Confession: I hate working out and I only do it to avoid getting fat. And yes, this is a whole post of quintessential first-world problems.
I should preface this rant with the recognition that I am not a skinny person. There have been moments in my life where I have been slim, but those are not the norm. I’m not being all self-deprecating and calling myself fat, but I am recognizing that I am American normal, which means that I could stand to loose ten pounds, but I’m not going to have any problems getting the arm rests down at the movie theatre. I’m also almost six feet tall, so I like to think of myself as proportionate.
My height/weight combo means that I do not feel any sympathy for skinny person problems. By this I mean the favorite rant of slender people, “vanity sizing.” Do I feel sorry that the willingness of designers to shift sizes and allow me to continue wearing my size forever has forced you into a 0 instead of a 2? No, no I do not. I am vain enough to love vanity sizing. Thank you, fashion industry (except you, Abercrombie). What even is a 0, or a double 00… do you have negative mass??? This isn’t against these tiny people — it is against an industry that has assigned them a totally nonsensical number.) But vanity sizing can only do so much, and I like to stay relatively constant, which brings me to exercise.
There are people, rare special people, who can eat whatever they want, never work out, and look awesome.
I am not one of those people. I’m pretty sure that if I thought about a donut long enough, it would appear on my hips.
And so, I exercise. Yes, I like the endorphins, and yes, it makes me feel better about the whole day if I get some physical activity in, and yes, I have some weird obsession with only showering if I have “earned it.” But mostly, I just want to run long enough to justify a milkshake… or two. I wish that I loved working out. If I did, I would probably finally start using Twitter, just so I could chirpily tweet out my amazing work outs and feel superior.
If you remember those lofty resolutions from January, I decided to do a noble experiment and mix up my 12-year work out regimen of almost exclusively running with some cool gym classes. I went dutifully to a cycling class 1-2 times a week, every week, all semester. (I also attended a Step class once, which was just as humiliating as I’m sure it was for my uncoordinated ancestors in the 80’s, only minus the brightly colored leotards. The instructor did however play lots of boy band music from the nineties, which might be the best work out music ever. I would have sung along, but I didn’t want my perfect knowledge of every single lyric to every single Backstreet Boy song to intimidate others, so instead I just lip synced furiously.)
After this exhaustive foray into being a Gym Go-er, I can definitively say that I hate working out. At least with running, you see cool stuff, like puppies or blossoming trees or shady looking people in side alleys (hooray DC!), but in the gym, I am painfully aware of my own misery. Here is what a typical Spinning Class with Hannah is like:
5:00: Arrive 15 minutes early to set up bike. Struggle to achieve the correct height, despite having done it ALL SEMESTER.
5:15: Start warming up, which is totally a bad name, since I am pretty much roasting from the second I walk in there. Peppy instructor says she will turn on the fans “once things get hot.”
5:20: Make wild gestures to indicate that I need the fans NOW. In an entire semester of classes, I was the one to beg for the fans every. single. time. (Except when Kristen did once, because we might be sweat kindred spirits).
5:25: Now that shirt is totally soaked through, start wiping face on towel. One week I forgot my towel and that got real ugly real fast.
5:35: Token Beyonce song comes on and I experience a brief Queen B centered revival.
5:40: Beyonce song ends and I re-plunge into despair as Peppy Instructor tells us to “go faster with our FEET not by turning down the resistance” and I consider walking out and leaving her and all the chirpy sorority girls texting while biking behind.
5:45-6:05: Misery. Sweat. Stare at clock. Repeat.
6:10: Cool down, stretching, self-congratulation.
And then I walk out and decide to have ice cream for dinner, because you know, I worked out and stuff.
Are you all Gym Go-ers? Despite my hatred, I will probably keep going, so I am always up for fun new classes. What work out regimens do you like/ what songs do you play to numb the pain?
Laughed aloud to this on the airport shuttle surrounded by businessmen and a chirpy woman who thinks she’s a pro at traveling (ma’m, no one gets three carry-ons unless they don’t catch you). Thanks for this Monday morning chuckle.
Jenny! 🙂 I am always the lady that has a huge Vera Bradley duffel, and then try to sneak my purse into my other large Vera bag. You would be ashamed if you saw me at the airport, but it’s all in the name of saving $25 each way. 🙂 Miss you.
Jenny, I’m glad I could give you a chuckle. : )
And Natalie, have no shame. I totally do it too.
Working out is actually my biggest way to de-stress (Will has even been given permission to tell me to work out if I’m being snippy for no reason), but I HATE how long it takes. It was great in college – now if I want to work out after a day in the office and making dinner my night is shot!
