looking forward to it.
I was told Day One would begin with a consultation. I would be weighed, pinched, questioned about my eating habits, given a health background check -- and all of this would be filmed so you could all see my progress (as we would film over a period of a few months). Now, as much as I like all of you to feel like you're experiencing the show with me, there is no way I would let anyone see me being weighed or pinched. I'm sorry. Not going to happen.
We get to Day One and I'm all ready to go (had my gym bag packed) and a huge story breaks. Iraq's most wanted militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is killed by U.S. and Iraqi forces. I have to jump right back up on set and CNN goes into wall-to-wall coverage of this breaking story. So, Day One had to be postponed. Such is the life of an ever-changing news day. No worries though, folks, we're working on getting Day One and then some back on track.
One way we have been able to combat my lack of training was to interview the founder of TechnoGym, Nerio Alessandri. It's an Italian company that designs and manufactures high-end gym equipment. It also has a philosophy that believes in a well-rounded approach to a healthy lifestyle. That is, it's not just about the physical, it's about being positive, eating well -- and of course -- exercise that you enjoy. I will have more on this interview when our Health show airs in a few months. A quick preview, though, I just got back yesterday from Italy where I worked out while being trained by Nerio on the top deck of his boat the "Istranka" off the coast of Capri. I even used the machine Madonna raves about. Not too shabby.

Posted By Leetlegirl: Wednesday, July 05, 2006
I find it really hard to exercise too, Monita!!! I'm looking forward to the health show. Hopefully your journey will inspire me to get more active too. Good luck!
Posted By Anonymous Pam Brown, Hong Kong : 9:54 AM, July 05, 2006
Hey Monita,

I can feel you are doing your work with a lot of pleasure. It looks that CNN Art of Life is a special created program for you, so I often read your blogs with a kind of satisfaction. You are presenting the program in a very informative, attractive and charming way.

I am also training regular for my body with gym. I need it.

And I think Art of Life is a very good change for you from CNN Today. The Art of Life airs on July 22, which is my birthday so watching your show will be a great present!

Best wishes for you and your show from Aachen!
Posted By Anonymous Johannes Walther, Aachen, European Union - Germany : 11:31 AM, July 05, 2006
Hi Monita,

I have watched a couple of shows and they keep getting better. Keep up the good work.

Happy Summer
Posted By Anonymous Chris Patselou, Athens, Greece : 11:53 AM, July 05, 2006
Hello Monita,
Youre show 'Art of life' .....well what can i say. simply splendid, the content and the presentation is superb. and may I add, you just look so charming and yet such a professional journalist on the show. Keep up the good work!
Posted By Anonymous Sameer Iqbal, Dubai, UAE : 3:21 PM, July 05, 2006
Hi Monita,

I unfortuately cut my cable service here in Sydney, Australia shortly before Art of Life came onto CNN! It sounds like a great show to be apart of and a pleasant change to the pressure and demands of rolling 24 hour breaking news. But thanks to technology I can see some part of the show through Keep up the great work, hopefully I can get CNN in the future.
Posted By Anonymous Adrian Yee, Sydney, Australia : 9:47 AM, July 13, 2006
Hi Monita
we miss you in Toronto
Posted By Anonymous Marian - Toronto Canada : 1:01 PM, July 14, 2006
Hi Monita, Love ur show! I had stopped watching cnn because the news had become so depressing- death, destruction and the casual mention of civilian deaths, mostly children. But how wonderful that now cnn is going to show a bit of the brighter side of life. and in my opinion there is no one else in cnn who could do a better job.
Posted By Anonymous Fatima Saber, Dhahran, KSA : 6:53 PM, July 18, 2006
CNN anchor Monita Rajpal blogs about her experiences filming the "Art of Life" show.

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