(My knees are also shot so running isn’t usually an option…I like to read while ellipticalling or watch tv while doing yoga to distract myself 🙂
Don’t get me wrong — I do love having worked out AFTERWARDS, but not in it (unless I am walking or conversationally jogging). And it really does take too long… but I guess that is kind of the point. : )
As a size zero and someone who exercises I felt the need to pipe in. I LOVE my weird disproportioned body. Anyone who looks at me can see that something’s a tad off. Im a zero with a D chest. I love my thigh gap and my chicken legs and my hip bones. Why? Did society tell me I had to be this way? Ehh, Im not really swayed by what the “media” tells me is good. I love my size zeroness simply because my body is mine and I’m awesome. I like that I’m a unique size for an American. Again why? Because those legs and those hips are mine and I’m awesome. I know very few people who can say they love their body. This semester I have learned to love my body in so many more ways (does this wording sound weird?) Now my thigh gap and my chicken legs and my hip bones and my top heaviness can do amazing things. Yesterday, I ran my first 10k and I did so in an amazing time. Im so proud of what I did. I love my body and I happen to be a size zero. My body can do what your body can (okay, maybe not yet but I’m getting there mrs. spin class half marathon stepper) and we have two totally different bodies. Im sick of size zero shaming just like Im sick of size twelve shaming. The point is do you like your body and do you like what it can do?
I have absolutely no problem with size 0 people, and I am anti-size 0 shaming, just as much as the other. I think that what I meant though is that I hate when people complain about naturally being the size that the rest of us are told be the media that we should be.
And for the record, you have a rocking body. : )
Love your posts so much, Hannah. I love working out. Mostly because I feel so much better (remember the quote from “Legally Blonde” about endorphins!?). But also because I work a desk job and sit for most of the day, I literally have “butt ache” (not sure that’s a term? I know that “secretary butt” is!) at the end of the day. I married the most dedicated exerciser in the world, which has helped me be a gym attender. We go 5 days a week, 3 of those are mornings and we get up at 4:30. I do, however, LOVE basically every workout DVD that Beachbody has come out with. I love Turbofire, both p90x sets and Insanity. They are all excellent. That way, you can work out at home and be awesome, but nobody has to see you. 🙂 I mostly just do weights at the gym because I am not willing to invest in pricey dumbbells. I have yet to go to any classes and really want to try one!
MORNING GYM TRIPS???? You are hardcore. I do understand about needing some sort of exercise after a day of sitting. I think for me, I like “exercise ” (ie:moving around, taking a walk, jogging in a pretty park, etc.) and hate “working out” (going to the gym and counting calories).
Oh gosh, I just love this. I don’t like working out but I’m also tired of being a slug. I started taking “jogs” (really just a fast person’s saunter) and have enjoyed that a bit. I am also trying to go through Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred (the vids are all online FO FREE!) but she always yells at me when I start to get lazy and I how she is basically watching me through the TV. I’m in two weddings this summer so my goal is to just not be the fat bridesmaid. I mean, I’m okay with being the curvy, sensual bridesmaid- but not the tub ‘o lard in the too tight dress.
I know… the slug life can have lots of negative side effects. I feel that jogging should be done at a conversational pace and with a chatty buddy, so that I can be building community while I work off my donuts. But I did do Jillian’s shred (there is an old blog post about it somewhere if you search Jillian) and it was KILLER. She totally sees you through the screen. Just when I would be taking a breather instead of doing butt kicks or whatever, she would look straight at me and yell “DON’T PHONE IT IN!” Her yoga video is pretty scary too, and completely not relaxing.
I’m sure you will be the prettiest bridesmaid ever!
I’m proud to have gotten to the point where exercise is a stress-reliever and not a stress-inducer. But I can’t handle the gym. I generally dislike strangers so the idea of being in an enclosed space with that many sweaty people has never tempted me. Running forever!
I MISS MY RUNNING BUDDY!!!! Because it didn’t feel like exercise, it just felt like Bethany and Hannah taking on the world by working out all our problems as we ran.
And yes, it is pretty much just the gym that I hate.
I liked doing a pilates video at home when I was pregnant…and unless I’m playing a sport or riding a bike I really don’t like working out around other people. Something about crowds making me nervous plus the intimidation factor…be she a size 0 or a size 20, the woman who can run a mile has me in awe and intimidated. I probably would hate the gym.
No matter my size, unless I’m working on a farm or playing sports consistently, I can’t seem to hang on to muscle tone. This is part of my vanity-complaining about size shaming…it makes no difference whether I’m in shape or not, my size is different everywhere.
My favorite form of exercise is swimming. I can forget about other people around me in the water. And the tired I get from swimming is better than any other kind of workout tired I’ve tried.
Alex is going to help me get to where I can confidently run a mile this summer…and then I’m going to run a 5k. I would eventually, after all, like to not be intimidated by people who can run a mile. 🙂
You could totally run a 5k! Just start in little increments and get a great playlist/ book on tape. I feel you on the muscle tone. Maybe it is just because I can’t stick with things, but I always struggle so hard to get an ab (not even a whole set!) and then it disappears way too fast!
I do not find the gym interesting and have never desired to go to one. I enjoy power walking with intermittent jogging (supposedly this interval process burns MORE calories than just jogging or just power walking). I also LOVE my exercise/balance ball. I do all kinds of stuff on it to work out my core and abs. 🙂
I have heard wonders about these exercise balls… maybe I should get one. Although, we have so little storage space that that could be a problem.
I thought of this post as I was shopping today and overheard a girl ask her boyfriend to go get her a size 00. Your comment “do you have negative mass?” immediately popped into my head which made me feel a whole lot better about having mass as I tried on my larger pair of shorts. =)
BAHA!!! Love this. : )
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